One of life’s biggest questions for the majority of us is, ‘who am I?’, closely followed by ‘what am I here for?’ We are all looking for identity and purpose. We have such a few years on this earth to discover the answer to these questions. But the Bible has much to say about the answer to both. Know who you are.
When someone turns to Christ and decides to follow Him, we are told that we are made new and have a new citizenship. One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to keep us from truly discovering who we are and then to keep us from believing it. For the battleground is in our minds, for our thoughts and ultimately for our hearts and very souls.
We are renewed in our thoughts by the ‘washing of the Word’, by reading scripture. It has a life-transforming power to shift our beliefs and align them to God’s thoughts and purposes for our lives.
John 1:12-13 says, ‘To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’ We who believe in His name are children of God.
Jesus specifically said of His children that, ‘the sons are free’ in Matt 17:26. He was using the lesson of paying taxes to demonstrate that we are in reality freed from the restrictions of this world. In John 8:32, Jesus declares that when we “know the truth, the truth will set us free.” Jesus is the way, that truth and the light to guide our path. By turning to Him and surrendering our hearts to Him we find a new identity, one we were born for.
Poem of the Day
Freedom Home To you whose eyes are weary To you whose hearts are weak It is of a new freedom That to you now I speak. You who have remained faithful, Who truly to Me belong, I will take your tiredness away And give to you a new heart of song. The load may feel so heavy But it is to you whom I choose to bear Now I desire to take you Beyond the mountain air. In those matters of My Kingdom I have made you so very wise To prepare you for that final journey To the sunlit skies. I speak again of My freedoms; Would that your hearts no longer roam For soon, very soon I will call you To your eternal home. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
He is what these great names describe Him to be
Henry says – Jesus came to His own, to seek and save them. There was a remnant in the world who owned Him and were faithful to Him. Though the Jews, did not received Him, yet there were those who did receive Him (John 1:12). Though most of the Jewish nation persisted and perished in unbelief, yet there were many of them who did submit to Christ, and many more who were not of that fold, the scattered in all the nations.
The true Christian receives Christ, and believes on His name. To be a Christian is indeed to believe on Christ’s name. It is to assent to the discovery of the gospel and consent to its proposal concerning Him. His name is the Word of God, King of kings, the Lord our righteousness, Jesus the Saviour. To believe on His name is to acknowledge that He is what these great names describe Him to be, and to subscribe that He may be so to us.
Believing in Christ’s name is receiving Him as a gift from God. We must receive His doctrine as true and good and receive His law as just and holy. His offers are kind and advantageous. We must receive the image of His grace, and impressions of His love, as the governing principle of our affections and actions.
The true Christian’s dignity and privilege include the privilege of adoption, which takes them as God’s children. He gives them the power to become the sons of God. Formerly the adoption pertained to the Jews only (Israel is my son, my first-born), but now, by faith in Christ, Gentiles can also become the children of God, Gal. 3:26. To them He gave the right and to them He gave this pre-eminence.
We were predestined for adoption
All the saints have this power. It is the unspeakable privilege of all good Christians that they have become the children of God. By nature they were children of wrath, children of this world. If they be the children of God, they have become so, for people are not born Christians, but made to be so.
What manner of love is this, 1 John 3:1. God calls them His children, they call Him Father, and they are entitled to all the privileges of children. The privilege of adoption is entirely owing to Jesus Christ. He gave this power to them who believe on His name. God is His Father, and so is also ours. It is by virtue of our union with Him, that we stand related to God as a Father. It was in Christ that we were predestined for adoption. From Him we receive both the character and the Spirit of adoption, and He is the first-born among many. The Son of God became a Son of man so that the sons and daughters of men might become the sons and daughters of God Almighty.
All the children of God are born again (John 3:3 Truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again), all who are adopted are regenerated. God creates the nature and predisposition of children and so dignifies them. Men cannot do so when they adopt. This new birth is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of corruptible seed, 1 Pet. 1:23. Man is called flesh and blood, because this is his origins. But we do not become the children of God as we become the children of our natural parents.
