On Sunday, I shared how we can consistently see through our sin to our “identity of the moment” (Know your Sin), put that false identity to death (Fight your Sin), and turn to Christ for life and joy (Trust your Savior). Here are three easy steps to fight for true joy in Christ!
1. Know Your Sin: Look for the sinful patterns in your life and trace them to “identity of the moment” that you are looking to for worth, meaning (good pastor, faithful parent, creative person, successful entrepreneur). For instance, your sin could be sulking and your false identity could be victim. Acts 29 has recently posted some helpful “X-ray Questions” from David Powlison, which help us see through our sin to our misplaced sense of identity.
- Identify sinful patterns
- Trace patterns to your “identity of the moment”
2. Fight Your Sin. Once you know your sin/identity issue, you can begin to fight it. There are two primary ways God calls us to fight our sin. First, confess your sin to God and ask for his forgiveness for your God-belittling desires and decisions (1 John 1:9). Follow your confession to God with confession to community so you can experience healing and encouragement of the church (James 5:16). Second, encourage one another to take sin seriously, to “put sin to death” (Rom 8:13; Col 3:5). Don’t let identity-twisting sin just roll off your back. Get tenacious about glorifying and enjoying God!
- Confess your sin (to God and one another)
- Get serious about fighting for true joy
3. Trust Your Savior. Trusting our Savior for gospel identity instead of an identity-of-the-moment is the most difficult and important part of being a disciple. Robert Murray McCheyene said: “For every look at sin, look ten times at Christ.” How does Christ offer you a better identity than the false identity? My sin was sulking and my identity was victim. 2 Peter 1:3 reminds me that my identity is godly, a partaker of the divine nature. I was sulking in ungodliness because I thought I deserved better circumstances. I felt weak. Peter reminds us that we have “divine power granted to us for life and godliness.” This scripture reminded me of my identity—godly—but it does not stop there. It also offers us a Savior to trust, a counter-promise of divine power necessary to live a godly life, not a sulking life. What a relief! Our identity is godly, and our promise is divine power!
- Find your Gospel counter-Identity
- Trust your Biblical Promise
We’ve outlined these basic principles are in Fight Clubs: Gospel-centered Discipleship, a community-based, gospel-centered approach to following Jesus. Pick up a copy, find some friends, and start fighting for true joy!