When asked “Who are you?”
responses vary: “I’m Bob the barber.” “I’m Pat the policeperson.” “I’m
Sue the surgeon.” “I’m Mary the mother.” Many people in our society
find their identity in their possessions, their sports teams, or their
jobs, and rooting for sports teams can be gifts God gives us to enjoy,
understanding your identity in Christ as a Christian remains crucial
for your ongoing spiritual development and maturity. Remembering who
you are in Christ is important because when you know who you are, you
will have a better idea of what you are supposed to do.
How do we find our
identity? God desires to use His Word to shape our identities so
decisively that He transforms us. The Bible tells us who we are and
how we should live because of our identity.
As you read the
Bible look for clues as to who you are. Note what God calls us to do
based on who you are in Christ. Seek God’s help to put into practice
who you are in Christ.
For example in Psalm 24 we learn we are the Lord’s
"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the
world, and all who live in it; 2 for He founded it on the seas and
established it on the waters” (Psalm 24:1-2 NIV).
Then in vv. 3-6 the psalmist tells us how the Lord
wants us to live in light of the fact we belong to Him. “Who may
ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in
an idol or swear by a false god. 5 They will receive blessing from the
Lord and vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation
of those who seek Him, who seek your face, God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:3-6
The psalmist tells us that only the morally pure
are qualified to worship God. Our actions, (cf. “hands”) thought life,
and motives (cf. “heart”) must be pure and blameless. We must keep our
trust in God rather than turning to the idols of this world to seek to
meet our needs (cf. v. 4b).
The psalmist notes that the one who wholehearted
trusts and seeks after God can expect to be rewarded by God. “They
will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their
Savior” (Ps 24:5 NIV).
Regardless of what
you were in the past you are a new creation in Christ. Paul reminds
the church of God in Corinth, with all the saints in the surrounding
region: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what
is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!” (2 Corinthians
5:17 NET). What hope this brings!
A hope Jesse Ryan Loskarn needed to hear. Loskarn,
former chief of staff to Tennessee’s Senator Lamar Alexander hung
himself on January 23rd in his parents’ home in Carroll County
Maryland as he awaited trial for possessing and distributing child
pornography. In a suicide note he left he states “The news coverage of
my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and
disappear. I’ve hurt every single human being I’ve ever known and the
details of my shame are preserved on the internet for all time. There
is no escape.”
Contrast Loskarn’s statement of despair with the
hope and new identity the apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian
believers have in Christ. After rebuking those in the church who were
cheating and doing wrong to their brothers and sisters in Christ, Paul
states: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom
of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters
nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the
greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the
kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were
washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9-11 NIV).
“Remember who you are in Christ,” Paul tells us.
“You have been set apart in Christ Jesus. God calls you saints” (cf. 1
Cor 1:2). “While formerly you were guilty of all sorts of sins, this
is not who you are now in Christ Jesus. You were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and by the Spirit of our God” (cf. 1 Cor 6:9-11).
this truth as well. After reminding us of the very great and precious
promises God has given us so he urges us to pursue the Christ-like
qualities of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance,
godliness, mutual affection, and unselfish love in our faith (cf. 2
Peter 1:3-8). Then Peter warns: If we lack these qualities we are
nearsighted and blind, forgetting we have been cleansed from our past
sins (cf. 2 Peter 1:9).
Who are you? You belong to Christ. You are a new
creation in Christ. God’s Spirit has washed, sanctified, and justified
you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s remember who we are.
Then by God’s grace let’s allow His Spirit to live Christ’s life out