Christ is Enough

Learning about your “Identity in Christ” is probably the single greatest discovery of a true follower of Christ. That’s because many believers wander through the Christian life like the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness.

They instinctively know that God has a plan for their life but they just can’t seem to put that puzzle together. Questions like, “What does the normal Christian life look like?” Or, “What am I supposed to do for God?” dominate their thinking.

I think most Christians believe that if they could just discover what God wants them to do, then they would have the key to the Christian life. After all, isn’t that what the Christian life is all about, doing things for God?

The Christian life is not about what we can do for God, but allowing Christ to live His life through us. He is the giver of divine life and we are the receiver of that life. Our journey is not one long test trying to measure up, but it’s all about rest – resting in Christ as enough.

God never meant for us to try to measure up to some imaginary standard of performance. His intention is to place a divine nature within us that becomes our very life. That divine life is Christ’s life. We become one with Him (John 17)

The moment we are saved we take on a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17). We become someone we have never been before. We are a new creation. Our righteousness is not something we obtain by good works, but it is imputed or given to us by God. So we could never do enough good works to earn God’s favor.

Therefore, God does not want us to “figure out what He wants us to do”, but rather He wants us to focus on the person of Christ, and in doing so allow Christ’s life to flow out through us.

God has provided everything we need to serve Him and bear spiritual fruit. (Col. 2) As we rest in Christ, and abide in Him, the will of God will automatically be done in our life. You can do more for God by resting in Him as enough, than you could ever do in a lifetime of striving to measure up to some religious standard.

The normal Christian life is acknowledging that “apart from Him I can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is totally and completely depending on Him to show you what, when and where. You don’t have to “help God out”.

Place your trust in the living Christ within you. Turn every area of your life over to Him and allow Him to lead you every step of the way. Be patient and wait on God. He has not forgotten you, forsaken you, nor is He neglecting you. He is always on time. When God speaks, you will know it, and so will those around you.

This reminds me of a song I that I use to sing as a child. I bet you know the song also.

Since I started for the Kingdom,
Since my life He controls,
Since I gave my heart to Jesus,
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.

The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows,
The more that I love Him, more love He bestows.
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows,
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.

Who is Jesus to you?

When I was a child we lived just outside the Naval Air Station, so I had contact with lots of sailors in our community. One thing I remember is thinking that part of being a sailor was having a tattoo. I didn’t realize until I was a teenager that tattoos were not standard Government Issue for sailors.

To me the most fascinating tattoos were the religious ones because most of them told a story or revealed a particular belief system about God. Today is no different. Many of the tattoos you see today reflect a religious belief and sometimes may also reveal a person’s concept of Jesus.

Regardless of what you think of tattoos every person has a belief system about Jesus that is reflected in their behavior. For instance, take the person who has never given any indication that they know or serve God. They suffer a tragedy and then blame God for allowing the tragedy to happen. It’s rather obvious that their view of God is “don’t bother me and I won’t bother you, but if I get in trouble I expect your help.”

Unfortunately, there are many concepts of Jesus that are outside of the biblical view of Him as God. In a recent article by Lee Grady he gives several examples of unscriptural concepts of Jesus.

1. The Rolex Jesus – This Jesus promises health, wealth, mansions and luxury cars.

2. The Santa Clause Jesus – He lives far away and visits rarely. He keeps a list and if you aren’t too naughty He gives you what you ask for.

3. The Rabbit Foot Jesus – Some people treat Jesus like a magic charm. They don’t know how to seek to know Him personally, but they figure if they show up for a church service a few times a year, or hang a picture of Him on their wall, they’ll be lucky when bad things happen.

4. The movie star Jesus – He is adaptable to your spiritual preferences. He lets you define your own morality. He’ll mix all religions.

5. The Rock Star Jesus – He doesn’t care how you live your life during the week. Words such as “sin” or “holiness” are off-limits because they are just not cool.

I think you get the picture. There are many false concepts of Jesus. But it’s not who we think Jesus is that’s important, but who does the Scripture say Jesus is?

Throughout Scripture the names of Jesus are revealed. But Revelation 19 best describes His name- “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. This is His true identity but this title also reveals our intended relationship to Him. He is our “King and our Lord”. When we understand who He is we will better understand our role and our relationship to Him.

He is King of Kings
That means that He is sovereign and there is no one in the universe that He is subservient to. We are His subjects and He demands our loyalty, our obedience and our submission.

He is Lord of Lords
This is one of the most radical realities of Christianity. This describes Him as the Supreme Ruler over the universe. Proclaiming Jesus as Lord means we obey what He commands us to do.

What does it mean to recognize and acknowledge Jesus as ‘Lord and King’?
Simply put it means that Jesus is your master. He is the one that you obey and you willingly give Him power over all your life. Your overriding goal in life is to obey Him and do His will. His will and plan is preeminent in your life, nothing else should take precedent.

I would never judge anyone’s motive for a religious tattoo no more than I would judge anyone who wears a Christian tee shirt. But Jesus is more than a cool tattoo or a stylish tee shirt. He is Lord and King of the universe and desires to be Lord and King of our life. Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul reflects God’s intention for those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him; having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude…For in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2)

The Scripture says that “the mystery of Godliness is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1: 26-27) True godliness and biblical spirituality is wrapped up in the person of Christ. God thought the supremacy of Christ to be so important to the Spiritual health of the believer that He sent Jesus to not only die for our sin but to indwell and impart His very life to us.

