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Who Are You?

Devotional 2.7.24

“Who Are You?” 

Dear Faith Family, 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age, (Matthew 28:19-20). 

“You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”  Kathryn Stockett penned those words fifteen years ago in her novel.  You may have heard those words watching a movie with the same name, “The Help”.  Aibileen Clark spoke those words of identity to a child, Mae Mobley, she was helping to raise.  Aibileen was telling her, not what to do, but who she was. 

The point?  Consider Jesus’ last words in Matthew’s Gospel.  His command?  Make disciples.  His resources?  The power and presence of Jesus, Himself.  His plan?  Baptism and instruction.  And that plan has captured my attention.  In a conversation with a friend this morning it occurred to me that Jesus unpacked His plan with baptism first and instruction second.  Here's the thing, I don’t think those two steps are in random order. 

Baptism has to do with our identity in Christ.  He visually identifies us in Him.  Baptism puts the work of Jesus on display.  Discipleship doesn’t occur in an individual vacuum.  Instead, it happens in relationship.  Discipleship begins with a new identity – in Christ.  And identity determines practice.  Who we are regulates what we do. 

Therefore, instruction to obedience follows our identity in Christ.  Kind of futile to teach obedience to someone who is not in Christ, right?  On the other hand, if we would see ourselves in Christ, obedience to Christ would be the desire of who we are.  In other words, what we do doesn’t make us who we are.  But who we are does determine what we do. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come, (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Unfortunately, we often forget who we are.  Baptism is that visual reminder of our identity.  Jesus is our identity.  We are in Christ.  Let that sink in for a moment!  When you are identified in Christ don’t you want to know what He wants?  Don’t you want to look like Him?  Don’t you want to practice what He preached? 

Disciple, you is in Jesus!  Practice it and pass it on, 
Pastor Karl