How do we answer the question Who am I in Christ? Is it based on what we look like, what we do, or where we’re from? In a society that seems obsessed with identity, we seem more confused than ever about it.
Identity is more than the roles we hold. For example, I am a mother, but I’m also a wife, friend, sister, daughter, co-worker, and volunteer. It’s more than what we look like and where we’re from. Such as, I have curly hair and am average height who cannot claim one ancestry flowing in my veins but must claim several. While these things play a part in who we are, Christ defines our identity.
Merriam-webster.com defines identity as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” While our personalities do distinguish us from one another, there’s another thread that weaves its way into who we are. Our identity in Christ is not based on our personal goodness or worth; it is based on a demonstration of God’s grace at work in us to justify us and sanctify us in Him.
Justification is what God has already done on behalf of us and is perfect and permanent. In simple terms, we share a common identity pre-salvation: “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but we “are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:24).
Sanctification is God’s continuing work in a believer’s life that results in ongoing Christ-like development. This is where we walk in our identity in Christ. It’s the complete change of a life set apart for him. It is holiness, righteousness, and transformation in action. Because of God’s justification and sanctification in our life, we can discover and fulfill our identity in Christ.
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Who Does the Bible Say I Am in Christ?
I am a child of God (John 1:12).
I am secure in Jesus and God (John 10:27-30).
I am known (John 10:14-15).
I am loved (Revelation 1:4-6).
I am redeemed (2 Timothy 1:9-10).
I am delivered from walking in spiritual darkness (John 8:12).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:13).
I am forgiven for all my sins (Acts 10:43).
I am empowered to live righteously unto God (Romans 6:11-14).
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
I am an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Why Should I Know Who I Am in Christ?
Jesus said in John 16:33 that we would have trouble in this world. One look at the news headlines and we cannot deny the truth of this statement. But even closer to home, we go through struggles. Sickness, death, and disappointments weave into our lives like unwanted threads. By knowing who we are in Christ, we can navigate these difficulties. At the end of verse 33, we’re told to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. He has overcome and because of him we are victorious too. We can choose courage instead of fear.
We are called to live righteously unto God, but we struggle to do what is right. We understand when Paul laments that he knows what to do but doesn’t do it. We can remember we are sinners saved by grace and we wage a war with our fleshly desires. Paul writes of this conflict in Romans 7:7-25 and we experience this struggle on a regular basis. But knowing who we are in Christ—empowered to live righteously—helps us fight the battles that rage within.
Each of us has a set of default patterns we fall into when we’re stressed or worried. But our behaviors begin to match our thoughts about ourselves when we understand our God-given identity.
In a world that tries to place people in boxes and mold them to fit a certain narrative, it is vital that we know who we are in Christ. We are redeemed when the world tells us we’re beyond redemption. We are loved when our society says we are hated. We are secure when the culture around us implodes. We are light and salt to a weary world that searches for light in all the wrong places.
We live in this world, with all its brokenness, and knowing who we are in Christ gives us the tools and the ability to navigate it.
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How Do I Now Live Knowing Who I Am in Christ?
In Christ, we have everything we need to live this life. Knowing who I am in Christ allows me to walk with courage into the uncertain future because I know he is with me. We practice knowing who we are in Christ. It’s like the day we held our newborn baby. Our identity shifted to include the role of “parent.”
We might have had an idea of what being a parent entailed, but we didn’t really know the reality of being one. But day by day, we practiced until we became comfortable with the new role that became part of who we are. This works with living in our identity in Christ in our everyday moments and eventually, the truth settles deep within us.
Because our pre-Christ lives were ruled by sin, it can take a while to let our new identity in Christ become woven into our lives. This is when we cling to the truths of what we know—we are loved, redeemed, chosen, forgiven, and empowered—while working them out in our lives. It takes practice to live like we’re forgiven. Sometimes choices in our past fills our present with regret that leads to living a shame-filled life.
But at salvation, when we confessed our sins, God was faithful to forgive us those sins. And when our sin haunts us, we can remind ourselves that God calls us forgiven and instead of living in shame, we stand in victory because God leads us into righteousness.
Being led into Christ’s righteousness takes our willingness to receive who we are in Christ. We are loved by God, which means that as he reveals who we are in Christ, we will have opportunities for faulty thought processes to be made right. Romans 12:1-2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. As we live and walk with Christ and knowing who we are in him, he guides our transformation process.
If we’ve struggled with rejection throughout our lives, we may struggle to understand that when God chooses us, he really means it. He’s not going to un-choose us on some whim or because we failed him. And as this truth seeps into our heart and mind, it transforms the way we trust him. Each day of our lives, we can have the opportunity to wake up and say, “Today, I’m going to live as though I’m chosen.”
How we live our lives knowing who we are in Christ means that we remember what God has done for us and what he calls us. It takes reminding our hearts that our old self is gone. We are made new in Christ, and we have the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in the freedom that God gives. We read these truths in the Word of God, we meditate on them, and we walk in them day by day, and moment by moment. In doing this we live knowing who we are in Christ.
Who I Am in Christ Scripture References
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” Ephesians 1:4).
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” (Colossians 2:13).
“Yet, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
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Originally published Thursday, 09 September 2021.