Who are you, really?
As you consider this question, what (or who) is influencing your answer? Your relationships? Your vocation? Your self-perception? Your possessions?
We often are unsure about who we are because we use what others think as our point of reference. What we do is often measured and judged by them—either as acceptable or unacceptable—and we allow our performance to define us.
However, the only reliable source of our identity is God! He created each one of us, loves us, sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, and transforms our lives through His Holy Spirit! In fact, at the moment we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are born again spiritually and our identity is radically changed.
Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).
When we allow God to define our identity we stand on a sure foundation for a life of peace, contentment, and yes, even some adventure! When we establish our identity in how God sees us, we can confidently live our lives in the assurance of his perfect plan for our lives.
Some people believe that they are Christians because they have joined a church. Others think that following certain rules or standards is what’s required. But in reality, Christianity is not about membership, or adopting a code for living, it is about total transformation, a transformation that occurs because of who Jesus Christ is and what he alone did for us on the cross. Because of him, everything becomes new.
When you accept Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, you begin a journey that leads to heaven. According to the Bible, you are now God’s CHILD, a CO-HEIR with Christ, a SAINT with a new nature, a MEMBER of the body of Christ, and a CITIZEN of GOD’s kingdom. Your identity in Christ is sure—you belong to God and he cares deeply about you!
1. You are a CHILD of God!
God is your Father! The same God who has the power to speak the universe into being claims you as his child! Our finite minds are not capable of comprehending the incredible implications of being a child of God, and yet God states it as a fact! John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
2. You are a CO-HEIR with Christ.
What does it mean to be a “co-heir” with Christ? It means that Jesus is your brother! It’s hard to imagine isn’t it? But God assures us that this is one of the many changes which occurred in the spiritual realm when we were born again spiritually. Romans 8:17 tells us, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”
3. You are a SAINT with a new nature.
When was the last time somebody called you a saint? We don’t often think of describing anyone as a saint, even those whom we know with good moral character. But we are wrong! We are looking at outward appearances. God is looking at who we are in him. When the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he said, “Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:21). God sees us as holy saints.
Unfortunately, many Christians still view themselves as sinners. This is a critical error in self-perception because we have been given a new righteous nature in Christ. If you continue to see yourself as a sinner, then it is only logical to continue to sin, because that’s what sinners are expected to do. However, when you begin focusing on your new righteous nature as a saint, then you will begin to realize that to continue in sin is incompatible with who you now are in Christ. So you no longer see yourself as a sinner, but rather as a righteous saint who still sins occasionally when deceived by the old nature.
4. You are a MEMBER of the Body of Christ.
When we were born again (accepted Christ in our life as Savior and Lord), we actually became part of Christ’s spiritual body, of which he is the head. As members of the body of Christ, we not only belong to Christ, but we also belong to each other.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. As believers we are a community of brothers and sisters in Christ who are interdependent. We are a holy family that is to be characterized by love and unity. We need to be committed to one other’s well-being. You are part of a large, close-knit, extended family where everybody is interdependent.
In our society today, most families do not reflect a spirit of love and unity. And as you look at most church families, they are often not much different. However, the apostle Paul did not choose to use human families as an analogy for how God’s kingdom family should function. Instead, he compared the body of Christ to the human body. Think about how differently the parts of our physical body interact with each other as compared to most human relationships in the Church.
In Christ, we are members of His spiritual body. It is a body that has been designed to function in love, unity, and responsiveness to Christ’s direction. But we will not function as we should within the body if we continue to model society’s dysfunctional family behavior within the Church.
5. You are a CITIZEN of God’s Kingdom
Our citizenship has been changed. It is a fact that we now belong to God’s kingdom. Philippians 3:20 tells us, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” We simply have temporary work visas here on earth so we can accomplish God’s purposes while we are here. Because we haven’t physically moved out of the earthly kingdom, it is easy to have confused loyalties. However, we now serve a different King. We are citizens of a new Kingdom. And as such, we must be careful to pledge our allegiance where it is rightfully due.
Who are you, really? What excites you most about having a new identity in Christ?