Thursday, January 28, 2021
Hey everybody, Pastor Vince here. Thanks for joining me on this Thursday edition of Life Lifters. Our whole purpose for Life Lifters is to give your life a lift through a five minute blast of encouragement and scripture. We're talking about your identity in Jesus Christ over this week and next. When you become a Christian, you have a brand new identity in Christ. God declares things over your life and He assigns things to your life the moment you become a Christian that are amazing. We're looking at Ephesians 1 and I'm citing 10 of those amazing new identities we have when become a Christian. It's perhaps one of the most richest chapters on this subject of our identity in Christ.
So far, I've talked about three of them. First, we said you're blessed, meaning you're given divine favor from God through Jesus Christ. Second, you're chosen, meaning we have been picked by God through Christ for salvation. Third, we've been adopted, meaning we're children of the Almighty God through faith in Christ. Today, I want to talk to you about the fourth and that's this: we are accepted.
When you become a Christian, God accepts you. He accepts you just as you are. Total mess, total failure, total everything. The amazing thing about Christianity is you don't have to get yourself right. To be in right relationship with God, you just have to yield your life over by faith to Jesus Christ. In other religions, you have to get good enough, you have to do this, you have to do that, etc. In Christianity, you are accepted. When you accept Jesus Christ, you accept Jesus Christ in your life, and you are accepted for who you are. Now, God doesn't leave you there. He's transforming you and changing you, but you're accepted.
Where do I get this from? Ephesians 1:6, where it says, starting at verse 5, that "we are adopted as sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will, to the praise of his glorious grace"—grace, that's the key—"which he has freely given us in the one he loves." What's he saying? He's freely given us grace, but what's grace? Undeserved favor, favor that you don't deserve. He accepts you. So often in life, we just want to be accepted. "Will you accept me, will you love me?" God says, I will accept you, I will love you. When you yield your life to Jesus Christ, He accepts you, just as you are. No self-improvement campaign needed. Not anything except faith in Jesus Christ and sorrow for your past. God will change you and He'll improve you. I don't believe in self-improvement, I believe in God-improvement.
Now, there is some mystery. We have to cooperate with God's work to change us. But here's the thing: you're accepted. That's a great feeling. Man, have you ever been around people where you haven't felt accepted, where you just felt like the oddball? Like you haven't felt like you're welcomed? Not with God. When you're with God, you are fully accepted and you are fully welcomed. You're fully valued for who you are. God loves you, chose you, adopted you, blessed you. He's doing a great work in you. God will accept you. I know this, if the God of the universe accepts me, then guess what? I don't care who does or doesn't accept me. I'm accepted by the God of heaven and earth. I'm good. I'm good. You don't accept me? Not my problem, as long as I'm not being a jerk, which occasionally I can be. If people don't accept you or if family don't accept you, oh, well: God does. Isn't that a great thought?
Let's pray. Father, for some reason that we can understand you have decided to accept us when we accept Jesus Christ into our life by faith alone. Thank you for accepting us, warts and all. Failures and all, no strings attached. It's a beautiful thought. And it's only because you're the God of grace. You give us what we don't deserve, in a good sense. Thank you for Jesus Christ who provided it. We love him. For he's the one who's given us our new identity. We ask this in Jesus Christ. Amen. You're accepted. That's the fourth new identity you have in Jesus Christ. Tomorrow, I'll talk about a fifth. Talk to you then.