Who Are You?

March 19, 2013

Who Are You?

When people think of God, church, religion or things of that nature they usually think of a code of ethics, rules or rituals. When asked what is important to God they will quote several “thou shalts or thou shalt nots”. They may mention baptism, membership or giving. Many of the things they might mention are well and good in their place, but they are not the most important things to God. Who you are is the most important thing.

Ps 51:16-17
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (KJV)

A lot of the things that people think of when trying to determine what is important to God involve some sort of sacrifice or self-atonement. They give up some habit for a time or permanently. They will not go to certain places or participate in certain activities. Again, all these things may have some value and prove “will worship,” but what are most important to God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, which indicates who you are. (Col 2:23) Who you are inside will dictate what you do or it should. This heart condition is what God knows about you. Broken and contrite speak to humility and repentance. It is that type of heart and spirit that will seek God and God will respond by making Himself known and in the process knowing intimately that person.

Prov 23:6-8
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words. (KJV)

You see the heart is where the truth of the man lies. It is the core of his being and he may lie to others and even to himself out loud so to speak but his true character will eventually come out. The evil eye man is saying good words of hospitality and friendship to the man in this passage, but his heart is plotting something evil. When the timing is right the guest will feel the poison in those words and in essence vomit up all the benefits he has received from the evil eyed man. He will be sickened in his core because he thought he knew this man and now he finds everything he thought he knew was a lie. Who a man is means more than what he does.

Prov 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (KJV)

It is indeed an excellent instruction to keep or protect your heart. What you see, hear and believe will take control of your heart/mind. Your life will be governed by what is in control. Being diligent means to set a guard over what is deposited in your mind. All that hooha about keeping an open mind can destroy your life. Most of the time if you are with someone that is telling you to keep an open mind it is because they are fixin’ to dump a pile of garbage in it and they want your life to stink like theirs and attract the same flies they do. Be careful of what you let in for it will come out and you may not like the fruit it brings forth.

Matt 7:15-23
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)

Fruit or works are important to men because they are the only way men can have a clue as to what is in the heart. The problem is that the heart is wicked and deceitful. We are men of deceitful and wicked hearts trying to ascertain the true intent of other men of deceitful and wicked hearts. Who can know them? (Jer 7:9,10) Only God can see through the smoke screens perfectly.
Evil trees bringing forth evil fruit are the obvious ones and easy to discern. It gets a bit more difficult when the fruit appears to be good. Then we need all the discernment we can get because sometimes we get fooled. God is never fooled. Note the problem with the folks was not in the works themselves, but rather who was performing them. Prophesying in the name of Jesus is a good thing or work. Casting out devils is a good work. The Apostles did a lot of that. Doing many wonderful works is literally dynamite works or miracles. All of that sounds great!!
Then why did these folks get cast out? Because they were not who the works would proclaim them to be. They were phonies. In their hearts, they were not Christians. They had never been saved. They were like Pharaoh’s magicians who could do some pretty neat copycat stuff but ending up losing the whole show when Moses’ serpent ate theirs and the first born died.
These people may have been sincere and not true hypocrites. It may not have been an act to them, but they were deceived into thinking they were doing a work for God much like those people who were the Inquisitors. (Luke 16:1-4) It was not what they did that condemned them but rather who they were. They were workers of iniquity or unrighteousness because they were not righteous people. They attempted to do the work of God when they were not the people of God. They sinned because they were sinners and not sinners because they sinned.

Acts 19:13-17
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. (KJV)

Here is another group of folks that fit the same category. These guys thought they had found a magic formula. We are formula folks. We like rosaries and prayers of Jabez because we want a simple ritual to perform to get God to perform for us. God is not in the formula business. Rosaries do not work because God is against “much speaking” and “vain” repetitions. (Matt 6:7) Jabez got his prayer answered because of who he was, more honorable than all his brethren, not because of what words he said. These lads wanted to repeat the commands of Paul and use Jesus’ name to get what they wanted. The result? A good old fashioned tail whuppin’ from the demons who knew Paul and Jesus and their authority but did not know in the concept of respect for their authority these seven lads. See it is not what you say, but whom you are that gets positive results.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (KJV)

This was James’ main contention. Like our day, he had a lot of folks running around saying they had faith in Christ but had no fruit. They were saying that they were sons of God and sat under the ole Magnolia tree sippin’ mint juleps all day. They were lazy, did not attend church, did not help the poor or do anything else. They may have even been seen drunken a few times or they may have been moral and just quiet about their faith. Whatever their activity or lack of it their life did not live up to what they were saying.
James was saying, “Prove to me you are who you say you are by your works.” Talk is cheap. Even if you make mistakes or sin it is better to fail and use 1 John 1:9 then to just sit on your sanctified behind looking pious. James emphasizes that a man may say. Anyone can say that he is a Christian. Few live their faith, as they should. None of us are perfect, but it is better to struggle to walk straight than to refuse to walk at all.

