As a church leader, do you ever feel like it’s easy to become distracted from how miraculous and powerful our identity in Christ is? We rush about our duties to serve the church, but how often are we reminded to see people for who they truly are? Specifically, for who God says they are?
We can get so preoccupied with making sure the slides are ready for the sermon, the floors have been vacuumed, parents have adequate childcare, and the bathrooms are fully stocked with toilet paper (which, of course, are hold some importance) that we can unintentionally overlook the jaw-dropping, astonishing, and remarkable reality of who we all are in Christ.
To help reorient our hearts for those we lead around these truths, here are 10 reminders of who your congregation is in Christ:
1) They are forgiven.
Not only did they receive forgiveness at the point of salvation, but this forgiveness doesn’t stop there! It is an ongoing event that can never run out. Because they are still being sanctified, they will continue to need and have access to forgiveness.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14
2) They are adopted.
This means that they are elevated to a position in God’s family. Like an orphan, they previously had no rights in the family of God but once they were saved they gained access to the benefits of being in the family of God!
“He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” – Ephesians 1:5
3) They are Christ’s ambassadors.
Christ has charged believers with being His ambassadors here on earth. That means they have been charged with sharing His light with the world and representing Him. As their shepherd, teacher, and encourager you have been given the responsibility to equip them to do this work.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20
4) They are blessed.
God has blessed His people beyond measure! This is not something He is required to do but that He chooses to do! This isn’t something we have to earn or are rewarded with for good behavior. Your congregation has and is being richly blessed by their heavenly Father.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” – Ephesians 1:3
5) They are part of the body of Christ.
Just like our human bodies, the body of Christ is made up of unique parts. We have a common mission and have each been given unique talents and roles within that body. Your congregation is to come together with their unique parts to receive mutual encouragement, be made complete, and perform the work that God has for them.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27
6) They are free.
As Christians, it’s important to remember that we were set free! We are no longer held captive by sin and that comes with immense relief and freedom.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
7) They are citizens of Heaven.
As Christians, our hope is not in this life on this earth. We are but foreigners. Our true home is in Heaven and we look forward to knowing we will be there one day!
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” – Philippians 3:20
8) They are a new creation.
Your congregation is not just given a new identity when they are saved, they ARE a completely new creation. The miraculous work of the cross has made them brand new with new desires and hopes.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
9 They are a friend of Jesus.
Have you considered the weight of this? The God of the entire universe calls us friends. We are a part of His inner circle and share a bond with each other!
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15
10 They have direct access to God.
No longer do we have to go through the ritual of the Holy of Holies or rely on a priest to communicate with God for us. Because of the Holy Spirit, we can talk to God as if He was sitting right next to us. He hears His people!
“For through him we have access to the Father by one Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:18
These are just a few reminders of who your congregation is in Christ (there are, of course, much more in Scripture). As church leaders, we have been given a special responsibility to nurture and shepherd the people of God within our care. These truths should be a reminder of how important that task is that God has called us to do!
Consider how you can lead your congregation this week to remind them of these truths. How can you support them in embracing who God says they are?
Don’t forget that all of these reminders are for you too! Why not go back through the list and swap out “they” for “I” in each of these reminders?
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