She said that at Wednesday's Bible study, the pastor said that we should not identify ourselves by our sin: "It is lying to yourself to identify yourself by your sin. You are not your sin. You are not your sin. It is a Satanic distraction to identify yourself by your sin. You are made in God's image" and that even though we have all rebelled against God and fell into slavery of sin, His Holy Spirit can work a miracle. The Spirit's work is real, it is affective, and it is to the glory of God to redeem a people for Himself. "It is stunning to hear of God's work in a life," the pastor said.
How do I identify myself by my sin now?
How could I have in the past?
Can you guess which of these the Holy Spirit has overcome? Can you guess which I still struggle with?
Can you believe that these statements accurately describe the sinfulness of my heart at one time or another?
"I'm a perfectionist. I look down on others. I'm timid. I'm addicted to history and afraid of the present. I'm attracted to magic and foreign religions. I idolize certain people. I'm depressed. My daydreams and writings are filled with violence. I'm proud. I compare myself to others. I'm unsatisfied. I'm angry. I'm a hypocrite."
And [Jesus] said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." Mark 7:21-22
These are at the very heart of me - yet "I am not my sin." How can I make sense of that? "Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.'" Just before this, Jesus had "said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" John 8:31-32, 34
God provides the opportunity for all to receive forgiveness and cleansing of sin through repentance toward God and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Mark 1:14-15, 1 John 1:8-9). "For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..." Romans 3:22-24 "I have been crucified with Christ; 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 gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Galatians 2:20-21
So who am I? "You are more than the choices that you've made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You've been remade." (You Are More by Tenth Avenue North)
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27