Identity

The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)

Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.
Set. That the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.
Revealed. To take the cover off; disclose.

God’s promise

Rom 8:38-9:17 – I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

At the same time, you need to know that I carry with me at all times a huge sorrow. It’s an enormous pain deep within me, and I’m never free of it. I’m not exaggerating — Christ and the Holy Spirit are my witnesses. It’s the Israelites . . . If there were any way I could be cursed by the Messiah so they could be blessed by him, I’d do it in a minute. They’re my family. I grew up with them. They had everything going for them — family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises, to say nothing of being the race that produced the Messiah, the Christ, who is God over everything, always. Oh, yes!
Don’t suppose for a moment, though, that God’s Word has malfunctioned in some way or other. The problem goes back a long way. From the outset, not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit. It wasn’t Abraham’s sperm that gave identity here, but God’s promise. Remember how it was put: “Your family will be defined by Isaac”? That means that Israelite identity was never racially determined by sexual transmission, but it was God-determined by promise. Remember that promise, “When I come back next year at this time, Sarah will have a son”?

And that’s not the only time. To Rebecca, also, a promise was made that took priority over genetics. When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, and her babies were still innocent in the womb — incapable of good or bad — she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. God told Rebecca, “The firstborn of your twins will take second place.” Later that was turned into a stark epigram: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.”
Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. (MSG)

Let it sink in

Note your first reaction to this text. Read it again, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you. Let it move from your head, thought, judgment to your heart where God meets you in the inner sanctuary.

Ruminate upon this text so you take from it, what God wants to give to you.

Now set your thinking aside and let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans, meditations, holy words, thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are transformed from within, having a profound effect on the way we live.1

Blessed and cursed

Let’s continue to think and ruminate together on what the Lord God is saying to us in this text.

I’m absolutely convinced that absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Do you share apostle Paul’s certainty of God’s love and Jesus’ embrace? Are you familiar with Jesus’ constant and continual embrace?

Then he continues, at the same time, I carry pain deep within me.

I used to think that because I carried pain deep within me, that was an indication that there was something wrong with me and that God didn’t have mercy on me, and Jesus didn’t unconditionally love and accept me within his embrace. How relying on my thoughts and reasonings gets truth all twisted up!

Apostle Paul continues, “If there were any way I could be cursed by the Messiah so my family could be blessed by him, I’d do it in a minute.”

Are you familiar with such conflicting thoughts and emotions inside you? Absolutely convinced of God’s love and Jesus’ embrace and yet carrying pain deep within?

Apostle Paul’s pain was connected with his brothers’ pain regarding separation and rejection by the curse of the Messiah. What great love and compassion he had for them! My pain was selfish, just like apostle Paul’s brothers, due to my own misguided thinking, caught in the illusion of being separated and rejected by the Messiah.

Accursed: a religious ban; excommunicated thing or person, cutting off from communion.2

Who are we?
Do we know?
Loved. Cursed. Embraced. Excommunicated; separated, rejected.
Are we both at the same time because we are all both flesh and spirit?
And so we are aware of conflict and turbulence within and without?
But unaware of the cause until, like apostle Paul, we awake and become aware of our Messiah’s embrace, even of our deep pain?

Not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit

Flesh: meat, the body as opposed to the soul or spirit, or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or human nature with its frailties, physically or morally, and passions.3

Spirit/soul as opposed to flesh. The wind. To breathe, blow. Like the wind, invisible, immaterial and powerful.4

1 Cor 15:44 – When sown, it is an ordinary human body; when raised, it will be a body controlled by the Spirit. If there is an ordinary human body, there is also a body controlled by the Spirit. (CJB)

Sown, extending, to scatter, receive seed, draw out an ordinary human body.5
Ordinary human body controlled by what is external, human nature with its frailties and passions.

Raised, collecting one’s faculties, to waken, rouse from sleep, disease, death, obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence, a body controlled by the Spirit.6

A body controlled by the Spirit, awakened, roused from sleep, darkness, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence.

Identity.
Who are we?
Ordinary human body or a body controlled by the Spirit?

Who are we?

My family.
Israelites of the flesh.
They had everything going for them.
Family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises,
Being the race that produced the Messiah, the Christ, who is God over everything, always.

