Cross 1: New Identity and New Potential

Cross 1: New Identity and New Potential

Intro: Over the past few weeks we’ve talked a lot about sin and in particular the ways in which we struggle with idolatry where we replace God with something or someone else. And though I hope that you’ve seen hope throughout, this is the section in our study where we focus on our reason for hope in Christ.

Question: How do we have hope in the midst of sin and struggle? Can we face the things we’ve failed at with confidence?

We often base our hope or expectations on our past performance or experience. For some this might be encouraging for many others this is no help since we fail so much! If I’ve been struggling with some type of addiction, how do I have hope if all I can do is look to the past for motivation? We cannot. Our hope must come from something more grounded and solid.

Real Hope: Our identify and potential in Christ.

Galatians 2:20 Three truths about our identity in Christ
1. Truth about our redemption in Christ
a. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is not longer I who live,”
b. Sin no longer has the authority or power to master us and the penalty of sin is no longer on us. (Colossians 2:13-15) As Christians who still sin, do we really believe this? Even in our greatest moments of disobedience we are still redeemed.
2. Truth about Christ’s indwelling in us
a. “but Christ who lives in me.”
b. If Christ lives in us, then we have immediate access to everything we need to live fruitful lives.
3. Truth about living in faith
a. “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
b. Beauty of the cross is that God demonstrated that he will go to any lengths to make us his. This doesn’t end with justification, but holds true also for our sanctification.

Question: What does living in light of these truths begin to look like? Three ways:

1. We will live with personal integrity
a. Our lives will look different (see Paul’s transformation Galatians 1:13-24)
b. But we will still humbly acknowledge our failings (see Paul Romans 7)
2. We will create a climate of grace in our relationships
a. We will forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:30 – 5:2)
b. We will seek to give and serve in tangible ways (Romans 12:14-21)
3. We will act with courageous grace and constructive truth
a. We will speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4)
b. We will persevere through sin and suffering (Romans 5:1-11)

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2 comments so far

  1. bryan on

    Mike,

    Heard about this last week and thought it tied in with what you hit on regarding addictions:

    “Substance abuse centers nationwide report increasing numbers of weight-loss surgery patients seeking help with new addictions, such as alcoholism, gambling addiction or compulsive shopping. Psychologists call the phenomenon “addiction transfer,” meaning that former overeaters transfer their addiction to food to an addiction to something else.”

    http://www.newstarget.com/019775.html

  2. sermonrant on

    Great thanks!


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