Move over James Bond. America’s favorite fictional spy is Jason Bourne, a.k.a. David Webb, a rugged, enigmatic hero created by novelist Robert Ludlum in 1980.
But just who is Jason Bourne? Ludlum’s first novel about him, The Bourne Identity, was published in 1980 and opened with his nearly lifeless body floating in the Mediterranean. When he was pulled aboard a trawler, he had several bullet wounds and was suffering amnesia. By the second Bourne novel, The Bourne Supremacy, Jason had recovered most of his memory and was teaching quietly in a university in Maine under his real name, David Webb. When his wife was kidnapped, Webb became Jason Bourne once again and crisscrossed the globe with heart-pounding drama.
In the third novel, The Bourne Ultimatum, Bourne’s archenemy came after him once more; and Ludlum brought his Bourne trilogy to a climactic finale.
By now, you may be wondering what the Bourne stories have to do with biblical teaching. Have you ever noticed how often the plot of modern fiction reflects basic biblical teaching? In these stories, things have usually gotten into a terrible fix, and innocent victims are in jeopardy. A corrupt power is working behind the scenes. When all seems lost, a heroic protagonist appears. After struggling through unexpected twists of the plot and facing seemingly catastrophic defeat, this messianic figure prevails and the world is saved.
So for a moment think of yourself as Jason Bourne, and consider this: As followers of Christ, we have a Born Identity. We must be born again.
Birth is the great miracle of God. In the Garden of Eden, the Lord could have created the world in permanent fixation, but instead He established cycles based on the perpetual wonder of birth. He told Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28). Through the recurring marvel of birth, the world is ever new. That’s what allowed the human race to survive after the Fall. It allowed new generations to arise even as older ones succumbed to sin-induced death.
In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that the miracle of birth is a pattern for our spiritual lives, too. Just as we’re born of the old Adam, we must be born of the New Adam. When we trust Christ as Savior, we’re born into God’s family and given a new nature and a new name.
A new birth doesn’t just give us a new identity. It gives us supreme purpose in life, a higher calling. We’re endowed with eternal significance. Look at the following Scriptures:
- Psalm 139 explains how God’s all-encompassing qualities intersect with our own individual lives. In verse 16 we learn: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (NLT).
- In Jeremiah 1:5 and Isaiah 49:1 we read: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born… I ordained you a prophet…. The Lord has called me from the womb.”
- Next notice the testimony of Paul. He told the Galatians that God had set him apart from birth to the work assigned him (Galatians 1:15). He told his friends that nothing mattered to him except finishing the work God had given him to do (Act 20:24).
- And in Ephesians 2:8-10—verses 8 and 9 tell us that we’re saved by grace through faith. But verse 10 (NIV) goes on to say: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
When we’re born again, we enter the family business. We have work pre-assigned from eternity. We’re stationed here on earth for a few years with a job to do and with the promise that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It’s a supreme calling.
That leads to the Born Ultimatum. Our greatest work is bringing the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world before the ultimate return of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). We need to be about our Master’s business while we can do it.
Is your Identity in Jesus Christ Ultimate and Supreme?
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information about Turning Point, visit our website at www.DavidJeremiah.org.
The most active battleground isn’t on any military map. It’s inside of you every day, as your old nature wages war with your new nature in Christ. Dr. David Jeremiah sheds light on that conflict and how you can enlist God’s help to resolve it through the quality of biblical self-control.