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New Identity


well good morning hey Westside how we doing today we're doing well boy we are so excited about this next season all the things that are happening with the new church plant and pastor Steve has been such a journey to this point and great things are happening we are seeing so much momentum and just things building as we're as we're moving forward hey couple things remember as you're praying about how God wants you to be involved we have an interest me it's our first church plant interest meeting coming up on two weeks from today Sunday February 24th we're gonna be meeting in the chapel during this service so come too earlier or come later but come and hang out in the interest meeting with us we're gonna have some coffee and snacks over there and we love to share the vision in the heart of what God is doing and talk about that as well as you can visit us online at Westside church dot org slash Church plan as we mentioned and get more information are you excited we're growing as a family is that cool you guys are so not excited are you come on now hey listen now before we before we get going I have to tell you I am somewhat of an excitable kind of person and so I need you to be excited with me today can you do that are you ready for the Word of God this morning all right second Corinthians chapter 5 is where we're gonna be you want to open your Bibles today turn on your phones turn on your tablet your computer whatever you gotten from you second Corinthians chapter five today we're talking about something very important we're talking about identity everybody say identity yeah we're talking about ie identity today we're talking about who we are as as followers of of Jesus listen if you are a follower of Christ if you are one who has decided to to follow after the ways of Jesus to receive him as the the Lord the leader of your life if you are a follower of Jesus the reality is that your identity has changed you're not who you were before you are a new creation you are a you've had a fresh start it's not good news yeah two of you are really excited about that I let me tell you I'm excited because what that means is that I don't have to be defined by who I was before that that means those things can fall fall off that means those I get it fresh starting in Christ Jesus but the struggle that we have that the temptation that we have the struggle is that we we were called to align our identity with with who God says we are and that's a struggle I don't know if it is for you because I live in a world that that it's constantly telling me who I am based on the the house I live in or the job I have or the car that I Drive or the sports that my kids are a part of or the list goes on and on how many of you know we live in a world that likes to put labels on us the the struggle we face is is living as a new creation and living out that identity of who God says that we are in 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 Paul the Apostle is talking to the the church in Corinth and he's talking to a bunch of just regular people any any regular people here today yeah he's talking I'm one of the he talks to he's talking to people like me people who whose lives aren't perfect can we be real in here life's not perfect I had to get up early this morning driving the snow and scrape you know we go through the whole thing like life is not perfect we have ups and downs he's talking to real people people who have made good choices and and bad choices he's talking to people who have family drama don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about you know what I'm talking just regular people and he's talking to him in second Corinthians chapter five and look what he says in in verse 16 he says this he uses this first word that is so powerful he says we everybody say we who's he talking to he's talking to us he's talking to regular people people who are who are trying to live out this life and he says we don't evaluate that's a key word we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look we looked at the Messiah we looked at Jesus that way once and listen we got it all wrong as you know we certainly don't look at him without any way in the it that way anymore now we look we're inside it now now we look inside and and what we see that's an important word what we see is that anyone United with Jesus the Messiah gets a fresh start and is created new the old life is gone a new life virgins look at it all this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him aren't you happy about that this all comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him and then listen it didn't in there then he calls us to settle our relationships with each other I love this verse Paul this section of scripture Paul goes listen you're as a follower of Jesus you're not who you were before you are created new you have a fresh start as anybody like fresh starts I love fresh starts I love the undo button anybody like the undo are you guys so with me the undo button don't you love the undo button it's like you can go backwards I sometimes we wish life had an undo button don't you I wish I didn't say that I wish I didn't you know whatever that there there's a fresh start in Christ Jesus what why does that matter because some of us are living our lives carrying the weight of the past and allowing what God can do today to be held back and constrained by who I was before God says you are a new creation in Christ Jesus there has been a fresh start the old has gone and the new has come and that is good news come on give God some praise this morning that is good you have a fresh start I have a fresh start so what does it mean to have a fresh start what is that what does that mean in their life well there's a lot of answers to that question that we can that we can talk about in life but but I love what Paul says in verse 16 watches it's gonna be on the screen Paul said this and by the way before we go