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Identification Please

  

I would like to continue a thought from a previous entry in reference to identification, from the perspective of the parameters of our salvation.  This entry is meant to be provocative, not axiomatic.

I had proposed a perspective that I believe is a great hindrance to many believers in that their salvation is encapsulated in the faith and posture of the “sinners prayer”.   It is quite clear that we agree that our salvation, although beginning at the point of hearing and believing faith, (i.e. repentance and faith), is not so much a “completed transaction” (my words) as much as an “opening bid”.  The final results of the “auction” to be determined at the close of business..if you get my drift.  (the REsurrection)

The parameters of our salvation is a heavy and deep topic to be so seemingly glib, so I’ll try to be brief so not to seem cavalier.

I believe a theme just as heavy and deep to be discussed is our identification with the son..Our “identity in Christ”.  I know anyone who is  currently or has been engaged in the mainstream ministry will have heard that term used to mean any of a host of  ideas , but I want us to examine it for a moment here, since this is the starting point of our new birth.

Who you are is what you do. If, in fact, this is true, we would be foolish to look at our behaviors as needing modification, when in fact they are just the outworkings of the identity, and the mind that identity’s “playground”.

I am often led to two points in scripture that speak to me in my quest for a transformed heart.

The first is a short image if Sampson, hands braced against the collumns, when he prays, “avenge me my eyes, oh God”  – I shudder at the power of that moment, and personally I HAVE FELT LED TO PRAY THAT PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH.

The second is from Ezekiel, when the Lord God leads the prophet through “the halls of images”, I have always felt like there are implications of my mind in that catagory of halls of images..

Do we not feel that tenor through the whole course of the struggle for the REDEMPTION of HUMANITY!

What does that mean to you? To me? The REDEMPTION of my soul? and how much of it is meant for right now, for me to live as Christ, I’d say it must be more than just figurative..or is at all done by faith? in spite of my flesh and carnal nature as it were?

Tell me what you know of the new creature in the here and now.

Thanks,

Jason

10 Responses to “Identification Please”

  1. on 17 Feb 2008 at 11:55 pmJohnO

    Jason,

    “Who you are is what you do. If, in fact, this is true, we would be foolish to look at our behaviors as needing modification, when in fact they are just the outworkings of the identity, and the mind that identity’s “playground”.”

    It took me a while to get to that point. It took me a while to actually think, say, and be who I was behind the mask that I put forth to the world. Then I realized that everything that I did do, say, and think, was actually me and what that meant. Only after that was I able to deal with myself as a sinner in need of forgiveness and repentance. And ever since I’ve maintained that this is truly how humans are, oddly enough science backs it up. One of the basic tenants of sociology is that one’s core beliefs determine their behavior. Thus, you can do one of two things. One, argue over interpretation of belief into behavior which can easily go the way of rationalization. Two, actually change the core belief to change the behavior. The Gospel and this topic of identification is exactly that.

  2. on 18 Feb 2008 at 12:48 amSean

    Furthermore, no one will change their core beliefs unless they come to understand that their beliefs/assumptions are inadequate. Only then will they be inclined to replace their current belief with a new one. Often times this involves going through the frustration of having the same problems surface over and again. Unfortunately, many of us have so many coping mechanisms that we can forestall even becoming conscious of the issue indefinitely, except in times of great duress.

  3. on 18 Feb 2008 at 3:08 amSteve

    Jason,

    Interesting post, thanks.

    Would you please explain a bit further what you meant by this:

    >
    The first is a short image if Sampson, hands braced against the collumns, when he prays, “avenge me my eyes, oh God” – I shudder at the power of that moment, and personally I HAVE FELT LED TO PRAY THAT PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH.
    >

  4. on 18 Feb 2008 at 8:35 amKaren

    Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is? … If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.
    –C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  5. on 20 Feb 2008 at 3:21 pmprita

    Well I think I’m confused. Are we to judge the heart expressly by actions? Are actions the only indicator of who we are? Would one “rat” showing up from our cellar indicate the real person? Is all sin corrected by a change in core beliefs?

    If as Jason writes salvation is progressive beginning wiith repentence when and how fast would you expect actions to change?

    Thanks,

    prita

  6. on 20 Feb 2008 at 5:01 pmKaren

    By their fruits ye shall know them. Our actions don’t always reveal the whole person, but they can certainly reveal aspects of who we are. So when caught off-guard, is it our anger or fear that people see, or our love and patience? That can be a good indication of what’s going on inside.

  7. on 20 Feb 2008 at 5:19 pmprita

    What would you say about the person who erupted with anger and then recognizing his offence humbled himself and asked for forgiveness? Which action would tell you about the most about person and who they really are?

    Then let me change the roles – what would you say about a man who humbled himself, admitted his wrong and begged for mercy then went out and “caught” his brother in the same situaton and extended no mercy to him?

  8. on 20 Feb 2008 at 5:30 pmKaren

    1) If it’s a repeated pattern, then it tells me that we’re dealing with an angry person. If it’s a one-time thing, that’s a different matter, and the repentance reveals more about the man than the anger does.

    2) Again, if it’s a repeated pattern, then we’re dealing with an unforgiving person. In both such cases the men’s actions reveal their hearts.

    And this is why, before we judge someone, we need to know him.

  9. on 20 Feb 2008 at 5:39 pmprita

    Which is why actions taken without context don’t tell us the whole story. For instance what do we know about a man who would marry a woman who is a prostitute? We might conclude he is her pimp. Or that he is a weak man with no character and is probably as immoral as she is. And if this couple had children – what kind of parents would they be? With no context we could make no judgements about the man and indeed we should not. For this man just might be a prophet of God.

  10. on 01 Mar 2008 at 8:02 pmjason

    steve,
    I had a long lapse between visits, got over a nasty cold. In reference to my “vision”-dare I ever call it that? Can you see Sampson, eyes torn out by his captors? Praying for the Almighty to Avenge him his eyes?? I ask myself how he lost them to begin with? He SAW pleasure in the rediculously sensual Delilah…Seeing they perceive not.. I can sense Sampson’s shame in his prayer, his repentance in it, and the outcome-Glory. I pray it for the church-because we have done the same thing. I see us there, eyes plucked out, humiliated in our double mindedness and carnality, the lure of the sensual..Avenge me my eyes, Oh God..I pray it for me, and I pray it for the church- Again.
    Jason

  

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