Knowing exactly who we are in today’s ever-changing, turbulent environment is something that brings us great comfort and security. Our identities are important to us, and we go to great lengths to protect them. Many of us define who we are in relation to our families, where we live, work, or go to school, or how much money we make. These definitions are based in the physical world and can change unexpectedly; however, our identities become much more secure when we base them on Jesus Christ.
Going by worldly standards, what is good one day can suddenly be bad the next day. Letting the world define who we are can leave us confused and unsettled. By contrast, letting God define who we are is equivalent to basing our identity on solid rock that gives us perfect stability and never shifts. “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2, NIV). No matter how many times the world flip-flops, trusting in God’s definition of who we are keeps us steady.
We are not what we do, or even what others say we are, but what God says we are. When we are born again, we become His children and no longer have to live by the world’s shaky standards. “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12, 13, NLT). This gives born-again believers a tremendous advantage over others. We become supernatural beings, empowered to live in the world without having to be a part of the world.
Defining ourselves according to God’s Word frees us from constant self-effort to do everything right to be accepted, because He has already accepted us. “…Wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We’re righteous in His eyes, even when we make a mistake. This righteousness is permanent and will never be revoked. We become everything that Jesus Christ is. “…Because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
The world remembers our mistakes and tries to remind us of them, but in Christ, our past no longer matters—only our futures. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Being God’s children means we’re no longer sinners, but saints. This has a profound effect on how we see ourselves, and ultimately how we live our lives.
Not only are we the righteous, but we’re also the forgiven. When we mess up, we can forgive ourselves because God has already forgiven us. “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). This goes a long way in freeing us from the guilt and self-condemnation the world suffers from.
Living according to God’s definition of who we are as His children means we’re actually brothers and sisters to Christ. Whatever we do or wherever we go, this will never change, because Jesus’ identity as the Son of God will never change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV). The knowledge that we’ll always be His beloved, and forever members of His heavenly family, gives us peace of mind the world can never take away.
For more on learning who we are in Christ, click on the link below for the three-CD series, Your Identity in Christ.