Your identity is a very personal and important matter, and worthy of your protection. Your identity is also important to other people. Just think about the many times and various ways that you have to identify yourself. Passports, identity cards, driver’s licenses, passwords, etc. are all used to identify yourself to people that you are dealing with.
People identify themselves with their profession, nationality, or some other important aspect of their lives that they want to be known by. Recently we began to see headlines on gender identification, with different genders that people want to be identified with.
We have our own identity crisis in the church. After all that Jesus did for us, some Christians still refer to themselves as sinners, and this may very well be the reason for a weak Christianity. If Christians continue to see themselves as sinners, Christ died in vain.
How do we see ourselves, and how do we want to be seen by others? Paul says if we are in Christ, we are a new creation, and this means that we received a new identity. Who is this new person?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is probably one of the most important verses in the Bible!
Every human on the planet was born out of Adam after he fell from the presence of God. Although he was alive physically, he was dead spiritually, cut off from the Source of life, God Himself. As sinners we identified with fallen Adam; we were part of his family and shared his sinful nature.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:23
Thank God, He did not leave us there! He sent another Adam to begin a new race of people with a different nature.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45
There are two Adams, each the head of a unique race of people. The first Adam gave birth to a fallen race, as kind gives birth to kind. The last Adam gave birth to a new race of people that, like Him, were dead, but raised from the dead in newness of life.
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15:47-48
We were born from the last Adam, and belong to His family. We identify with Him, the Son of God. We are not sinners, but children of God.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:5-6
The church is also called the bride of Christ. Jesus will not marry below His standard by taking sinners to be His bride. Look at how Paul describes the unity between Christ and the church:
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. Ephesians 5:30
How can we call ourselves sinners if we are of His flesh and bones? We struggle with sin because we see ourselves as sinners, but if we recognize that we are one with Him, we stretch ourselves to grow into Him more and more.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
The mirror is the Word, and the more we look into it, the more we grow into the image that we see there:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:9-10
…be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24
…you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Colossians 3:9-10
This was also the prayer of the apostle Paul:
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you… Galatians 4:19
Does this make us perfect? No! As long as we live in the flesh, we will be weak and stumble at times.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:22-25
That gives us no license to sin, for we are driven by the desire to be more like Him, whereas as before we were driven by our sinful nature. As a matter of fact, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
Sin in a believer’s life doesn’t annul his relationship with God, although it stifles fellowship with Him. It makes communication impossible and, in the end, becomes a stumbling block that hides His face from us. Our loving Father made provision even for that:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
All we need to do when we stumbled, is go to Him and tell Him about it. He already knows, of course, but because our sin offends Him, He wants us to come to Him and clear the air so that fellowship can be restored. God longs for our fellowship, just as He longed to fellowship with Adam and Eve, and visited them in the garden.
We are children of God even though we are not perfect. Don’t change your identity because you stumble sometimes. You will not be perfect until you left your earthly body, but you can grow into the new person that God made you to be in Christ.
The me that you see, is the me that you will be. Spend enough time looking into the mirror of the Word, and gradually grow into the image that you see there. You are the righteousness of God in Him. You have been born again, and have become a new creation with a new identity. God adopted you as His child. You have been delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love. In Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He made you sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Find your true identity in Scripture, and live up to it; the world is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God!