by Angie Thomas
The question of our identity and purpose is perhaps one of the most perplexing, challenging, and ongoing struggles of our lives. If I were in a conversation with you and said, “Tell me a bit about who you are,” what would be your response? Would you say, “Oh, I’m a teacher, an accountant, or nurse; a wife or mother; an artist or writer; a sport’s fanatic, craft person, or musician; a runner, a health fanatic”? The list is endless.
But is that really who you are, or just a description of what you do? What if instead I asked you the question, “Who are you in Christ?” If you are like me, you might stumble over your word’s a bit and say something like, “Hmm, well, let’s start with the fact that I’m a Christian. I’m a Bible reader….most days. I am a regular church attender and when I can, a tither. I am a Thistlebend discipleship study participant. Do you know how challenging those studies are? I am pretty sure God is giving me extra brownie points for participating in those. I am a volunteer twice a month down at the crisis pregnancy center and I really have a heart for missions and orphan care. Oh and did, I mention, I really love Jesus.” Great. Thanks for the Sunday school answer. Sorry, but actually that is not who you are. You are still describing to me what you do. (And no, God doesn’t give extra brownie points for works—ever. 🙂 )
Sometimes I wonder if our Mighty God in heaven laughs or is deeply grieved because we just really don’t get it. We want so desperately for our identity to be about us, but it just isn’t. We have been given a new identity that has nothing to do with what we do but has everything to do with what Christ has done for us. Here is what Paul says our response should be to the question, “Who are you in Christ,” based on Ephesians 1-2. I beg of you to read through this list slowly, asking the Holy Spirit to really allow these truths to penetrate your heart. Don’t blow through this list and then mutter a, “Thank you, Jesus” and be on your way with the rest of your day. Stop. Revel in these truths. Be delighted, refreshed, renewed. If you are a believer, these promises are for you.
In Christ, I am:
- A saint
- Blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing
- Chosen before the foundation of the world
- Holy and Blameless
- Adopted as a son or daughter
- Redeemed through His blood
- Forgiven of my trespasses
- Lavished with grace
- Given knowledge of the mystery of His will
- Sealed with the Holy Spirit
- Guaranteed an inheritance
- Made alive
- Saved by grace
- Raised up with Him
- Seated with Him in the heavenly places
- God’s workmanship
- Created for good works
- Brought near by the blood of Christ
- Reconciled to God
- A member of God’s household
- A dwelling place for God
Can you catch a glimpse of the magnificence, the glory? Isn’t it actually sort of unfathomable that the God of the Universe would bestow this amazing identity upon us, wretched sinners? Our minds can barely grasp it, which is why I think we just tuck it back into our brains as biblical knowledge without allowing it to ravish our hearts. I beg of you, please do not allow Satan the victory of stealing the treasure of these truths and promises from your heart. Paul knows that these truths are so profound and yet so hard to understand that he prays in Ephesians 1:17-19 that we would be given wisdom, revelation, and enlightened hearts to know the hope, inheritance and power that we have been given in Christ.
Ladies, this is our identity and every other identity is really just an illusion. Every other identity we try to cling to can be lost or taken away from us in an instant. Our profession, our family, our health, our hobbies. Christ alone is the only thing we can cling to for eternity.
I humble ask that you would consider printing out this list of who we are in Christ this week and pray through it. What are a few of those descriptions that puzzle you, amaze you, or perplex you? Spend some time doing a biblical word search on one or two. Perhaps it is “adopted” or “redeemed” or “made alive.” Allow the Lord to lead you through His Word to really cement some of these truths in your heart so that when the storms arise or continue to rage, you can rest assured of the glorious riches that you have been given in Christ. Your new and amazing identity.