The problem:
Identity.
The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.7
Identity.
The problem goes back a long way.
From the outset, not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit.
It wasn’t Abraham’s sperm that gave identity here, but God’s promise.
Israelite identity was never racially determined by sexual transmission.
Israelite identity was God-determined by promise.
Identity
God determined
By promise.
A special assurance from God,
A promise that took priority over genetics.
A special assurance from God.
God’s purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do.
God’s purpose is a sure thing
Determined by his decision
Flowing steadily from his initiative.

Is God unfair?

Rom 9:14-16 – What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (ESV)

Identity. Do you know who you are? Are you your pain? Are you separated and rejected? Are you God’s promise, embraced by the Messiah? Which do you trust? Which occupies your thoughts and drives your emotions and imagination? Which influences the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart?

Is there injustice on God’s part?
Do/have you judged God as unjust because he does as he pleases, makes decisions based on mercy that you don’t see or agree with in your illusion of separation and rejection?

Justice. What is right.
Justice depends on God, who has mercy.
Compassion originates in God’s mercy.
Neither justice nor compassion depends on human will or exertion,
But on God, who has mercy.

Isa 65:1-2 – “I [Lord God] made myself accessible to those who didn’t ask for me, I let myself be found by those who didn’t seek me. I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’ to a nation not called by my name. I spread out my hands all day long to a rebellious people who live in a way that is not good, who follow their own inclinations; (CJB)

Who are we?
Do we ask for the Lord? Do we seek him? Do we know that he has made himself accessible to us? Do we live in a way that is not good? Do we follow our own inclinations? Ordinary human body controlled by what is external, human nature with its frailties and passions.

Isa 59:8 – The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. (ESV)

Who are we?
Do we know the way of peace?
Is there justice in our path?
Do we know peace?

Who do we identify with?
Who do we share sameness, oneness with?
Are you and I relying on human will and exertion to define ourselves, to identify ourselves with someone?

Or are we collecting our faculties, quieting ourselves, learning to hear and trust God’s promise and rely on him to reveal who we are, who we share sameness, oneness, relationship, identity with? A body controlled by the Spirit, awakened, roused from sleep, darkness, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence.

Grace, mercy, compassion

In the order of the manifestation of God’s purposes of salvation grace must go before mercy. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel.8

Grace in which the Lord God makes himself accessible to those who didn’t ask for him. Grace in which the Lord God lets himself be found by those who didn’t seek him. “Here I am! Here I am!” he calls. Listen! See! From the inner sanctuary of your heart where you encounter the still, small voice of the Lord God.

Grace, on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally…especially with reference to the divine favor or grace…in this respect there is stress on its freeness and universality, its spontaneous character, as in the case of God’s redemptive mercy, and the pleasure or joy he designs for the recipient; thus it is set in contrast with debt, with works, and with the law…On the part of the receiver, a sense of the favor bestowed, a feeling of gratitude…the effect of grace, the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise…a proof in practical effects, deeds of grace…the power and equipment for ministry…Act so that the Holy Spirit may have his way within9

Grace. God’s grace. Are you personally and intimately aware of divine favor, kindly acts given freely, spontaneously, universally that give rise to deep gratitude in you?

Mercy is God’s attitude toward those who are in distress. Mercy is the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it.8

Compassion is a feeling of distress through the ills of others…to be moved as to one’s inwards…to yearn with compassion…to suffer with another…be touched with…Christ as the High Priest…to show kindness, by beneficence, or assistance.10

Who are we?
Whose words, thoughts, and actions define us?
Are we cursed and cut off from communion?
Are we embraced by Christ Jesus our Messiah, immersed in God’s love, pleasure, joy?
Are we absolutely convinced that absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love?
At the same time, do we carry pain deep within us?
In need of grace.
In need of mercy.
In need of compassion.

Are we in a position to receive grace, mercy, compassion?
Mind, heart, body, spirit open, to be exposed and revealed?
Are we able to receive the pleasure and joy that God designs for us?

Collecting our faculties, quieting ourselves, opening
Awakening to Spirit
Like the wind, invisible, immaterial and powerful.
Humble. Receptive. Selfless. Having nothing of our own. Entirely dependent upon the Lord God.
Conscious. Aware.
The flesh
Of no value, effect, or consequence. Insignificant.
Let it go.
Promise.
Trust.

