Am I Napoleon?

If I believe that I’m Napoleon does that really make me Napoleon?

Of course not! If I go around telling people I’m Napoleon everyone knows I’m deluded and that I believe a lie about myself. The truth is the truth whether we believe it or not. I’m Jonathan Stepp, if something goes wrong with my mind and I believe something else about myself it doesn’t change the reality of who I am.

The same thing is true of the gospel.

When the Son became flesh and blood as the man Jesus Christ he made humanity new, adopting us all into the life he shares with our Dad and their Spirit (Eph. 2:14-18). This is the truth whether we believe it or not. But, like any delusion, our believing a lie about ourselves has profound consequences.

If I am mentally ill and really believe that I’m Napoleon, that delusion will eventually impair and destroy every relationship in my life.

Likewise, if I am spiritually ill and believe the lie that I am not included in Jesus and that I am not a child of the Father, that delusion will also impair and destroy my relationships. The gospel is the good news of humanity’s adoption into the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. To believe this truth about who we are in Christ, as children of the Father, transforms our lives.

No, I am not Napoleon. I am Jonathan, beloved child of my Daddy in heaven and brother of Jesus.

~ Jonathan Stepp

By the way: you may recognize this post from my old blog, Neo-Reformation. I like it so much I decided to post it again.

2 comments so far

  1. John Geerlings on

    Hi Jonathan
    A good thought provoking post!

    Satan will have us subjectively belief we are not who God says we are which means reasoning and judging others and ourselves on our behavior through the deception of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Father, Son and Holy Spirit have opened the door wide in grace and have given all humanity a different way, a truth so that we may live by the faith life of Jesus.
    He has redeemed, forgiven, made right, reconciled, accepted and sanctified (made holy) all humanity objectively in this man Jesus himself. We are all adopted and included and just need to receive what is already ours!

    So we judge a drunken derelict in the gutter and by his behavior through the knowledge of good and evil call him a drunken sinner! God says he is a child of mine who is lost in drink (substitute any other behavior) and has not yet come to know who he really is in his birthright in Jesus. We either live by the faith life of Jesus in the Spirit so that we may come to know the Father or in our own reason of delusional unbelief! It was the prodigal son who also thought the latter
    I fail to live by faith more often than I would like to admit; does that mean my identity has changed? No, it means that I sin and in this I bear my cross and daily change my mind and learn how to really live or behave as a human.

    What good news to tell our brothers and sisters in humanity that the faith life already in them sets them free!

  2. Pastor Jonathan on

    Thanks, John – your illustration of how we view the alcoholic is an excellent example of what we’re talking about. Thanks for sharing in the Spirit’s good and right thinking!

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