Sermon Preview: Identified in Christ

August 10, 2012

Sermon Preview: Identified in Christ

Matthew 7:12-23 (NLT)

12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

In life of our church has changed in the last few months. I am actually talking about the physical existence of our life. Starting in May, many of our freshman high school students have been getting their drivers license permits. With this, the latest trend has been “let’s grab Chad’s keys and see if he will let us drive his truck”.

With the exception of a single incident on the way to mountain top in a truck stop parking lot...this hijacking plan has yet to work.

Our younger friends are excited about this because they have reached a milestone. That little laminated card identifies them as having a certain skill...one that allow them a freedom and privilege that will change their life. They have been identified as a driver.

Over these last two months, in our reflection on the Sermon on the Mount, Christ has been consistently calling us to See the people who have identified themselves with him, through the qualities of their lives and the way they go through life in this world. He calls us to see the people...and then to become the people. The calling of his children is the calling to make actual his kingdom on this earth, to begin the change that will happen in it’s entirety when he comes again to reign on this earth. To be identified by Christ is something Jesus does not us...and it is the life we live that signifies who we are really following.

We need to be identified in Christ and not in ourselves.

This Sunday, we will reflect on the passages of scripture and talk about identity. What does it mean to be identified in Christ? What does it mean to be pursuing his mission? What does it mean to identify with Jesus and expect to see him in our midst? What does it mean to let him truly change us and we go further into his kingdom?

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