Who God says I am - my identity in Christ.
Names can be important but true identity even more so, including others perceptions of us. Our name says a lot about who we are. But God gives us our ultimate identity, and identity matters.
Knowing God’s “name” is critical to properly regarding and serving Him.
What we know about Him and the names of His He divulges is critically important. They have to do with His identity. Jesus has a name above every name and at His name every knee shall bow.
What about us? They way you see yourself “in Christ” is perhaps more important than you think. Who am I in Christ? An altered identity?
Here’s a question. Are there any passages in the New Testament that refer to Christians as sinners? There is not much, which may surprise you. James 5:19-20 is about it and that is referring to someone who has fallen away. If we see ourselves in that light, it may have a negative impact on our self image.
Romans 1-3 make an argument about our undone condition without the mercy of God. We are all in need of the work Jesus did on our behalf. We lack the necessary attributes to determine our own destiny, someone has said. We are in need of what Christ provides in our behalf.
Should we forget our not so glorious past? Of course not. Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners but he says, I have received mercy.
If we are to refer to ourselves as a bunch of sinners, "I’m hanging out with a bunch of sinners today”, we may fail to know the victory over sin that Jesus intends for us. We may instead, live “down” to the name sinner. Think about that.
From Romans 3. Justified - a reclamation of what was lost. The single most important paragraph ever written someone has said, Romans 3:21-26.
Also Eph. 2:1-6. But God, when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.
1 Peter 2:5, 9-12, also talks of our new identity in Christ. We are priests of God, cleansed for His special services. We are a chosen race. He doesn’t deny an occasional problem with sin but it does not identify us. We were called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Sin is real, it is still significant, it can still derail our walk with Christ, but it is not our identity in Christ, if we do what He commands us to.
Who God says I am....
Born of God
And the list goes on......
We have solutions and not hopelessness.
The way you see yourself in Christ is important. We have no business as God’s people wallowing in sin or seeing ourselves as sinning all the time. An occasional failure is not final. We may have areas where we struggle. Sometimes we overreact to something, maybe we misuse our tongue, maybe not showing proper love enough. So we have to exercise self control, that’s written throughout the New Testament. The point is our aim is higher than it was before.
This is not an overnight process. Molding ourselves after a Christ is a lifelong process. We need to learn to complain less and trust more.
Christ lives in me. That should be our identity. We need to be building a healthy Christ-image. We need positive affirmations, not negative self assessments.
The book of 1 John is all about this. Read it this week. Read a chapter a day. Then focus on 5:4 and 5:13-15. Put those into practice.
Are you going to heaven? You should be able to affirm that without hesitation and still be humble. Humility is a confidence properly placed. This isn’t based on my perfection but in what He has done for each of us.
Pray Psalms 139;23-24 this week, and every week.