I originally wrote this article for TheRebelution.com
“We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.” — Charles Spurgeon
Who are you?
If someone came up to you and asked you that question, what would you say?
Are we students, writers, soccer players, or cellists? Or are we as Christians something completely, radically different?
Who We Are Is Not About Who We Are
All those things that “define” you are not who you truly are!
Your identity is not wrapped up in whether you were nice to your little sister yesterday. Getting bad grades doesn’t make your identity “dummy;” nor does being able to play piano like Mozart make your true identity “pianist.”
Your self-worth has nothing to do with you. At all.
Your identity is ultimately not in your friends, your parents, your siblings, your talents, your stuff, or anything else in this world.
Your true identity is not in something…but in Someone.
Your identity is set in the gospel. Your identity is in God who made you.
What It Means to Have Your Identity in Christ
We know that we are children of God, but practically, what does this mean?
1. We are chosen (Ephesians 1:4-6).
The Founder of the universe knew us before we knew ourselves. And not just that, He chose us! He knew we hated Him; but in spite of this, God sent His Son to die a criminal’s death — for us! He specifically chose and saved us for His glory and because of His great love.
2. We are redeemed from slavery to sin (Ephesians 1:7-10).
3. We are loved (Ephesians 2:4).
He loves us not for any good He saw in us. Jesus died the most painful death possible to rescue ungrateful, depraved God-haters so that we could be set free to live for the praise of His glory (Romans 5).
4. We are alive (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Before Jesus saved you, you were dead. Not sick. Not “needing some coaching.” Dead. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But God woke us up…from the dead!
5. We are created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Why did God send His Son to die, redeem us, and make us alive and perfectly holy in Him? Ephesians 2:10 tells us why. He freed us from our sin for good works. The only thing that will ever satisfy us is glorifying God. As the Westminster Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
6. We are bound for heaven (Ephesians 1:11-14).
We are no longer destined for hell. Because we were saved and given Christ’s righteousness, we are granted heaven, a joy-filled everlasting life with our Savior.
How Our Identity Transforms How We Live
We’ve talked about who we are because of the gospel. How does this transform how we live?
1. We aren’t slaves to people pleasing.
We don’t place our worth in what others think of us. We’re set free and live for the King. We know that God loves us and our worth isn’t in what others think of us (Galatians 1:10).
2. We aren’t slaves to sin.
Christ’s blood set us free from our sin so that we can live for Jesus. Until we reach our Home, we will continue to sin. But we aren’t slaves to sin anymore. We’re alive in Christ and slaves to Him (which is ultimate freedom!). (See Romans 6:6-11.)
3. We can rest in Christ.
Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, we can find rest in Him, knowing that our identity is secure in Him.
4. We live for Jesus.
God loved us by saving us and because of this, we love Him (1 John 4:19).
Our identity is rooted in Christ and what He has done for us. His love for us is constant.
He died and rose to set us free from our slavery to sin to experience true freedom and satisfaction by glorifying God with our lives.
“What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” — Heidelberg Catechism