A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 19
I am kept by God’s power. I Peter 1:5
I am in Christ Jesus by God’s act. I Corinthians 1:30
I am redeemed from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13
When we or our culture or the “experts” link our identity to our sexuality, we are allowing our sexuality to define who and what we are. I love this thought from the scripture that states, “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works…” (Ephesians 2:10) You are a product of God, not your history, not your environment and certainly not whatever lies you have been told about your sexuality and your identity.
When the teachers of the law brought the woman who was caught in adultery (interesting to note that they did not bring the man as well, because under the moral code of the law, both had committed a crime punishable by death), they wanted to know (as a test) what Jesus would do with her. Both they and Jesus were aware that adultery was a sin that required death according to the law. Jesus responded that whichever one of them was without sin could cast the first stone, and as they walked away one by one, He turned to the woman and forgave her. But He did more than forgive her; He told her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:7-11) Jesus was saying that adultery is still sin, but that He had the power to forgive the sin and cleanse the sinner.
While sexuality is tied in to who we are as a human being, it is not our identity. What does that mean? We are not primarily sexual beings; we are primarily spiritual beings who live in a body, have a mind, will and emotions and have the capacity to act sexually. Our sexuality does not define us; God defines us as created in His image. It is our spirit that is the eternal part of us and it is our spirit that is to lead the emotional, the physical and the sexual.
For too many, Jesus has become convenient, no more than a means to escape eternal separation from God. Meanwhile, they believe they can live according to how they personally interpret the scriptures (if they are even reading the scriptures). We cannot say we love Jesus only to the point where His words inconvenience us, and then rewrite the scriptures to match our personal beliefs. Jesus was a reformer, a revolutionary who taught an inconvenient reality. Even in our culture today, if you or I believe what He taught, it will be inconvenient. In fact, Jesus warned us that as He was persecuted for what He exposed and taught, we would be as well. (See John 15:18, 19.)
True freedom is possible for any sin or sickness that human beings have had to face since the third chapter of Genesis. While the Old Testament exposes the sin, the New Testament provides the truth of the Incarnate One, the Redeemer of this sin. The Old Testament scriptures are vital to understanding the New Covenant. It is the old that makes a way for the new.
Too often Christians believe there is no need to read the books of the law or the major and minor prophets. “That was the Old Covenant,” they repeat, “and we are under a New Covenant.” But this statement is only partially true. You cannot have a new without the old. Jesus Himself walked on this earth under the Old Covenant, and He addressed the need for the Law of Moses. He taught this law, and He walked in obedience to it. When Jesus was placed upon the cross to die for all of mankind, it would be the dividing mark for the Old and the New Covenant. We are grateful for the old, all the while we live in the new. It was an act of the Father to bring us to His Son as we are made free from sin and death by God’s power.
Question for reflection:
Reflect on this statement: “You are a product of God, not your history, not your environment and certainly not whatever lies you have been told about your sexuality and your identity.”
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