the weblog of Alan Knox

They don’t know who they are

Posted by on Jan 27, 2011 in discipleship | 7 comments

They don’t know who they are

We have two dogs. And those dogs have a big problem: they don’t know who they are.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I will say that our dogs think they are humans. But, that’s one thing they get right. They know that they are dogs, and they know that being a dog is better than being human.

But, still, they don’t know who they are.

First, there’s Lucy, a border collie mix that we rescued from a local shelter. Border collies are very active outside dogs, right? Well, not Lucy. Lucy thinks that she’s an inside dog… and a lap dog on top of that. As a matter of fact, on a recent long road trip, Lucy rode in the back seat literally sitting in Miranda’s lap.

Then, there’s Aggie, our scottish terrier. While Aggie is a small dog with a nice clip, she prefers to play outside. She recently spent a week playing with a basset hound treeing squirrels.

Lucy doesn’t know that she’s a border collie, and Aggie doesn’t know that she’s a scottish terrier. Instead, Lucy thinks that she’s a toy lap dog, while Aggie thinks that she’s a hound dog.

I think alot of Christians have this same problem. No, they don’t think that they’re dogs, but they don’t know who they are.

They don’t know that they are God’s children – sons and daughters of the Creator and King of the universe.

They don’t know that they are redeemed, forgiven, and justified by their big brother and Lord Jesus Christ.

They don’t know that they are indwelled, gifted, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Or, if they do know these things, so many Christians do not live as if they truly believe these things.

Further, many Christians don’t know that they are priests, ministers, missionaries, and disciplers. It’s pretty obvious that Jesus’ followers don’t know this about themselves, because saw few function in these ways.

What do you think? Do you agree that many Christians don’t know who they are? How do we help our brothers and sisters know who they are in Christ and what the Spirit wants to do through them for the glory of God?


7 Comments

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  1. 1-27-2011

    You said “They don’t know that they are redeemed, forgiven, and justified by their big brother and Lord Jesus Christ.” which I think is a very difficult one because it is hard to believe that we ARE forgiven, as in, it is not something that needs to continually be reacquired, but it is something that is done, and all by Christ, as you mentioned. I think it is much easier to think like a Catholic or someone from the middle ages, like that you have to ask for forgiveness every time you sin or else you can’t get into Heaven. That would be incredibly scary, since you could die at any minute and what if you hadn’t asked God to forgive you had sin that you hadn’t asked forgiveness for yet? What if you couldn’t think of every sin you committed? It’s scary, but it is also hard to think in terms of a forgiveness that covers all sins in the past and the future, but thankfully we don’t have to live in fear because that is what we have in Christ.

  2. 1-27-2011

    Dan,

    You ended with, “[W]e don’t have to live in fear because that is what we have in Christ.” Exactly. So how do we help people know what they have and who they are in Christ?

    -Alan

  3. 1-27-2011

    It is necessary to reinforce the ministry of teachers, specially for the children in our churches. Sometimes, chistians hear the voice of a pastor and are able to hear their leaders, but what a true christian needs is to learn to hear the voice of Jesus through the scriptures.

  4. 1-27-2011

    I think studying the book of Ephesians was very helpful to me in considering who I am IN CHRIST. Ephesians chapter 1 describes so much of who we are in Christ. We are blessed, chosen, holy, without blame before Him, predestined to be adopted… we are accepted, redeemed, given to know wisdom and mysteries of God’s will, etc.. all IN CHRIST.

    Disciples do need to meditate on these things but I think one of the most important things is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to be continually seeking the filling of the Holy Spirit. If we emphasize this truth to our brothers and sisters, we will all be seeking to be influenced by the Spirit who will IMPRINT these truths upon our hearts and minds. It is part of the process of sanctification that we are transformed in our minds to know who we are in Christ. Therefore, I would suggest continual exhortations to spend time with God and allow God’s Spirit to change us… then we will be able to know our right place and standing in Jesus Christ our Lord.

  5. 1-27-2011

    Federico,

    Yes, we must certainly point people away from ourselves and toward Jesus Christ. How will this help people understand who they are?

    Rich,

    Ephesians is one of my favorite books. I’ve known Christians who have studied that book for years and years and years… and some of those people still struggle with who they are in Christ.

    -Alan

  6. 1-27-2011

    this is a godd thought provoking post…two quick comments. First, God see us as holy…no matter what or how we see ourselves. If we saw that same aspect in everyone we met I can assure you that we would treat each other entirely differently than we do. Secondly, we do not understand and underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling within us. Once we get that…a lot changes with us.

  7. 1-27-2011

    Mike,

    Good thoughts. Once we understand how God sees us, and we treat others differently, and we stop underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit, how do we help others take these same steps?

    -Alan