Identity

God determined
By promise
A special assurance from God
A promise that took priority over genetics.
God’s purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do.
God’s purpose is a sure thing
Determined by his decision
Flowing steadily from his initiative.

The promises of God…signifies a gift graciously bestowed, not a pledge secured by negotiation. The promise is based “upon faith and not upon the fulfillment of the Law…the covenants of the promise…all centering in Christ as the promised Messiah-Redeemer, and comprising the blessings to be bestowed through him.11

Identity
A gift graciously bestowed
Centering in Christ as the promised Messiah-Redeemer.
Promise
Based upon trust in the covenants of promise.
Promise
Of blessings to be bestowed through Christ.

Identity
The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.
The problem. The curse.
The promise.
They had everything going for them.
Identity.
The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.
The curse. Of the flesh.
The promise. Of the spirit.
Identity.
The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.
Genetics. God-determined.
Not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit.
God’s purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do,
God’s purpose is a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative.

What is God’s purpose regarding our identity?

Isa 23:9 – The Lord of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth. (ESV)

They had everything going for them
Family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises, the race that produced the Messiah.
The Lord of hosts has purposed; resolved, determined, advertised, counseled12
To defile; to wound, to dissolve, to profane a person, place or thing, break, entreat, grieve13
The pompous pride: arrogancy, excellency, majesty, pomp, swelling, ornament, haughtiness14
Of all glory: prominence; splendor as conspicuous, beautiful, goodly; to array an army against15
To dishonor: to bring into contempt; to make light, trifling, vile, curse, despise, slight16
All the honored: heavy, burdensome, severe, dull; more grievously afflict, harden17

The Lord has determined, advertised, counseled to wound, dissolve, break, entreat, grieve the arrogancy, swelling, haughtiness of all fleshly prominence and beauty, to bring into contempt, to curse all the honored of the earth; all human endeavor, success and treasures, advantages that they look to in defining their identity.

Isa 5:15-16 – Man is humbled, and each one is brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.  But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness. (ESV)

Human beings are humbled
Each one is brought low. No one is exempt from the process of discovering their identity
And in that process
The Lord of hosts is exalted in justice/judgment: a verdict, determination, discretion, right18
The Holy God shows himself holy: sacred by eminence (superiority in rank, position, character, etc.)19
Holy in righteousness: rightness, in character, conduct, strict honesty, justice, virtue20

After King Nebuchadnezzar experienced this process of identity discovery through being brought low, when he believed, when he trusted, when he saw that the Lord God is who he says he is, and does what he says he’s doing, then he exalted the Lord God:

Dan 4:37 – Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (ESV)

Identity, the righteousness that trust produces based on promise

Rom 4:13-14 – For the promise to [Abraham] and his seed that he would inherit the world did not come through legalism but through the righteousness that trust produces. For if the heirs are produced by legalism, then trust is pointless and the promise worthless. (CJB)

Promise: a divine assurance of good; to announce to engage to do something; to assert something respecting oneself. 21

Not through law, not through human will and effort.
The promise came through the righteousness that trust produces.
Righteousness: equity of character or act; fair, just, impartial, innocent, holy.22
Trust: to be convinced by argument; to assent to evidence or authority; to rely by inward certainty; have confidence; yield.23

God’s purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do. God’s promise does not come through human being’s obedience to laws and regulations. God’s purpose and promise originates and is determined by his choice and his action. Assurance of good, engaged to reveal our true identities.

Rom 4:13-16 – That famous promise God gave Abraham — that he and his children would possess the earth — was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise — and God’s promise at that — you can’t break it.

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father — that’s reading the story backwards. He is our faith father. (MSG)

The promise God gave Abraham
Was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him
Abraham then entered when he believed.
Personal trust.

The fulfillment of God’s promise
Depends entirely on trusting God and his way
And then simply embracing God and what he does.
God’s promise arrives as pure gift.

Identity
The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.7
Absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Embrace: expression of affection or desire; to accept readily; avail oneself of; to encircle; surround; enclose.24

Do we trust Jesus our Messiah’s embrace?
Have we embraced the Lord God, what he does, and how he does it so that his promise is fulfilled?
With whom are we one? Who are we exactly like?

All shall eat and worship

Ps 22:26-31 – The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous [fat, anointed, fertile] of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. (ESV)

All the ends of the earth shall remember, wake up, and turn to the Lord.
All shall eat and worship.
The Lord has done it. The Lord God is who he says he is and does what he says he’ll do! For you. For me. For everyone!

