Andrew Fountain - A New Identity Card


Sermon notes - A New Identity Card

  • A pair of researchers at Stanford University in California called Freedman and Fraser.

Drive Carefully

Drive Carefully

Image source: Msondo Meerkat

  • Unsurprisingly few people agreed

Please put this small sign in your window

  • Two weeks later the same people were asked to display big sign.
  • What do you think the result was?
  • 76% agreed!!
  • Suprising, but the experimenters could understand it
  • It was the last experiment that really shocked the experimenters
  • Now a totally different group of people:

Third Group of People

Petition to “Keep California Beautiful” nobody will refuse, like “better care for babies”

  • Please sign your name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Two weeks later, totally different people came and asked them display the big sign.
  • They didn’t know there was any conneciton with the petition.
  • 50% agreed!
  • Why?
  • We live out of our Self Identity
  • Signing the card had subtly changed the person’s view of themselves.
  • This is an interesting story, but not new to Christians.
  • It is a very common theme in the Bible.
  • I have an identity card for you!
    • Hand out. No compulsion. Can laminate
  • Statement on

I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    am deeply loved by my Father God.

He has re-created me as a new person who is:

  • like Jesus Christ
  • alive to the spiritual world, with power
  • destined for victory and immeasurable riches
  • part of a new family.

I choose to live out of this new identity,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • I challenge you to sign this and keep it with you.
    • I guarantee it will have an effect on you.
    • Because God has made us to function in that way
    • But it only works if you freely choose to sign it.
  • On the back I have put the core of the verses that support it.
  • Some people might not like all of this—too strong
    • Like Jesus Christ?

1. Deeply loved

  • read Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2

  1. And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
  2. in which you used to live, following the ways of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience,
  3. All of us used to live among them, in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.
    1. I am deeply loved.
  4. But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us,
    2. He has re-created me as a new person…
  5. even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive
    3. …like Jesus Christ,
    together with Christ—by grace you are saved!—
  6. and raised us up with him
    4. alive to the spiritual world, with power
    and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
    5. destined for victory and immeasurable riches
  7. so that in the coming ages he might demonstrate the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
  8. For by grace you are saved through faith, this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God;
  9. not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  10. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may walk in them.
  11. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh—who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body by human hands—
  12. remember that you were at that time without Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
  13. But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  14. For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and who destroyed in his flesh the middle wall of partition, the hostility,
  15. by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
  16. and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
  17. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near,
  18. so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
    6. part of a new family.
  19. So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household,
  20. built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
  21. in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
  22. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Eph 1:19–20

  1. [I pray that you may know] what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the working of his great might
  2. that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms

  • 7. I choose to live out of this new identity!

Eph 5:8

  1. for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

based on NET Bible

  • v.5 We were dead, so it’s a completely free gift
  • v.7 He’s piling up words, almost running out of them as he tries to describe the gift
  • note v.4 and v.7
  • The essence of his love is its freeness—pure grace
    • in other words, it doesn’t require any merit on our part, but is a gift
  • Father: adoption

2. He has re-created me as a new person who is:

  • Create or “re-create”
    • since we had some kind of existence, we are being re-created, but it is a new life
  • v.5 “made us alive” —an event has happened to us
  • v.10 his workmanship, a new creation

3. like Jesus Christ,

  • In what ways are we like him and in what ways not?
  • v.10 really has the idea of being “in the image of Christ”
  • In no way do we actually become God (like the Mormon’s teach)
    • Yet something is happening to us that goes beyond the first creation (breathed into Adam)
    • Paul says that he was made of dust, and he was made of the Spirit.
    • We have his essence in us, born of the Spirit
    • Humans have essence from their parents, their DNA
    • We are literally born of God, a new kind of being with a DNA from God
    • Law written on our heart
  • So there is a lot in this statement!

4. alive to the spiritual world, with power,

  • v.6
  • Who here is seated in the heavenly realms right now? Anybody?
    • Excuse me, but I can see you seated here.
  • When do we actually experience this? or, when do we experience the presence of God?
    • worship, prayer…
  • Also see 1:19–23 (the previous chapter) Wow!!
    • We exercise this power when we pray. We have access to the powerhouse of the universe.
    • The card is very much abbreviated, but this is what power is
    • Are you going to live differently this week if you have this power at your fingertips?
    • You are living in God’s presence, with his ear open all the time to your prayer
    • There are also negative aspects of this spiritual world.

5. destined for victory and immeasurable riches,

  • I spent some time trying to fit all this on a card.
    • To start with I had masses, but gradually I pared it down
    • When I got to this point it just sent a thrill through me
  • v.7 amazing riches
    • what will it actually look like? (don’t know!)
  • again there is kindness (love)

6. part of a new family.

  • Not a single verse, but
    • look on to v.19–22
    • I’m sure you’ll agree that we can’t leave this out of our identity
    • If we left it out, we’d just be a collection of individual Christians
  • So because of this, our identity card is actually a citizenship card!
    • Two for the price of one, how about that!
    • Even now we are building a community together
    • and looking to be a dwelling place for God by the Spirit
    • not just having a fun time together, but reflecting who God is.

Turn cards to back and read the Scriptures

  • Note that I couldn’t fit the verses about a new family on there—you’ll have to remember that.

7. choose to live out of this new identity

  • Ephesians 5:8
    “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
  • We’ll read through and then you can sign

I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    am deeply loved by my Father God.

He has re-created me as a new person who is:

  • like Jesus Christ
  • alive to the spiritual world, with power
  • destined for victory and immeasurable riches
  • part of a new family.

I choose to live out of this new identity,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Updated on 2016-01-25 by Andrew Fountain