404 What Does It Mean To Find Your Identity In Christ?

What Does It Mean To Find Your Identity In Christ?

i∙den∙ti∙ty [ahy-den-ti-tee]
the state or fact of remaining the same one, as under varying aspects or conditions

Who am I?

It’s a question that has been asked since the beginning of time. Traditionally, we’ve found the answer in one place…what we do. If I write, then I’m a writer. If I work in an office, than I’m a businessman. If I play a sport, then I’m an athlete. We like to define ourselves based upon what we do.

But the definition of identity here seems to contradict this conclusion. After all, we don’t always do the same thing under varying aspects or conditions. Inspiration wanes, offices go out of business and injuries end careers.

Many people talk of finding their identity in Christ, and yet still find their worth and value from what they do. I’m the first one to admit guilt.

I remember a time in my life when I took a break from teaching. It’s my passion and I do it well. But during this time, I felt like I was in the middle of an identity crisis. If I wasn’t teaching, then I wasn’t doing anything of value.

I didn’t know how to just be.

An Unchangeable Identity

Romans 8 is my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. I call it the identity chapter. Nowhere in Scripture is our identity laid out in such a clear way.

Verse 14 says that we are sons of God (obviously it’s gender inclusive). The thing about being a son or daughter is that nothing can change that fact. Regardless of the status of my relationship with my dad, I’ll always be his son. We can talk every day or not see each other for years. He can be proud of me or completely disappointed. Either way, nothing changes the fact that I’m his son. The same goes for our relationship to God.

Sonship is our identity.

We may struggle with feelings of guilt and condemnation because we aren’t doing what we think we should be doing. We may feel our acceptance as sons or daughters comes from our performance. We may strive with all our strength to be as good as we can. Sometimes we succeed and other times we fail.

The fact is that none of that changes our identity. Once we have been adopted, we receive His spirit on the inside of us. We begin to take on the characteristics of our Father. We are shaped into His image day by day. But nothing we ever do makes us any more or less of a son or daughter.

Once we discover our identity, it’s simply a matter of walking in it. When we remove the fear of performance as the determining factor of our value and acceptance, we can receive the grace available to walk in the Spirit.

Once we believe the truth of our identity in Christ, we will realize that there is absolutely nothing able to separate us from the love of God. No amount of self-effort and no amount of failure will ever hold us back. We are simply overcome and ultimately defined by the love of an unrelenting God whose heart is always for us and never against us.

What does identity mean to you?

Comments

  1. Found this article as I prepare to preach on living from our identity as sons and daughters of God
    I pastor a vineyard church in asheville North Carolina
    Thank you Tony hope you are enjoying Charlotte!

  2. This is something I’ve been working on lately (probably always will be). I realized at a Women’s Event late last year that this was the root of my problems – where I was finding my identity and self-worth. It sure wasn’t in Jesus but in the negative views of me from a few people in my life. It was freeing but honestly, so easy to forget what God revealed to me as those people continue on. Glad I found your article! 🙂
    Nicole Beard recently posted..Sprouted Wheat Pancakes

    • Thanks for reading and sharing, Nicole. This is a message that I continue to learn on a regular basis. Every time I think I have it figured out, I find something challenge my understanding of where my identity comes from.

      I appreciate you reading. It’s been awhile since I’ve written and it’s an encouragement that it’s worthwhile.

  3. It is only Christ knows our real identity. We can’t deny our true identity with our God since He is the one who made us.
    Sharon Glover recently posted..Use Male Enhancement Pills and Be Sexually Fulfilled

  4. Amen!!

  5. Only Almighty God could only identify the real identity of each of us. Since He is the one who made us He knows what we really are.
    Liz Tererk recently posted..Increase your Sexual Performance Naturally

  6. Joe Chavez says:

    We may struggle with feelings of guilt and condemnation because we aren’t doing what we think we should be doing.

    This is exactly the message going through my head lately. What am I supposed to be doing based on how God has gifted me. In other words, I don’t want to stand before Him and He asks me: “Why didn’t you use the gifts and talents I gave you.”