John 6:51 – “I [Christ the promised Messiah-Redeemer] am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (ESV)

The Lord has done it!

The Lord God is who he says he is and does what he says he’ll do!
The promise God gave Abraham
Was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him
Abraham then entered when he believed.
Personal trust.
Have you entered the promise?
Are you resting in what he has put together for you?
A body controlled by the Spirit.

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit. Anticipate unifying of body, mind and spirit to mirror and imitate the mind and life of Jesus. A body controlled by the Spirit.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

See with a different eye. See and experience life through the eye of grace, the grace that is being brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah-Redeemer. Trust and embrace God and his way.

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) writes:
“We are made, the scriptures of all religions assure us, in the image of God. Nothing can change that original goodness. Whatever mistakes we have made in the past, whatever problems we may have in the present, in every one of us this “uncreated spark in the soul” remains untouched, ever pure, ever perfect. Even if we try with all our might to douse or hide it, it is always ready to set our personality ablaze with light.”25

The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.
The inward nature; true substance; intrinsic, fundamental nature, essential being.

Meister Eckhart (1260-1328):
“…there is a ‘light in the soul that is uncreated and uncreatable’…this divine essence can be realized. It is not an abstraction, and it need not—Eckhart would say must not—remain hidden under the covering of our everyday personality. It can and should be discovered, so that its presence becomes a reality in daily life…this discovery is life’s real and highest goal. Our supreme purpose in life is not to make a fortune, nor to pursue pleasure, nor to write our name in history, but to discover this spark of the divine that is in our hearts.25

Be still.
It’s a paradox.
Be still.
It’s a state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
Be still.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited through neglect of the soul.
Be still.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, dying in order to experience Abundant Life.

Be still.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.
Be still.
It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.
Be still.
It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over to return to the original Life that was forfeited but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know

Know, not in the sense of accumulating and agreeing with facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Love. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship. Identity. The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike; sameness; oneness.

Be still.
It’s a process of letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction [flesh with its human frailties and passions] go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy [a body controlled by the Spirit].

Will you make your life’s highest goal to discover this spark of the divine that is in you and in everyone else, too?

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Lectio Divina as described by the 12th century Carthusian monk called Guigo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guigo_II

2Accursed: NT:331<START GREEK>a)na/qema<END GREEK> anathema (an-ath’-em-ah); from NT:394; a (religious) ban or (concretely) excommunicated (thing or person): KJV – accused, anathema, curse, great. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Flesh: NT:4561 <START GREEK>sa/rc <END GREEK> sarx (sarx); probably from the base of NT:4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [physically or morally] and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): KJV – carnal (-ly, -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Spirit: pneuma (<START GREEK>pneu=ma<END GREEK>, NT:4151) primarily denotes “the wind” (akin to pneo, “to breathe, blow”); also “breath”; then, especially “the spirit,” which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful… (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

5Sown: NT:4687 <START GREEK>spei/rw<END GREEK> speiro (spi’-ro); probably strengthened from NT:4685 (through the idea of extending); to scatter, i.e. sow (literally or figuratively): KJV – sow (-er), receive seed. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

NT:4685 <START GREEK>spa/w<END GREEK> spao (spah’-o); a primary verb; to draw: KJV – draw (out). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Raised: NT:1453 <START GREEK>e)gei/rw<END GREEK> egeiro (eg-i’-ro); probably akin to the base of NT:58 (through the idea of collecting one’s faculties); to waken (transitively or intransitively), i.e. rouse (literally, from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; or figuratively, from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

7Identity: 1 The condition or fact of being the same or exactly alike. 2 a) the condition or fact of being a specific person or thing; individuality b) the condition of being the same as a person or thing described or claimed. Webster’s New World Dictionary

8MERCY

  1. Nouns.
  2. eleos (<START GREEK>e&leo$<END GREEK>, NT:1656) “is the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it. It is used (a) of God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:4, and who has provided salvation for all men, Titus 3:5, for Jews, Luke 1:72, and Gentiles, Rom 15:9. He is merciful to those who fear him, Luke 1:50, for they also are compassed with infirmity, and He alone can succor them. Hence they are to pray boldly for mercy, Heb 4:16, and if for themselves, it is seemly that they should ask for mercy for one another, Gal 6:16; 1 Tim 1:2. When God brings His salvation to its issue at the Coming of Christ, His people will obtain His mercy, 2 Tim 1:16; Jude 21; (b) of men; for since God is merciful to them, He would have them show mercy to one another, Matt 9:13; 12:7; 23:23; Luke 10:37; James 2:13.

