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Because of Whose I Am

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2020 8:00 am

Because of Whose I Am

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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September 25, 2020 8:00 am

What it means to be sons of God regardless of our gender; three benefits of spiritual sonship; based on Galatians 3:25-29.

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Music playing Before Jesus and ask the age-old question, what is truth?

Jesus never gave him an answer, perhaps because he knew Pilate wasn't really looking for one. But something tells me you are and on today's broadcast, Pastor Paul offers some straight talk about the truth of God and how we as his children can be sure to discover it. Stay right here or listen on demand anytime at

That's Now here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Because of Whose I Am. Galatians chapter 3, beginning with verse 25. Paul says, Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. In the previous message, we looked at the fact that Paul said earlier in this chapter, you seem to have been bewitched by those who have convinced you that you need to go back into observing the law to try to obtain favor and righteousness from God.

And he says, it's as though you have been bewitched. And instead, you need to understand the joy and the freedom that we have in Christ. So I entitled that message Trick or Treat. And we looked at the fact that instead of being tricked by the Judaizers who insisted that the law had to be observed if one was going to obtain salvation, we need to learn to enjoy the fact that God has given us some blessings as a result of faith in Christ. And we talked about three areas in which you can enjoy the treats of God rather than being tricked by this false belief. We talked about the fact that God offers us partnership, God offers us power, and God has given us his promise.

And we covered those themes in the previous message. Now I want to pick it up and talk a little more about what God has promised us, those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior, and unpack that theme a little more. The more you know about who you are in Christ, the more you can walk in victory.

And that's why this letter is so important as he talks about freedom over and over again. Because if you don't understand the truth, you'll stay bound by false ideas and false pursuits. But if you know the truth, Jesus said in one place, you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

And it is wonderful when you come to walk in the truth of God. And so I want to talk a little more about this business of what God has promised us in Christ as we continue to enjoy understanding the freedom that we find in Christ. I want to make three specific points related to sonship. Now look at what he says in verse 26 of Galatians 3. He says, you are all sons through faith in Christ Jesus.

Now, I ended the last message assuring the women that this is not a gender orientation. When you see you are all sons in Christ, he's not talking to the men in the body of Christ, he's talking to all of us. And the reason is because sonship in this biblical context has nothing to do with gender, it has everything to do with identity. What it means is just like in common vernacular, you'll often hear he, we'll talk about he just to use humanity in a singular form. But really, it speaks of all humanity. And we say, you know, when a child is doing such and such a thing, he is and we're talking about stages of development or whatever it is, it's not referring to gender as though the girls don't exist.

But it simply means that there is a way of identifying that you are talking about this individual. And that's what the Bible does here. When it says you're all sons of God, it means even the sisters have full identity as children of God. He says you're all sons through faith in Christ, you're all children of God through faith in Christ. And there are three aspects of being sons of God or children of God that he unpacks in this section of his letter. The first is he suggests that as children of God or sons of God, we are all legitimate, we are all legitimate. Notice that he says this designation belongs to everyone through faith in Christ, everyone who has been baptized into Christ, he says, has clothed him or herself with Christ.

And then he says, there aren't these distinctions such as Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, he says, all of us are one in Christ Jesus. I want to let you know that as a child of God, you are number one legitimate. What that means, Paul is suggesting here that God has no stepchildren, God has no half children, God has no kids that just, you know, got in by some other means. If you are in the family of God, you are full fledged a member of the family of God.

You have all that any other brother or sister has. Now in this context, of course, Paul is trying to remind believers that our standing in Christ trumps the notion that the Judaizers were sending forth, which was that only those who observe the law are legitimate in the sight of God. Paul says, not so if you put your trust in God, you are as legitimate in the family of God as anyone else.

Here's the way Jesus put it in John chapter one, or as John was commenting on the ministry of Jesus, he said that Jesus came to his own, John 1 verse 11, Jesus came to his own, his own did not receive him, but as many as did receive him, what does it say? To them gave he the right to be sons of God. Everyone who puts his or her faith in Christ has been given legitimacy and the right to be a child of God. I am a legitimate full fledged child of God. Although I'm a Gentile through faith in Christ, I'm as significant to God as anyone else on the planet, because I'm born again into his family. You know, you are born again, if you're saved by faith through Christ, you are born again into the family. You didn't come in through some other means you were born in the same way everybody else got in, you got in. And that's why you are legitimate in the family of God.

No one has a right to discount you. That's why churches have no business deciding who can or can't be a part of the fellowship. If you're saved, that's the thing that brings you in. Now Jesus said you must be born again. Got to be born again. Now you can't get saved just by hanging out in the church. You got to know Jesus for yourself. You got to realize I'm a sinner who needs salvation and I trust that what Christ did on the cross, he did for me and I put my faith and trust in him.

I asked him into my life. That makes me legitimate. Jesus said the result is you are born again, just like you were born the first time and naturally you have to be born again spiritually. If you're born again though, you are in the family just like everybody else.

