Display A New Identity 1 Peter 2:1-12 March 18, 2007
I am interested in being around new Christians because I enjoy seeing the contrast displayed
in their new life in Christ. Humorously, but sadly, someone has said many new Christians must backslide in order to get in fellowship with the majority of the church. The reality remains that Christ makes a difference in a person=s life. If a person belongs to Christ he or she will Display A New Identity.
1. Display A New Identity Through . . Desire. 2:1-3
Do you desire to display an identity changed by Christ? We need to annihilate sins that hinder our Christian lifestyle. Simon Peter mentions five such sins; wickedness, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. If those get annihilated by our choices and the empowering of God=s Spirit we will be far along in a display of Christian character in our lives. This process will be fueled as we assimilate scriptures into our new walk with Christ. Strong Christians always have a growing knowledge of God=s Word. I do not believe the Lord allows some to be growing Christians and some to lack behind in their growth. Our desire plays a large part in how much we grow.
2. Display A New Identity Through . . Discipline. 2:4-10
Are you a disciplined person? Most of us have not had to be that disciplined. If you get an education you will need to show some discipline. To grow in Christ you must discipline your concentration on Christ, and try to emulate His Life. Simon Peter suggests a likeness between the Christian community and the building of a house. You will not build a stone house without the laying of one stone upon another; beginning with a foundation stone. Christ is the foundation in the Christian life, and if we make proper choices we will build upon His foundation. Simon also tells us we are destined to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His possession. What a privilege!
3. Display A New Identity Through . . Demonstration. 2:11-12
Have you noticed the good reports coming from youth groups who have strongly emphasized abstinence in several areas of their lifestyle? Refraining from drugs and alcohol produces a significantly different lifestyle. Sexual abstinence until marriage receives an emphasis from these groups that produces glowing reports of success; with decreases in sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancies outside of marriage. In our text Simon tells us to, Aabstain from fleshly desires that war against you.@ The world can make fun, and speak against us, but they cannot argue with the successful demonstration of how Christ changes lives. We give an outstanding demonstration of God at work in our life when we conduct ourselves in such a way that the non-Christian sees the difference. They must back up and say there is a difference in a Christian who really tries to live in a way to Display A New Identity. Amen? Amen!
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