Archive for September 28th, 2021

You Be You!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

You Be You

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

“You Be You” This phrase is often quoted by Facebook prophets, preachers, and self proclaimed experts of self help virtue. This phrase is often used to embolden people to reject anyone else’s judgment and boldly and publically embrace their own choice, expression and even sexual identity. But wait??!!? What does the Bible say about our personal identity?

This is actually the subject of Jonah 1:1-9. Jonah was a prophet. He didn’t want to be a prophet. God called him to a people he hated. He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to be a prophet. He ran away from who he was. Just because Jonah was upset with who he was did not change who he was. So while God called him north, he ran south and sailed *souther*… So God followed him and sent a storm. The pegan sailors knew that some god was mad and they cast lots to figure out whose god was mad and the lot fell on Jonah. Immediately they wanted to know who he was… what was his identity.

Jonah 1:7–8 KJV

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

Hmm. What was Jonah going to do? It was at that point Jonah began to come face to face with his identity. He was not his own. He had to embrace the fact that as a believer he was not his own. His identity belonged to the One he served.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Luke 9:23 KJV

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

We must first embrace our own old identity, as Jesus said, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself . . . “ We must embrace it and deny it, then by faith accept our spiritual identity in Jesus Christ. The analogy is given, for purposes of illustrating, of a fifteen year old, unmarried and pregnant girl. Abortion is not an option and the girl has made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Should she see the baby prior to giving it up or not. One might suggest it would be easier to have the baby and leave the hospital without have seen him and avoid the trauma of separation. That would seem easier, but would she have faced the reality of the situation?

Did you ever try to give away something you never had? Without seeing the baby, there’s a sense of unreality about the situation. Of course, she’s carried the baby in her womb, but there’s a difference between that and holding the baby and owning him. Once the young mother has held the baby and owned and loved him for a day or so, and then given him to the adoptive parents, the reality hits with full force. Then it’s possible to go through the grief process, the separation anxiety or whatever sense of loss the mother experiences.

My point is, when it comes to our humanly achieved identity, each of us needs to ask the question, “Have I owned my ‘baby,’ or is there still a sense of unreality about the identity out of which I live?” For us to accept our new identity in Jesus Christ, each of us must define our humanly achieved or fleshly, worldly identity and look it squarely to understand what we must lose if we are to live out of our true identity in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must “lose our baby,” which has been in the formation stage for a lifetime, if we’re to know the joy and blessing of our new identity as accepted and dearly loved children of God in Christ.

I’ve “owned my baby,” the identity I’ve held of positive performance-based acceptance, of being a good pastor, of performing well as the preacher and receiving the acceptance I get from “a job well done” or “a great sermon,” that handshake of affirmation at the back door, of pleasing other people which is all a part of my past identity. I own it and I’ve given it up and I receive the identity of Jesus Christ.

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So as Jonah came face to face with his sin, he had to embrace his identity as a believer. Tonight as we dig into this powerful story. Let us realize that as believers we are not our own. We have a new identity. Only then can we live out the Facebook admonition, You Be You.

Jonah 1:9 KJV

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Jonah’s flight is stopped by the questions from the heathen crewmen. He hears them, and in so doing shows the first indication of overcoming the human impulse to hide. He is no longer simply one of the crowd. Jonah’s hopes for anonymity were dashed by the hopes of the sailors to identify the cause of the storm.

Now his claim is open to being challenged by the pagans. They were in no doubt that the gods were capable of rescuing them if only they could find the right key, that is, the right god, and the cause of the storm. In putting Jonah on the spot, the pagan sailors were putting his God on the spot. It is they who force the issue. Jonah appears to have been happy to let the storm do its worst, but the pagans will not accept this and Jonah, in extremis, is forced to declare himself as one who ‘fears’ the Lord. His claim will now be put to the test.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 102.

I Am One Of The Chosen

A Hebrew

Genesis 24:7 KJV

The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

“I am an Hebrew”—that meant a lot. The Hebrews were known to be monotheistic; that is, they worshiped one God, never an idol. They had no other gods before them but worshiped the God who is the Creator.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophets (Jonah/Micah), electronic ed., vol. 29 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 29.

I am a New Creature 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I Belong to the Savior

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I Fear The Lord

Fear – Worship

In one sense the prophet ignores the question concerning his occupation. He does not say that God has given him the task of going to Nineveh; he is escaping still from his vocation. Yet in another sense he has stated it by saying that he ‘fears the Lord’. In one sense he does fear the Lord, for he is an Israelite, one of God’s covenant people. Yet again he does not fear the Lord, for he is running away from him. He also overlooks the question about where he is from; only the reader listening in at this point knows that he comes from the presence of the Lord.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 101.

The LORD – Jehovah

Jonah had not been asked about his religion, but he volunteers the information that he is a worshiper of (or “one who fears” rsv) Yahweh, the maker of sea and land. Smith-Goodspeed has “I stand in awe of the LORD.” The combination of the two parts of his answer may be taken in either of two ways: (1) since he is a Hebrew, he must therefore be a worshiper of Yahweh, or (2) he is a Hebrew, and in the restrictive sense, one of those who worships Yahweh. The first of these two is more likely. Yahweh is the personal name of the God of Israel, and is generally represented in English translations by “the LORD.” (jb is an exception in this respect). “The LORD” is a title, whereas Yahweh is a name, which might seem to favor using a name approximating in sound to Yahweh in a modern translation

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 61–62.

If, however, one is to employ the expression “Lord,” it is important to combine features of importance and control, that is to say, a term should suggest that the person involved is a very important individual and that in some senses he governs or controls individuals who address him as “Lord.” An equivalent in some languages is simply “ruler”; in other cases, “master”; and there are some situations in which the closest equivalent indigenous term is “leader.” More frequently, however, the equivalent expression is “chief.”1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

 • Not man

 • Not another god

 • Not the devil

Exodus 3:13–14 KJV

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I Fear The God of Heaven

In apposition to the name Yahweh, which is placed in an emphatic position, is the descriptive title God of heaven. This title occurs mainly in late books of the Old Testament, but also in Genesis 24:3, 7. Heaven is the dwelling-place of God, but this expression God of heaven also suggests the supremacy of Israel’s God over all rivals. As God of heaven, he is also concerned with the earth, since he made the sea and the dry land (the Hebrew order here, as against tev), which makes up its surface (Gen 1:9, 10), and hence controls the storms. The writer leaves us to infer the lack of logic in Jonah’s position; how could he hope to escape such a God by traveling westwards?1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

The Creator

Psalm 115:15 KJV

Ye are blessed of the LORD Which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 146:6 KJV

Which made heaven, and earth, The sea, and all that therein is: Which keepeth truth for ever:

Nowhere To Hide

Psalm 139:7–10 KJV

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 

Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.

He Is All Powerful

2 Chronicles 36:23 KJV

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

He Is Merciful

Psalm 136:23 KJV

Who remembered us in our low estate: For his mercy endureth for ever:

If you are born again, you are not who you once were!

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Rather than hiding from or fighting who God is transforming you to be, embrace who you have become and YOU BE YOU!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:52 PM September 28, 2021.

Hey There Friend!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Do you have a Bible question you would like to ask, but don’t know who you could ask that would not judge you or thunder down an avalanche of opinion, bluff and bluster? Join Pastor Don tonight and every Tuesday night at 9:00 Eastern for Bible Answers on FB Live. We answer your Bible questions and discuss topics that you want to talk about. Please pass this on to your friends! What do you want to talk about? Click this link to our live feed Tuesdays at 9:00. facebook.com/BibleAnswersCT