Monday, January 10, 2011

Claiming My Birthright


I've been reading (and am almost finished with) "The Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley. It's a seriously amazing book, and I strongly suggest each and every one of you get it and read it as soon as possible, because it will totally change your outlook on what salvation means, and what your birthright as a believer is. And that's what this post is about!

I'm going to point out some particularly outstanding things I noticed, so I don't give you a summary of the whole book. (Actually, right now, before you read this, you might want to go out and buy the book, read it, then come and see what I'm talking about. There can be spoilers about nonfiction books, too. :P)

One of the things he talks about in there is just how we identify ourselves as believers. If you look at Acts (which I'm reading at the moment, by the way), saved believers are always referred to as "saints." But Farley talks about how modern Christians are basically afraid to be identified as "saints," mostly (in my opinion) because of the Catholic Church's qualifications that have to be met before one can be labeled a "saint." But that's just my opinion. :P The point is, in any case, that from the get-go, we refuse to be identified as what we are- saints of God, marked to stand next to his Son, to rule over the world! We are "more than conquerors" but we refuse to be labeled as such!

Farley also talks about the belief that Christians (saved believers) still have a mysterious "old man" hanging around them after they get saved. Even though Paul specifically states in Romans that the "old man" is dead, died on the cross with Jesus, and we were resurrected as new creatures in Christ, some circles still insist upon believing we have some of that old nature left in us. Farley challenges his readers to realize that we have been set free from the nature of sin that once enslaved us. Now, the only thing that makes us sin is our physical body's selfish and excessive wants and desires.

I have to say that, seeing all this conveyed so eloquently has really changed my thoughts on some things. While I was already heading in this direction, knowing that Christ took care of it all, it was difficult for me to know how to claim it, to look to Biblical evidence and say "Yes, here is how I know such-and-such." And now I know. :))

I'm claiming my birthright as a child of God. I have been set free from my bondage. I am a saint of God, ordained to be His for eternity. Jesus Christ's work on the cross paid the penalty for my sin and made it so I could go to heaven. His resurrection prepared the way for me to have a new life in Him, right now, here on earth.

As Josh Hamilton said in his song "The Anthem" (which is, by the way, not a song I would ordinarily like, but Chelsea made me listen to it, and I love the message of the words):

I am royalty
I have destiny
I have been set free
I'm gonna' change the world!

I am a child of God, a royal of the highest order. I have a destiny through Him, because of Him. I have been set free of every bond and chain that was on me as a child of this world. And now, there's nothing to keep me from going and changing the world.

So, to close: go read The Naked Gospel. It'll rock your world. And then come tell me about it. If you've already read it, give me thoughts. I like thoughts. :))

Let's go change the world.


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