February 1, 2015
By Clark Rinehart, Pastor of Students
At the conclusion of Metamorphosis, a three day youth weekend at Grace Community Church with 30+ adult leaders and overflowing youth attendance, Pastor Rinehart preached the following message to a packed congregation:
People of all ages and generations need to ask themselves, “Where is my identity?” Am I aware of what defines me and who I am?
Contemporary rap video of the Gospel, our identity in Jesus Christ.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
Pastor Rinehart grew up in an ordinary US family where he was introduced to morals, right and wrong. Despite his parents’ best efforts, he decided that his own way was better than theirs. As in the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15: 8-10), he found himself on a shaky foundation when he wandered further and further away. Yet when he surrendered everything and returned home, he was welcomed back by his family.
This is what the God of the Bible does for all of us. When we royally screw up our lives, and then turn back to Him, we will find a Heavenly Father who will do the opposite of our expectations, and figuratively run to greet us and throw us a grand party.
Some of us do not get that we have been handed the keys as heirs of God’s promise to be His sons/daughters (Gal. 3: 29; 4: 7). We still identify ourselves with qualifications (what we have done) or even titles (earthly recognition). We identify with subcategories (our job, our money, our popularity, our education, etc.) as Paul mentioned (Gal. 3:28), but we miss the Category of our primary identity in Christ.
No longer are we outsiders. As Christians, we are God’s adopted, beloved sons and daughters (Gal. 3:6,7) through faith because of what God has already done through Jesus (3: 4,5). We already have “full rights” (Gal. 4:5) as children and heirs of God. Even in our brokenness and imperfection, our Father is calling us to himself, because he loves us. Our Heavenly Father will go find us where we are, to be his heirs, his adopted children.
Will we turn today to our Heavenly Father for our true identity?