Ephesians 2:10 (NLT/MSG) – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
What does it mean to be “God’s masterpiece?”
“This word sometimes has an artistic ring to it. It may be hinting that what God has done to us in King Jesus is a work of art, like a poem or sculpture. Or perhaps, granted what he goes on to say, we are like a musical score; and the music, which we now have to play, is the genuine way of being human, laid out before us in God’s gracious design.” [Wright, Paul for Everyone, Prison Letters, p. 24]
List some of the “good work” that we are to do in light of our identity as God’s masterful creation.
As we consider the implications of this truth, let’s ask for God’s empowering to live a life of “good works.” Pray also for those that God has placed on your heart, especially that they would experience these “good works” of Christ through our lives.
Let us worship to the song “Living with a Fire” by Jesus Culture. (click here)
Galatians 2:20 (MSG/NLT) – I identify myself completely with him. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
“Christ is not an add-on to an existing identity; he seeks to remake your identity. Often conversion language is a gross exaggeration and implies that nothing of the old identity remains. Obviously much remains the same; you are still physically the same person with the same history and propensities in the same culture. What is changed is the old life of sin, the old being, and its old orientation. Even the things that do not change are seen from a new perspective. Christ is not an accessory to your identity, as if you were choosing an option for a car; he takes over your identity so that everything else becomes an accessory, which is precisely what “Jesus is Lord” means. [Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are, p.9].
What do you think of Snodgrass’ quote? How is this similar or different to your perception of identity as a Christian?
Let us consider how we can live more surrendered to Christ, so much so that our identity is completely found in him, and everything else becomes secondary.
John 1:12-13 (NIV) – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Based on this passage, what do we become when we receive from and believe in Jesus?
What are some benefits and privileges of being the children of God?
Faith is a gift of God. And with that same faith, we are changed and transformed. We no longer have to live as outsiders, constructing our own identities apart from God. Instead, we can believe, receive, and trust him and become the children of God we were always meant to be, and live with all the power and advantages that come with that identity.
Let us also worship to the song “Build My Life” by Housefires. (click here)
Genesis 1:27 (NIV) – So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
“After the fall, then, we are still in God’s image – we are still like God and we still represent God – but the image of God in us is distorted.” [Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 444]
“Christianity insists that humans cannot be who they really are apart from God… Because human beings were made in the image of God, our lives will be fully human only as our face is turned toward God and our actions formed by his love.” [Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are, p.29].
What do you think it means to be an “image-bearer” of God?
How does this identity as God’s image-bearers affect our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how we relate to others?
As you take time to reflect on this truth, pray and ask God to fill us with his Spirit today and every day so that, as redeemed people in Christ, we may think his thoughts, feel his feelings, and live a life that more faithfully reflects God to the world around us.
Let us also worship to the song “More Like Jesus” by Passion. (click here)
Ephesians 1:3-8 (NLT) – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
What does God say about us in this passage?
How is this different than the way the world sees our identity?
We are more than an amalgamation of our skin color, achievements, and hobbies. God declares in Scripture that we are chosen, blessed, forgiven, and loved!
Let’s take time to reflect on how the cross of Christ grounds our true identity in God. Let us pray and thank God that he, not anything else, forms and shapes our identity.
Let us worship to the song “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong. (click here)