Last Sunday I taught about our identity in Christ. After the sermon I met a single mom who told me with tears that it was just what she needed to hear. Then I met an 80 year old man who told me what he heard was changing his life. Then I met a college student who said she’s making some changes in her life because she finally knows that she is loved. Then a middle aged man hugged me and thanked me for teaching truth that was setting him free. Then a lady e-mailed me and said she was abused as a girl and understanding her identity in Christ was setting her free from shame and condemnation.
All of this is to say, understanding your identity in Christ is more important than you know. It is key to experiencing a full life.
So here is a question I’d love for you to consider. How would you finish this statement: I am “____________”!
I wonder what words you would place in that empty space. I am rich. I am poor. I am outgoing. I am shy. I am young. I am old. I’m single. I’m married. I’m divorced. I’m desirable. I’m undesirable. I’m skinny. I’m formerly skinny. I’m successful. I’m a failure. I have hope. I’m hopeless. I’m an alcoholic. I’m sober.
Who do you think you are?
I don’t know if you have thought about this before, but your identity is arguably one of the most important things about you. It shapes your attitudes and actions. It impacts the connection you experience with other people. If you see yourself as lovable, you connect more easily with others. If you see yourself as unlovable, it is a struggle for you to move into relationships with confidence. All of which is to say, your identity impacts every aspect of your life.
And I think it should be said that all of us have an identity. Certainly some of us are more conscious about our identity while others of us are more confused. But make no mistake about it. You live your life out of your answer to one basic question: Who do you think you are?
It’s so important to have a clear answer to this question because if you know who you are, then you will live confident and free. But, if you don’t know who you are, then you will live confused and conflicted.
Additionally if the foundation of your identity is in things that can change you will consistently live in an identity crisis. You used to be a mom, but now the kids are gone. You used to be a valued employee, but now a younger co-worker has passed you by and so you’re not sure who you are anymore.
So the question becomes: Is there an identity that is clear, compelling and constant?
Well our identity in Christ is all of these things. It is clear, meaning anyone can understand it and embrace it. It is compelling, meaning it’s an identity that empowers us to move through this life confident and free. And finally it is constant, meaning when we understand who we are in Christ, everything else can crumble and we will still be standing.
So who are we in Christ. The Bible says that if we are in Christ we are sons and we daughters of God. We are heirs with Christ and we are adopted into God’s family. In other words in Christ we are loved, accepted, forgiven, blessed, victorious, righteous, blameless and pure. And we become all of this things, the moment we place our faith in Jesus.
Can you imagine the difference it would make if you lived your entire life in light of that identity? Can you imagine the confidence and the courage that you would have if you walked through life knowing God is your father. He loves you. He is for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. There is now no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus. And If God is for you then who can be against you.
Honestly, as I look at who we are in Christ, I am convinced that the greatest challenge that we face is to simply believe what is now true about us.
So today I’d like you to realize you are not who you say you are. You are who God says you are. So let go of the critical labels other people place on you. Let go of the negative words you use to describe you. It doesn’t suit an honored child. Instead, let God’s Word define you. You are love. You are his child. He is for you. Let your life be a billboard of his grace. Let his love define you.
If you want to listen to the sermon from Sunday you can find here.