“Wherever the words mercy and peace are found together they occur in that order, except in Gal 6:16. Mercy is the act of God, peace is the resulting experience in the heart of man. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress.”

From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 340, 341.

“In the order of the manifestation of God’s purposes of salvation grace must go before mercy… only the forgiven may be blessed…. From this it follows that in each of the apostolic salutations where these words occur, grace precedes mercy, 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2; Titus 1:4 (in some mss.); 2 John 3 ” (Trench, Syn. Sec. xlvii).

  1. oiktirmos (<START GREEK>oi)ktimo/$<END GREEK>, NT:3628), “pity, compassion for the ills of others,” is used (a) of God, Who is “the Father of mercies,” 2 Cor 1:3; His “mercies” are the ground upon which believers are to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, as their reasonable service, Rom 12:1; under the Law he who set it at nought died without compassion, Heb 10:28; (b) of men; believers are to feel and exhibit compassions one toward another, Phil 2:1, RV “compassions,” and Col 3:12, RV “(a heart) of compassion”; in these two places the word is preceded by No. 3, rendered “tender mercies” in the former, and “a heart” in the latter, RV. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

9GRACE

  1. charis (<START GREEK>xa/ri$<END GREEK>, NT:5485) has various uses, (a) objective, that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard; it is applied, e. g., to beauty, or gracefulness of person, Luke 2:40; act, 2 Cor 8:6, or speech, Luke 4:22, RV, “words of grace” (KJV, “gracious words”); Col 4:6; (b) subjective, (1) on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally, e. g., Acts 7:10; especially with reference to the divine favor or “grace,” e. g., Acts 14:26; in this respect there is stress on its freeness and universality, its spontaneous character, as in the case of God’s redemptive mercy, and the pleasure or joy He designs for the recipient; thus it is set in contrast with debt, Rom 4:4,16, with works, 11:6, and with law, John 1:17; see also, e. g., Rom 6:14,15; Gal 5:4; (2) on the part of the receiver, a sense of the favor bestowed, a feeling of gratitude, e. g., Rom 6:17 (“thanks”); in this respect it sometimes signifies “to be thankful,” e. g., Luke 17:9 (“doth he thank the servant?” lit., “hath he thanks to”); 1 Tim 1:12; (c) in another objective sense, the effect of “grace,” the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise, whether (1) a state of “grace,” e. g., Rom 5:2; 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Peter 3:18, or (2) a proof thereof in practical effects, deeds of “grace,” e. g., 1 Cor 16:3, RV, “bounty” (KJV, “liberality”); 2 Cor 8:6,19 (in 2 Cor 9:8 it means the sum of earthly blessings); the power and equipment for ministry, e. g., Rom 1:5; 12:6; 15:15; 1 Cor 3:10; Gal 2:9; Eph 3:2,7.

To be in favor with is to find “grace” with, e. g., Acts 2:47; hence it appears in this sense at the beginning and the end of several epistles, where the writer desires “grace” from God for the readers, e. g., Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; in this respect it is connected with the imperative mood of the word chairo, “to rejoice,” a mode of greeting among Greeks, e. g., Acts 15:23; James 1:1 (marg.); 2 John 10,11, RV, “greeting” (KJV, “God speed”).

The fact that “grace” is received both from God the Father, 2 Cor 1:12, and from Christ, Gal 1:6; Rom 5:15 (where both are mentioned), is a testimony to the deity of Christ. See also 2 Thess 1:12, where the phrase “according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” is to be taken with each of the preceding clauses, “in you,” “and ye in Him.”

In James 4:6, “But He giveth more grace” (Greek, “a greater grace,” RV, marg.), the statement is to be taken in connection with the preceding verse, which contains two remonstrating, rhetorical questions, “Think ye that the Scripture speaketh in vain?” and “Doth the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) which He made to dwell in us long unto envying?” (see the RV). The implied answer to each is “it cannot be so.” Accordingly, if those who are acting so flagrantly, as if it were so, will listen to the Scripture instead of letting it speak in vain, and will act so that the Holy Spirit may have His way within, God will give even “a greater grace,” namely, all that follows from humbleness and from turning away from the world. See BENEFIT, BOUNTY, LIBERALITY, THANK.

