May 26th, 2010

Re-Nounce, Announce, and Your Identity

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Written by: Gene

I find it amazing that a Christian will identify themselves by something other than what Christ did for them.

I identify myself by where I am, as opposed to where I have been, by saying I am a “Christian”. I could maybe even identify myself as a “Sinner Saved By Grace” because I have renounced sin by becoming a Christian even though I stumble an fall, but I have issue with that.

What I don’t understand is how a person will identify themselves by the sins and mistakes that they still deal with. You might say that you are an alcoholic, but if you are renouncing that sin then you are technically a “Recovering Alcoholic” or “Ex-Alcoholic”. Saying that you are (are = the current status) a recovering alcoholic, then you have come to the conclusion that you have renounced the old lifestyle for a newer one, and you are making the journey away from that.

If a person is in prison and gets saved, they are a prisoner of their warden, but made free in Jesus. When they get out of prison, they become an ex-con, and that means they no longer live in the prison system.

Why is it then that some have chosen to accept Jesus, but refuse to renounce the sin that He has saved us from? Yes, we are saved by grace, and that is never in question.

If Jesus came to save us from our sin, and to become a Christian means you realize that there needs to be a change but you cannot do it on your own, why call yourself a Christian and continue to hold onto the very sin that you needed saving from? I don’t get it.

My very desire is to renounce the sin, but reality is that temptation is all around me. Yes I couldn’t save myself when I was drowning in sin, and even now sin trips me up over and over, but I still want to put a distance between sin and myself.

I find myself frustrated when I fall, but I am so grateful that Jesus pulled me out of that and I can go on as if nothing happened between me and Him. For this I am grateful for the Blood of Jesus.

But back to my original question. Why would I want to identify myself by the thing that I was delivered from? It is very dangerous to do this, but it seems to be a more prevalent thing in todays church.

You see whole churches built around people identifying themselves by the sin they are living in, when Jesus died to deliver us from that. It is disrespectful to ask Jesus to save you, forgive you and tell Him that He is Lord only to turn around and say “I am a Sinner For Jesus”.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says,

“9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” “

You can not write off the person who does not know that Jesus died for them, but we are warned about associating with the person who calls themselves a Christian and refused to renounce sin. We are to lovingly restore them, but if they do not want to be delivered from sin, you need to separate yourselves from them.

I am not saying that you have the right to question their salvation (that is God’s call).

Sometimes this is a tough call, but it is necessary for personal spiritual survival. The scripture tells us to have fellowship with other believers for our own benefit. We are to build up each other, and help each other stay on the straight and narrow.

When you surround yourself with others who identify themselves by the sins of the world, you open yourself to falling into more sin than when you first got saved.

Ask yourself today what is is that you identify yourself by. If it is something other than where you want to be, make a conscience change to re-identify yourself. As you renounce sin, and announce Jesus, you will find yourself starting to be where you need to be in life.

About the Author

A husband to an awesome wife, father to 3 beautiful girls, step-father to a beautiful girl and smart son. Preacher, Designer and best of all a Servant to a loving and gracious God.

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