Identity — Changed — 1 Peter 2.9…Handout

Are you ever amazed at how fast time goes by? I know a minute is a minute, but some are really slow, Right? As time marches forward, we come to rely on certain things, Like a cellphone or a device. We once paid for texts and minutes and now, data is sold in packages, with subscriptions. Then some things are the same, ____ years you were bald, and still are. 1 Peter 2:9~You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a______ (ἅγιος hagios) nation, God’s very own possession…(NLT) Identity: Holy, Relationship, Change.

1) You are_______ of a Holy Nation. Holy means, set apart. Think sacred, pure, morally blameless, consecrated to God. Are you different today, than you were when you started following Jesus? Yes / No The moment we begin our journey with Jesus, our whole life shifts towards God and we began to_________. 2 Corinthians 5:17~Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has______, the new is here! (NIV) Salvation is the beginning of a life long journey of change. 

2) Relationship, Not________. God’s calling is, as it always has been, for us to be holy. He reminds us in Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Leviticus 20:26; Leviticus 21:8; Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:7 that we are to be holy. Belonging to God means we are in a________ committed relationship with Him, and not just trying to live by the rules. 2 Chronicles 16:9~For the. eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully_________ to him…(ESV) To not be like Asa, who was faltering in his faith, we must keep working on our_____________with the Lord who is looking to strengthen us. What does God desire to have with you? A personal____________. Life is not just about rules. Isaiah 28:1 & 10~Woe to the crown of pride…For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there. (ESV) Say this, God wants a personal relationship with____. The change being brought about in our lives is from the_______ out. We are made holy because God is holy. 2 Corinthians 5:21~God made______ who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV) I want to encourage you that God is still working in your life. Philippians 1:6~being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

3)_____ do we change? By killing the self, of course. 1 Peter 1:14~As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, (ESV) We must live a consecrated life, whereby we are re-molded in our minds, proving in practice God’s plan. Pete says, Don’t ______ back into your old ways of living. Paul says be crucified with Christ. (Galatians 2:___) This means the old person we were is_______to a cross. The old deeds are buried and gone. We are made new in Christ. 1 Peter 1:13~Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV) How do we do actually do this? We Take-A-Step:__________________________________________________.

Burning Hearts

Matthew 5:3~Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV) Did you know that we were created for freedom? Before humanity was created on the earth God had made a world of useful and pleasant things for our sustenance and delight. Remember one of God’s earliest recorded questions to man is found in Genesis 3:11~And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? (NIV) In the creation story, we are told how everything was designed to be subservient and external to man. Yet, in man’s heart, there remained a vacuous place reserved only for God. Like a shrine, it is a sacred place intended for and worthy of, only God.

Enter sin. Sin produced within our humanity a new complexity in the life we have been given. (Genesis 3:17) Expelled from the garden, (Genesis 3:23) humanity has since struggled in filling the designed and intended space with God. The space is both practical and lovely, however, in its emptiness because of the ruin of sin, missing the mark of God, has brought woes on us. Understand that our removal from the garden, the fracture of our relationship, and the subsequent displacement from our created home force us to live in a place where there is no peace in our hearts. Isaiah 48:22~”There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (NIV) 

In sin, God is displaced, and our humanity by nature holds no peace within our hearts. Thus, we are forced to find and fill that which provides peace and relieves our anxiety. Since 1957 the NHIS has been monitoring the health in the US. In 2019, preCOVID, over 19% of the population was suffering from some form or effect of depression. While more than 13% of people said they had taken medication within the last 30 days. Why is this happening? Because we have lost that which frees us. We were created by God to live in proximity to Him, which is freeing. Because we cannot be near God without holy living. 

Instead, many remove God from their heart throne and instill another to be lord over them. This is to reject living in the freedom God provides for us in Jesus Christ. Whereby we are no longer a 3%, a person who holds a Biblical worldview, living by the rule of scripture in our lives. Thus, they reject God who was, is, and always will be the only one able to be crowned upon their heart’s throne, and live in constant lack. Do you remember living that way before Christ? Where usurpers of His authority proxy themselves, fighting for 1st place within our lives. 

Listen to me, there should be no stigma in getting help, but, part of that help must be seeking God. The human heart is strong, it pumps continually in an unending rhythm day in and day out. Yet, it is the heart that covets with deep and fierce passion using the pronouns mine and my. These represent the verbal symptom of our cavernous disease of sin. Jeremiah 17:9~The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (NIV)

Jesus references this tyranny in Matthew 16:24-25~Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (NIV) If any person wants to follow in the footsteps of Jesus that must come to Him and deny themselves, taking up the cross, and following Jesus. 

So, have you given up your rights to choose? Have you humbly accepted His grace to live in and under? Jesus says, In losing our life we lose nothing and yet we preserve everything. His salvation is eternal. The cross destroys self, it pulls down arguments, (2 Corinthians 10:4) it obliterates strongholds, and reforms our whole lives, giving us life as God intended. Understand, our spiritual battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that humanity erects against the true knowledge of God. So are you Giving-Up, or are you giving up? There is a huge difference. Don’t be a quitter, rather surrender because You and I, we were Created For Freedom.

The Key to Eternal Life

When we think of giving-up in a Biblical sense, Paul layers further insight for us on this topic in Galatians 5:1~For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (ESV) Who gets out of the prison of debt and goes out to yoke up under some more debt? Why get rid of one problem only to take up another? Why give up a master who torments you, only to be yoked, Paul says, by another. It is unfortunate for humanity because by failing to grasp the purpose of our creation, we have carved out a very unhappy world. Where many are crazed with getting, having, or possessing. Only to discover that which has held us in such deep desire is only a yoke-filled promise, in fact, it’s empty, hollow, and strangely yielding no real satisfaction. 

~Don Herold~ born in 1889 said Unhappiness is not knowing what you really want and working yourself to death to get it. In a world where our desires are so often misplaced, our longings laid on the wrong thing, and our time consumed by things far less than the eternal fruit we were commanded to bear (John 15:16), we need to hear the freeing words of Jesus and respond as King David did. Think it over and decide. (2 Samuel 24:13) Pondering the words of Jesus, we ought to respond like Pete in John 6:68~…Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (NIV) 

When we consider the powerful words of life that Jesus teaches us in scripture none ring more powerfully true to create change in us than hearing what Jesus shares with the amassing crowd in Matthew 5:2-12 Perhaps one of the best-known portions of Scripture they describe how we have a blessed, joyful life. It doesn’t take much scrolling over news feeds, headlines on our phones, or social rants before we recognize that something is greatly missing in our lives. 

So today, what is missing in your life? I want you to sit down and think about that. Ask God to share and reveal to you what is missing. Then ask Him how you can work towards finding true fulfillment in Him. Don’t worry, He has all the answers and a plan to help you get on track.