Catalyst Vineyard Church


Defined: Who God Says You Are

How do you define yourself? The more you have going for you, the more potential you have for identity problems. Here’s why: it’s easier for you to base your identity on the wrong thing.

All identity problems have the same cause and the same cure. It does not matter whether you’re going through a teen crisis, quarter-life crisis, mid-life crisis, or fourth-quarter crisis. The cause is basing your identity on the wrong thing. The cure is basing less and less of your identity on what you can do and more and more of your identity on what God has done for you.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” -Ephesians 2:10 NLT

(1) who are you?: sunday, september 27th

“Who are you really?” It’s a fundamental question we all have to answer. Our first instinct may be to respond with a name. After that we tend to share a resume of what we do or whom we are related to. Should we define ourselves by the family we were born into or even by what other people say about us? Maybe who we are goes beyond the answers to all those questions. Perhaps the answer is something deeper.

Identity is what people believe to be most true about themselves. It’s their sense of value and worth which you can look to with all the same devotion and intensity of worship, even if you do not believe in God or think of yourself as irreligious.

What are you basing your identity on? What defines you? Identity is everything. Who you are matters. In fact, it matters every day. And who God is defines your identity. Ultimately who you are is determined by whose you are: 

“I have called you by your name; you are mine.” –Isaiah 43:1b CSB

Who Are You Message Notes

(2) you are broken: Sunday, October 4th

Coming face-to-face with our brokenness can manufacture a wide variety of outcomes. We can reject the idea of our brokenness and declare our identity as a personal right or an individual choice. Or we can come to our senses and admit that we lack the ability to define and “fix” ourselves and turn to God, trusting in his design instead of our own ambitions.

Calamity or “troubles” in our lives reveal where we have placed our hope and the foundation on which we’ve built our identity. The way we respond to these troubles reveals who we are and in whom we trust. People are broken not only because the world is broken, but also because we choose broken systems and broken paths to follow in our lives.

“My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves – cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Jeremiah 2:13 CSB

You Are Broken Message Notes

(3) you are chosen: sunday, october 11th

The significance of being chosen increases with the importance of the one who is making the selection. Being selected on a pick up team for neighborhood kickball may be a big deal at the moment, but it hardly compares with being chosen to be the captain of your college athletic team. When we consider the significance of being chosen by the God that created the universe when we were still broken, every other selection should pale in comparison.

”Being chosen and defined by God changes everything. There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you.” – Mark Batterson

“For consider what he has done – before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care.”
-Ephesians 1:4 PHILLIPS

You Are Chosen Message Notes

(4) you must surrender: sunday, october 18th

For many who have chosen to follow Jesus the concept of self denial was not a part of the deal. You signed up to follow, but if surrendering one’s self-life was a part of the message it was lost in the fine print. This version of faith that lacks a surrender of one’s will is widespread in the American church and creates a culture of consumerism. Instead of approaching your faith with an attitude of of self-denial that asks, “How can I serve Jesus?” you have a consumer mentality that says, “What can Jesus do for me?” 

The invitation of Jesus is to surrender yourself in order to find your true identity and purpose in life. The American church has distorted the message of “Deny yourself” with one that sounds more like the Burger King slogan to, “Have it your way.”

“Jesus said to all of his followers, ‘If you truly desire to be my disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace my cross as your own, and surrender to my ways.”
Luke 9:23 TPT

You Must Surrender Message Notes

(5) you must declare: sunday, october 25th

Far too often we base our knowledge and understanding of who God is and how he defines us on what others tell us. Secondhand faith is not enough for your faith to rest on. Jesus understood that when he asked his closest followers who they thought he was. When these disciples responded by referencing what others were saying about him stating that, “Some say …”, Jesus turned and directed the question to what they said instead of what they had heard.

He continues to ask us the same question whose answer only God can reveal. And once we have proclaimed our faith in Jesus he shows us that it’s not enough to simply express our faith with words but we must follow our declaration with action as we place him on the throne of our heart and life.

“‘But what about you?’ he asked. “Who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’” –Matthew 16:15-16 NIV

You Must Declare Message Notes