When you get right down to it, people say what they say about themselves and are sensitive about some things and not others because these are issues involving identity—and one’s identity is a very important matter. Identity is a critical topic to consider as it tends to have a much greater effect on us—on our attitude and how we process life—than we might realize.
Our identity will be the focus of our consideration. Let us pray to the Lord not only for understanding about this, but also for a right application of this tremendously important matter in our life. The texts we will focus on are Romans 7:17, 20 where Paul writes, “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
We’ve often heard that we should live our lives according to Scripture; we are to live to the honor and glory of God. How do we really do that? How do we go from reading our Bibles—the histories, the Psalms, the Gospels, the letters, the wisdom books—to actually weaving it into decisions we make, attitudes we have, and words we speak? Or to put it more simply still, how do we go from the world of Scripture to the everyday lives we actually live? How does the history of Samson relate to my situation today? What about the letters to the seven churches in Revelation? And how do I connect the Proverbs I’m reading with decisions I need to make in my family, in my business, or in my studies? Most Christians have a difficult time doing this, except perhaps for the most obvious commands and prohibitions.
As important as such questions are, there is one matter we need to consider first. We don’t undertake a task before discovering what we have at our disposal that would enable or assist us in doing that task. So before we consider how to go about translating Scripture into holy living, it would be good to start by seeing what God has given us to work with and how He has equipped us to actually do this important work called holiness. He has given us His Word to guide us, but He has given us so much more. It is important to know what this provision includes in order to be motivated and encouraged to pursue godliness with our whole heart. We will undertake this chiefly by taking a good hard look at our identity.