Resisting the Devil, pt2
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
To the degree that you identify with something greater than who you know you are in Christ is the degree that you will be easily offended or misdirected.
If you identify as an American, Republican, or an Italian, if those identifications are stronger than identifying as a Christian, a son or daughter of God, then you are apt to be easily offended. Anything that crosses that path, you are going to take as an insult to your integrity as a person.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul is not talking about the natural things. There are Jews. There are Gentiles. There are males, and there are females. There are people who are free and people who are not free.
What he is addressing here is drawing your identity from Christ. When we think of ourselves, it should be first that we are a Christian.
In the context of when this was written, there was great division even in the Church among Jews and Gentiles. There were those who wanted to be Jews so badly that they started acting like Jews. (Paul addresses that in the same letter.) There were people in bondage. They were slaves, meaning they owed someone and were paying them back by servitude.
If my first identification in life is as an American (or anything else), then anything that comes against that, is where my offense will be. That is what we are seeing happening in our culture—identity politics.
Why do you think LGTB+ people are so intent on being called by particular pronouns? It’s not just semantics for them. They are looking for an identity.
It’s interesting that that identity, though, gives no security. If you don’t address them by their changed name, changed status, or confused identity, they are deeply repulsed and offended.
As believers, we have to identify with Christ. That’s just not mind over matter. That’s understanding what the Scripture says about us. As you are reading the Scriptures—Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians especially—you find “in Him” verses. In Him, I am the righteousness of God. In Him, I am secure. That’s where we get our identity. Not just from the title of being a Christian.
Galatians 3:28 is not saying that they weren’t a Jew or Gentile, bound or free, man or woman. They were those things. But Paul is saying that that is not the goal of life.
In all the biblical cultures, women were very oppressed. A woman didn’t think of herself as a person first; she thought of herself as a woman first, a lesser person. She wasn’t even allowed personhood in many cultures. Paul is dealing with that. He is telling them that they are a Christian first. Gentiles are people. Women are people. Slaves are people. When they got that, they started worshipping the same God in the same place together (Ephesians 2).
Where is your identity? Who do you identify with, and what do you identify as? The culture of this day is that if you were a Gentile, you wanted to be a Jew. Paul was saying that you don’t have to change any of those things. You can be a bound man and still be a vibrant Christian. You can be a Gentile, a woman, and still be a full disciple of Jesus Christ because your identity is not in those things but in Christ.
I’m a citizen of Heaven first, and then I’m a citizen of America. My allegiance is to the Kingdom. If I have to choose between obeying the Kingdom or an American law, I’m going to choose the Kingdom.
The devil challenged Jesus’ identity. He is going to try to get you to get your identity wrapped up in other things. Let your identity be in Jesus.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!