In Search of Identity

The most important thing about any one of us is not what we do but what God does, not what we do for God but what God does for us. It is because we know what God does in and for us that we are no longer lost in the cosmos.
  • Eugene Peterson

In the movie, The Bourne Identity, an unconscious man named Jason Bourne is rescued in the ocean from death by a group of fishermen.  When the young man recovers he doesn’t remember his identity or background.  All he knows is he has some extraordinary abilities in fighting and self-defense, an enormous amount of money in the bank, and he is being hunted down by a group of highly trained assassins.  What follows is a desperate search by Jason to discover who he really is and why his life is in constant danger.


As Christians we are similar to Jason Bourne.  Not because we have extraordinary fighting abilities or an enormous amount of money but because we too need to discover who we really are.  You see, when God rescues us from spiritual death and brings us to spiritual life in Jesus we are given a new identity.  We are in Christ.  We are saints.  We are adopted and loved.  Chosen sons and daughters.  Forgiven and faithful.  Blameless and blessed.


This identity is definitive and unchanging.  It is who we really are and it is here for us to embrace, celebrate, enjoy and experience today.


Sadly, in our identity-confused culture, many of us don’t know who we are in Christ.  Sure we may have a vague sense that in Jesus we are loved, perhaps even forgiven but our identity is also a composite of our job history, our academic degrees, and whatever other fragments of success we manage to salvage from our lives before we hit the cemetery.


The end result is that many of us struggle with issues of anxiety, depression, bitterness, anger, sexual perversion, alcoholism, boredom, and pride.


These struggles, along with many other struggles are really struggles of identity.  We don’t know who we are, so we embrace identities that are false and at times very destructive.


The path to healing and victory then is somewhat simple.  We must understand, embrace, and celebrate who we are in Jesus.  We must know we are children of God, made in his image, and saved by the Lord Jesus.  We must know that we are not our own. We were bought we a price.  We are forgiven, loved, and set free.  We are empowered by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead to honor God with the life he has given.


So my hope for us today is that we will embrace, and celebrate our identity in Jesus.  We are not what we do.  We are what Jesus has done for us.  We are not what we accomplish.  We are what Jesus accomplished for us at the cross.  We are not our own.  We belong to Jesus and in Jesus we are alive, forgiven, loved, adopted, chosen, blessed, blameless, and set free.

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