Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spiritual Identification

"Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, set apart to proclaim God's Good News,"
Romans 1:1 (Weymouth)

In his letter to the Romans Paul begins by introducing himself to the Christians in Rome; Paul wanted to introduce himself and tell the Romans about the things he was teaching because Paul had not yet been to Rome.  As Paul introduces himself he goes from the general to the specific.  Paul starts out by talking about his relationship with God through Jesus, a bondservant, and then Paul talks about his calling, an apostle.  After this Paul says that as an apostle he was set apart to proclaim the Gospel.  In other words, in his calling as an apostle there was something specific Paul was called to do.

Paul understood that his identity began with his relationship with God and went on from there.  If Paul was more focused on his calling from God than his relationship with God he would not have been able to do what he did.  Everything we do for God starts with our relationship with God; if we are not a good bondservant, a good Christian, then we will never accomplish the things that God has called us to do.  We must first and foremost develop our relationship with God because everything we do for God comes out of our relationship with God.  Then once we find the thing that God has called us to do there will be some specifics in that calling.

If Paul was like some people today he would have started by talking about his calling as an apostle and then listing all of the things he had accomplished, but that is not what Paul did and it is something we can learn from.  We must put our spiritual identity first and not base our identity on anything that we have done.  Over and over again in his letters Paul talks about his relationship with God and refrains from listing his accomplishments as a way to identify himself.  We need to base our identity on who we are in Christ, that is our spiritual identity.  From who we are in Christ, God will lead us into the specific thing He is calling us to do.  It all starts with our relationship with God so get to know who you are in Christ and let God lead you into the specific plan He has for your life.

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