Who are we and who are we known for? Do we have a strong Christian identity?
Let's talk about it together with Dr. Wilton. The Encouraging Word This is The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton. And today he'll take us to his message on a Christian identity straight to Romans chapter 6 as we gain some insight from Paul on not only what we're known for but how we can continue to grow in our identity with Christ.
That people would see us as followers of Jesus. As we study the Word, know that we're here for you. We're connecting right now online at www.tewonline.org. If you haven't been to the website lately, drop by and sign up for the daily Encouraging Word email from Dr. Don. That's www.tewonline.org. And of course we'd love to pray with you at 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. The Encouraging Word And now Dr. Don Wilton. Well if you have your Bibles today or you're able to access, let's go to Romans chapter 6 and beginning at verse 3. Romans chapter 6 and beginning at verse 3.
And I want to say a word to you before I begin to share this incredible passage with you. These Romans faced a tremendous challenge. If you go and study the time at which this was written, these people faced such a challenge because they were caught betwixt and between.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you have to make a decision about who you actually belong to? Well these Romans, they faced unprecedented political challenges. Rome was an empire that has been written about in history books for decades. And you didn't mess with the Roman Empire. At the head of all that was worshipping the emperor himself, the king, the top man. He was in charge and their rules and regulations were anything but Christian. They were profoundly anti-Christ. Morally, socially, racially, ethnically, politically, they were profoundly anti-Christ.
That was classic secularism at its absolute worst. And here in the Roman world, people met Jesus and their lives were changed forever. They became completely new people. And Christ called upon them to identify themselves as Christian people. And their identity as Christians carried with it a very serious set of consequences.
And in their circumstance, even death. Many of them were thrown to the lions. They became the prey of gladiators. They were persecuted. They were hounded.
They were not accepted. Their possessions were taken away. And so when Paul wrote to them, he wrote to a people caught betwixt and between. And he wrote to a group of people who had trusted Jesus. And he explained to them the real meaning of their identity. And he did it through believer's baptism.
Because baptism is the moment at which we symbolically identify with all that Jesus is. Christians are Christ followers. So I want you to know today that there are a lot of things that you may know about me. And I enjoy a lot of things in life. And I have a most beautiful family. And I love my wife with all my heart.
And I could go to the beach in a heartbeat. And I love to be around you. But the thing that I pray for most of all is that when you see me, I pray that God, only God by His Spirit, would allow you to identify me most of all as a Christian man. I want you to know that one day I'm going to die. It's going to happen to me.
And I want to make a public announcement today. If you're still alive when I die and you're at my service and people are saying some nice things, I want you to remember just one thing, that I'm a Christian man. That's all that really matters. Because what that says will tell you everything that needs to be said. And what that tells me and tells you is the extent to which my life was completely changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. And that's why today I'm going to invite you to give your life to Christ. I'm going to ask you today to say yes to the Lord Jesus. I'm going to invite you to trust Him as your personal Saviour and receive Him into your heart and into your life.
And you can do that right now, right where you are. You can trust Jesus. And I'm about to show you what that means in terms of your identity. Romans chapter 6. I'm going to read from verse 3. Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? We were therefore buried with the Lord Jesus through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If in fact we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because everyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again because death no longer has mastery over Him.
The death He died. He died to sin once for all. But the life He lives, He lives unto God, our Heavenly Father in the same way. Count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord write that word upon our hearts today. I'm praying for you today, my friend, and I'm praying that you will affirm your relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm praying that if you have not followed Jesus in believers baptism, that today you're going to make that decision, that you're going to be obedient to Him, and you're going to identify with Him in the manner with which Jesus Himself showed us, that you too are going to be baptised. And I'm going to pray today that if you have not given your life to Christ, or if you're uncertain about your relationship with Jesus, that today that you would turn your heart and life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, that you would receive forgiveness of sin, that you would be set free, that your life would be changed forever, and that you would know that you know that you know that you know, beyond any shadow of a doubt that one day when you die, or if Jesus were to come back again before you die, that you would be transported by the angels to be seated at the feast table of the King of Kings, because in the same way you can count yourself dead to sin, but alive to God. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on the Encouraging Word broadcast, and this message, Christian Identity, will be shared in its fullest in just a moment, but Dr. Don insists we interrupt to let you know we're here for you. We have had a remarkable resurgence of seeing how the power of praying for one another makes a difference in our life. Now more than ever, you need to know we're available for you 24 hours a day at this phone number, 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. Not just now, but 24 hours a day to maybe share a prayer request or praise report with to discover new ways of encouragement that we can share with you, like the daily Encouraging Word email. Just know we're here for you, not only on the phone, but also online as well. When you visit our website at theencouragingword.org, you can find the broadcast, past and present, see any events that we may have coming up, and visit our online store. You can also post any prayer requests or praise reports. You can sign up for our devotional, The Daily Encouraging Word, as well as sign up to donate to our ministry.
