I need to commit John 15 to memory: it’s that important. But in a sentence, I’d say:
My true identity is recognizable when I am fruitfully abiding in Christ, which follows from obedience, which follows from love, which follows from personally knowing God.
The calls to holiness you quote are SOLID. But as I’m sure you are certain, it is not all about obedience to those qualifications for lay leadership, or any of God’s other Scriptural directions: we simply cannot be fruitful or obey or rightly love as he commands without knowing/loving God, and without abiding in Christ for the necessary strength/power to bear fruit.
I just got back from a great morning with my youngest Son at Crystal Lake – He fished and I pondered – the lake was perfect to do this – except my son only caught one fish… My question to myself was: What does True Identity Look like? – This is the GMM Conference Theme this year… We will have several people helping us identify what that means – but me personally – what does that look like in my life…?
One of the basic things that I have come up with is that we have to have a foundation that is founded in Christ… We sang one of my favorite songs yesterday at church – “We Believe” by The Newsboys and the chorus is one way of starting that foundation.
We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe
Then the next thing I personally have to do is come up with a statement of faith for me…. The GMM Web site has our Statement of Faith – it is 5 items that unites us in one Faith…. this is what I would have to put as my core beliefs.
The above would be my start in my Personnel “True Identity”.
But it has to be more then that… there has to be a Character inside of me that is Christ Like… – so how do I get that…. Pastor Shaun has been preaching on 1st Timothy and yesterday he talked about the qualifications of Elders/Deacons – well this would be a good place to start. You may not be looking at being and Elder or Deacon – but as Shaun stated there are some great qualities described that we as Lay People can look at.. Below is a list Shaun came up with for someone like me….
All Believers Chart
Elders: From 1 Timothy 3
|Deacons: From 1 Timothy 3||
|Above reproach (i.e., Blameless,but not sinless. No valid criticism.)||Beyond reproach||1 Peter 2:12,1 Thessalonians 5:22, Romans 6:1-2|
|Husband of one wife||Husbands of only one wife||Genesis 2:24 – Believed to be the pattern since creation (i.e., one man to one woman), Ephesians 5:31|
|Temperate (i.e., abstaining from wine, either entirely or at least from its immoderate use)||Temperate||Ephesians 5:18|
|Prudent (i.e., of a sound mind, be sensible)||Titus 2:2 (men), Titus 2:5(women)|
|Respectable (i.e., well arranged, seemly, modest)||Dignified||1 Timothy 2:9 (women), 1 Peter5:5|
|Hospitable||1 Peter 4:9|
|Able to teach||1 Peter 3:15, Titus 2:3 (women)|
|Not addicted to wine||Not addicted to much wine||Ephesians 5:18|
|Not pugnacious (i.e., pugnacious, contentious, quarrelsome)||James 4:1-2|
|Free from the love of money||Not fond of sordid gain||Matthew 6:24|
|Manages his own household well||Good managers of their children and their own households||1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 31(women), 1 Timothy 5:14(women), Ephesians 5:28-30(men)|
|Not a new convert (i.e., protect the new believer from conceit)|
|Must have a good reputation with those outside the church||Must also first be tested||1 Peter 2:12|
|Not double tongued (i.e., saying one thing with one person another with another (with the intent to deceive))||James 3:1-12|
|Holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience||1 Timothy 1:18-20|
|Not malicious gossips||Titus 2:3 (women), 2 Timothy 3:1-5|
|Faithful in all things||John 15:1-11|
So as I look at this list – there is a place for me to start looking at what my Identity in Christ might look like…. There are few areas that really need some improving. So now I have a base to what my “True Identity” may look like and I can start working on it.
What does yours look like?
I would really enjoy some feedback on your thoughts of:
How do you look at our own personnel Identity…
Please send me a note.
At the GMM Conference on October 24th we have a Great Speaker – Erwin McManus that will be sharing his thoughts on this topic,,, —- Also some great Pastors during the pastors Blast….. Hope to see you there…