Identity Theft

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:13-17)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
Over the past few years, we have all become increasingly aware of the danger of ‘identity theft’. We have learned to be vigilant against people who want to scam us – but as we saw yesterday in the online service that accompanies these Everyday Devotions, we are often unaware of the greatest ‘identity theft’ of them all. It is only when Jesus steps into the River Jordan that our eyes are suddenly opened to the devil’s scam against us.

When the Father booms out over the Son at his baptism that “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”, it is meant make us look back to how God created Adam. The Lord gave Adam a brilliant identity in God. He was significant, since he was called the child of God. He was secure, since he was loved by God, who provided him with food and shelter and companionship and everything else that he needed. He was accepted, since God came to the Garden of Eden each day to walk with him, chatting with him face to face and telling him he was well pleased with him. When Jesus steps into the River Jordan, we are reminded of how much Adam lost through his sin.

When the Father booms out over the Son at his baptism that “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”, it is meant make us look up to how God has recreated us, if we have put our faith in  Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15 describes Jesus as the true and better Adam, because he came to earth to win back for us all that Adam lost when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. John the Baptist tries to discourage Jesus from being baptised. He imagines that baptism is all about washing away sin, and Jesus clearly has no need to do that personally. Jesus insists on being baptised because he has a bigger end in view here. Christian baptism is a vivid picture of what happens to us when we put our faith in Jesus. We are united with Christ, which means that we have died and been buried with Jesus, and that we have been raised to new life in Jesus too. It’s like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5. We are new creations!

When the Father booms out over the Son at his baptism that “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”, it is therefore meant make us look ahead to joy and freedom that we can now enjoy as the people of God. We are significant as his children. We are secure in his hands. We are accepted through the righteousness of Jesus.

Hallelujah! Let’s celebrate the truth of this Gospel by declaring out loud over ourselves the statements that were read to us at our online service yesterday. Speak these truths out over yourself by faith in Jesus:
I renounce the lie that I am rejected, unloved, or shameful. In Christ I am accepted.

I am God's child (see John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (see John 15:15)
I have been justified (see Romans 5:1)
I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17)
I have been bought with a price: I belong to God. (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I am a member of Christ's Body (see 1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am a saint, a holy one (see Ephesians 1:1)
I have been adopted as God's child (see Ephesians 1:5)
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 2:18)
I have been forgiven of all my sins (see Colossians 1:14)
I am complete in Christ (see Colossians 2:10)
I renounce the lie that I am guilty, unprotected, alone, or abandoned. In Christ I am secure.
I am free from condemnation (see Romans 8:1-2)
I am assured that all things work together for good (see Romans 8:28)
I am free from all condemning charges against me (see Romans 8:31-34)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (see Romans 8:35-39)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (see 2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (see Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (see Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control (see 2 Timothy 1:7)
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need (see Hebrews 4:16)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (see 1 John 5:18) 
I renounce the lie that I am worthless, inadequate, helpless, or hopeless. In Christ I am significant.
I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world (see Matthew 5:13-14)
I am a branch of the true vine, Jesus, a channel of His life (see John 15:1-5)
I have been chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit (see John 15:16)
I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ (see Acts 1:8)
I am a temple of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
I am a fellow worker with God (see 2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (see Ephesians 2:6)
I am God's workmanship, created for good works (see Ephesians 2:10)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (see Ephesians 3:12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (see Philippians 4:13)
I am not the great "I Am", but by the grace of God I am what I am (see 1 Corinthians 15:10)
1)   Do you consciously remember the moment when you gave your life to Jesus? If you don’t, then you might want to do so now. These statements are all about what is true for those who have done so.

2)  Do you remember the moment when you were baptised as a believer? If not, what do you think Jesus is trying to say to you today when he declares that “It is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness”?

3)  Which of these declarations about your new identity in Christ mean the most to you, and why?
Father God, I can hardly get over how brilliant some of these statements about my new identity are. Thank you so much that you have totally transformed my life through faith in your Son Jesus. Please may these truths sink down deep into my heart and take root in all my thoughts and my feelings. Help me to believe these things are true. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have been brought to you with help from our friends at Freedom In Christ.
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