Who am i?
The oldest man in the UK at 110, at his birthday party said that we all need to find the answer to the following questions in life:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going?
I spent years through school/college/work trying to discover my identity;
- Who I was
- Who I wanted to be
- What crowd I wanted to fit in with
- The friends I wanted to make
- The label that I wanted to carry or not carry
Who am I? is an important question! God wants to give the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’
Identity theft affects tens of millions of people a year, identity is an expensive thing. Have you or anyone you know been affected by any form of identity theft or fraud? Imagine it would be like if your identity was stolen.
In the letter to the Ephesians (New Testament), the apostle Paul talks about identity? He goes to great lengths to teach the truth to a group of believers who have lost touch with who they are. In fact, the entire Church is in a battle over identity.
The enemy stole the identity that God gave us in the Garden of Eden.
- It is only through Christ that we are reconnected with our God-given identity.
Each of us is on the journey of a lifetime to reclaim the identity that was stolen.
Ephesians 1:1-4 >>> New International Version (NIV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
If your earthly identity were stolen, you’d contact the police right away as only they could help you restore what was stolen. Only an authority can restore what has been stolen.
Paul uses an important phrase:
- “in Christ” multiple times (vv. 1, 3, 4).
Paul is pointing his audience to Jesus as the authority on our identity (JER. 1:5, GAL. 1:15).
Through the power of the cross:
- We have literally and supernaturally been repositioned in Christ
- Our identity is now found in Jesus (GAL. 2:20).
- He recovered our identity through His death and resurrection
- And now our lives are connected to Him (COL. 3:4).
The message of the cross is power (1 COR. 1:18) — power to reclaim stolen identity.
The human race once walked with God and with that we were righteous but our identity was stolen, meaning we became sinners, disobeyed God. The good news is
- Jesus restored our identity enabling us to walk with God and become righteous (2 COR. 5:21).
We are ‘In Christ’ actually means we are made into saints — literally “holy ones” (v. 1). With this new identity comes some benefits:
- Grace — His favor
- His power
- Peace — the experience of undisturbed well-being (v. 2).
- All of this is on Christ’s account!
It’s a well-known fact that most identity thieves don’t actually want to be you — they are after your stuff. There is some incredible stuff that we get back when we are ‘in Christ’.
As believers, we receive “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (v. 3). God has already given us — past tense — every blessing and benefit of Heaven.
I am reminded that when Kate Middleton got married to Prince William she gained access to the blessings that come along with being a part of the royal family. If you have accepted Christ into your life then you are also part of a royal family (ROM. 8:17)!
Understanding the blessings we possess is a so important:
- We are blessed in our position in Christ.
- We have complete and all area access to God’s presence (HEB. 4:16, ACTS 2:17).
- We are blessed with God’s provision.
- Identity in Christ provides everything we will need to thrive. Not want but need (MATT. 6:8, LUKE 12:24).
- God protects us from harm.
- He is our shepherd, our shield, and our safe haven (PSALM 91:2, JOHN 10:11).
With all that comes with being In Christ, our lives should be defined by rest in other words chillax (HEB. 4:3) and joy in other words this is something to be happy about (JOHN 15:11).
Jesus recovers what the enemy stole! (JOHN 10:10).
Holy and blameless in Christ
- When your earthly identity is stolen, it takes an incredible amount of work to recover all that was lost.
- Good news for believers
- Christ has done all the work required to recover what was lost in the Garden of Eden.
God has invited all of humanity, that’s you and me
- To enter His plans and purposes on the earth through Jesus (LUKE 2:10-11).
By believing in Christ, we accept that invitation,
- This means that we volunteer for the responsibility of His plans and purposes (MATT. 9:37-38).
- Believers are God’s Chosen Ones.
- “He chose us before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him” (v. 4).
- By believing what God did for us, we are made holy or set apart (v. 4)
- As temples for His Spirit (1 COR. 3:16).
- In Christ, holiness is our identity.
- We are set apart the way the physical building of a temple is distinctive in its purposes from the other buildings around it.
In Christ, we are blameless (v. 4).It’s more than a new coat of paint on an old building. He literally makes us new. Blameless means God does not see our sin; He sees us through Jesus. Truly, the old has gone and the new has come in Christ (2 COR. 5:17).
So lets not forget we are ‘In Christ’ and with that comes benefits! That we are set apart, called to be different and to be a blessing. Lets live out this identity for the world to see!
See you next week as we continue to look at IDENTITY