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Who Am I? [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2022 6:00 am

Who Am I? [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. If you really want to know that you're in, then you'll not only believe in Jesus, but you'll also practice these certain laws.

And Paul said, no, you can't mix it with any law. And now he comes like rising up to the pinnacle of the Mount Everest. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Galatians as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina.

You're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program. I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month made to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, you can go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. Now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? There's no Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female in Christ. You're all one in Christ. You're all sons. You're all heirs. You have been so radically accepted through the blood of the Lord Jesus that it has revolutionized the whole sense of belonging for your life. And nothing can ever remove that security from your life.

It changes everything to know who you really are. About nearly 30 years ago, I was falling in love with my wife. She was an education major at Carolina. She had an assignment to do one evening.

I wanted to go on a date. She was working on some project she had to do. She was early childhood education. She was doing a bulletin board.

Had all these different pictures of kids doing different things. She was cutting them out. I told her I would help with her project as if I cared a lot about the project. I really wanted to go on a date with her, but I helped cut out the pictures of the children and the things. We were making the bulletin board thing. She said, we need a title to go across the top.

That's what's really important. So I blurted it out and said, why don't you just say, who am I? And she said, yeah, okay. So she turned in the assignment and the teacher, her education professor, wrote her back and gave her an A plus and said, this is profound. You have asked the existential question of life that every child is asking this question, who am I? Where did you come up with such a great thing like that? So this was one of my first things to impress my wife that I came up with, who am I?

And we got to go out to our movie or whatever we were going to do, but now here I am 30 years later and I realize it is the great question of life. That every child is asking, who am I? Do I belong? Do I belong in a family? Do I belong in a society? Am I accepted here or is there something wrong with me and I'm not acceptable yet? Who am I and how do I belong here?

It's the question that is in the heart of every human being. And Paul in his astounding epistle to the Christians in Galatia is writing to people who have been duped into believing by some Judaizing teachers that have been teaching that in addition to the grace of the Lord Jesus which you receive by faith, in addition to what Jesus has done on the cross and in his resurrection and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in addition to this saving redemptive work of God, you also need to keep certain ceremonial laws like circumcision or dietary laws. You need to do some things in order to be acceptable or to be accepted. If you really want to know that you're in, then you'll not only believe in Jesus, but you'll also practice these certain laws. And this is what he's been saying, he's been building this case up to this point of the sufficiency, of the sublime work of the Lord Jesus Christ and giving his life and our place that he died, that we might live, that he became accursed, that we would be blessed, that he was rejected, that we might be accepted. This exchange, this glorious heart of the gospel was at stake and Paul's saying, no you can't mix it with any law and now he comes, like rising up to the pinnacle of the Mount Everest of it all, of the gospel itself, when he comes to this glorious revelation of our acceptance in Christ and he's laying this out in Galatians chapter 3. I want to pick up reading at verse 24 as we move towards our verse for today, verse 28.

Let's get a little running start at verse 24. So then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we're no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you're all sons of God through faith. Let me just pause here and say what we've seen in recent messages is that the law is good and that the law is from God. But the law never was able to empower anyone to live out the obedience that the law required. In other words, Paul said, why then the law if we're not safe through the law, the law pointed out to us our transgressions and the law therefore pointed us to our great need for Jesus. And so Paul's been making this beautiful, sophisticated argument to Jewish believers that Abraham to whom the promise was spoken came 500 years before Moses to whom the law was given. The promise came before the law so the law can't nullify the promise.

If you start thinking you're going to live under the law as your means of acceptance, then you're really like a prisoner under a prison guard. And here what he uses the image of a guardian. In wealthy families in ancient Rome, they would often hire or perhaps even have a slave that would be a guardian for the young children. They wouldn't be the teacher, they wouldn't really be the schoolmaster as some translations say, but they would be a strict disciplinarian that would follow the child around. Often in pictures these guardians were depicted with a cane or a rod.

They were variously described as very harsh and they would keep the child in line. And so what I'm saying is that the law is like this. If you're under the law, then at least it's serving this function that is designing to try to just keep guard around your life. And there is, therefore, something that is good about the law. The law can never make you good. The law can never do that.

