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A New Identity, Team & Family

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NKJV)

There is this television show called Survivor, where contestants are isolated in the wilderness and they compete to see who can outwit, outplay, and outlast all the other contestants. The show uses a system of progressive elimination, allowing the contestants to vote off other team members until only one final contestant remains and wins the title of "Sole Survivor."

At the beginning of the show they will select contestants and they will usually divide them into two teams. Each team is given a buff to wear, identifying them to their respective team. Every three days they compete in a unique challenge, resulting in one contestant from the losing team being voted out of their team.

As the teams begin to dwindle in numbers the host of the show will gather the remnants of the two teams together to meet, and he will say, “Drop your buffs, you are now merging and will become a new team. Your identity is no longer in your old team.”

When I think about it, God does this for us once we have asked for forgiveness and professed Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.  Metaphorically speaking, God says, “Drop your buffs, your identity is no longer in your past, you are part of My team now—your identity is in my Son Jesus.”

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

I’ve noticed the people on the show don’t always accept their new identity. In fact, there are some who actually fight it. Oh, sure, they might smile at their new family team members and tell them “I’m so happy to be a part of a new team,” but deep down inside they’re really not all that happy. The problem starts as they focus on their past actions and relationships with their old teammates. Instead of focusing on the future, they will often resort to trying to pay someone back for something done to them. It may be a new team, but still they’re battling the old habits and nature.  

I see this same thing play out in the lives of believers at times. They will give their life to God and become a part of His family (new team), and yet they won’t let the past be the past. Some will put on the new happy face, but deep within their heart there is a bitter resentment for the past.  Some choose not to forgive others, or to show mercy. Some will simply refuse to embrace the fact they are a new Creation in Christ Jesus—they’re free to live differently and embrace their new identity (Rom. 6:1-14).

The way I see it, we have a choice every day we wake up. We can identify with our new nature and team, or we can choose to identify with our old nature and therefore do what we feel like doing, rather than doing those things pleasing to God.

…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about being on our new team with God according to Ephesians 4:22-24?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you putting off those evil attributes of your former team?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord daily each morning and ask for His protective armor to be placed on you (Eph. 6:12-18), and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Make a conscious commitment to walk in obedience to God’s Word, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for bringing me into Your team —into Your family, and for giving me a new identity. Help me to share Your love with others today. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to be like Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000