When you are united with Jesus by faith in his finished work on the cross, the Bible tells us that you are now God’s son or daughter.
“God sent forth his Son…that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal. 4:4-7).
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
And because you are a child of God, God is also speaking to you the words he pronounced at Jesus’ baptism, “You are my son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.”
Well pleased? Really? You have fallen to temptations innumerable times. You felt you have displeased him in so many ways. But don’t think he loves you less when you fail, that he’s irritated at your shortcomings, that he’s becoming impatient with your slowly growing faith. No, he is still telling you, “Whatever you have done my child, I love you and I will continue loving you. You are not an illegitimate child, you are not a prodigal son. You are loved. You did not do anything to earn that love. But my Son and your Savior Jesus earned that love for you.”
This truth brings a lot of freedom in my life. It takes the pressure off me. Because of Christ, it is not what I do or what I don’t do that will define me. There is no longer a burden for me to perform and please other people as a husband to my wife, a father to our two children, a pastor of our church or as a seminary professor.
My identity is secured in Jesus. I am free. I don’t have to prove anything to God or to anyone else.
This is an excerpt from part 4 of the sermon series The Story of Jesus based on the story of Luke 3:1-38. I encourage you to listen to this sermon. You can also read and download this sermon. I also urge you to share this message to your friends.
Listen to sermon… Before listening to the sermon, take time to listen first to the audio of Luke 3 here.
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