there listen I really believe that this word today if we can get this in our feeler and not just our thinker it could change our lives if we could go beyond just believing something and actually allow it to be part of who we are it could change our life look what Paul says in in in in verse 16 what does it mean to have a fresh start well this is what it says we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look now everybody say now we're talking about now now we're not talking about before we're talking about now this is the fresh start Paul says now we look inside and what we see they said that's a huge worry and talked about in a minute what we see is that anyone United with Jesus gets a fresh start and it's created new part of part of living as the new creation that God has made you to be part of living out that identity is learning to see the world like God sees the world let me ask you what shapes how you see the world what filters what what what layers this is very important how you see the world is important Jesus was speaking in Luke 11 check check this this this verse out of the Luke 11 Jesus was talking about how we see and he says he says your eye is the lamp of your body your eye and when your eyes are are healthy your your body is full of light but when they're they're unhealthy your body is full of darkness listen how I see the eyes are what I how I see what's in front of me how I see is is important it's a big deal how do you see the the people that are around you in your life let let's talk about family notice that don't talk about my family let's talk about family I'm talking about your neighbors your your co-workers I'm talking about ourselves how do we see the world around us and what is shaping how I I see the world the reality is we all have lenses through which we we see see this world some of us have lenses of anxiety my son said you're not gonna wear those I said yes I am some of us we have lenses that are that are that are filtering how we see this world that are that are built out of experiences in the past that have built a life of anxiety and I and I'm living this life but I am seeing this life through a filter of anxiety and things happen and I'm always anxious and I don't know what's gonna happen and what if this doesn't what what if I don't get what if this kind of thing what if we get sick whether it happens if whatever what if all the anxiety and I'm limited by what I'm able to see the blinders are on the side and my anxiety is is bringing me into a place I've only seen reality in one way some of us some of us are living with a through our seen through a lens of of disappointment and yes those are butterflies some of us we're seeing reality through a lens of disappointment we've we've gone through things in in the past that have have left us disappointed and and we have a really hard time trusting people again and so we walk around our entire life as a result of those circumstances were that were very true and and left us disappointed when that person let us down or they they left us behind but it now is filtering how I see everything around me it's it's now shaping how I see every experience and the decisions that I'm making as I'm living my life it becomes the lens through which I I see myself some of us where we're wearing lenses of desperation these are actually pretty cool yeah the Kantian style got the round thing going desperation you know what I'm talking about can we be honest here can I step on some desperation it's that thing where we're just desperate for what's next we're desperate for that thing to work out we're desperate for for that breakthrough we're just desperate for it and and and leading out of a life of desperation for the Lord is okay but when I begin to rely on the things around me to provide me joy it affects how I live my life and many of us have lenses that have been built by our experiences in the past that we are allowing to shape how we see reality and God says listen if you're going to to live as a new creation that I've created you to be if you're gonna wake up and-and-and be who I've called you to be in the morning you must align how you see reality with how God sees reality we must put on a different perspective will us be intentional how many know this doesn't happen on accident this is a decision that I make every day when I wake up in the morning that I will not live my life through the filter of disappointment but I'm gonna put on heavens perspective to see differently how do we see difference I'm going to share two things with you and you want to write these down these are these are two ways that we can see reality differently and the first one is this are you ready for it nobody's ready for it are you ready for it all right number one as a new creation God wants to change how I see the people around me how do you see people what what effects and shapes how you see that the people around you what what decides how you're going to treat the people that are around you in your life the truth is that that the the way I treat people will be anchored in how I see people how are you how are you seeing people I love what Paul said in in this verses past as we've been reading he he talked about how we used to be we used to be before we were the new creation we used to be justified in seeing people a certain way we actually it used to be who we were right we we used to be justified in making decisions about people and judging them based on on how how they how they acted you used to be able to to make judgments around people based on how they looked he said you used to be able to make judgments on them based on how they how they treated you and and and the things they said to you but but Paul says no more you're a new creation you're called to see people like God sees them how does God see people see this is one of the biggest questions we have to answer in our life if I'm going to be a person who consistently puts on heavens perspective I've got to understand what it is