The True YOU

“Who do you think you are?” The question may be asked of someone who has assumed a position of authority not rightfully theirs to claim.  It could be asked of a child who refuses to follow the directions of a parent.  And, it is an important consideration for all of us as we understand our IDENTITY.  

I’m Jerry Scott, those two words rather meaningless, just a name. More to the point, I am a man, a follower of Christ, a father and grandfather, a pastor of a local church. Those words describe functions and relationships. But, who am I really?  Sinner, saint, bad, good, worthy, worthless, loved, rejected? I am “in Christ,” a child of God.

Identity is created out of our family heritage, our memories, by our experiences, by what we believe about God, and our values. Out of these things, and more, comes our sense of self. So, “who do you think you are?”

The Scripture makes this statement about Christians. “You were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14, NIV)  That comes at the end of a passage that tells us that God chose us, we did not choose Him; that God knew us before we existed, calling us into His family. But, the core truth in those words for me are the words “in Christ.” This is a key piece of my identity.

God invites us to become one with Him, to know His love, to be restored to a relationship with Him, in Christ! What a tragedy that some turn God’s invitation to a ‘new identity’ into a religion, a rigid set of laws, a reason to judge and divide people. Truth is, when we know that we are ‘in Christ’ that identity liberates us, frees us from shame and guilt, and opens us to an experience of love unequaled in this world. Through Christ Jesus we are made alive in the Spirit, filled with God, thus empowered to live and love richly, as we are loved! Moreover, we are secured by the ‘seal of the Spirit’ so that even death itself does not terrorize us.

The discovery of our identity in Christ starts when the Holy Spirit brings us to the realization that we are ‘dead’ to God, that we are desperately trying to find what only He can give, as we build our little castles, find small and momentary joys, and accumulate trinkets.  In life, often through pain, God, in His grace, moves to bring us to a moment of surrender. 

It is not easy to admit to our hate, lust, greed, judgments, and addictions. We have known a broken identity for so long that we find it hard to let go of it, even though we hope for something better. That is why I trust in the power of the Spirit to do in me what I could never do for myself.  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8, NIV)

Because of Christ and the Spirit, our sinfulness and selfishness, as an identity, can be past tense. The Scripture says that “It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. … It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. …

He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. … Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! … No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (Ephesians 2:1-10, The Message)

What is your identity?  Who will you believe?  Will you adopt the lie that tells you that you are a random speck of carbon atoms in a meaningless universe? Will you believe the deceived who insist that Self must rule, every whim indulged? Or will you believe the word of your Creator? “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:18, NLT)  Yes, you are chosen, forgiven, received, beloved, and secure in His grace.

Here’s a word from the Word.  By faith live ‘in Christ,’ and be God’s own saint! That is who you are.  

“Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil (that which obscures His truth) is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory,
are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NIV) 


No Longer Slaves

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser
© 2014 Bethel Music Publishing CCLI License # 810055

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