God’s ultimate plan for mankind has always been for Christ to be preeminent in our life. He becomes preeminent when we acknowledge and receive that He not only died for us but as us. That picture is painted for us in Galatians 2:20:

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

This judicial act was important in order that we might die to sin and no longer be slaves to sin. Allowing Christ life to reign in us allows us to experience continual victory over sin. (Romans 6:6-8)

Bottom line: Rest, victory, godliness, and holiness are not a result of what you do but are a by-product of who you are in Christ. By laying down your self-effort to “do things for God” and allowing Christ to live His life through you, the by-product will be rest and godliness. By resting in Christ and allowing Him to live His life through you, you will accomplish more for the kingdom than you ever thought possible.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” (Col. 2:6)



I once spoke in a church on the subject of Self-Condemnation.  Before I spoke, I asked the congregation if anyone had experienced self-condemnation the preceding week. Most all raised their hand and admitted that they were in some way involved in self-condemnation. One lady even acknowledged that she was struggling with condemnation that very day.
Do you struggle with condemnation?  Are you frequently beating up on yourself, thinking you are not good enough, holy enough and worthless?  Have you been told or made to believe that you are not important? Do you have a sense of being useless or unimportant? When we choose to believe those false messages we set ourselves up for a sense of condemnation.
When I speak of condemnation, I am not referring to a sense of guilt or conviction because of unconfessed sin. Holy Spirit conviction is a good thing; it drives us to repentance and restoration of broken fellowship with our Father. 
Condemnation is defined as “the act of giving disapproval; to judge yourself unfit for use or service.”  It is a by-product of our flesh and it never comes from God.
Condemnation is one of the devil’s most effective tactics. He capitalizes on our emotional weakness and insecurity, then using little effort, he pushes us toward condemnation.  Actually, we do most of the work for him – all he does is gives us a little nudge.
Condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:1; “That there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”   When someone becomes a follower of Jesus he is no longer under the sentence of condemnation.  Matter of fact, in the next verse Paul even indicates that condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death.  In other words, there is never any room for condemnation in a believer’s life or vocabulary.  When the law of sin and death was conquered at the cross, it was replaced by “the law of life in Christ Jesus.”  To accept and even verbalize self-condemnation is to acknowledge that Jesus’ death and resurrection has no supernatural power, and leaves us without hope of victory.
The truth is, because of the resurrection, we have received a power that trumps the power of sin and death and all its by-products, such as condemnation.  Our identity is no longer tied to our performance. We are no longer a sum total of our failures but we are now an expression of the living, victorious Christ within.   His life is now our life. What defines us is Christ’s life within which is characterized as holy, righteous and victorious.  We are all these things regardless of how we perform or how we appear in other’s eyes.  That’s because our identity is not tied to our performance or emotions but to who we are in Christ.  It is important to remember;
“We are who we are by birth (spiritual birth in Christ), not by our performance.” 
That’s the reason we don’t live in the past. We can’t change or fix the past, we can only live in the now, one day at a time, trusting the living Christ within us for today. If you fixate on the past, you can never provide hope for the future. The past and all its baggage becomes your life. You are bound to repeat the past over and over again.
What’s the key to dealing with condemnation?  (1) Acknowledge that your thoughts of condemnation are sin.  Until you acknowledge that this pattern of thinking is sin, condemnation will dominate your life. Repentance of wrong thinking is just as important as repentance of wrong deeds. (2) Stop believing the lie.  Since condemnation never comes from God then its source is not trustworthy and is built on deception and lies. Condemnation is not the real you. (3) You must affirm the positive. That means practice the positive affirmation of your identity in Christ. Just as you rehearsed thoughts of condemnation, now rehearse thoughts of your identity in Christ. The power lies in verbally acknowledging the truth about who you are in Christ.  Because you act out what you think, you must practice setting your mind on truth. Why is that important? It’s because the truth is what sets you free! Setting your mind on God’s truth is a supernatural action that heals the mind of constant condemning thoughts.
You now have a choice
Picture it this way.  In the left hand you have condemnation and all its baggage.  In the right hand you have the truth of your identity. Which will you chose to believe? The left hand that promises nothing but misery and destruction, plus new negative emotions that will soon be piled on top of what is already there?  
Or will you choose the right hand which offers truth, victory and rest? This is a belief system and lifestyle that was designed and given by God himself as a gift to you.  By applying the truth of your identity you can now experience the release of “trying to measure up” to unreasonable expectations and constant thoughts of condemnation. 
God does not dwell in the land of condemnation.  He dwells in the land of rest for the weary. The more you entertain the condemnation cycle the more it will dominate your life.  Instead, enter the “rest cycle”.  There is a rest for the people of God and we enter that rest when we make a decision with our will to lay all our anxiety, all our condemnation, and all of our fear at the foot of the Cross.  Those things you bring to the cross are put to death. After you bring it to the cross then choose to believe what He says about you.  You see – it’s really about allowing the living Christ in you to be basis of your identity.(Colossians 2:10)
That reminds me of the lyrics from a song sung by Christian artist Larnelle Harris;
“It’s not in trying but in trusting
It’s not in running but in resting,
Not in wondering but in praying,
That we find the strength of the Lord.
Because of Christ,