and the Word of God is very clear can I just be really can we go for it today the Word of God is clear on how God sees the people he loves the God's talking about the people he's put around you he said those are chosen people that the friends those family members that one co-worker you know you know who I'm talking about y'all lying you know what I'm talking about that one guy the the neighbor that the person who treated you that way that that person who you deserve to be that that's a chosen person God says they are loved they are precious they're valuable they're they're honored they are worthy of love and the list goes on and on and on these are the definitions of the people around me these are the definitions of the people God has put in front of you now listen are those definitions of them true because of how good they are oh I'm gonna step on some toes pastor Steve are those definitions true because of how good they've been no why are those definitions true because of who I am in Christ because of what he's done on their behalf because if I start to align how I see people with how God sees people it's gonna change how I treat those people not because they've changed but because I've changed how are you treating the people around you and you know I love this question what would be different in how I treat the people around me if I saw them my god then how many of you know you might be much more gracious got really quiet in here all of a sudden you guys are all excited and listen how many you know we might be much more patient I would be we would be much more willing to go out on a limb and reach out to people who are far away from where we are let me ask you how are are you seeing the people God has put around you in your life I have a core conviction in my life that God doesn't make accidents you believe that I I don't think God just all of a sudden something happens and he goes oh no I pressed the wrong button and that came out no I believe God is a God of purpose and God is a God of destiny and what that means is that he has put you where you are as you are when you are here in Bend in 2001 years in nineteen on purpose he has put me in my neighborhood on purpose and I am called to live as a new creation there he has called me to the people he's put me around and he's calling me to see them like he sees them number two second thing that needs to change is this are you guys ready for it number two number one God wants to align how I see people with the way he sees it number two as a new creation God wants to change how I see me let me ask you what what defines you if we were to grab coffee this week and we were to sit down and and I'd have my five shots of espresso with ice last cream on top one Splenda just in case you wondered if we were to do that and I was asking what are the the three life experiences that you've experienced your life good or bad what are the three life experiences that have shaped you the most today what would it be now we can be honest in here I'm not asking you to shout it out but this is a good question to consider what what are the three experiences that you've been through and I'm not talking about the church good answer like I was on my way to church I saw this dove and like God ascended from the sky and the clouds and I'm not know what I'm talking about is what we've all been tell me and we've all been through stuff that's why we need Jesus so much I don't know about you that's why I need him so much what are the three life experiences that have shaped you the most and and then what are the fruit that have come out of those experiences what does that produce what kind of lenses are you living with as a result of those experiences how is that affect how you see you Paul says in verse 17 anyone united with Jesus gets a fresh start and it's created new and the old life is gone and new life virgins how are you allowing yourself to be defined by experiences in the past that was a part of your old life see that here's the good news Jesus came so that we could have life and not just life but a life in abundance John 10:10 says that Jesus was talking said listen that thief comes only to steal kill and destroy but I've come everybody say I have come I have come Jesus said that you would have life and not just life but have it to the full other translations say in in abundance and abundance is not just a Mercedes sitting in your driveway abundance is a life of Destiny a life of passion a life of calling a life of hope how many I'm hungry for that man see that's what Jesus came for you for so that you could have that life and to begin to see ourselves like God sees us it means for many of us changing our perspective of us reshaping what defines us how does God see you what does God say about you again his word is thick and full of truths about how he sees you and how he sees me and these must become the reality that's why as as disciples of Christ it's so important we're allowing his word to wash our mind and it doesn't get in us by osmosis I can't sleep on it it just gets in there that was a joke nobody laughed you know I'm talking about there we go thank I can't tear out the pages and eat the Bible I didn't know a guy who did that once he's kind of kind of different dude but anyway we've how many do we have to open we have to open it and we have to get it in us and we have to say lord help this to be my perspective of me and of the people around me how does God see you let me just tell you a few things God says you've been accepted by Christ he says that you are a child of God he says that in in Christ Jesus you've been given wisdom and righteousness and redemption he says you are no longer a slave the things that held you back they don't have to hold you back any longer he says you've been redeemed and are forgiven by the grace of Christ and that God has a plan for your life and your future and you do not need to be afraid see that's what God says about that's just a piece of what God says about you that's just