The grace of God alone
Grace does not run in the blood, as corruption does. The polluted man produces a son in His own likeness (Gen. 5:3), but the sanctified and renewed man does not produce a son in that likeness. The Jews gloried much in their parentage, and the noble blood that ran in their veins, ‘we are Abraham’s seed’. To them it pertained to adoption because they were born of that blood. But this New-Testament adoption is not founded in any such natural relation. It is not produced by the natural power of our own will. For it is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, so neither is it of the will of man. For man labours under a moral impotency of being able to determin that which is good.
It is the grace of God alone that makes us willing to be His. Nor can human laws or writings prevail to sanctify and regenerate a soul. If they could, the new birth would be by the will of man. But it is positively of God. This new birth is owing to the Word of God as the means (1 Pet. 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God), and to the Spirit of God as the great and sole author.
True believers are born of God, (1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well). This is necessary to our adoption; for we cannot expect the love of God if we do not have something of His likeness, nor claim the privileges of adoption if we are not under the power of regeneration. (1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them, they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God).
He subjected Himself to the miseries of the human nature
The Word was made flesh, John 1:14. This expresses Christ’s incarnation more clearly than anything that went before. By His divine presence He always was in the world, and by His prophets He came to His own. But now that the fullness of time had come He was sent forth in another manner, made of a woman (Gal. 4:4). God was manifested in the flesh.
The Word was made flesh. Just as the children, who were to become the sons of God, were partakers of flesh and blood, Christ Himself likewise took on the same, Heb. 2:14. Christ was really and truly man, but He subjected Himself to the miseries and calamities of the human nature. He was made flesh, the most detestable part of man. Christ was crucified through weakness, 2 Cor. 13:4. Flesh implies man mortal and dying (Ps. 78:39), and Christ was put to death in the flesh 1 Pet. 3:18.
Flesh implies that man is tainted with sin (Gen. 6:3). Christ, though He was perfectly holy and harmless, yet He appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3), and was made sin for us, 2 Cor. 5:21. When Adam had sinned, God said to him, ‘you are dust’, not only because He had made him from out of the dust, but because by sin he was sunk into the dust. His fall turned him into all flesh, made him earthly. Therefore He who was made a curse for us was made flesh, and condemned sin in the flesh, Rom. 8:3.
He was made flesh
The wonder is that the eternal Word was made flesh. He who made all things was made flesh Himself. He submitted Himself to that form from which He was furthest away. The same voice that cried ‘all flesh is grass’ (Isa. 40:6) was made flesh, making the Redeemer’s love more wonderful. Flesh withers like grass but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Even though He was made flesh, He did not cease from being the Word of God.
He dwelt among us, here in this lower world. Having taken upon Himself the nature of man, He put Himself into the place and condition of men. He took a body of the same mould as ours and resided in the same world with us. He dwelt among us, us the worms of the earth, us that He had no need of, us that He got nothing from, us that were corrupt and depraved and revolted from God. The Lord God came and dwelt even among the rebellious, Ps. 68:18. He who had dwelt among angels, those noble and excellent beings, came and dwelt among us.
He finished what He came to do
Compared to the upper world, how mean and contemptible does this flesh, this body, appear which we carry about with us. This world in which our lot is cast makes it hard to be reconciled to it. But that the eternal Word was made flesh, was clothed with a body as we are, and dwelt in this world as we do should make us willing to abide in the flesh while God has any work for us to do. For Christ dwelt in this lower world, bad as it is, till He had finished what He had come to do, (John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do).
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Father I come to You. I thank You that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. May I own Him for myself and be known as one who is faithful to Him. I submit myself to Christ and believe on His name. For Christ is the Word of God, King of kings, the Lord our righteousness, Jesus the Saviour. I acknowledge that He is what these great names describe Him to be, and I subscribe that He may be to me all that He is. I receive Your grace and Your love. May they govern all my affections and actions.
Thank You that You have adopted me as Your own and that You give me the power to become Your child. Thank You that I can call You, my Father, and am entitled to all the privileges of being Your child. This privilege is entirely owing to Jesus Christ. Thank You that He gave this power to all who believe on His name. I accept that I have no moral capability of being able to determine what is truly good in myself. It is Your grace alone that makes me to understand and be willing to be Yours.
Thank You that Christ subjected Himself to the miseries and calamities of this world. And so He is able to understand and help us in our weaknesses and comfort us in our trials. Your love is so wonderful. Help me be willing to surrender to You and to abide in this body of flesh while You have work for me to do. Lead me in the paths You have laid out for me. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.