Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | December 21, 2008

Am I Napoleon?

If I believe that I’m Napoleon does that really make me Napoleon? Of couse 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 destory 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 good news we celebrate at Christmas 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.



  1. Well said Jonathan. It’s about *identity* isn’t it?

    By grace, through Jesus, all people have been adopted by God and are his *dearly loved children*. This is our true identity.

    But not all know it. In fact most live out of other identities – all false and Satan inspired. There are many such false identities, Napoleonic fixations included.

    Identity is core to John’s thought in 1John. There he compares the behavior of *children of God* (believers who embrace and live out of their true identity in Christ) and the behavior of *children of the devil* (those who do now know their true identity and thus live out of a false one).

    The good news declares what is true for all in Christ, and invites individuals to embrace the truth of their true identity as God’s children. This embracing will be for them a movement from darkness (deception) into light (truth) – a Spirit-enabled movement of enlightenment, repentance and faith that leads into the freedom of life and live that is the heritage of the children of God.

  2. Thanks, Ted! Appreciate your references to 1 John, helping us see what John is really talking about.

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