that's just six different things about what God says about you and I can even hear it while I'm saying that our minds start to go but yeah yeah okay I hear that but stuff you don't know this and you don't know this you don't know this listen there's a fresh start in Christ Jesus new creation has come that is your identity here's the thing about identity though identity can't just be given it has to be taken identity isn't something that just can be put on me it has to be something that I wake up and own every day of my life it has to be something that I don't just think about well for that lady or that guy that's good for them and they are really chosen I mean look at you know they're just favored and have a highly of whatever but not me I mean I I've made those done you know I've been there no no our identity has to be something that we walk into every day of our lives it's not just a one-time thing it's a it's the kind of thing where I wake up every day and and that first thing I tell the Lord his father I I know myself but I want to see myself like like you see me help my vision to be your vision see God has come and he's he said that in Christ Jesus you're a new creation that means you get a fresh start may we be a church may we be a family wife side that decides to see people like God sees them and love them like he loves them and may we take off the shackles take off the backpack let's just unload the weight of the past and allow our identity to come from what he says about us in Jesus name Amen amen let's pray would you bow your heads with me right now I truly believe what I said earlier that if this is a word that can be get beyond just our hearing beyond just our our thinking and into our our living and into our being it can change everything about us listen you are chosen by God you've been chosen in Christ he loves you somebody here today just needs to hear that he loves you you've been going through some things and and that question keeps coming up but does he really I'm so used to living in a world where I can measure success and measure value based on what's in front of me but God says he loves you and he's chosen you he's with you he's close to you but our identity has to be owned maybe you're here today and you've been a follower of Christ for four years or for awhile and and and you've been allowing the past to hold on to you maybe you've been allowing your lenses of obscene reality to be coming from the things that have defined you in the past today is a day of freedom for you come on somebody today is a day of freedom for some of us in this room maybe you're here today and you've never made a decision to follow Christ before but you're hearing this and you're like that's what I want in my life I need freedom that comes from something greater than what I can achieve Jesus says I paid the price for you and there's freedom in him if one of those things is you if you're like me and you're saying I need new freedom I believe in Jesus but I want to walk in a new freedom this week or maybe you're here and for the first time ever you're making a decision I want to ask you right now do what I'm doing stand to your feet I want to pray for you I'm gonna pray for God to lead you stand up right now where you are be bold today is a day of freedom God has chosen this and you're not an accident that you're here you're here on purpose if that's you stand up right now around this room yes thank you come on if you're here the Holy Spirit's speaking you right now today is a day of there's something there's something about making a physical declaration of our identity stand up all over this room there's people standing yeah come on father I thank you for my brothers and sisters I thank you that today is not a day like any other today is the day of freedom it is a day of life and it is a day of hope and I pray right now in the name of Jesus wherever these people are coming from just like I am father I pray that you would release new creation and new identity new destiny and new calling that as they walk from this place we would realize something change and we have a new identity in Christ Jesus but we have to own it I pray for them to have courage and strength this week that as we move forward we would step into we would open your word and we would start to dive into what you say about who we are that the lies of the enemy would fall off and the word of God would reign their lives I pray over every person this room Lord I pray that we would have your perspective come on somebody pray with me and I pray that we would have heavens perspective this week that we would love like you loved and live like you live in Jesus name God thank you thank you that there's a new life somebody get excited there's a new life thank you there's new creation and you we give you praise give praise right now we love you we celebrate you Jesus amen well we're gonna dismiss this morning but before we do I want to tell you we've got an amazing prayer team listen we were never meant to live this life alone did you know that okay if you didn't know that doesn't seem like anybody knew that let me tell you we weren't we weren't made to live this life alone we have an incredible prayer team that would love to partner with you today if you're walking through some stuff and there's many of us walking through things don't walk out of here alone on Wednesday night this past Wednesday night we had first Wednesday and we talked about the gift of healing and I won't go into the whole thing but but at the end of that night we had our prayer team across the front many many people whole altar up here was full of people dealing with things in life and experiencing heal and I've been hearing stories about how God was moving don't leave today without receiving prayer may we go this week as the body of Christ may our hands be his hands and our feet be his feet in the name of Jesus amen amen god bless you have a great week [Applause]

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