Hope to see you there. Now back to today's message, Christian Identity, with Dr. Don Wilton, here on The Encouraging Word. We identify with identifying. We identify with our football teams. We carry the colors.
Just last week, I ran into a couple. I was hiking on a mountainside. And the gentleman who came breezing past me was wearing a Clemson t-shirt.
I mean, it had Tiger Paw on the front, Clemson all over it. And his wife behind him was wearing blue, North Carolina. And I stopped both of them. I said, you know, you remind me of a lot of people that I know.
You obviously have a divided family here. I said, man, it must have been wonderful going to Clemson. He looked at me and said, actually, I went to Auburn.
I said, have you got a headache in that case? A case of mistaken identity. It was such a beautiful wedding home at the bridge, buying in Madison. We're joined together as husband and wife.
I've watched buying grow up for many years. And he met this most precious young lady. And they began to identify themselves together. This is my girlfriend, my boyfriend, who began to date. Well, then the day came that he asked her to marry him.
She said, yes, put a ring on her finger. An unbelievable celebration where these two came together. And they were joined together. Yes, as husband and wife, but they were joined together in full and complete identity.
Buying and Madison, bigger staff, are now identified as being one. And how different can a man and a woman be? How different can a man and a woman be? And God says through even the covenant of marriage in the presence of God, you are now declared identified as one. You are one for all life and whom God has joined together.
Let no man put asunder. That's why God's blueprint for marriage between a man and a woman comes from the heart of a loving God who understands what the bride of Christ is all about. When he talks about our relationship with him in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism identifies us in three ways. Number one, with Jesus' death.
When I was baptised, I was fully and completely placing myself in what had already happened to me when I gave my life to Christ because Paul tells me that I am fully identified in the death of Jesus. I'm not only fully identified in the death of Jesus, but I'm fully identified with the burial of the Lord Jesus. Jesus not only died, but he was put in the grave. He was buried.
Everything closed over him. It was over because God was showing to us, demonstrating to us the full meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross in that the Lord Jesus Christ was willing to conquer sin and death and the grave. If Jesus had not conquered your sin and my sin and your death and my death and your grave and my grave, we would have no means of being able to conquer sin and death and the grave.
Only Jesus Christ could do that. And when I'm baptised in Jesus, I am identified with his death. I am identified with his burial and I am identified with his glorious resurrection.
That means that on the third day, by the power of God, Jesus came forth from the grave. He conquered death. He was no longer dead. He came forth. He conquered death.
He came alive again in every way. And the Bible says, when you give your life to Christ, you suffer the death in Jesus, the price that was paid for you. He died for you.
You're not going to have to go through that. He was buried for you. But he was raised by the power of God, which means that when Jesus came up out of the grave and he appeared to over 500 before ascending to be seated at the right hand of the Father, which is in heaven, you and I, because we give our hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I come forth up out of the watery grave and we are raised up to walk in newness of life. You see, my friends, your identity with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is your Christian identity.
That's who I am. And this means that we are united with him. It means we are the same as he is. It means that you and I are one with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Isn't that wonderful? Just think of that word, Christian. I am a Christian man, full of all of it, full of nonsense, full of mistakes, full of sin, struggling, asking God every day to help me to be more like Jesus, saying wrong things, going to the wrong places, struggling with sickness, trying to figure out COVID, trying to love people, all the things we deal with in life, from the greatest joy to the deepest sorrow. But I am one with Christ because he is in me. So what does Christian identity mean?
Let me just give this to you. This is fantastic, folks. I don't mind telling you what God has shown me here in this passage is just amazing. I want to share with you six hallmarks of a Christian's identity in Christ. Now, remember, I've just said to you I'm a Christian man.
By the way, do people know that you are? Has it ever occurred to you the day and age in which we're living today? Do you know the lines are being drawn?
I don't want to get distracted. I'm actually praying about preaching a series coming up. Folks, we're living in end times. Antichrist is ready to reveal himself. It's all lining up with Scripture. Now, it may be a day, it may be a hundred days, it may be a thousand years because nobody knows. But at the centre of all of this in end times is the matter of identity. And I'll ask two questions.
These are tough questions. If Jesus were to come right now, would you be one to immediately go into his presence or don't you know? Let me take that even closer. You know those friends of yours? Do they identify you as a Christian? Now, I'm going to tell you it's not always popular.