    Thanks for this post, bro.
    Joe Chavez recently posted..Five Reasons Why Worry Won’t Help You

  7. This is one of my life messages and so important! Who we are as sons never changes. Through circumstances, changes in life, changes in relationship, financial lack or plenty–we are His and part of His household. Good stuff, Tony! Thanks.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..Forgiveness is Losing

  8. Man is the reflection of the glory of God, which was the purpose and intention of God. It’s almost as if God looks in a mirror called man and see His own glory shining there. However, after the fall, we were separated from God and we were no longer sons of God, but sons of men. What Christ did was become the son of man so that we can become sons of God. Now, God finally had his children. We, through the adoption and the spiritual law of “substitution” received all the attributes of Christ, the Son, by Him becoming us (sin) and nailing our sins to the cross.

    When God looks at me, He doesn’t see Moe. He sees Christ, His Son, so I am accepted. I have access to Him, His goods. Heck, I have the family birthmark (Seal of the Spirit). My identity is in Christ. I am a Son, not some slave, but I get to eat at my Father’s table. This is my lot. I have a new name, a phat ring, some dope clothing and a fat calve pop-dukes is preparing for me. Dude, We can toast at the table with a drumstick and some of the finest wine you’ll find in heaven (and it won’t be grape juice). And after that, we can play handball in my dope mansion. Holla!
    Moe recently posted..Culture: A disciple’s greatest challenge

  9. My identity as a son, as an adopted heir with the seal of the Holy Spirit, goes beyond just my own individual identity. It extends into the idea of family. God’s desire from the beginning was to create an abundant family under His reign and rule. It started with a garden, we broke it, God redeemed it and called us back home, and will someday establish not another garden-temple but a flourishing, vibrant, God-honoring, Jesus-centered, Kingdom CITY for His family.

  10. Romans 8:14 says it all.
    *For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

    Romans 8:15 seals the deal.
    *For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

    Galatians 3:28 removes our natural gender/ancestry as a basis for theology or complaint.
    *There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Indeed, we are as sons and if we reject this, if we resist this, if we refuse to acknowledge this, we are left to be spiritual orphans (converts only) and we will not enter our Father’s Kingdom to receive our inheritance as sons. (Keep in mind that daughters receive nothing according to a monarchy.) We will merely remain empowered but without an identity. Shame, that.

    My name is Donald Borsch Jr. I am a covenantally adopted son of God through Christ Jesus as The Son has made possible. I lack for nothing. I am no longer a spiritual bastard. I know my Father and He calls me by name.

    Simple.
    Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..The Old Testament God vs. The New Testament Jesus

    • That’s a great point, Donald. We can be adopted as sons and yet still live with an orphan mindset. I know it grieves the Lord to have died for so much and see us experience so little of it.

      • It’s the Inheritance, brother. Look at what we have as an Inheritance. Our Father has been preparing for us to come home since Day 1. Indeed, we will be welcomed as sons when the time comes, but consider how privileged we are, right now-here-today, to show and demonstrate His Kingdom this side of Heaven, as His sons, as His chosen.

        *shivers* I’m telling you, we are blessed beyond all imagination.
        Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..The Old Testament God vs. The New Testament Jesus

  11. So important for us to understand. Last week, I preached from Romans 8 and will be continue an identity series for the next few weeks.
    Michael Perkins recently posted..Contribute vs. Consume

  12. Tony, like you I use to identify myself with what I did. I do admit I still do, but to a lesser extent. As you mention, the peril in that is that careers end. So if you no longer write, you are no longer a writer, and your are not “being”. Our identity should be the son’s and daughter’s of God, because that will remain forever. BTW, my wife’s favorite chapter is also Romans 8, specifically verse 28. God bless.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..How to recognize when you’ve created a habit

  13. It means preaching, repreaching, and preaching again the truth to myself to ovecome lies, doubt, and insecurity.

  14. Only Christ knows our real identity. Every one is unique and only God knows what really I am and what you really are. Only Good knows what our differences such as our attitudes, personality and more.
    Azslyn Cole recently posted..How To Get Whiter Teeth

    • It’s interesting you say that. I read a book called Your Secret Name. It talked about the name given to us only Christ knows based on the verse in Revelation 2:17.

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