It doesn't matter how late you came, doesn't matter what background from which you came, it doesn't matter what issues, what bags you're coming out, what challenges you're dealing with now in your life. The first thing you want to do is know that I am in Christ. Once I'm in Christ, he can deal with my stuff.

He can transform me and make me the person he's called me to be. See churches sometimes try to get folks straight before they get them saved. They try to get them holy before they get them saved.

No, no, you're putting the cart before the horse. You got to get them saved first. Once I'm saved, once I'm born again, now I'm in the family of God. Now the Holy Spirit can work in my life. Now the word of God can cleanse me and purify me. Now my life can get straightened out, but it begins with being born again.

And let me tell you something. If you're born again, you're legitimate. You're in the family. You are as in as everybody else.

It doesn't matter how late you came. You're as in as the person who's been the longest in the family of God. There are some folk here who have been saved. How many folk in this audience right now have been saved for more than 30 years?

Let me see your hand. Saved for more than 30 years. That's a pretty good percentage. How many of you have been saved more than 40 years?

Look at this, still pretty good percentage. Look at these folks walking with God. Go ahead. Any more, 50?

Any 50s? We got some 50 plus in the family of God. I'll leave it at that because I'll give away your age. I keep on fooling with it. It's all right, pastor, that you made your point. Go ahead on with the message. All right.

We got some folk who are 30, 40, 50 years in. Now how many of you just came to Christ within the past 12 months? Let me see your hand. Just came to Christ within the past 12 months.

Thank you. These folks who just raised their hands are as legitimate in the family of God as the 50 plus folks. Every bit is legitimate. There's no classism. There's no preference.

The tenure doesn't count. You are a legitimate child. You're in the family and you have all the rights of a child of that family.

That's the wonderful thing about coming to Christ. I told you, in my family of origin, my parents had the first four of their five children relatively close together. They had my older brother first and then a little more than a year later my older sister came. They are about 13 months apart. And then two years later I came and then about four years later my younger sister came. And so the first four of us came relatively close together.

And then it seemed that they were out of the baby business. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, be sure to stop by anytime to listen on demand. That's You can also download the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. We also have a free mobile app.

Just search Destined for Victory in your app store to listen to the program wherever you go. You can also use the app to order resources, send us your prayer requests, or make a safe and secure donation. Well, when Pastor Paul Shepherd was about 14 years old, his parents sat him and his three siblings down to share some surprising news. He tells us about it next in the second half of today's message, Because of Whose I Am.

Once again, here's Pastor Paul. For years, and it was just the four of us, and it just looked like the Shepherd had four kids. We were growing up together and what have you. Everything was going along well. But about 10 years after my sister, my youngest sister, my parents messed around and went on a cruise. Got out there, those warm tropical breezes.

And what have you. And I tell you, I'll never forget the day that my mother sat us down at the dining room table. 1972. Set us down at the dining room table for an emergency family meeting. I'll never forget that day.

I can picture it as I speak. We sat down at the table. My mother sat at one head, my father sat at the other. The four of us sat around the table and my mother looked dejected. She looked confused. She looked bewildered. But she lifted her head and said, well, I thought it was time for you all to know, because I'm beginning to show you're going to have a brother or sister. We looked at her. All of us, all four of us looked at her, especially the three older ones.

My sister was 10. She wasn't quite as connected with what was going on. But the other three of us looked at her as if to say, have we taught you nothing?

What do you mean you're pregnant? Old as you all are. It seemed old at the time. And we couldn't believe it, could not believe it. She just sat there just looking bewildered. I looked down the other end. My father looked proud. Father looked proud. He looked like he's sitting there saying, that's right. That's right. Fool with me.

I'll show you something. But here's my point. It was not a voting meeting. We didn't get to weigh in on anybody coming or not coming into the family. We could protest, but it would be in vain because this kid who was on his or her way was going to be a legitimate shepherd.

Whether we wanted them, expected them, whether we liked them when they got here, none of that mattered. We were about to have a new sibling in the family because whoever that was was going to be a legitimate shepherd. To this day, he declares, my younger brother Kenny declares, he is the favorite child of all five shepherd children. He said it at my father's funeral. He said, just in case you all don't know, I am the favorite shepherd. He has declared that yay all these years. But it wasn't a voting meeting.

Kenny was on his way. We had nothing to do with it. And when my mother came home that day from the hospital, we saw our brother, there's your brother, go change his diaper. No voting. We didn't get to think, you're stuck with your relatives. You pick your friends, you're stuck with your relatives.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Fortunately, we all liked him. We liked him. We think he's real cool. We're glad to have him.

But if we didn't think that, oh well, build a bridge and get over it because he's here. That's the way it is in your family. That's the way it is in God's family. Everybody who's born again is a legitimate child of God. It doesn't matter what background you come from. It doesn't matter how sordid your background is.

