<<distinctiveness, personality, self>>

This is the bundle of qualities or characteristics by which a person or thing is known. We are uniquely created by God but come to recognise our own identity primarily through interaction with other people.

Where does our identity come from? Is the source variable and unreliable such as the opinions of people or the consistent, unchangeable view of God, by whom we are accepted because of Christ? (Eph 1:6). Although we may have had a bad history before we met Christ, we now have a “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness

Know who you are in Christ – let Jesus define who you are

and holiness” (Gal 5:16-26; Eph 4:22-24). Our identity is “in Christ” and His definition of who we are is on a different dimension to what carnal minds comprehend; it is our responsibility, from the time we become believers, to align ourselves with this new distinctiveness and walk in it, as opposed to identifying with the condemnation and unworthiness  of human views of us.

In order to embrace this new identity we must remain in connection with our life source and walk in obedience growing in understanding and living out our position in Christ, “confident that He who started a good work in us will bring it to completion” (Jn 14:23, 15:4,5; Phil 1:6). In Christ we are new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We are to consider the old life of being slaves to sin has gone, replaced by becoming righteous “Sons of God” through reconciliation by the blood of Christ. Don’t slip back into the old image by letting Satan talk you out of your identity in Christ (Rom 5:10, 6:6,13,18, 8:9,15,16; Gal 5:1).

My new identity is in Christ, not in things or the works I do, rather it is because I am redeemed by His blood; I am a victor, an overcomer, a soldier in His army, His representative helping to extend His Kingdom rule by allowing Him to flow through me, and the term “Christian” also identifies me as a follower of Christ (Act 11:26; Rom 8:14; Col 3:1-4).

Your identity is in Christ

Baptism is an action identifying with Christ in His death and resurrection, so we can truly say ‘I have been crucified with Christ and the old life doesn’t live any longer’, yet my spirit is alive (Rom 6:3-14, 8:10; Gal 2:20). We are to walk in this new life, having received the Spirit of Sonship that makes us more than conquerors, and we are in the process of being conformed to Christ’s image because we have been brought into right relationship (Rom 8:15,29,37; Eph 2:13). By receiving new mindsets we are being transformed, resulting in being instruments of righteousness (Rom 12:1,2). Understand who you are in Christ and the blessings that result from that relationship; it includes abundant and eternal life (Jn 10:10). We are ‘secure’ sons of God, clothed with the righteousness of Christ in whom we are united (Rom 12:15; 2 Cor 1:21, 5:21; Gal 3:26-29). Christ is being formed in us (Gal 4:19; Col 1:27,28). We are God’s workmanship, created to do good works (Eph 2:10). We are not condemned as we have received His grace (Rom 8:1; 2 Tim 1:9).

Jesus said, “Whoever disowns Me before men, and is ashamed to live according to My words I will disown before My Father in Heaven” (Mt 10:32,33; Mk 8:38). Are we willing to be identified as a follower of Jesus or are we ashamed as Peter was at one point in his life (Mt 26:69-74)? Later, after they were empowered by the Holy Spirit the authorities

Have I fully identified with Christ by living responsibly for Him

“Took note that these men [including Peter] had been with Jesus” (Act 1:8, 4:13). Something had rubbed off on them; through association there had been transmitted some of His qualities, power and influence. The disciples boldly identified with Christ and rejoiced even after being flogged (Act 2:14,38-40, 5:40,41). The early church believers gladly associated with the cause of Christ even though it brought persecution. Stephen became the first of many thousands of martyrs throughout history who have remained true to Christ, and been killed rather than deny Him and be spared (Act 7:57-8:3, 12:1,2; Rev 12:11). What would my response be?

Jesus identified with us in our sin so we might identify with Him in His victory. Barriers that prevent us identifying with Christ and then appropriating the blessings are:

* Ignorance (Hos 4:6). As the Bible is studied to find the truth through understanding, then applied, it will bring release and the intended purpose (Prov 2:1-6, 4:4,5; Isa 55:11; Jn 8:32,36; 2 Tim 2:15). We will be changed into His likeness (2 Cor 3:18).

* Unbelief that the power of the gospel can really make a difference in every facet of life. This results in a lack of response and outworking of the provision of Christ’s victory for us.

* Pride. I can fight my own battles, for I am an independent person.

Are these issues I should give attention to?

Jesus took the form of man, identifying with our humanness, yet did not sin (Phil 2:5-7; Heb 2:16-18, 4:15). His coming to earth is known as the incarnation and indicates that often only real help takes place when the helper gets alongside those in need, genuinely identifying with them (Jn 3:16).  Jesus mixed with those society shunned, and while He did not condone their conduct, He skillfully ministered to them and was known as the friend of publicans and sinners (Lk 7:34). ‘God is love’ and love is to be the identifying mark of Christians – towards God, and other Christians, as well as those presently outside the Kingdom (Jn 13:34,35; Eph 1:15). Those secure in their identity are most able to make a gift of themselves for others, as Christ did.

An identity crisis can overwhelm people when what they put their hope in is shattered. Depression and feelings of hopelessness can lead to suicide. However, as a believer see yourself from God’s perspective; a person made in His image, whom Jesus died to redeem, and who He desires to set free from every bondage and false assumption. There is enormous potential power in declaring the truth of

I am a new creation in Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Scripture such as, ‘I am made in His image, I am His child, a new creation, set free and forgiven’ (Gen 1:27; Jn 1:12; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:13, 5:1; Eph 1:7).

Christians primarily find their identity in being children of God, and this should govern all aspects of their existence including acknowledge His good design of creating humanity in two (and only two) genders; "male and female He created them" (Gen 1:27). Increasingly society is embracing the concept of gender fluidity, transgenderism and all sorts of sexual behaviour that is foreign to God's standard.

See also: association, baptism (water), characteristic, confession (of faith), connection, declare, empathy, position in Christ, self-esteem, sexuality.