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Embracing Your Identity in Christ

5 Mins read

“Who do you think you are?” When someone asks that question, we generally think that they believe we’ve overstepped some sort of boundary. When faced with a question of that nature, our natural inclination is to start naming off qualifications that we possess or some other attribute that will make us seem more qualified in the eyes of the person asking the question. “I’m a lawyer,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m a construction worker,” “I’m a stay-at-home parent.” Those responses may be some of the first things that come to mind when we’re trying to explain who we are, but those are the things that we do. What you do is not who you are. Instead, it is simply one part of the equation.

As a child of God, our true identity comes from who God says we are, not the titles that other people given us or that we have put on ourselves. The labels that other people put on us can be horribly painful, and if we’re not careful, we let those labels become our identity. Being labeled as a divorcee, an addict, a nobody, a loser, a workaholic, a cheater, a liar or any other number of things can completely alter the way that we view ourselves.

Embracing your true identity requires you to understand how God views you. Before you accepted Christ as your Savior, perhaps you were addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or some other vice. Before you submitted your life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, maybe you were a cheater and a liar. In the years that preceded your new life in Christ, maybe you were guilty of working so much that you neglected your family relationships. However, the things you used to be are not your identity.

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So, who do you think you are? Taking a deeper dive into God’s Word can help you answer that question God’s way.

Who You’ve Been Isn’t Who You Are
2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT)

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold everything is fresh and new.

On the day that you were born, you were given an identity. Before you could speak or even understand what was going on around you, you were issued a name. You had no say in it. Your mother, father, some combination of the two or another invested party made that decision for you. You were going to be known by a name that you didn’t pick out. Additionally, your genetic makeup played a huge role in who you are. Your looks, tendencies and habits can all be tied back to the genetic composition of your biological parents. Again, you had no say in any of that. You simply got left to play the hand that you were dealt.

The years that followed your birth had a lot of impact on the identity that you developed. The people close to you and other acquaintances developed a perception of you based on your actions, words and other behaviors. Maybe aspects of that identity were good while other parts of the equation may have been bad. Your control over that perception may have been minimal, but that identity still followed you through most of your life.

However, when you were born again into the family of God, that old identity melted away. In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul said that when we get enfolded into Christ, becoming a part of the family of God that we are given a completely new identity. In order to really drive his point home, Paul pointed out how everything that was related to the old order vanishes and everything becomes fresh and new.

You may never be able to convince some people in your life that you are no longer the person you used to be. Regardless of committed you are to living out your newfound faith in Christ, there will be some people who insist on identifying you by the things you did before you started your relationship wit Christ. However, you must understand that God doesn’t view you through that lens and you shouldn’t either. Instead, embrace the newness of life that is granted to everyone who has made the decision to put their faith in Christ.

My Role as God’s Child
John 1:12 (TPT)

But those who embraced him and took hold of his name were given authority to become the children of God!

Being God’s child doesn’t just allow us to enjoy the benefits of Heaven after we die. While an eternity with God in Heaven is certainly a major benefit of placing our faith in Christ, John said that all of those who “embraced him” and “took hold of his name” receive authority to become the children of God.

What kind of authority do we get just by being a child of God? First of all, we gain the authority to take anything that is bothering us directly to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is a privilege that we have because of our relationship with Christ. The authority that we have been given as God’s children ensures that we can overcome anything comes against us in our lives.

Pain, trouble, worry and sorrow are all things in life that can try to steal the joy that we experience because of our position in God’s family. However, we can come against those forces because we have the authority associated with being one of God’s children. In another book bearing his name, Saint John worded it like this:

1 John 4:4 (TPT)
Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world.

We are overcomers because of our position as God’s “little children.” He will defend us and He will provide for us because He lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit.

I Am Forgiven
Romans 8:1 (TPT)

So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.

Forgiveness is difficult. It may be difficult to forgive people who have wronged you in the past. However, it can be even more complicated to forgive yourself for the things that you’ve done. However, if we view our sins and God’s plan for our redemption through the lens of a court case, this verse in Paul’s letter to the Roman church provides us a great amount of hope.

The case against you which was built on your sinful actions has been closed. In fact, the accusing voice that rose up against you has been silenced! Isn’t that remarkable to know?! Depending on your personal history, the list of accusations against you from Satan, the accuser (Revelation 12:10) may have been lengthy. However, once we asked God for forgiveness of those sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the case is closed, and our accuser is silence.

When Satan tries to cause you to experience guilt and shame stemming from your life before Christ or others around you try to label you by the same labels that you carried before your salvation, you have to remind yourself that the case has been closed.

Who do you think you are? Through the power of God’s Word, His Son’s sacrifice and the lifechanging power of the Holy Spirit, you can answer that question through God’s grace. You are a completely new creation through God’s life-giving power. You are a child of God and have the authority that comes with your position in the family of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Most of all, you are forgiven and are no longer labeled by the mistakes that you made in your past.

A Closing Prayer:

God, help me to fully embrace my identity in You. We both know exactly what I was before I accepted Your divine gift of salvation, but that’s not who I am anymore. God, help me to stand firm in my role in Your family and not fall into the trap of identifying myself by what I was before I knew You. In Christ’s name I ask these things, Amen!

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