Cedarville Magazine, Fall 2023

FINDING OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST The following is an excerpt from an August 23, 2023, Fall Bible Conference presentation by Corey Abney ’98. Listen to his full message at cedarville.edu/AbneyAug23. Do you ever find yourself going to the trophy box and pulling out some things to help prop up your self-esteem, your identity, your self-worth? I’m still trying to tether my identity at times to things that are so shallow and superficial it must make the Lord sick to His stomach. But even with the grace of God fully manifested in my life, the old man is always running back to the trophy box. You want to live the life that can balance achievement and performance with a relationship with your Savior. He frees you to live life to the fullest, and He gives you an identity that you could never earn on your own. Tether your identity to what you’ve received, not what you’ve achieved. We don’t ever have to question who we are, whose we are, and whether or not we have value. We do. In Philippians 3, Paul says, “Everything that was gain to me, I’ve considered to be lost because of Christ. And more than that, I also consider everything to be lost in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. And because of Him, I have suffered the loss of all things, and I consider them as dung so that I might gain Christ and be found in Him.” When you receive salvation from Jesus, you get His righteousness, and the Father’s love and full acceptance rest on you. Even in the good things you do and the good things you have, you ought not rejoice in them, but in the fact that your name is written in Heaven. Do you believe that your identity, value, and worth in Christ are so profound that you will serve Him wherever He calls you, you will honor Him whatever your circumstances, and you will do whatever He requires of you to bring glory to Him throughout all the days of your life? Paul says when you get the power of His resurrection, you also get the fellowship of His sufferings. It’s through the fellowship of His sufferings that our hearts are tethered to Him and not our stuff. You can be doing everything right and still suffer for Jesus. You can be the best at what you do and still encounter some very hard moments in life. Do you want to know what the Gospel is? “Jesus, I so love You, treasure You, value You, who You are, what You’ve done, that if this is Your will for my life, I will stick with the trouble so that I can have You.” Lean into the person and power of Jesus, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings; love Him, long for Him, serve Him, and do whatever He wants to do in your life, whether it’s large or small. You will always have what you need and be effective in what you do. Corey Abney '98 is Lead Pastor at Bell Shoals Church in Tampa, Florida, and a member of the Cedarville University Board of Trustees. CELEBRATING 70 YEARS OF DAILY CHAPEL When ownership of Cedarville College was transferred to the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland in 1952, that following fall semester in 1953 marked the beginning of required daily chapel for all students and faculty. Prior to 1953, chapel was held only once a week. On Tuesday night of Fall Bible Conference, students came forward professing faith in Christ and confessing sin. CHAPEL NOTES 26