Hi, guys! It’s Heather again, jumping in at the beginning of this post to say, hello.
Today, my friend Zach wrote a post all about our true identity in Christ. I absolutely love this post and Zach’s writing. He’s an amazing writer. Read to the end of it to be shocked by just how young he is. Make sure you check out his blog too (the link will be at the bottom.) it’s great!
Today, I volunteered at a music camp at my church. It’s been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Some of you may know that I’ve technically played the flute for 6 years. But, I’ve only taken professional lessons for about 2(ish) years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities that this has brought me. Working with all of the kids this week and getting to play in an ensemble and in a mini orchestra is reminding me just how much I love playing the flute and challenging myself with new music. Maybe I’ll do a post about the camp in the future. Would you want to see that?
Well, enough about me, enjoy Zach’s post and comment below your thoughts on this subject!
Who We Truly Are
By: Zach Philip
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…
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!
I want to propose to you something crazy: 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 really well make your identity “pianist.”
In fact, 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 literally anything else in this world.
Your true identity is in something- no, Someone who doesn’t change.
Your identity is set in the gospel.
Your identity is in God and how he made you.
WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
…he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will-
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
-1 Peter 2:9
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
-1 John 3: 1-2
We have heard that we are children of God, but what does this mean practically? Who are we as children of God?
We are chosen. (Ephesians 1:4-6) Ephesians 1:4-6 says, “…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”.
Think about this: the founder of the universe, before we even knew ourselves, knew us, and not just that, he chose us! He knew we would fall short; 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 because of his great love!
We are redeemed from slavery to sin. (Ephesians 1:7-10) The next 3 verses say, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Christ’s blood redeemed us and unites us with God.
We are loved. Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us.” God rescued us because he loves us! This one’s hard to comprehend. God had his Son die one of the most painful deaths for ungrateful people who hated and spat on Him. What? You could understand if someone died for his very best friend. But enemies? No way! And God isn’t a random person. He’s God! He still loves us so much and saved us for His glory. (Romans 5)
We are alive. (Ephesians 2:4-5) Ephesians 2:4-5 says, But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”. Ever think about that? Before Jesus saved you, you were dead. Not sick. Not “needing a bit of coaching”. Nope. Dead. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But God woke us up…from the dead!
We are created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”. – Ephesians 2: 10. So 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 to do good works. This last part just might seem a little less inspiring than all the others. But the truth is we’re made to worship. You’re either worshiping God or you’re worshiping something or someone else. The only thing that will ever satisfy us is glorifying God. And how do we do that? By obeying and enjoying God.
We are bound for heaven. Ephesians 1:11-14 says, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
HOW OUR IDENTITY CHANGES HOW WE LIVE
We’ve talked about who we are because of the gospel (chosen, redeemed, forgiven, holy, accepted, adopted, loved, righteous, alive, created for good works, and bound for heaven).
How does this transform how we live?
- We aren’t slaves to people pleasing
We don’t have to live to please people or place our worth in what others think of us. We’re set free and made to live for the King. We know that God loves us and our worth has nothing to do with what people think about us.
- We aren’t slaves to sin
Christ’s blood set us free from sin so that we can live for Jesus. Until we’re in heaven, we will continue to sin. But we aren’t slaves to sin. We’re alive in Christ and slaves to Him (which is truly ultimate freedom!). See Romans 6:6-11. Romans 6:6-11 says: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
- We don’t need to fear God’s wrath
We don’t live in fear of a just, holy God sending us to hell. We deserve hell apart from our identity in Christ, but God still loves us. He doesn’t judge us based on what we do, but who Jesus is. (Colossians 1:22) He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him – Colossians 1:22
- We can rest in Christ
Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, we can find rest in Him, knowing that our identity is in Him and we are secure and loved.
- We live for Jesus.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” God loved us first by saving us and because of this, we love Him.
Our identity is rooted in Christ and what He has done for us. God didn’t love us originally as the result of anything good we had done, and he won’t stop loving us because of any bad we do.
He died and rose to set us free from our death and slavery to sin to experience true freedom and satisfaction by glorifying God.
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.
Zach Philip is a 14-year-old homeschooled Christian. He enjoys blogging about the gospel at ZachPhilip.com, and (really) slowly co-authoring a fantasy novel with his friend. In his free time, he loves playing acoustic guitar, being outside, and hanging out with friends.