Your identity determines your behavior, but why?
God is good, Jesus has forgiven me, I am loved, and everything is possible. These are the most important truths in the universe, and we want everyone to believe them. But why do they matter? Well, these truths come from what we call the 3 Circles, and the 3 Circles are the revelation that God has given us on the gospel.
And maybe you’ve heard the word gospel, and you believe that it’s a ticket to go to heaven someday. But the gospel means good news! And the good news is that the gospel is the life and victory of Jesus and it isn’t just so you and I can get to heaven someday, it’s so we can live an abundant, & free life today, a life defined by hope!
And it all starts with Circle 1. This is all about our identity, it’s all about receiving the grace of Jesus. When we receive His grace, our identity changes.
Think about it, no matter how hard we try to change our behavior, we will fail without Jesus. Our attempts always end in failure. But why?
Because we’re trying to change our behavior when what needs to change is our identity. Jesus is the only one who changes our identity. Our attempts to try harder will never accomplish what God has already accomplished through Him.
God gave us Jesus to get us out of the prison of sin and adopt us into His family. John 1:12 says, “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Jesus gave us identity and a position of righteousness.
We see this in Romans 5:19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus), the many will be made righteous.” Without Jesus, we were sinners trapped in a prison and just like there was nothing good we could do to get out of that prison, there’s nothing bad we can do to get out of the position of righteousness in Jesus.
Righteousness sounds like a big churchy word, but it just means being in right standing with God.
Think about a relationship where things aren’t exactly right. Maybe after a disagreement with a friend or maybe with your parents. That relationship is strained, there is tension, maybe you avoid contact with each other, and avoid conversations. It’s awkward right?
Now think about a relationship where everything is great – maybe after you’ve worked through the disagreement and forgiven each other. That relationship is comfortable, it feels warm, you enjoy conversations and spending time together. The right standing we have with God, because of Jesus, enables us to experience that type of relationship with Him.
Our identity isn’t changed by our behavior, it’s changed by our belief. When we believe and receive the grace of Jesus, our identity is completely transformed.