Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
The key to living a victorious Christian life is to discover who you are in Christ. And this discovery can only take place down the pathway of truth.
Jesus said that the truth shall make you free, but what is truth? It is what God says. It doesn't matter how true the truth is or how many wonderful truths there are in the Bible, truth will not set you free until you let the truth transform your heart.
Have you ever seen a circus elephant with a chain around one of his legs? You would expect that this chain would be securely fastened to a piece of concrete or a wall, but instead it's hooked to a stake that is driven about six inches into the ground.
Any time that elephant wanted, he could pull that chain out of the ground, but why doesn't he break free? Because when he was a young elephant his trainers put a chain on him, then secured that chain to a stake into the ground that was beyond his strength to move. He pulled against it and could not move it. Finally, he told himself that he could not move. What he perceives is not true. But, if he knew the truth, the truth would set him free.
Many Christians do not understand the truth about who they are in Christ. And therefore they aren't free.
Here's the truth, first, you need to recognize your righteousness. What does that mean? Basically, it means that you are a saint!
There are people reading this right now who don't walk in victory because they cannot accept the fact that they're saints. They may say, "I'm saved but I'm certainly no saint." Who said so? Jesus died for you. Did He die for nothing? Put down big, plain, and straight...if you've repented of your sin and trusted Jesus Christ to save you, you are righteous in God's sight and you are a saint of God!
Now, the second step in developing a healthy self-image is to rely on your resources. God has given you everything that you need to live the Christian life.
Now, I'm going to ask you some trick questions, Do you have all of the love you need? The wisdom you need? The faith you need? Well, according to Ephesians 1:3, God has blessed you with all spiritual blessings. Now, I want to ask you a question, Who is right, you or God?
You respond, "Well, if I have it, why don't I experience it?" Because you've not understood that you have it. You're like that elephant that's being held by that little peg. It's time to be set free in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe what is yours in Christ!
Number three, rest in your relationship. You are "accepted in the beloved." The reason many people do not have a good self-image is that they have a feeling of rejection. Sometimes it's called an inferiority complex. Why? Because we were rejected in the Garden of Eden. We come into this world with a feeling of rejection and we spend most of our time looking for acceptance.
Many Christians work hard to get God to love them. Now, if you're one of those, I want to tell you something: He has already accepted you so quit working at it. Now, listen, the key to all of this is that little phrase, in Christ, mentioned in Ephesians, chapter one.
If you are a child of God, then you are in Christ. Where is Christ? He's seated in the heavenlies. Where are you? Ephesians 2:6 says that God "raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." You are seated in the heavenlies.
When you understand who you are in Christ, you'll have a good self-image. Indeed, you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free.
What are your thoughts on new age thinking? Is there a choice in pro-choice? Is evolution fact or fiction? Does character matter to you? How has tolerance been affected by society? Pastor Adrian Rogers deals with difficult questions head on in this collection on current issues.