Note: The corresponding verb charitoo, “to endue with divine favor or grace,” is used in Luke 1:28, “highly favored” (marg., “endued with grace”) and Eph 1:6, KJV, “hath made… accepted”; RV, “freely bestowed” (marg., “endued.”).

  1. euprepeia (<START GREEK>eu)pre/peia<END GREEK>, NT:2143), “comeliness, goodly appearance,” is said of the outward appearance of the flower of the grass, James 1:11.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

10COMPASSION

  1. Verbs.

 

  1. oikteiro (<START GREEK>oi)ktei/rw<END GREEK>, NT:3627), “to have pity, a feeling of distress through the ills of others,” is used of God’s compassion, Rom 9:15.

 

  1. splanchnizomai (<START GREEK>splagxni/zomai<END GREEK>, NT:4697), “to be moved as to one’s inwards (splanchna), to be moved with compassion, to yearn with compassion,” is frequently recorded of Christ towards the multitude and towards individual sufferers, Matt 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 18:27; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2; 9:22 (of the appeal of a father for a demon-possessed son); Luke 7:13; 10:33; of the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, 15:20. (Moulton and Milligan consider the verb to have been coined in the Jewish dispersion).

 

  1. sumpatheo (<START GREEK>sumpaqe/w<END GREEK>, NT:4834), “to suffer with another (sun, ‘with,’ pascho, ‘to suffer’), to be affected similarly” (Eng., “sympathy”), to have “compassion” upon, Heb 10:34, of “compassionating” those in prison, is translated “be touched with” in Heb 4:15, of Christ as the High Priest. See TOUCH.

 

  1. eleeo (<START GREEK>e)lee/w<END GREEK>, NT:1653), “to have mercy (eleos, “mercy”), to show kindness, by beneficence, or assistance,” is translated “have compassion” in Matt 18:33 (KJV); Mark 5:19 and Jude 22. See MERCY. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

11PROMISE

  1. Noun.
  2. epangelia (<START GREEK>e)paggeli/a<END GREEK>, NT:1860), primarily a law term, denoting “a summons” (epi, “upon,” angello, “to proclaim, announce”), also meant “an undertaking to do or give something, a promise.” Except in Acts 23:21 it is used only of the “promises” of God. It frequently stands for the thing “promised,” and so signifies a gift graciously bestowed, not a pledge secured by negotiation; thus, in Gal 3:14, “the promise of the Spirit” denotes “the promised Spirit”: cf. Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33 and Eph 1:13; so in Heb 9:15, “the promise of the eternal inheritance” is “the promised eternal inheritance.” On the other hand, in Acts 1:4, “the promise of the Father,” is the “promise” made by the Father.

In Gal 3:16, the plural “promises” is used because the one “promise” to Abraham was variously repeated Gen 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:18; 17:1-14; 22:15-18, and because it contained the germ of all subsequent “promises”; cf. Rom 9:4; Heb 6:12; 7:6; 8:6; 11:17; Gal 3:1 is occupied with showing that the “promise” was conditional upon faith and not upon the fulfillment of the Law. The Law was later than, and inferior to, the “promise,” and did not annul it, v. 21; cf. 4:23,28. Again, in Eph 2:12, “the covenants of the promise” does not indicate different covenants, but a covenant often renewed, all centering in Christ as the “promised” Messiah-Redeemer, and comprising the blessings to be bestowed through Him.

In 2 Cor 1:20 the plural is used of every “promise” made by God: cf. Heb 11:33; in 7:6, of special “promises” mentioned. For other applications of the word, see, e. g., Eph 6:2; 1 Tim 4:8; 2 Tim 1:1; Heb 4:1; 2 Peter 3:4,9; in 1 John 1:5 some mss. have this word, instead of angelia, “message.”

The occurrences of the word in relation to Christ and what centers in Him, may be arranged under the headings (1) the contents of the “promise,” e. g., Acts 26:6; Rom 4:20; 1 John 2:25; (2) the heirs, e. g., Rom 9:8; 15:8; Gal 3:29; Heb 11:9; (3) the conditions, e. g., Rom 4:13,14; Gal 3:14-22; Heb 10:36.

