Lesson 7 Our Identity Crisis

 

 What is an Identity Crisis?

Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term identity crisis and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in their development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. Erikson described identity as “a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image.”

According to James Marcia and his colleagues, the balance between identity and confusion lies in making a commitment to an identity.

Identity Statuses

 ·       Identity achievement occurs when an individual has gone through an exploration of different identities and made a commitment to one.

 ·    Moratorium is the status of a person who is actively involved in exploring different identities, but has not made a commitment.

 ·    Foreclosure status is when a person has made a commitment without attempting
identity exploration.

Researchers have found that those who have made a strong commitment to an identity tend to be happier and healthier than those who have not. Perhaps you were in the midst of an identity crisis before you experienced the New Birth experience and were simply trying to become a better person. Well now that you have been born again, you have become a lot more than just a better human being – you have become a new creature and God wants you to make a radically new commitment to changing your primary identity – or who you really are! Paul explains how to make the identity shift from the old to the new: 

Eph 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

If we look back over the period of time that we have been a Christian, I believe that – if we are honest with ourselves – we will all agree that the biggest problems we have experienced in living for God have been directly related to our unwillingness to make a clean break with our old nature and making a firm commitment to walk in the way of our new life in Christ by putting on the new man. 

Let’s read what Paul has to say about the importance of choosing the right identity:

Rom 8:12-18 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him,
that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

How do we mortify or put to death the deeds of the body?

Rom 6:11-13 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, butalive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members  as instruments of righteousness unto God. 

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 How do we nourish and develop our new nature?

 Col 3:1-10 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  

 Notice that many of the scriptures we’ve read are in the form of commandments:

 

Seek those things which are above.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Put to death… any form of ungodliness or worldliness in your lives.

Put on the new man.

Put off the old man.

Let not sin reign in your mortal body.

Put off such things as: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language,
lying.

 

Since God never commands us to do anything that His grace doesn’t enable us to perform as we walk by faith, just do whatever He tells you!

 Practice Walking in a Christ-like manner bearing the fruit of the Spirit:

 Gal 5:22-25  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The best way to renew our minds and experience spiritual transformation
is by knowing, thinking and speaking who we are in Christ!

 In our new identity as a child of God, we should seek daily every opportunity to manifest the fruit of the Spirit.

Both our personal and corporate identities in Christ are crucial to our success as a church body. The apostle Paul tells us how we should interact as a body of new creatures/ Christians:

Col 3:16-17  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 

Good advice from Apostle Paul:

 1Th 5:11-23 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16  Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  • Our doctrine is Apostolic
  • Our experience is Pentecostal
  • Our Lifestyle is Holiness

 WHO I AM IN CHRIST

 

I am a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17).

I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).

I am a partaker of His divine nature (II Peter 1:3-4).

I am an ambassador for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20).

I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation, a peculiar people
(I Peter 2:9).

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:21).

I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (I Corinthians  6:19).

I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).

I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom  (Colossians 1: 13).

I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Colossians 2:12;
Ephesians 2:6).

 

 

 

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