Luke 13:27-29
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (KJV)

The folks in Matthew that were cast out were most likely good church members. The seven sons of Sceva were of good Hebrew stock. None of that helped them. Nationality, membership or heritage will not do you any good at the Judgment. It is not going to be who men say that you are or who you say that you are that will get you into Glory. It is going to be who Jesus says you are that will count.
The passage says that many Jews born of the flesh will not be part of the Kingdom promised to their forefathers. Indeed, people who were not promised the Kingdom shall rule and reign in it while many Jews will not even be inhabitants. A person has to be in Christ and be known by Him and the Father to enter the Kingdom. The person may be the best-known person in their town, church or even nationally or globally but he will he will not be in the Kingdom unless he has been born again. He cannot show his baptismal certificate, church membership, or church resume. He may be tripping over his Sunday School pins and even been ordained a deacon or preacher. If he is not in the family of God, he will not be in the family reunion in that day.

John 10:14-15
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (KJV)

He must be a member of the flock for Jesus to know him. A good clue is if he hears the voice of Christ or follows others. There is no smörgåsbord or buffet sheep. He is either a Christian sheep or an anything else goat. He knows Christ and Christ knows him or the Father does not know him. When you lay down your life for a sheep, you get to lay down the requirements for the flock as well. Are you a sheep?

2 Tim 1:8-11
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (KJV)

You see we are not saved according to our works. That should put an end to the eternal security issue right there. It was His purpose and grace, which was given before we were even a gleam in our Daddy’s eye. Jesus did not buy any pigs in a poke. He knew exactly what He was getting and the glory of that is that He still came to save us anyway. We just have no clue as to how much grace and mercy He has shown us!!!
You see that salvation had nothing to do with who we were, but rather with who He is and who we become when we are saved. We are in Christ when we are saved. There are many things we become, but for this message the primary thing is that we become new creatures in Christ. (II Cor 5:17) It is in Christ that we become who we are going to be for eternity. It is because we are in Christ that we are saved, sanctified, joint-heirs, seated in heavenly places, etc., etc., etc. It is because we are in Christ that we are known of God for the Son is known of the Father and the Son knows the Father. Because we are in Him we are now the sons of God. We do not know all that we shall become, but we know that we shall be like Him when he returns because we are in Him and our life is hid in Him!!! (1 John 3:1,2; Col 3:3,4) I trust someone is having a Hallelujah fit about now!!!
See, it is who we are that counts more than what we do. The greatest thing is that who we are is not dependent upon us but upon Him!!!! We could never become the sons of God or have His mind or do anything holy without Him. He makes us who we need to be so that we can do what we need to do. If we are whom we say we are, we will be growing and learning how to do the Father’s business because that was His mission and we are in Him. We may fail, but He ever lives to intercede for us!!! When we are unfaithful, He is faithful for He cannot deny Himself and we are His body!!! Glory!!!! What a thrill that is for an old sinner saved by grace like me!!!

Ps 139:1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (KJV)

If you have asked God to forgive your sins and save you because of the work Christ did on the Cross for you then the Lord has searched you. He found you lacking in many ways, but He has put His Spirit in you and placed you in Christ thus you can rejoice that He has known you and will know you for eternity as His son or daughter. Now that you know who you are go and let Him live His life through you bringing forth the fruit that men may see your Father’s work in you.
Friend, if you have never been saved then you are a child of the devil and lost in your sin. That is how God sees you. That is who you are no matter what faith you were born into or what rituals you may have performed or had performed for you. Don’t stay that person. Become a new person in Christ!! Let Him transform you into someone you will be glad to be for eternity! Who are you? I pray you are a son of God or one about to become one! Maranatha!!!


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