Here is a rough outline of the sermon for this week, to help you follow along.
I. Story from Pastor Jon's Middle School Years
A. Went through different "phases."
B. The real issue, though, was a lack of confidence in identity.
C. Christians and Churches often experience a similar problem.
II. What is our identity in Christ?
A. Too often, identity is constructed from non-biblical sources.
B. This happens when we stray from the Biblical message.
C. Paul addresses this in Phil. 3, but in a different way.
III. Paul's Accomplishments
A. Paul lists his accomplishments from his previous life, but then calls them "rubbish."
B. The Greek word for "rubbish" is more explicit.
C. Though Paul used to construct his identity based on these accomplishments, he no longer does so.
D. Paul now roots his identity in Jesus and Jesus' resurrection.
IV. The Resurrection is what gives the entire New Testament its identity.
A. The resurrection is the belief that Jesus was raised from the dead and because of that, we will be raised from the dead.
B. When Jesus went to the cross, he took sin and death with him. When he was resurrected, it marked God's victory over sin and death and suffering and pain.
C. The Resurrection is not a piece of the Christian pie - it is the pie itself.
D. The Resurrection is what gives Christians and Churches their identity.
V. Other sources for identity
A. Negative things - These don't define us.
B. Positive things also - These don't define us.
C. We are defined by the resurrection, and solely the resurrection.
VI. Pastor Jon's other phase - "Christian"
A. It is easy to be a part of the community of Christians, and it is good. But Paul pushes us to a deeper level.
B. We are to be defined by the resurrection.
C. A church that God is cultivating is defined by the resurrection.