Who are you? Identity is a hot topic right now. One of the greatest truths of the bible is that God loves you just the way you are (Rom. 5:8). Yet, God doesn’t want you to remain exactly the way you are. He has created you to grow and change. He sent his Son, Jesus, so that you could know exactly who He created you to be. Here are five ways the Bible identifies you.
Jesus and Identity
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Jesus said this at a moment when it was quite unclear exactly what it meant to be a child of God. Traditional Judaism had always taught that following the Mosaic Law is what identified you as a child of God. Yet, the Children of Abraham had been clinging to that for more than four centuries of living under oppressive rule. The clothing of the Mosaic Law was beginning to grow threadbare.
Along comes Jesus and basically says – It’s not obedience to the Law that will save you. It’s me.
That’s a pretty bold statement to make.
And to make it even bolder – he went on to say that those who give themselves to him will find a truly full life, no matter the name of the latest oppressive ruler.
Five Things the Bible Calls Us
Jesus identified who HE is, and who we are in light of HIS identity. Here are five important identity markers the Bible gives us.
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” (Rom. 3:23).
The Bible makes it clear: we are broken. This is not meant to beat us up. It is simply a statement of fact.
Max Depree said, “The first job of leadership is to define reality.”
The reality is that we are broken. The Bible tells us this, not to oppress us, but to help us heal from this brokenness.
Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17).
He was speaking to the Pharisees who were rejecting him because he had shared a meal with unsavory people. What Jesus meant in that moment was not that some need a physician and some don’t – we all need healing. His point was that he came for those who recognize that they need a physician. Those who think they are righteous – those who think they have it all together – will not hear the voice of the physician.
The first step in healing is recognizing that you need it. A good physician will start by discovering the problem. Only after the problem has been uncovered (diagnosed) can the healing process begin.
The first step on your spiritual journey begins with you coming face to face with this ugly reality – you are a sinner in need of healing.
2. Child of God
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
We are not born “children of God.” We are not, by nature, children of God. We are creatures. God did not give birth to human beings. He created human beings. We are a part of God’s creation, just like the trees and birds, and mountains.
However, there are two big differences between human beings and the rest of God’s created world: (1) we were created in His image (Gen. 1:26-27); (2) he sent his Son to die for us (John 3:16).
When we accept the gift of his Son, Jesus, we are “born” a second time (John 3:3). This time it is a spiritual birth rather than a physical birth. This second birth is of God and gives us the right to become children of God (John 1:12-13).
So – you are not born a child of God – you are born a creature – you are then given a chance to be born a second time – this second birth is not a physical birth – it is a spiritual birth that turns you into a child of God – our original image is restored in the heart of God.
3. Co-heir with Christ
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” (Rom. 8:17).
God sent his one and only child, Jesus, to provide healing for our brokenness. In so doing, he makes us his adopted children. We are Jesus’ adopted brothers and sisters. Now that we are a part of this family we get an inheritance.
Like a good father, God is preparing an eternal place for us in his presence (Psalm 23:6; John 14:2).
This is not something we have to work for. In fact, we could never buy it. It’s something that is ours by virtue of our spiritual birth. We are his now. And that means everything that is his, is ours.
We are co-heirs of the greatest kingdom in the universe.
4. Ambassador of Christ
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).
God sent his Son, Jesus to save us from sin and death (Rom. 6:23). Like children who need a Father or a Mother to survive, we gladly accept his saving, healing love.
We then find ourselves with a remarkable responsibility – we are God’s representatives on earth. Jesus left us with a mission – to spread the news of his saving love to the rest of the world.
Wherever we go, we represent Jesus.
An ambassador from a nation, not only represents that nation in everything he or she says, but she is also considered to BE that nation on foreign ground.
Wherever the ambassador goes, the ground he walks on is considered to belong to the sovereign nation he represents. Wherever she lives in that foreign land, it is considered to be a part of her homeland with all the rights and privileges attached.
You are an ambassador of Christ. Everything you say and do represents Him. Everywhere you step is Holy ground belonging to Him. He has called you to go to “all people groups in the world” and “make disciples,” and wherever you go he will be with you (Matt. 28:19-20).
You are His ambassador – His sovereignty covers you no matter where you go in the world.
5. More than a conqueror
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).
Paul addressed all the greatest fears of his day – nakedness, famine, the sword. The three deadliest phenomenon of antiquity – poverty (nakedness), starvation (famine), and war (the sword). These three took more lives than any other factors (disease and illness were wrapped up in all three of these great killers).
Paul lays them out and asks the question – should we be afraid of these?
The answer: An emphatic, NO!
The reason: We have Jesus.
In the strength of Jesus, we have the power to overcome all things that this world throws at us. It is in this sense that we are, not just overcomers, but more than overcomers.
An overcomer is one who manages to survive the threats. We are more than overcomers!
We not only survive; we thrive in the midst of the threat.
Paul is convinced that nothing can stop the Jesus followers. He concludes by saying:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
Find strength for your life in these five identity markers that God gives you!