It doesn't matter what you come from. It doesn't matter what the trappings of sin in your life have been. Whether you were a goody two-shoes sinner or a downright low-down dirty sinner in the minds of people, in the mind of God, all of us have sinned and come short of God's glory, and his blood cleanses every one of us as he makes us legitimate. It's not like the blood has difficulty with a certain set of sinners. Oh, Lord.

God doesn't look at you and say, oh my goodness, look at all this. Ooh, I'm going to be scrubbing a while. No, no.

No, no, no, no, no. The blood cleanses. The moment you and I put our faith and trust in Christ, the blood of Jesus cleanses us, gives us right standing with God. And so all of us are, if we're born again, we're legitimate children of God, legitimate children of God.

God has made us his own children. And therefore, our identity in the earth realm really is not that significant. Now look at what Paul said. He said, you know, you are no longer, it's not about being male or female.

It's not about being a slave or free. It's not about being a Greek or a Jew. He says, now that you're in Christ, that identity trumps everything else. And I'm here to encourage somebody, if you're saved, quit thinking of yourself merely by your earthly identity. That's the way other people identify you.

That's the way other people identify you. But I identify myself the way God identifies me. I am a child of God.

You might not like the culture I come from, but you're going to have to deal with that on your own. I am a child of God. You might not like my gender, but I am a child of God. You might not like my standing in the world, but I am a child of God.

And we have to learn to see ourselves the way God sees us. Don't let people define you. They're not your creator. They don't get to define you. God has created you again in Christ Jesus.

Don't let them define you by your past. My past is forgiven. My sins are under the blood.

Jesus threw them in the sea. There's a verse in the Old Testament that says that He remembers our sins no more. You know, that's an amazing verse because we know that God is omniscient, meaning He knows everything. And yet God is trying to show us that He has the capability within Himself, although He knows everything, He has the ability to cut off His knowledge of who we used to be once He saves us by His grace. So God remembers, holds before Him your sins no more. That's why if you're still tripping over what you used to be, you better get over it because God got over it. If you're still beating yourself up, you better hurry up and get over it because your sins were thrown into the sea. And when God throws them in the sea, He puts up a sign that says, no fishing.

No fishing. You can't fish back out, my past. Yeah, but y'all don't know what. See, I know I remember.

Don't let people do that to you. You can remember everything you want. You can remember everything you want. God forgot. God forgot because He saved me thoroughly.

He cleansed me thoroughly. I'm convinced that that's what most people need. They think they need a new leaf, but they really need a new life. No need to try and turn over a new leaf. No need to try and, okay, I'm going to try to be a better person. Okay, I'm tired of myself. I'm sick of myself now. I'm going to try to be... No, no, no. Get in Christ. There's your new identity. Get in Christ.

In Christ, I am a legitimate child of God. And no one can throw up my past. Listen, don't let the devil throw up your past. Devil is good for sometimes, you know, the Bible calls him in one place, the accuser of the brothers. The accuser of the brothers. Sometimes the enemy will try to accuse you when you're trying to grow and trying to strive, or maybe you're wrestling with some besetting sin in your life and you haven't quite got the victory yet.

And the enemy will say, see that? I told you, nothing has changed in your life. You need to come on back out here in the world and quit trying to pretend that you're in church. He's a liar. He's an accuser because you are now a child of God. So when he reminds you of your past, here's what you do.

Remind him of his future. Say, well, my sins are forgiven, but let's talk about you, buddy. Bible says that God has prepared a place for you. You will eternally be condemned in the presence of God. Don't fool with me.

I'll tell you where you're heading. Satan wants to keep the truth hidden from you. He'll use deception, half-truths and full-blown lies to do it.

If that doesn't work, he'll use temptation followed by guilt. But make no mistake, you are a legitimate child of God and no weapon formed against you shall stand. In Christ, you are destined for victory. You know, our highest calling as believers in Christ is to go out into the world and share our faith with others. And there's no better time than now, as we're dealing with some social unrest and cultural uncertainty to help Pastor Paul do just that.

People are often more willing to accept the cross in times of crisis. As we continue to walk together through a challenging and chaotic season in our history, now is a great time to offer Destined for Victory your prayers and financial support. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory, we have a gift we'd like to send your way, a study guide from InterVarsity Press called Fruit of the Spirit. This great resource outlines some of the qualities to which every believer in Christ should aspire.

Love, joy, peace, patience, nine qualities in all, fruit that God wants us to ripen in our own lives so that we can go out and share it with others. Again, that's Fruit of the Spirit, our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Just call us at 855-339-5500 to give that gift over the phone. Or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. And of course, you can also make a safe and secure donation on our website,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Whatever the patterns are, the dysfunctional patterns in your life, if you are stuck in patterns of hateful behavior, angry, all out of sorts, you can say this does not represent my inheritance as a child of God. God wants to give me the ability to be able to deal with my problems legitimately. That's Monday in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Because of Whose I Am. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-05 14:05:11 / 2024-02-05 14:14:07 / 9

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