It's an okay thing that there's something that would be guarding us. I was talking to my friend Richard Moore, my evangelist friend, and he has a daughter who's just two weeks age different from our 17-year-old, Bennet. And Richard was teaching in the Bible college to some young students there. And he was saying, my daughter, she's not going to be dating any of you all, and so don't be looking at her and don't be getting around her. And he says, just remember if you ever do, he said, I'm not afraid to go back to jail. So that was just Richard for you right there.

But it's kind of good. You've got somebody looking after you like that. What Paul is saying, though, is that you are not intended to live your life like you're under a prisoner guard or a custodial guardian that's supposed to go around and say, do this, don't do that. Here you did too much. You should eat more green beans. You need to go to bed earlier. You need to get up, make up your bed, clean up your... You're supposed to grow up that the vision that Paul is talking about here is something so much greater than living under the law.

That's what he's been talking about is he comes towards this magnificent crescendo. In Christ, verse 26, you're all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There's neither Jew nor Greek. There's neither slave nor free.

There's neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. It's who you are and it's where you belong. And you can know it for certain. You see, what happens in life in the world is that wherever there's any form of law that's mixed in with the gospel, it creates a wall of hostility. It creates who's in and who's out.

And it can seem so arbitrary in so many ways. I love Dr. Seuss. You ever heard of his sneeches with stars on their bellies? Now the star belly's sneeches had bellies with stars. The plain belly's sneeches had none upon thars.

That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the Apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860.

Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Those stars weren't so big. They were really so small you might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all. But because they had stars, all the star belly sneetches would brag, we're the best kind of sneetches on the beaches. With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort.

We'll have nothing to do with a plain belly sort. And whenever they met some when they were out walking, they'd hike right on past them without even talking. And so his story goes on. The rhyme continues to explain all the feelings of inferiority the plain belly sneetches had because they didn't have the stars on their bellies and so they were never acceptable and they were never accepted and so they wanted to be accepted. And thus comes along an entrepreneur named McBean. It continues quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean put together a very peculiar machine and he said, you want stars like a star belly sneetch?

My friends, you can have them for $3 each. And so it was that all of the plain bellied sneetches go through the machine and now they all have stars on their bellies just like the star bellied sneetches. The problem now for the star bellied sneetches who always knew they were accepted because they had stars on their bellies, now everybody has a star on their bellies so who can know who's in and who's out?

So you might guess it. McBean, ever the entrepreneur says, belly stars are no longer in style, said McBean. What you need is a trip through my star off machine. This wondrous contraption will take off your stars so you won't look like sneetches who have them on theirs. And that handy machine worked very precisely, removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely. Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about and they opened their beaks and let out a shout.

We know who is who, we know there isn't a doubt. The best kind of sneetches are sneetches without. Well, as you can imagine, the story goes on. Now the sneetches that do have stars on their bellies realize that to be really in, you need to not have a star on your belly and so they too begin to go through the star off contraption. And pretty soon what you have is a wild extravaganza of people going through the various machines. All the rest of that day on those wild screaming beaches, the fix-it-up chappy kept fixing up sneetches.

Off again, on again, in again, out again. Through the machines they raced round and about again, changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money, they kept running through until neither the plane nor the star bellies knew whether this one was that one or that one was this one or which one was what one or what one was who. The story ends pretty happy with Dr. Seuss saying, I'm quite happy to say that the sneetches got really quite smart on that day, the day they decided that sneetches are sneetches and no kind of sneetch is best on the beaches. That day all the sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one or not upon theirs.

It's so arbitrary, isn't it? One time I was a kid, I was in a high school party of some kind. A bunch of people are around somebody's house and it was just boring and just standing there and I didn't really want to be there and there was some of my friends around. I don't know why, somebody was fiddling with some roll of electrical tape, black electrical tape that had been on the shelf. They were just fiddling around. One of the guys, somebody got a piece on his nose, a black electrical tape. We said, you got a piece of black electrical tape?

He said, oh yeah, okay, I kind of like it. A couple of others, we got a piece of black electrical tape, put it on our nose. Then we had about five of us who had black electrical tape and we just kind of smiled at each other and said, let's go walk around a little bit. We started walking around and everybody was like, what's that black electrical tape on your nose? I can't remember if we made up some reason or not, like it was some important symbol or not, but it was just basically we were saying, yeah, that's what everybody's doing. Some people started saying, where can I get the tape? I'm telling you the truth.

