Acts 17: 28 It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said ‘Our lineage comes from him.’
29 “Since our lineage can be traced back to God, how could we even think that the divine image could be compared to something made of gold, silver, or stone, sculpted by man’s artwork and clever imagination?
30 “In the past God tolerated our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away. He commands us all to repent and turn to God. 31 For the appointed day has risen, in which he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man he has designated. And the proof given to the world that God has chosen this Man is this: he resurrected him from among the dead!”
In his discourse to the Athenians, Paul quotes from two classical Greek writers, Aratus and Cleanthes. He uses something that his audience is familiar with. They identified with the philosophy of these men. But then Paul uses this to show how we should have our identity in Christ. We will only act in a way that agrees with who we think we are. If we consider ourselves unworthy, then we will act in ways that show that. But if we consider ourselves a child of the King, then we will act in that way.
Who is this Christ who we should identify with? He is the reason we can repent. Repent simply means to change direction. Instead of believing in silver or gold, believe in the one who was resurrected from the dead. Most of us would rather not think of judgment, it sounds harsh and unpleasant. Yet, it is the same resurrected Jesus who will judge us. What have we done with Him? Have we denied His authority and gone our own way, or have we humbled ourselves and acknowledged Him as Lord (boss over our lives)?
God had tolerated sin until Jesus could come and pay the price for it. Jesus was the one that died for our sins and then was resurrected from the dead. We can be assured that God turns the hearts of those who have faith in Jesus and raises them from the dead. Satan, the enemy, doesn’t want us to see ourselves as children of the King. He does everything he can to blind us so that we won’t believe in Jesus.
Jesus came to restore our relationship with God now and forever. But there is a battle. In the great scheme of things, God allows us to say no to Him. If we say no to Him here on earth, He honors that for eternity. Where is your identity? Are you proud to be the captain of your soul and do it your own way? Or is your identity as a follower of Jesus?
To hear more about the battle for souls, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/mission-trip-two-radio-show/the-battle-for-souls
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