You may not always get the invitation. Your people around you, those that you rub shoulders with, do they identify you as a believer, as a Christian? So, let me give you six hallmarks here. This is Christian identity. Number one, what that means is that we have the same Father as the Lord Jesus.
Now, I want you to just get a hold of that. Remember the disciples came to Jesus and said, Lord, teach us how to pray. How did Jesus begin that prayer? Our Father. By the way, what did Jesus call God? Go to John 17 at the end of his life. Father, our Heavenly Father.
I'm going to ask a question today. I can't see most people today, but if you are a believer, you identify and others identify as you. Christian, would you just raise your hand?
Just put it up, put it down again. Can I tell you something about everybody whose hand, they're on television, live streaming, you raised your hand. God sees you.
Guess what? We have the same Father. God, our Heavenly Father. Number two, we have the same family. This is the meaning of baptism, folks. It means that these people who are baptized today are saying, because we've given our hearts to Jesus, we join together with you, we have the same Father. We have the same family.
I'm telling you, this is fantastic. I mean, look at us, how different can we be? We're red, we're yellow, we're black, and we're white. We're old and we're young. We're rich and we're poor. We're male and we're female.
We come from every walk of life. I want to read to you Ephesians chapter two. This is one of the most powerful passage. Ephesians chapter two in verse 19.
This is what Paul says. He says, consequently, because you've given your heart to Jesus, because you've been baptized in Christ because of your faith in him, consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. So watch this now, folks, watch this. When I gave my life to Jesus, Christ came into my heart, the Holy Spirit, my body, my being has become the temple, has become the church, has become the dwelling, the family, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
But get this, so are you. So we come together as the church, as believers, you can fall out of an airplane with a parachute anywhere in the world and meet a fellow Christian and you will immediately identify them as family, as family, they're your family. They may not look like you or sound like you or even eat food like you, but we're family because we are one in Christ.
When I'm baptised in Jesus, I want you to know I'm identifying as a Christian. We have the same Father, we have the same family, we have the same suffering. 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 8, Paul writing to Timothy, he said, listen, because we have given our hearts and lives to Jesus, all of us, let's join together in the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, Christ suffered for our sin. Sin causes suffering and the wages of sin is death. But when you give your life to Christ, you receive the gift of God in Christ Jesus, but the gift of God is what Christ does for us in His death and burial and resurrection because He conquered sin, He paid the price. We share in the sufferings of Christ. Christian identity also means we have the same mission, the same mission. Listen to what Jesus said.
This is not my words. Jesus said this in John chapter 6 and verse 38. Jesus said, I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but to do the will of the Father who sent me.
Have you ever been asked this question? What was the essential mission of the Lord Jesus when He came to this earth? It really can be summarised in two statements. Number one, His essential mission was to do the Father's will.
Unconditionally. And secondly, it was to bring love to the world because of the mission and the will of God the Father. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him will not die, but will have eternal life. And so when Jesus came to this earth, His express mission was number one, to do the will of the Father, who is my Father, is your Father. And it was then to bring love to the world, to extend love, to extend mercy, to extend compassion, forgiveness, healing and ultimately salvation to all who would believe in His name. And baptism, my friend, is the symbolic picture of me saying to you and to all those around about us that we are fully identified with the mission of Jesus Christ.
That's what it means to follow Him. Number five, it means that we have the same trust, Christian identity. We have the same Father because we're in Christ. We've been baptised in Him. We have the same family. We have the same mission.
We have the same trust. Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 13. Jesus said this in Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 13. He said, I will put my trust in God. Jesus said that.
And Jesus is God. And so He said, I will put my trust in Him. We have the same trust.
You can trust God because He's your Father. And when you follow Him in baptism, you are identifying, you're making public your profession of faith. That's why believer's baptism is so essential because God showed us this even through His own Son who was baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. But finally, not conclusively, our Christian identity means we have the same home.
We have the same home. You know, I keep quoting Jesus. John 14 verse 2. Don't you love it when Jesus said in my Father's house, there are many mansions.
And if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. And I will receive you unto myself.
That where I am, there you will be also. Our time's almost gone, but that reality and knowing you'll spend eternity in heaven is yours. It's being offered to you by Jesus right now, but you have to accept it. If you'd like, I'd love to lead you in a prayer. Lord Jesus, I realize that you love me and you went to the cross for me.
Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. And Lord, I ask you to change me. Lord, I don't know everything about this step of faith, but I do know you love me, and I ask you to change me from the inside out. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. It starts with that simple step. I pray you'd let us help take steps two, three, and four alongside you. You can call us right now at 866-899-WORD, and we'd love to pray with you and for you. That's 866-899-9673. The Encouraging Word
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 11:44:21 / 2023-03-04 11:53:50 / 9