THE MIRACLE OF A NEW IDENTITY
“…For in him (Jesus Christ) we live and move and have our being (self-esteem).’ … ‘We are his offspring…” (Acts 17:28 NIV).
To understand how to appreciate the miracle of your new identity; you should look at self-esteem. Self-esteem means to place a value on one’s self, whether a high value or low value, but nevertheless it means to personally estimate your OWN worth. Your self-esteem is YOUR opinion or judgement of your OWN merit or demerit.
However, God’s opinion of your merit SURPASSES them ALL. “…For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well…” (Psalms 139: 13:14 NASB).
Self-esteem is basically how YOU feel or think about YOURSELF. Low esteem is having little or no regard, disrespect, or an insecure sense of worth and heavily impacts how you value yourself as a person.
Self-esteem will affect the positive or negative way you treat yourself and the positive or negative way you allow others to treat you.
Christianity advocates, encourages, and highlights the command to love others above ourselves, which is appropriate. We often use the following scripture: “…To every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought (should) to think…” (Romans 12:3 NASB).
This scripture is NOT saying to think NOTHING of yourself at all; it is saying not to think of yourself MORE highly than you should think. “…not to think of himself more highly than he ought (should) to think…” (Romans 12:3 NASB).
The scripture also points to the fact that God doesn’t play favoritism and we ALL ARE EQUALLY valuable in God’s eyes. “…Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God SHOWS NO FAVORITISM. In every nation HE ACCEPTS those who fear him and do what is right…” (Acts 10:34-36 NLT). “…Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no RESPECTER OF PERSONS: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him….(he is Lord of all:)…” (Acts 10:34-36 KJV). “…YE ARE “ALL” CHILDREN OF GOD BY FAITH (DEPENDENCE UPON) “IN” CHRIST JESUS. …There is NEITHER Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS…” (Galatians 3:26-28 KJV). “…[so, do],,,not to think of [your]self… more highly than… [you]… ought (should) to think…” (Romans 12:3 NASB).
You are “…to think soberly…,” which can mean thoughtfully, fairly, humbly, or steady (Romans 12:3 NASB). Love yourself, but never forget “…love is NOT selfish…” (1 Corinthians 13 NASB).
However, we are not to think too little of ourselves where we become timid and allow others to walk over us. “…think soberly…” (Romans 12:3 NASB). “…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (sound mind)…” (1 Timothy 1:7 NLT). “…love does not dishonor (others or ourselves)…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV).
Before you can love others there are two prerequisites: 1) to know, personally, how God loves you; and 2) to love yourself. “WE LOVE, because “he” first loved us…” (1 John 4:19 ASV). “…..Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength: this the first commandment. The second is like, namely this … love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these…” (Mark 12:28-31 KJV).
How will you follow God's instruction to love others without FIRST know love itself? … love thy neighbor “as” thyself…” (Mark 12:28-31 KJV). Is this one of God’s commandments? “…There is none other commandment greater than these…” (Mark 12:28-31 KJV).
Loving yourself properly will stem from knowing and understanding how God loves you. “…Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (substitute, intervention) for… [y]our… sins...” (1 John 4:10 KJV). “…This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins…” (1 John 4:10 NLT).
Knowing and understanding how God loves you will impact how you love others properly and according to his righteous command. “…love one another; as “I” have loved you, that ye also love one another. …” (John 13:34-35 KJV). “…love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these (two)…” (Mark 12:28-31 KJV).
Self-esteem changes to God-esteem because he has made you into a new creation.“…Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
God-esteem LOVE places a HIGH value on you. God NOW determines your worth based on his love for you and his indwelling Holy Spirit within you. Your esteem NOW rest totally and completely on God’s opinion or judgement of your WORTH.
God’s opinion of your worth ERASES and ELIMINATES ALL the other opinions; past, present, and future. “…For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well…” (Psalms 139: 13:14 NASB).
God-esteem is basically what GOD speaks about YOU. “…You are honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4 NLT).
God-esteem should NOW impact how you speak about and value yourself as a person. “…I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well…” (Psalms 139: 13:14 NASB).
God-esteem is meant to affect the way you treat yourself and the way you allow others to treat you. “…love thy neighbor as thyself …” Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” (Mark 12:28-31 & 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 KJV).
A biblical concept of esteem, for believers, is meant to stem from God’s love for them. It is obvious that TRUE LOVE “…God is love…,” ALL BY ITSELF, places a value on the life of the recipient (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
God’s merciful love demonstrates how valuable and esteemed the recipient of his love is through his constant and ongoing show of grace. “…God is able to make all GRACE abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things…” (2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV).
His love miraculously CHANGES their WHOLE identity, esteem, and status. “…For in him (Jesus Christ) we live and move and have our being (IDENTITY, esteem, status, etc.).’ … ‘We are his offspring…” (Acts 17:28 NIV).
