Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. He is the author of sixteen books.
Keep in mind, these are raw. I’ll be summarizing and organizing my thoughts over at ChurchMag at a later time. Meanwhile, here’s what I gathered from session one:
Identity. Who do we think we are?
For the next hour allow me to just be your pastor.
Your identity is in a constant state of chaos, change, and influence.
To understand who we are we go back to scripture. Genesis 1
God made us in his likeness– that’s our statement of identity.
Much of our identity crisis comes when we think we’re closer to God than we are, or closer than animals.
We were made in the image and likeness of God.
We’re made as worshippers.
- Watch a college football game.
- The reason we worship is because we’re made in the image and likeness of God.
What we see in Genesis 3 is our depravity.
Sometimes we can be so familiar with a scripture that it ceases to amaze us.
When the serpent deceives Adam and Eve, he uses our identity.
Identity is received, not achieved.
The world wants our identity to be achieved, rather than received.
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…”
The lie is that our identity can be achieved through works.
The essence of our identity crisis is idolatry.
As worshipers we no longer worship the creator, we worship created things.
When our identity is in our idolatry we tend to be blind.
I.D.O.L.S. – An acrostic for our identity crisis
The fruit is consumerism, but the root is idolatry. Consumerism is an idolatry issue and ultimately an identity issue.
Competitive consumption – they have it, I have to get it.
- If it’s fall, the new fashion line is out and we have to keep up with it.
- Fuels debt. Fuels coveting.
Always check your motives.
- Is this for the glory of God?
- Or is is to gain identity?
Identity made by what we do.
Things are rarely evil– it’s usually a good thing put in the wrong place.
Good things can become god-things, which is a bad thing.
L [I didn’t catch what the “L” stands for]
People begin to idolize people.
“The fear of man is a trap…”
When we idolize people we invariably demonize as well.
- You handed them Jesus’ resume– they’re doomed to fail.
- They will disappoint you.
When you idolize something, you automatically demonize something else.
- People idolize their race, therefore they automatically demonize another race.
- People idolize gender, thereby demonizing the other gender.
- People idolize political affiliation, and demonize all others.
- People idolize their culture, and demonize others.
For some people identity is always something that is pursued. They never enjoy it.
People place their identity in their suffering.
- They believe they are defined by the pain they endure.
People respond violently, passionately when their idols are threatened.
Follow your emotions
- What gets you most excited?
- What are you most fearful of?
- What gets you angry?
“I don’t want you to just be fruitful, I want you to be holy.”
I want what you do to be a result of who you are.
- I don’t what who you are to be defined by what you do.
2 kinds of people– those who are in Adam, and those who are in Christ.
- Your identity is either in Adam or in Christ
- The first Adam substituted himself for God, the last Adam was God substituting himself for man.
If your identity is in Christ, that means its unshakeable.
- It’s not that it is crisis and hardship free
- It means it is crisis and hardship-proof
Dear Calvinist friends, I agree with you, except for where you’re wrong.
Dear Calvinist friends, how would you explain to your people who they are?
- Total depravity – not true for those in Christ. True for those who are in Adam.
It’s a disservice to the glory of God to establish people’s identity (who are in Christ) in their depravity.
[Mark got really fired up about that one. I was a little scared, I’ll be honest.]
The way God establishes the identity of his people is in Christ.
How many of you would put “Saint” on their resume?
Sin may be their activity, it’s not their identity if they’re in Christ.
- It may describe what you do, it doesn’t define who you are.
Don’t beat people up, Jesus was already beat up for sin. You don’t need to add to the beating.
- God doesn’t want to beat us up by reminding us who we were in Adam.
- God wants us to be who we are in Christ through repentance.
Do you believe you are a saint?
- Your hope is in Christ.
- Your grace in in Christ.
- If you are in Christ, God sees you as a saint.
- You’re not totally new, but you’re genuinely new.
We don’t work for our identity, we work from it in Christ.
You are not your performance. Jesus is your perfection.
You’re not defined by what’s been done to you. You’re defined by what Jesus has done for you.
Dear friend, God cannot love you any more and he will not love you less.
At this point Mark began to pray over everyone. I was almost in tears because I felt how desperately he wanted people to understand that their identity was in Christ and not in what the world wants them to have it in. Usually people are in tears at the end of Marks messages because he’s been yelling at them or telling them how terrible they are as people (and I mean that in the best possible way). This one was very different. Nothing but encouragement.
What stood out most to you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.