“Remember who you are.” I tell this to my kids all the time. They are probably tired of hearing it, but I think it is important. So every time they walk out the door, they hear it again. Here is the reason. Identity impacts attitudes, choices and behavior.

This is why the Bible speaks about identity often. God wants us to know who we are. This is so important to Him that He sent His Spirit to us to testify with our spirits that we are indeed children of God.

Identity, however, is much more than a name. It goes deeper than a name tag we wear. In other words, God didn’t merely Velcro a tag on us that says, “Child of God.” He changed us from the inside out.

Through faith in Jesus, we have become something different than we once were, a new creation according to 2 Corinthians 5:17. Identity, biblically speaking, refers specifically to what we have become in Christ.

In other words, our new identity as children of God encapsulates all that happened to us the moment we were saved. God’s radical work in our lives fits us for a new name. Here are just a few things God did in each of us at that moment of new birth. Although the list below is not an exhaustive one, it does show the magnitude of this great salvation you have received in Christ Jesus.

  • God made you alive together with Christ: “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 transgression—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
  • God caused you to be born again: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
  • He transferred you out of the kingdom of darkness and placed you into His kingdom : “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
  • He added you to His body, the church of Jesus Christ: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it” (1Corinthians 12:27).
  • He sent His Spirit to live in you: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Galatians 4:6). “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
  • God declared you to be His child: “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 3:1).

As you can tell from these few verses, being saved is a big deal. It is much more than receiving a ticket granting you entry into heaven when you die, or even forgiveness of sins here and now. What happened to you and me at that moment of salvation is monumental, so much so that it warranted a new identity.

You probably weren’t aware of all that happened. I certainly was not. You simply responded to the message concerning Christ.  As a result, you became something different than what you were; a spiritually dead sinner who was separated from God. But now in Christ, you are a child of God.

As you can imagine, identity is a big topic on the radio broadcast. Every person wrestles with self-image and questions of worth. These struggles are provoked by that single most important question that we all ask: “Who am I?”

There is only one place to go, one person to turn to, for the answer that satisfies the curiosity of the heart – Jesus Christ. He is the one who places us on a firm foundation and gives us an identity that can never change.

 

For more information on this subject, a suggested resource is our study guide Gateway to Grace (BGG).