As I reflect on the new sermon series, "Back To Basics," I am reminded of what I used to tell my girls as they left the house, “remember who and whose you are." To me, that kind of took care of everything - that was back to the basics. I wanted them to make good decisions based on how they had been raised. I wanted their conscience to be their guide.
We are created by God. He created each one of us. He loves us unconditionally and wants us to be free of our burdens so that we may be holy and love with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind! He wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves! So, who and whose are we? God’s Word is full of explanations of who we are in Christ:
First and foremost, we are a child of God. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, loves you and me! He loves us so much He sent His only Son to die for us.
We are sinners who have been washed clean by Jesus. It does not matter what we have done - or not done - Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Even though we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We are loved! We are able to love because we were loved first. We are loved more than we could ever imagine. 1 John 4:19, "We love because he first loved us." God showed us how to love by loving us first.
We live with the Holy Spirit. Our body is a temple because Christ lives in us. Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." We can know that Christ lives in us because of our faith.
We are always loved! Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:35-39, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Nothing can separate us from God's love!
We belong to God. He has made us who we are. We must always praise God and give thanks for all He has done for us. Romans 1:21, "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” The Apostle Paul indicts the human race for its defection from the truth. He says that "they knew God...." All of civilization knew God. Romans 1:19, "...since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them." They knew God through their conscience. We know in our hearts who we belong to and what we should be doing. 1 Timothy 2:4, "...who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." God's ultimate goal for us is to be saved and know the truth.
Who are you? Who do you belong to?