“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)h
Friend to Friend
There’s a game that I’ve played many times at conferences and retreats as an icebreaker activity. Each person has the name of a famous or infamous person taped to her back. The women in the room walk around giving each other clues about who they “are.” “You always put off worrying until tomorrow.” “You had so many children you didn’t know what to do.” “You were the queen of soul.” The point of the game is to figure out your identity. Once you guess correctly, you take a seat.
As I watched the women play that game, I was struck with its similarity to real life. Many times we determine our identity, by what others tell us about ourselves. You are so smart. You are a loser. You are so pretty. You could do anything you set your mind to. You are so ugly. You are so fat. After a while, those messages determine how we see ourselves, whether true or false. It is only a mature person who realizes that just because a person perceives you a certain way, doesn’t make that perception true.
One of the greatest blessings of becoming a Christian is receiving a new identity. In the Bible, when God touched and changed a person’s life, many times He changed his or her name. He said, “You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow” (Isaiah 62:2). Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter.
Likewise, when we accept Christ, God gives us a new identity and a new name. If we want to know our true identity, we need only look in the mirror of God’s Word to discover it. It may be different from what you’ve heard others say about you, but which do you think is more accurate? Who do you think has a better perception of who you are, your Creator, or other creatures just like yourself? If you are a Christian today, the following verses describe your new identity.
My Identity in Christ
I am the salt of the earth.Matthew 5:13
I am the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 I am a child of God.John 1:12
I am part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of Christ’s life.John 15:1,5
I am Christ’s friend. John 15:15
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit. John 15:16
I am a joint-heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17
I am a temple of God. His Spirit dwells in me. I Corinthians 3:16
I am a member (part) of Christ’s body. I Corinthians 12:27 2
I am a new creation. C orinthians 5:17
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.2 Corinthians 5:18,19
I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1
I am blessed with every spiritualblessing in heavenly places.Ephesians 1:3
I am sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit who has been given as a pledge of my inheritance.Ephesians 1:11
I am God’s workmanship created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.Ephesians 2:10
That is a lot to put on a nametag, but that is your new identity. Neil Anderson, in his book Victory over the Darkness notes, “The reason so many Christians are not enjoying the maturity and freedom which is their inheritance in Christ is because they hold wrong self-perceptions. They don’t see themselves as they really are in Christ. They don’t understand the dramatic change which occurred in them the moment they trusted in Him. They don’t see themselves the way God sees them, and to that degree they suffer from a poor self-image. They don’t grasp their true identity.”
In that paragraph, Dr. Anderson described me perfectly. For the first twenty years of my Christian walk, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was in Christ. As God opened my eyes to the truth, I realized that how I saw me and how God saw me were in stark contrast to one another. I came to a crisis of belief…who was I going to believe? And that, dear friend, is the same question you need to ask yourself.
Dear God, I thank You that I am a new creation in Christ. I admit that sometimes I feel just like the old me and act like the old me, but I believe by faith that I am brand new. Thank You that my identity is based on my position in Christ rather than my performance on earth.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Now It’s Your Turn
Do have any labels from your past that are in conflict with what the Bible tells you about who you are as a child of God? Look at the above verses. Do have a difficult time believing the truth about who you are?
Now here’s the big question. Are you going to believe what others have told you in the past or are you going to believe God?
Now, go back up to the list of verses again and read them to yourself aloud.