- Religion and Philosophy
Who Are You Really?
Who are You?
It's a question that has plagued mankind since beginning of time. Traditionally, it's been what we do, our job, nationality or other secular label. One dictionary defines it as "The state or fact of remaining the same one, as under varying aspects or conditions."
But this definition hardly seems adequate if we are discussing who we are in Christ. After all, we don’t always do the same thing day after day. What if you had to take an extended break from your job?
Many would feel they were in the middle of an identity crisis. The conception is, if you're not working, you are doing nothing of value. Many talk about finding their identity in Christ, yet still find their worth from what they do.
These labels may help us identify ourselves from one another, but they are not our primary identity. Based on the Bible, everyone is identified with one of two persons. Adam or Jesus.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (1 Romans 8:14).
By trusting in Jesus we are adopted into the family of God. However, for us as Christians, we need to identify the lies we believe about ourselves. For example, we can't be valuable unless we are loved and accepted. Or we feel our life has no value since we've done so many things wrong. We may also feel we are of no value if others around us make more money than we do.
Success isn't measured in dollars and cents. The truth is we have God-given value because we have been given a new inheritance.
"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ"(Galatians 4:7).
We may struggle with guilt and condemnation because we feel we aren’t doing what we think we should. We may feel our acceptance comes from our performance. The truth, is none of these things changes our real identity. Once we have been adopted, we receive His spirit. We begin to be shaped into His image. Nothing we do can ever change the fact we are His children. Once we believe the truth of our identity in Christ, we realize there is nothing able to separate us from the love of God.
We often are unsure about ourselves because we use other people as our point of reference. We allow others to dictate how we perceive ourselves and then make their perceptions our own. On the other hand we are often measured and judged by others. Unfortunately, we allow these judgments to define us.However, the only reliable source of our identity is God. He created us and sent His son, Jesus, to die for us, so we could transform our lives through His Holy Spirit. When we allow Him to define our identity, we stand on a solid foundation. Living a supernatural life in Christ requires allowing God’s supernatural power to work through us.
The Bible tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." But what does that mean? It means we have a new identity. We must see ourselves as God does, For that identity has profound implications for our lives.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
No discussion about our union with Christ would be complete that didn't teach Christ is in all believers. Readers of the New Testament can't deny that. Most theologians except the fact, since Pentecost the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Christ, has been in all believers.
A Fragile Identity
Identity is a fragile thing. Every day of our lives we experience failure and successeses. experience. Encounter enough failure and we will think poorly of ourselves. The world seems to one to make us all feel mediocre, or destroy our dreams. Some actually want others to fail so they can feel better about themselves.
People are our point of reference when figuring out our identity. Men, in general, tend to define their identity by what they do. The only reliable source in defining one's identity is relating to those who can remain objective. We believe God created us and therefore understands us."
Your Identity in Christ
Realizing our identity in Christ is important. Knowing our position as a child of God builds a foundation by which we can experience the fullness of God.. Our identity in Christ is realized by how God looks at you through Jesus' blood shed on the cross.
Basically, it's not what we know in our minds to be true, rather what we know in our hearts to be true.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).
Our Individual Aims
Much of what we value stems from the various aspects of our identity, gender, temperament, and heritage. All affect our understanding of the world and ourselves. Therefore it can affect our values. However, as we build a relationship with Christ, we find we must reevaluate and prioritize them.
We are dual citizens of earth and heaven. As we realize this, we will spend a lifetime scrutinizing how we prioritize our values.
Paul often used the phrase “in Christ.” To be “in Christ” means to share in Christ’s death and resurrection. Understanding our identity in Christ is a top priority before we can walk with the Lord. Christ’s death and resurrection, are the foundation of the Christian life.
Dying with Christ means isn't to be taken literally. It means relinquishing all things previously ruining your life. For instance, it could be material wealth. Christ calls us to relinquish pursuing wealth as a goal in our life. The same is true of any other vice.
Before we came under Christ’s kingship, our identity was controlled by concerns other than loving God and others as Jesus did. Whether we knew it or not, our motivations didn’t focus on loving God and others.
Our parents may have taught us godly virtues. Yet sin and offensive independence from God characterize our lives. When we come under Christ’s kingship, we gain a heavenly component to our identity. We are new creatures.
What does it mean to be under Christ’s kingship? The world at large would feel being under a king to be subject to their will. That concept strikes some as lacking appeal. After all, who would agree to be entirely subject to someone else? This is a natural human response. That’s because we don’t trust things we don't know. However, as members of Christ's kingdom this shouldn't apply. We have come to know Him and found His ways true.
Self Image or Your Identity in Christ
Do you think your identity is your body weight, size of your nose, feet, color of your hair, it must be in something else, our nationality, family, friends, possessions, or our job. If all these were removed we wouldn't have anything. Unless of course, we have our identity in Jesus.
What Shapes Our Worldly Identity?
Family background: A major part of our identity has been influenced by families.
National background: Olympic game, winners drape the flag of their nation over their shoulders.
Ethnic background: Ethnic backgrounds can impact a person’s identity.
Past life experiences: Past experiences have a major part in determining personal identities.
Our identity is more than this. Paul knew he was an Apostle of Christ. He knew who he was. One basic question everyone has asked themselves is, "Who am I? We have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.