Who Does God Say That I Am?

woman shaped by PotterGod alone has the right to bestow my identity because “It is he who has made [me] and [I am] his” (Ps. 100:3). I am His creation (Gen. 1:27). All people were created in God’s image, not the image of animals. God is holy, not sexual, sensual, or captive to instincts. God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16).

But the Fall into sin introduced horrible corruption to the human race, so that now the thoughts and desires of people are sinful and centered on serving the self (Gen. 6:5; Eph. 2:3). Christians, however, have been given the Holy Spirit who begins in them a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15), and starts to re-form the image of God in them (Col. 3:10). All of us struggle with our sinful human nature because we are sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, but we are not bound to that human nature because of the washing and renewal of our Baptism (Tit. 3:5-8). In my Baptism, Jesus Christ restored my identity as an “heir” of eternal life. I am strengthened to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against [my] soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). Re-creation in Christ makes me God’s adopted child who is invited to cry “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15).

My body is “a temple of the Holy Spirit” bought at great price (1 Cor. 6:19). I am a treasure of God for whom Jesus gave all He had. In Christ crucified, I reclaim my identity. Since Jesus is holy, God declares me holy through faith in Him. “I have called you by name,” God says. “You are mine” (Isa. 43:1). “‘I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18). Jesus spoke to my full person and human identity when He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk. 12:30).

I hold to a body-soul anthropology or understanding of the origin, nature and destiny of mankind as expressed in the Athanasian Creed. I believe I will be resurrected, not as a disembodied spirit, but with a perfect body joined with a perfect soul. In heaven, I will not be an angel but my resurrected body will be like that of angels (Matt. 22:30). I will neither marry nor be given in marriage. This is a sound argument against the idea that human beings are fundamentally “sexual”. If that were true, in the resurrection I would be somehow less than human.

Adapted from
The Failure of Sex Education in the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity
by Linda Bartlett (Amazon)

Sex Education in the Church

My book coverOn May 29, 2014, Todd Wilken helped his listeners learn more about the new book entitled The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity.  The book is available on Amazon.

Please listen to the interview (following a brief commercial) by clicking Sex Education in the Church

Modesty on Sunday Only? (#2 in series)

girl thinking by windowThe outward adornment of a woman who professes faith in Christ should reflect her inner beauty and identity as a baptized daughter of God. This is true especially in worship but, because women are always in the presence of God and men, it is true for all times.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 encourages women to “adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” The Christian woman is called by God to profess godliness every day of the week in her vocation of “helper” (Gn. 2:18) whether she is in class, at work, or having fun. She should refrain from being proud and sensual but can be generous with “good works” that help men think about what is honorable and pure.

Identity matters. How we dress says something about who we think we are. Focused on an identity of being “sexual,” it is easier for girls and women to disregard self-restraint and responsibility in favor of personal rights. Dressing “sexy” can have a powerful influence on our feelings and, therefore, the decisions made based on those feelings. But if girls learn to see themselves as daughters of God in Christ, then they will be encouraged to dress in a way that calls attention not to themselves, but to their Father.

Women who see themselves as God sees them help their brothers in Christ better navigate the journey of life to their eternal destination.

From Chapter 14, Question 85
The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity
by Linda Bartlett, Copyright 2014 Titus 2 for Life
Our Identity Matters

Identity Theft

identity theftIn today’s world, we are all at risk of having our identity stolen.  We call this crime “identity theft”.

But do we realize that identity theft begins at birth?  Alfred Kinsey and other humanists attempted to steal away our true identity when they theorized that “children are sexual from birth”.  But children are not sexual from birth, not in the way that Kinsey meant.  It is not normal or beneficial for a child to engage in sexual activity.  While it is true that a boy or girl will, with maturity, develop sexual desires and have sexual inclinations, it is hardly true that a boy or girl should be defined by those desires or inclinations.  We are not, first and foremost, “sexual beings”.  We are male or female persons called by God’s name and created for His purpose.  We are not primarily “sexual beings” but spiritual beings with body, mind and soul.  Our identity and how we live based on that identity has eternal ramifications.

We humans are not the first to have our identity challenged.

Not long after His Baptism, the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness.  Satan literally challenged Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.

How did Jesus respond?  “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7).

When Satan persisted in challenging Jesus’ identity, the Son of God replied, “Be gone, Satan!  For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (v.10).

In today’s world, there is the very real risk of “identity theft”.  It happens when our credit card or personal information is stolen.  It is a crime.

But the subtle and far more dangerous identity theft that is practiced by the culture and in sex education classrooms should be recognized and resisted by every believer in Jesus Christ.  When children are sexualized, we can respond, “Be gone, Satan!”

Let us not put the Lord God our Creator and Redeemer to the test.  He has made male and female for His glory and purpose, not our own.

He has called us by name.  We are His.

Please visit Our Identity Matters.