Within an hour's time, there's probably 75% of this, there's probably 100 kids, there's about 75. People got black tape on their nose. The only ones that didn't have black tape on their nose is because they couldn't find the blessed black tape to get onto their nose.

Nobody has any idea why the black tape is on their nose. It's just if you're going to be in, then you got black tape on your nose. Or if you're going to be in and you got a star on your belly or you don't have a star on your belly, or if you're going to be in, then you've kept the ritual of circumcision or you keep dietary laws and you don't associate with Gentiles or you're male or you're female. It seems so arbitrary and we are drawn towards the law because we are so desperately wanting to know who we are. And if you don't know who you are, if you don't ever have a deep sense of this affirming, accepting presence in your life, then you don't know it deeply inwardly and thus the attraction to the law. The law is a means by which identifying somebody it's in and somebody it's out.

And so if you want to be in, you be attracted to the law because that's something you could do to make yourself acceptable. This is what Paul's been leading up to. Swiss physician Paul Tournier, he was a medical doctor. He began midway in his career treating people more spirit, soul, and body and became really a profound writer and physician of the soul. And underneath all that Tournier teaches is that we are not born as persons. We become persons. We are born as living human beings and yet you become a person with an identity and you discover that personhood and that if we don't ever have that profound accepting place where we can discover who we really are, then we are what he called personages.

We interrelate with others according to ideas and things and principles and rules and party labels. Tournier writes that to become a person, to discover the world of persons, to acquire the sense of the person, to be more interested in people as persons with ideas or their party labels means a complete revolution, changing the climate of our lives. It is to say, essentially, that when a child comes into the world, that child, little children are just amazing. There's little, little children who have not learned anything else from the world.

They're amazing. They see something that they like and they giggle or they smile or they squeal. There's something they don't like. They frown, they scream, they cry. They let you know, I want that. I don't want this. I like that.

I don't like that. There's something that's incredible about the freedom of a little child to be like that. The child is wanting to emerge into a person, a unique person made by God in his image with a unique destiny. What happens, to a greater or lesser extent, is that the child looks around and realizes that people are, at times, disappointed in me and don't seem to accept me as much based on certain behaviors or certain things that I do.

It's a very complicated dance in parenting because you're wanting to accept your child fully, unconditionally, and lovingly, and yet also train the child up in the way that he should go. Even in the most healthy of homes, we can't do this perfectly. We don't do this perfectly. We have times where we are more tyrannical trying to make the child into something that we want the child to be because of our own satisfaction and other times in which we are passive and we miss moments of instruction where we are reminding a child of who they are. We don't do this perfectly.

It's a wonderfully intricate, beautiful dance. Thankfully, for most that grow up in a healthy home, they find that they have enough healthy boundaries that are established in that home that they can try out who they really are and what they're supposed to do with their life and discover their personhood. Be a person, Tournier is saying. You have to be able to say, no, I don't like that. Yes, I like this.

I want to go this direction. I feel like this. Your thoughts, your desires, your who you are, this all matters, you see. And yet the parent is there instructing so that it's not just folly that's bound up in the heart of the child.

What a delicate and beautiful balance, but it's never done perfectly. And so you're growing up and you realize that when I did this, my mother was disappointed in me. And so you begin to adapt. I want to be accepted, so who do you want me to be?

Alan Wright. I bet there's some identifying right now in a big way with this message. And we're going to hear more of it as we conclude this teaching on our next broadcast. But Alan is in the studio and back in a moment with additional insight on Who Am I? The teaching for today in our series on Galatians.

Our final word is coming up next. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Imagine for 99 days in a row, someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the 100th day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the Apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians, and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Now, we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Alan, for the one who has identified with today's teaching and can't wait for the conclusion in the next edition of the broadcast, what's your takeaway today? Well, just remember, we tend to live out of our identity. We behave and we think in accord with how we view our own lives. And here, Daniel, is the important thing. We tend to believe about ourselves what the most important person in the world to us says about us, which goes far to explain why it has to be that Christ and the Word of God is the most important truth that we could ever pay attention to. Learn who you are in Christ, and then you'll live out of it. Today's good news message is a listener-supported production of Alan Wright Ministries. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 14:35:57 / 2023-03-05 14:45:50 / 10

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