If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Who am I?” We all ask ourselves this question at one time or another. Such thinking marks the crossroads between childhood and adulthood. As adults, the world tells us that we are to create our own identity, basing it on our job, our address, our car, our clothes, our friends, our gifts, talents, and abilities, and on and on. But experience has taught us that doesn’t work very well, because as those things change, so too does our identity.
Let’s take a look at the Word of God to help us overcome the identify crises we all face from time to time. The Bible tells us that the Christian is to find his or her identity only in Christ. In reading through the biblical story line, we are to understand how our story intersects with God’s story: Who He is and what He came to do. It is only when we see ourselves in God’s unfolding story of redemption, which finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, that we will ever begin to plumb the depths of our true identity.
The simplest way to understand God’s story line in the Bible is to understand what I call The Four C’s. These are:
Creation: We are created beings made in the image of God. We are not self-sufficient and eternally self-existent like God, so we are completely dependent on God for our very existence. “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Corruption: Adam was our representative, our “federal head.” When he rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, his act of rebellion was counted against us as well. Because the wages earned by sin is death, making us all dead in trespasses and sins, we are all in need of a Savior. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Christ: Jesus is that Savior who came into this world, took on flesh, went to a cross, died in our place, and paid the penalty for our sins. We know God approved of His sacrificial atonement, because on the third day Jesus rose from the dead and walked out of the grave. Sin, Satan and death were conquered by Christ. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Consummation: We have been promised a new heaven and a new earth because all things are being made new – and that includes you. We are not what we were before we were in Christ, but we are not what we will one day be when we get to the other side of the grave. The best is yet to come! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
The identify crisis is solved for the Christian, because we realize that our identity is not to be found in what we do (the world), but rather, who we are (the Word) — or, more accurately, Whose we are. When Jesus hung on the cross and said, “It is finished,” He meant what He said. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are free to do what He has called us to do: To follow Him and proclaim His truth. Our identity is found only in following Jesus wherever He leads, regardless of cost or circumstance.
So how would you answer the question, “Who am I?” A one-word answer will suffice: HIS! Let that truth set you free to be all you can be for God’s glory and the good of others.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!