In Part 1, we talked about how the human identities we wear fall short when we look to them for fulfillment. Our career, occupation, ethnicity, gender, orientation and relationships can provide enjoyment, but they do not satisfy our deepest needs. We need something more. Something lasting.
The third statement applies to this discussion of identity. All these years later, it is the biggest thing I took away from that study. She made us say:
“I am who God says I am.”
THIS is the identity that fulfills. Let’s look at who He says I am…
A creation in God’s image.
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” –Genesis 1:27
Here, God states TWICE that we are created in His image. We are not random accidents of biology. He created us in His image because He longs for our companionship.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
He designed us for a purpose. The Psalmist says His works are “wonderful”. That means YOU and ME are wonderful creations. Let that sink in. We don’t have to measure up to society’s standard of beauty and success. God did a wonderful thing when He made you!
“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
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” –1 John 3:1a
When we place our faith in Jesus and repent of our sins, we are placed into God’s family through adoption! No longer just image-bearers, we can be children of the Creator of the universe!!! We are no longer left to wander about aimlessly. We have an eternal Father.
If you are a parent, you know how much you love your children. They are your pride and joy. Our parent/child relationship here on earth is just a small object lesson of how He loves us. Even when we are rotten and disobedient, He still LOVES and adores us…just like we love our children when they are being naughty.
We set rules for our children so that they can learn to be happy, healthy adults. God has set out rules for us to follow so that we can be free from sin’s nasty consequences. He wants us to be all that He made us to be…just as we want our children to reach their full potential.
A temple for the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” –1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When we are adopted into God’s family, He places His Spirit inside us. This Spirit teaches us, tells us right from wrong, and gives us the power to avoid sin. When we are in pain, He comforts us. When we are wrong, he nudges our conscience. When we are without wisdom, He gives us wisdom. He is right there inside us. We just have to ask for His help. (John 14:25, 15:26, 16:7)
Free from sin’s chains.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—“ –Romans 6:6
We can still choose to sin after we are adopted into God’s family, but we are no longer slaves to that sin. The Holy Spirit wants to empower us to resist sin. Any sin. Even the sin that threatens to drown us in shame. Even the sin that seems to overtake every aspect of our lives. Even the sin that is socially acceptable. Even the sin that divides us from society. We do not have to be controlled by sin. We do not have to accept it as our identity!
We are free in Christ!!
Let those identities sink in a bit. This is not an exhaustive list of who God says we are, but it’s a good start. Ask God to help you step into your real identity. Just like new shoes, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will bring you freedom.
In Part 3….How do I adopt my real identity?