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Finding our Ture Identity in Christ Alone

August 30, 2021 0 Comments

Who am I? Who are you? Do we know our true identity? It seems like so many struggle to know their identity.  Along with our purpose our identity plays a key role in our search for meaning in this life. Many areas of life can have a big (sometimes too big) input in giving us our identity. It can be our job, our past, or even others trying to force identity on us. However, once we come to faith in Jesus we are his new creation and he should be where we find our true identity

What do you do?

As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:18-20 (CSB)

I used to always think the end of verse 18 was strange. Isn’t it obvious by the fact they were casting nets that they were fishermen? Who else would be casting nets? But just like now, back then they found identity based on their career / job. When you meet someone new how long is it before someone asks, “What do you do?” Just think about all the people in the Bible where we know what their job was. Some were shepherds, a carpenter, fisherman, doctor, tax collector, tent maker, maker of purple fabric, King, judge, prophet etc.

And for the males the job was so important they were often handed down within the family. That was even fairly common for us up until the mid-20th century.

Work and the Curse

Work has always been important (Genesis 2:15). It was part of how God created us. But after Adam and Eve sinned part of the curse was we would work by the sweat of our brow. So now work consumes our energy and time. It can cause fear, “What if I lose my job?” Or cause stress and frustration with the tensions with our manager or fellow workers. In a way, when we identify ourselves with work we identify with the curse.

Other People try to Identify Us

When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him. – Mark 6:2-3 (CSB)

Even Jesus had the problem where others try to force an identity on him. They watched him grow up so they could not see that he was the promised Messiah, son of God. We have people who knew us before we came to faith. They remember what we used to be like so they just can’t wrap there head around our new life. When I first became a pastor I had a friend flat out told me, “Jon, I just can’t see you doing this.”

The Jesus Shows up

Jesus turns everything upside down. Turn the other cheek, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Not only does he make us new creations but he calls us to see ourselves differently – a new identity – and to act differently.

Take time to read Colossians 3:1-11

No longer are we supposed to view our life as we did before. We are called to put away our old identity.  Even put it to death. If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the trap to still see ourselves as we were before Jesus came into our life.

Paul even deals with the issue of race – Greek vs. Jew. He says that in Jesus these definitions no longer exist. But how often do we wrongfully put too much emphasis on our race / culture and how big a problem that is in our world today. And many today try to define themselves by their sexuality but that will always fall short in providing the true life that can only be found in Jesus.

Any other way we try to identify ourselves outside of Jesus will always fall short.

  • I have been crucified to my old sin nature
  • It is not I who lives, but it is Christ who lives in me. We are God’s temple his dwelling place
  • Jesus gave his self for us so we take on his identity

We are not identified by what we do but by what Christ did!

One of the greatest things to know is Christ just does not call us to leave our old identity but calls us to a new one. He called the fishermen to become fisher of people. He call us to a new identity not based on what we do (or did) but to one that is found in what he did. He died and rose again so we might find life. A life full of purpose and meaning.

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible Copyright 2020 by Holman Bible Publishers, Used by permission, Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers

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About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.