  1. epangelma (<START GREEK>e)pa/ggelma<END GREEK>, NT:1862) denotes “a promise made,” 2 Peter 1:4; 3:13.
  2. Verbs.
  3. epangello (<START GREEK>e)pagge/llw<END GREEK>, NT:1861), “to announce, proclaim,” has in the NT the two meanings “to profess” and “to promise,” each used in the middle voice; “to promise” (a) of “promises” of God, Acts 7:5; Rom 4:21; in Gal 3:19, passive voice; Titus 1:2; Heb 6:13; 10:23; 11:11; 12:26; James 1:12; 2:5; 1 John 2:25; (b) made by men, Mark 14:11; 2 Peter 2:19. See PROFESS.
  4. proepangello (<START GREEK>proepagge/llw<END GREEK>, NT:4279), in the middle voice, “to promise before” pro, and No. 1), occurs in Rom 1:2; 2 Cor 9:5. See AFOREPROMISED.
  5. homologeo (<START GREEK>o(mologe/w<END GREEK>, NT:3670), “to agree, confess,” signifies “to promise” in Matt 14:7. See CONFESS.

Note: For exomologeo in Luke 22:6, see CONSENT, No. 1.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

12Has purposed it: OT:3289 <START HEBREW>Ju^y*<END HEBREW> ya`ats (yaw-ats’); a primitive root; to advise; reflexively, to deliberate or resolve: KJV – advertise, take advise, advise (well), consult, (give, take) counsel (-lor), determine, devise, guide, purpose. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

13To defile/stain: OT:2490 <START HEBREW>ll^j*<END HEBREW> chalal (khaw-lal’); a primitive root [compare OT:2470]; properly, to bore, i.e. (by implication) to wound, to dissolve; figuratively, to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one’s word), to begin (as if by an “opening wedge”); denom. (from OT:2485) to play (the flute): KJV – begin (X men began), defile, break, defile, eat (as common things), first, gather the grape thereof, take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

OT:2470 <START HEBREW>hl*j*<END HEBREW> chalah (khaw-law’); a primitive root [compare OT:2342, OT:2470, OT:2490]; properly, to be rubbed or worn; hence (figuratively) to be weak, sick, afflicted; or (causatively) to grieve, make sick; also to stroke (in flattering), entreat: KJV – beseech, (be) diseased, (put to) grief, be grieved, (be) grievous, infirmity, intreat, lay to, put to pain, pray, make prayer, be (fall, make) sick, sore, be sorry, make suit (X supplication), woman in travail, be (become) weak, be wounded. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

14Pompous pride: OT:1347 <START HEBREW>/oaG*<END HEBREW> ga’own (gaw-ohn’); from OT:1342; the same as OT:1346: KJV – arrogancy, excellency (-lent), majesty, pomp, pride, proud, swelling.

OT:1346 <START HEBREW>hw*a&G^<END HEBREW> ga`avah (gah-av-aw’); from OT:1342; arrogance or majesty; by implication, (concretely) ornament: KJV – excellency, haughtiness, highness, pride, proudly, swelling. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

15Glory: OT:6643 <START HEBREW>yb!x=<END HEBREW> tsebiy (tseb-ee’); from OT:6638 in the sense of prominence; splendor (as conspicuous); also a gazelle (as beautiful): KJV – beautiful (-ty), glorious (-ry), goodly, pleasant, roe (-buck).

OT:6638 <START HEBREW>hb*x*<END HEBREW> tsabah (tsaw-baw’); a primitive root; to amass, i.e. grow turgid; specifically, to array an army against: KJV – fight swell. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

16Dishonor/to bring into contempt: OT:7043 <START HEBREW>ll^q*<END HEBREW> qalal (kaw-lal’); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) light, literally (swift, small, sharp, etc.) or figuratively (easy, trifling, vile, etc.): KJV – abate, make bright, bring into contempt, (ac-) curse, despise, (be) ease (-y, -ier), (be a, make, make somewhat, move, seem a, set) light (-en, -er, -ly, -ly afflict, -ly esteem, thing), slight [-ly], be swift (-er), (be, be more, make, re-) vile, whet. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

