OK so we’ve covered social contracts and the Age of Enlightenment to some extent. Let’s take a look at what is meant by identity.
Our culture is very interested in the journey of discovering individual identity. Personality tests, dream assessments, even Buzzfeed quizzes are available everywhere you look. It seems like everyone is searching for something to tell them who they are, where they belong and how they relate to the world. The Bible says that all men and women are created in God’s image. Humankind was created to reflect some of God’s attributes. You can look for your identity anywhere, but followers of Jesus are called to find their identity in Him.
While our world encourages you to look within yourself for your identity, your natural tendency is to search for your identity in external things.
One of the first places that you can be tempted to look to is your career. Spending your time and energy pursuing your career can cause you to feel like it is a defining characteristic of who you are. After all, a job that you are dedicated to is likely to take up most of your time and attention.
Jobs and careers are closely connected to other places where you can search for your identity, such as financial success and status. But it doesn’t stop there. We also ask our relationship statuses, appearance, grades, and reputation to provide a sense of identity.
Any or all of these may feel like solid foundations, but none of them are permanent. Any of them could change without warning. If you base your identity on things like success, wealth, power, physical appearance, and so you are setting yourself up for great disappointment. A sudden job loss could leave you questioning your choices in life which is where many are facing possibly more regularly than before. Gone was the day when a job was for life!! One piece of gossip aimed your way could destroy your reputation, even if it is untrue. Your appearance will change as you get older.
God, however, is unchanging. He is reliable. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you find your identity in Him, you will never ultimately be let down because He has proven time and time again to be trustworthy.
It is important, as you define your identity, that God not be just an aspect of who you are, like “I am a Christian,” or ”I am religious,” or “I am spiritual”. Understanding your identity in God starts with understanding who He is, what He says about Himself, and what He says about you. Your identity can be defined by who God is making you to be in His image.
What is our identity according to the Bible?
Our identity is not an end in itself, but for the sake of service to the King (1 Peter 2:9-10). God made us who we are so that we might proclaim the glory of who He is. Our identity is for the sake of making known His identity. We are given our identity so that God can be seen in us.
Why is our identity in Christ so important?
Knowing your God-given identity gives you confidence, self-esteem, and awareness. Knowing who you are and Whose you are changes everything. If you knew that you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), that would change the way you view yourself.
BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, GOD CHOSE YOU
Did you know that before you were even born, God knew you.
According to the word of God, He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
Just take a moment and think about it, this means that even before this world was created, God already had us in mind. We were already chosen and predestined by him.
When the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, God said,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The Prophet Isaiah also spoke about being chosen and known by name before he was even born.
Isaiah 49:1, says,
Before I was born the Lord called me;
from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.
You are here because God chose you.
You are unique and special to him.
God knows you by name and he says you are his.
Scripture confirms that no person is here by accident.
You are here for a reason.
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me Isaiah 46: 16
You are fearfully and wonderfully made
For you are God’s handiwork, masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. Ephesians 2:10
People’s perception of you is not the same as God’s perception of who he says you are.
God’s perception of who you are in Christ is what matters.
God doesn’t just know you but he also knows about everything that concerns you.
Even the number of hairs on your head are all numbered that’s just how intricately God knows you.
The eyes of the Lord are upon you and his ears attentive to your prayers. Psalm 34:15
You are the image bearer of God because you are created in his image.
May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.