To ALL BELIEVERS: You are God’s child. “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12 NLT). You are chosen. “…I chose you ...” (John 15:16 ASV). You are specially adopted. “…He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself…” (Ephesians 1:5 NASB). You are accepted. “… [God]…hath made us ACCEPTED in the beloved…” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). You are one spirit with God and joined to him. “…he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE spirit… [with him and God]” (1 Corinthians 6:17 KJV). Now you belong to God. “…Because YOU BELONG to him…” (Romans 8:1-14 NLT). You are cared for. “….[He] careth for [you]… (1 Peter 5:7 KJV). Your needs are ALL supplied. “…[He]…will supply all your NEED…” (Philippians 4:19 KJV). You are completely WHOLE and unbroken. “…In Him you have been made complete…” (Colossians 2:10 NASB). You are UPGRADED to a new creation. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become new…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). You have the indwelling Holy Spirit. “…The Spirit of God dwell in you…” (Romans 8:9 KJV). You are empowered to do things you couldn’t do before. “…it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure…” (Philippians 2:13 KJV). You are helped and enabled to do what you need to do. “…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). You are not EVER alone and NEVER will be again. “…God has said “Never will I leave you (physically); never will I forsake you (emotionally)…” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). You are important to God and he will love you FOREVER. God “…spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all…” (Romans 8:32 KJV). “…[God has]...loved [you]...with an everlasting love….” (Jeremiah 31:3 KJV). There is “… [No]….greater love…than this…” (John 15:13 KJV).
The more you understand your God-esteem through your new identity, the stronger your God-esteem will become,. However, “…When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it…” (Matthew 13:18-23 NASB).“….the evil one comes and snatches [it]…away…” (Matthew 13:18-23 NASB). HOW?
The bible says: “….Apply thine heart to understanding…” (Proverbs 2:2 KJV). “…Happy is ……the man that getteth understanding…” (Proverbs 3:13 KJV).
WHY is it important to understand your God-esteem through the miracle of your new identity? “…a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…” (Proverbs 1:5 KJV). “…a man of understand hath wisdom…” (Proverbs 10:23 KJV). “….a man of understanding holdeth his peace…” (Proverbs 11:12 KJV). “….a man of understanding walketh uprightly…” (Proverbs 15:21 KJV). “…a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit…” (Proverbs 17:27 KJV). “…he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding…” (Proverbs 17:28 KJV).
One basic meaning of understanding is to be able distinguish or to possess a discerning insight with the ability to judge wisely. ONLY“…a fool hath no delight in understanding….” (Proverbs 18:2 KJV).
“Understanding” is a gift from God. “…What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. ….The person WITHOUT the Spirit DOES NOT accept the things that come from the Spirit of God …and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. …” (2 Corinthians 2:12-15 KJV).
Looking at yourself through the OLD identity can continue to develop a WRONG perspective. SELF-esteem is the MAIN, acceptable, worldwide perspective for maintaining or sustaining feelings of worth and value. “…a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit…” (Proverbs 17:27 KJV).
Self-esteem is usually based on pride in one’s own appearance, accomplishments, fame, acceptance, status, money, abilities, and resources. Apart from Christ, we can do NOTHING or be nothing of lasting value. “…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me …apart from Me you can do nothing…” (John 15:4-6 NASB).
We are NOT to boast in worldly or earthly esteem. “This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT). “…God OPPOSES the proud …” (James 4:6 NLT).
Believers are to have esteem; not self-esteem, but God-esteem is highly based on their new identity. Their sense of worth and value is NOT based on what THEY “DO” "in" the flesh, but WHO they ARE “IN” Christ. “…apart from Me you can do nothing…” (John 15:4-6 NASB). “….I have “NO” good besides Thee…” (Psalms 16:2 NASB).
God’s love demonstrates the believer’s worth and value to him “…[He]…spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all….” (Romans 8:32 KJV). “…God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16 KJV). “…Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (substitute, intervention) for our sins…” (1 John 4:10 KJV). “…Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God …” (1 Peter 3:18 KJV).
A believer’s worth and value is also demonstrated because they NOW have the opportunity to have a right relationship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. “…Christ …. died …SO THAT HE MIGHT BRING US [BACK]…TO GOD…” (1 Peter 3:18 NASB). “…a right relationship with God …comes by faith…” (Romans 4:13 NASB). “…BY GRACE have ye been saved THROUGH FAITH…” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ASV). “…Jesus Christ is in you…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…Christ in you, …” (Colossians 1:27 KJV). “…the Spirit of God dwell in you…” (Romans 8:9 KJV). “…Christ liveth in me…” (Galatians 2:20 KJV). “…the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV).
God gives his people esteem, value, and worth. “…The Lord has honored me…” (Isaiah 49:5 NLT). “…You are honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4 NLT). “…I have given you a title of honor …” (Isaiah 45:4 NLT).
Believer’s have a healthy God-esteem WHEN they UNDERSTAND “WHO” they are “IN” Christ by also having a right perspective of their new identity. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are BECOME NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). “…by the GRACE of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV). “… [Therefore]… we all … are changed into the same image [of Christ] from glory to glory …” (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV).
Not having the RIGHT perspective about “WHO” you are “IN” Christ opens the door for the enemy to STEAL your new identity “…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6 NIV). “…The thief cometh …to destroy…” (John 10:10 KJV).
“Hear …[again]… the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. ….” (Matthew 13:18-23 NASB).
Recognizing and choosing to depend upon the MIRACLE of your NEW IDENTITY can build God-esteem and totally eradicate negative esteem. “…[you are]…a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are BECOME NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). SAY THIS: “…By the grace of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).