17Honored: OT:3513 <START HEBREW>db^K*<END HEBREW> kabad (kaw-bad’); or kabed (kaw-bade’); a primitive root; to be heavy, i.e. in a bad sense (burdensome, severe, dull) or in a good sense (numerous, rich, honorable; causatively, to make weighty (in the same two senses): KJV – abounding with, more grievously afflict, boast, be chargeable, be dim, glorify, be (make) glorious (things), glory, (very) great, be grievous, harden, be (make) heavy, be heavier, lay heavily, (bring to, come to, do, get, be had in) honour (self), (be) honourable (man), lade, more be laid, makeself many, nobles, prevail, promote (to honour), be rich, be (go) sore, stop. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

18Justice/judgment: OT:4941 <START HEBREW>fP*v=m!<END HEBREW> mishpat (mish-pawt’); from OT:8199; properly, a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or [participant’s] divine law, individual or collective), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, including a participant’s right or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style: KJV – adversary, ceremony, charge, crime, custom, desert, determination, discretion, disposing, due, fashion, form, to be judged, judgment, just (-ice, -ly), (manner of) law (-ful), manner, measure, (due) order, ordinance, right, sentence, usest, worthy, wrong.

OT:8199 <START HEBREW>fp^v* <END HEBREW> shaphat (shaw-fat’); a primitive root; to judge, i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish; by extension, to govern; passively, to litigate (literally or figuratively): KJV – avenge, that condemn, contend, defend, execute (judgment), (be a) judge (-ment), needs, plead, reason, rule. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

19Holy: OT:6918 <START HEBREW>vodq*<END HEBREW> qadowsh (kaw-doshe’); or qadosh (kaw-doshe’); from OT:6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary: KJV – holy (One), saint.

OT:6942 <START HEBREW>vd^q*<END HEBREW> qadash (kaw-dash’); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): KJV – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied oneself,), wholly. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Shall be sanctified: OT:6942 <START HEBREW>vd^q*<END HEBREW> qadash (kaw-dash’); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): KJV – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied oneself,), wholly. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

20In righteousness: OT:6666 <START HEBREW>hq*d*x=<END HEBREW> tsedaqah (tsed-aw-kaw’); from OT:6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): KJV – justice, moderately, right (-eous) (act, -ly, -ness). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:6663 <START HEBREW>qd^x*<END HEBREW> tsadaq (tsaw-dak’); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) right (in a moral or forensic sense): KJV – cleanse, clearself, (be, do) just (-ice, -ify, -ifyself), (be turn to) righteous (-ness). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

21Promise: NT:1860 <START GREEK>e)paggeli/a<END GREEK> epaggelia (ep-ang-el-ee’-ah); from NT:1861; an announcement (for information, assent or pledge; especially a divine assurance of good): KJV – message, promise.

NT:1861<START GREEK>e)pagge/llw<END GREEK> epaggello (ep-ang-el’-lo); from NT:1909 and the base of NT:32; to announce upon (reflexively), i.e. (by implication) to engage to do something, to assert something respecting oneself: KJV – profess, (make) promise. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

22Righteousness: NT:1343<START GREEK>dikaiosu/nh<END GREEK> dikaiosune (dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay); from NT:1342; equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification: KJV – righteousness.

NT:1342 <START GREEK>di/kaio$<END GREEK> dikaios (dik’-ah-yos); from NT:1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication, innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): KJV – just, meet, right (-eous). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

23Trust/faith: NT:4102 <START GREEK>pi/sti$<END GREEK> pistis (pis’-tis); from NT:3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: KJV – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

NT:3982 <START GREEK>pei/qw<END GREEK> peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): KJV – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

24Essence: that which makes something what it is; intrinsic, fundamental nature or most important quality; essential being. 4 a) the inward nature of anything, underlying its manifestations; true substance. Webster’s New World Dictionary

25From Richard Rohr’s daily meditation, August 15, 2019: The Perennial Tradition; An Uncreated Spark. Center for Action and Contemplation <Meditations@cac.org>

1 thought on “Identity

  1. “48. Nothing sequent to God is more precious for beings endowed with intellect, or rather is more dear to God, than perfect love; for love unites those who have been divided and is able to create a single identity of will and purpose, free from faction, among many or among all; for the property of love is to produce a single will and purpose in those who seek what pertains to it.” – Philokalia – St. Maximos the Confessor – Various texts on Theology, the Divine Economy and Virtue and Vice – p304

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