Sermon: Who Do You Belong To?
Scripture: Galatians 3:26-28
ICE BREAKER: Who was your first best friend and what made your friendship special?
This week, we continued our investigation into Identity by looking at the issue of BELONGING. Belonging is a psychological need! Humans find confidence, stability, nurture, and so much more from knowing they have a real connection to other people.
A lack of belonging has devastating consequences. Anxiety, Depression, Drug-Use, Hopelessness, and more all stem from a lack of connection to others.
The connection to other people is what we build our life on. The appreciation of our parents, the respect of our peers, the affection of significant others, the relief of close friends - all of these help us build up who we are. However, those same connections that build us up, often end up knocking us down! You live long enough and realize that nothing is guaranteed! You can belong one minute and be completely ALONE the next. And YET, the deep, real need for belonging never goes away.
At a deeper level, we all have a craving for spiritual belonging that can not be filled by the people around us. We learned this week that we aren’t meant to just find belonging to build on, we are meant to find a connection that we can cement our identity IN.
The Apostle Paul had one of the craziest turn arounds in history. He went from persecuting the Church, to being the unofficial leader of it! By making this change he destroyed every connection he had built his life on. However, Paul never wavered on his identity. Every time he talked about it, he used the same two words - his new identity was:
In Galatians 3, we see three aspects of what it means to cement your identity IN CHRIST.
YOU BELONG TO GOD THE FATHER
YOUR SINS ARE COMPLETELY COVERED & YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE SET FREE
The deepest longing of our soul is to Belong and our ultimate belonging is found in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we are IN CHRIST, God looks at us and sees us through the perfection of Jesus. When our identity is solidly rooted IN CHRIST, nothing in this world can shake that foundation.
Jesus will never leave us like people are prone to do in this world. He will never lie to us, or mislead us, or be selfish, or manipulate us! This frees us to take the pressure OFF of our earthly relationships. You no longer have to use the people around you to try and build your life on. Your life is now IN CHRIST.
Rooting your belonging IN CHRIST instead of ON OTHERS is a huge shift in how you see yourself and the relationships you are in. In a fundamental sense, you probably root a lot of your identity ON the connections you have with others. Making this change will take daily, intentional effort.
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTIONS:
Where do you find belonging in life?
What relationship in your life, if it ended, would cause you to not know who you are?
What is ONE WAY you can intentionally work to recognize that you are IN CHRIST this week?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the connections you have been building your life on. Really seek to understand the pressure you are putting on your relationships that is not necessary if you understand the security you have IN CHRIST. Ask Jesus to help you see what IN CHRIST means more and more daily. Pray for courage to walk out the fullness of your identity as God's child.