Who are you? What is your true identity?
“For in Christ all the fullness of God dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
– Colossians 2:9-10
When we adopted our children, we went before a judge, who changed each one’s last name to our last name. They legally became a part of our family and our children in a name. Over time, before and after that day, we were caring for and building a relationship with each one to help them understand their adopted position, as a full member of our family, loved completely and unconditionally by us. Not only had their names changed, but their position had also changed.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us in the same way, we are adopted into God’s family. But many Christians never take to heart the full meaning of this new identity. You have not only had a name change — your position has changed as well. The atonement of Christ did not only wash away our sins, it made a way for us to come to God. You are now His child, a part of God’s family through that sacrifice.
How do you introduce yourself to another person? Your name, and then what? Do you tell what you do or what you have achieved? Do you tell who you associate with? Is who you are determined by what you do OR is what you do determined by who you are? You will not consistently do or act in ways that are inconsistent with the way you see or perceive yourself. If you do not see yourself the way God sees you, you set yourself up to suffer consequences from a false identity.
We, as Christians, struggle with identity because we have allowed ourselves to be deceived to believe that what we do, accomplish, or experience is our identity. Satan works diligently to give us reasons to feel unworthy and unable to walk in the power of God here on earth. But Romans 8:16 tells us the Holy Spirit, Himself, testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Understanding who we are in Christ allows us to live our lives as God intended and fulfill His plan for us. The more we understand and confidently proclaim our true identity in Christ, the more our behavior, attitude, and thinking will reflect our God-given identity.
God can be glorified through our accomplishments and recognition if we use them for Him; but they are not true sources for our identity. When our identity is based on outward characteristics or what we do, we create a false identity. These do not reflect or produce God’s peace or growth. Whatever height of self-identity we achieve in our own strength, crumbles under the pressure. The unending list of things, good and bad, that we use to substitute in search of being complete in our identity will only give us a false identity and leave us empty.
You may not be enjoying the freedom, power, productivity, and peace that God offers His children because you do not understand who your identity is in Him. Who you are is rooted in your identity based on your position in Christ. If you do not see yourself the way God sees you, you are set-up to suffer consequences from a false identity. We will not consistently act in ways that are inconsistent with the way we see or perceive ourselves. Do you see the disconnection here?
“In Christ” is one of the most repeated phrases in the Bible. We think of Christ living in us, but we need to realize as His children we are in Christ. John 15:5 tells us Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. If we remain in Christ and Christ remains in us, we will bear much fruit; apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
Be confident of your faith in Christ and realize the foundational principle of understanding our true identity “in Christ” is paramount. It gives us the ability to turn to Christ in any situation we will face in our lives. Our identity in Christ is an absolute truth from God’s word which reinforces us during battles of all kinds in our lives, from past, present, and future.
The moment we trusted and surrendered ourselves to Jesus as our Lord and Savior we became “in Christ”. Our true identity in Him is not the product of what we have or do not have, done, or have not done. You are already complete and possess a life of infinite meaning and purpose because of who you are, your position as a child of God.
Pray: Ask God to show you where and what you are placing your identity in. Ask Him to help you make the needed changes to see yourself as He sees you, your true identity, and a child of God! Ask God for discernment to guard your heart, not putting any value on feelings and deceiving messages the enemy brings. Ask Him for His joy for your strength to resist the temptation to see yourself any other way than how God sees you. You are a branch of the true vine! Your true identity is in Christ!
Student Ministry Small Group Leader
First Baptist Broken Arrow