Identifying Identity

National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Ministry #

In this day and age, we hear a lot about identity. Terms like middle-aged crisis’, race based identity, ethnic identity, gender ideology (the list is endless to the state of absurdity). So many people in the world trying to convince themselves that they are special, while continuing to do the same things everyone else does. For example, we all wear clothes, enjoy food, art, music, colors, etc. Somehow many think they find identity in brands, politics, beliefs, etc., but these all lead to emptiness. After all, that shirts people wear may have the right logo, but there are another million of them in the world worn by others. While there is little value in understanding our roots, the Body of Christ should be consumed by identifying with Jesus!

Finding one’s identity in Christ is a transformative journey that lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It involves understanding who we are in light of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished for us through His life, death, and resurrection. This journey reshapes every aspect of our lives, redirecting our values, our pursuits, and our understanding of ourselves. This article explores the biblical foundation of our identity in Christ, its implications for our lives, and how believers can embrace and live out this profound truth.

The Biblical Foundation of Our Identity in Christ #

Created in God’s Image, Redeemed by Christ #

The foundation of our identity begins in Genesis, where we are told that humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This imago Dei signifies intrinsic value, purpose, and dignity. However, sin marred this image and separated us from our Creator, leading to a crisis of identity. In Christ, we find restoration and redemption. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” In Christ, we are not only restored to our original value but are also given a new identity.

Adopted into God’s Family #

One of the most profound aspects of our identity in Christ is our adoption into God’s family. Paul tells the Romans, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8:15). This adoption signifies a radical change in our status—from alienation to belonging, from strangers to children of God.

United with Christ in His Death and Resurrection #

Our union with Christ is another critical aspect of our identity. Paul elucidates this mystery in Romans 6:4-5, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” This union means that we are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), sharing in His suffering and glory.

Implications of Our Identity in Christ #

Freedom from Condemnation and the Power of Sin #

Understanding our identity in Christ leads to freedom from condemnation and the power of sin. Romans 8:1 assures us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This freedom is not a license to sin but liberation from sin’s dominion, empowering us to live in righteousness.

Security in God’s Love #

Our identity in Christ assures us of God’s unwavering love. Romans 8:38-39 declares, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This security in God’s love is foundational to our self-worth and sense of belonging.

Purpose in God’s Kingdom #

In Christ, we find a purpose that transcends personal ambition or societal expectations. Ephesians 2:10 reveals, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Our identity involves a calling to participate in God’s redemptive work in the world, serving others and proclaiming the gospel.

Embracing Our Identity in Christ #

Through Spiritual Disciplines #

Embracing our identity in Christ involves engaging with spiritual disciplines that foster a deeper relationship with God. Regular study of Scripture, prayer, worship, and communion with other believers helps to reinforce our understanding and experience of our identity in Christ.

Overcoming False Identities #

The journey also involves rejecting false identities that the world imposes or that we construct for ourselves based on performance, approval, or possessions. Philippians 3:7-8 offers a perspective shift, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Living Out Our New Identity #

Living out our identity in Christ means allowing this truth to shape our thoughts, actions, and relationships. It involves treating others with love, dignity, and grace, just as Christ has treated us. It means finding joy and contentment in Christ, even in trials, knowing that our true identity and hope are secure in Him.

Conclusion #

Finding our identity in Christ is a transformative journey that reshapes every aspect of our existence. It is about discovering our true worth, purpose, and belonging in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This identity is not static but dynamically affects how we live, how we see ourselves, and how we interact with the world around us. As believers grow in understanding and embracing their identity in Christ, they are empowered to live lives marked by freedom, purpose, and deep joy. The journey of exploring our identity in Christ is, in essence, the journey of the Christian life—a journey of becoming who we already are in Him.