What DO We Believe?

Series: Such a Time as This

Link to sermon video: What DO We Believe? - L Siegle

Such a Time as This…

(Esther 4:14)


Thesis:  The Importance of our spiritual identity for ‘Such a time as this.’



1.    The title of this series is Such a Time as This. is, What do we BELIEVE?

2.    While this question sounds quite generic and open to a variety of topics, it directly relates to our personal identity--

        who we are and what we believe about who we are?

        a.    According to recent studies, the elements of “identity” is defined as:

               1)    “the collection of attributes, beliefs, and experiences that shape how an individual perceives himself, and how they are perceived by others”

                       a)    personal

                       b)    social

                       c)     cultural

               2)    These ‘aspects’ are said to be “shaped over time”

        b.    The problem with this definition is that “identity” becomes an ‘ever-moving target’ that continues in a constant

               state of ‘evolution’ and changes over the course of time.

3.    There is a contrast between Israel and the surrounding nations living around them--a profound and constant found in

        God’s covenant people, over against the confusion, tumult and turmoil that existed among the nations.

        a.    The OT book of Jeremiah catalogues the comparison between God’s “covenant people” and the people of the

               “scattered” nations--the true God, the Most High God, His might and His power and the weakness of the

               “nations” who had gone after other gods

               1)    Because Israel had allowed themselves and their identity as God’s people to become both infected and

                       affected by foolishness and practices of the surrounding nations--they were facing the judgment of God--

                       “from the north” (Jer. 10:22).

                       a)    Do not become like the “nations” (Jer. 10:1, 2)

                       b)    Do not practice the customs and practices of the “nations” (Jer. 10:3, 4)

                       c)     The “images” of the idols of the “nations” (gods) were powerless to act (Jer. 10:5)

                       d)    The “greatness” of the true God is certain (Jer. 10:6-8, 10).

               2)    The “gods” of the “nations” would be brought to nothing (Jer. 10:11, 14, 15)

4.    The identity of Israel was fully established by God Himself--no process that had to “evolve” or “be shaped over time”

        (Jer. 10:16)

5.    The “greatness” of God was long ago established, with the “dividing” of the “nations” (Deut. 32:7-12) and His


        a.    His covenant people was Israel--that was their identity in relationship with God (Deut. 4:4-10)

        b.    There was no place for the gods of the “nations” (Deut. 4:15-20)

        c.     By the time of Jeremiah, the Judah had lost their sense of identity and had gone after the gods of the “nations”

               (Jer. 10:21-25).


1.    The religious world around us has likewise experienced an “identity crisis” or disturbance (as the preferred term

        among psychologists today).

        a.    The apostle Paul warned believers not to allow the world to ‘squeeze’ them into its mold (Rom 12:1, 2).

        b.    The “identity” of the church (corporately) and of Christians (individually) is not defined by characteristics that are

               somehow “shaped over time” -- whatever the latest and greatest ‘fad’ happens to be.

               1)    Not about the largest building in the neighborhood.

               2)    Not about attracting the largest crowd of people--gimmicks, promotions.

               3)    Not about having a preacher who “performs” and “entertains” each week.

               4)    Not about “programs” and “hype” or “social media”

        c.     The “nations” around Israel could hold up the “representation” of their gods (the idols) and tell Israel “look at us”

               and “see what our gods look like”

2.    The “wooden idol” as the representation of the gods was a “worthless doctrine” (Jer. 10:8)

3.    The reality of identity is not found within the heart of a person (Jer. 10:23; 17:9, 10)


1.    God has equipped His children today with everything we need to live a life of spiritual peace and abundance (John

        10:10; II Pet. 1:3-9).

2.    Jesus promised His people would know the truth (John 8:31, 32).

3.    Jesus promised His people would know they have eternal life (I John 5:12, 13, 20, 21).


1.    The dangers that Old Covenant Israel faced in their world, at their time, remain the same for God’s people living today

        (I John 5:21)

2.    Our identity is rooted in what we believe and what we know about what we believe in our personal stance with God.

        a.    Churches today are “adjusting” their doctrines and practices to accommodate what is considered ‘appropriate’

               and ‘acceptable’ by the world, the time, and the culture in which we find ourselves today.

        b.    Whether we have five people here or 500, the issue is never about ‘how close’ can we become in our teachings

               and practices to the others around us--but rather, “where is the heart of God?” in what is going on in our society


        c.     There must remain the determination to be what God has called us to be (Josh. 24:14-21).

3.    Who are we and what do we believe about who we are?

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