Identity

What is your identity? Or rather with what do you identify yourself? When someone asks you about yourself what do you say?

Most people would respond with an answer something like this:

I am married with 3 children; I live in Middleville on a small farm; I work at the famous Acme Company as a design engineer; I am working toward a Masters degree in Mechanical engineering.

Sound impressive? Well, there is nothing wrong with the above descriptions except there is nothing permanent about them. They are all examples of what is called a temporary identity. Why temporary? At any moment, the things you may identify yourself with can change. Consider loosing your job, or moving, for example. How would that change your identity? As you can see, a change in your life could drastically alter how you perceive yourself.

What about your true identity?

The Need:

When you were born, your true identity was not your name, or your stature, or the wealth of your inheritance. According to Godís word your true identity, even from birth, is a sinner condemned to death.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23 NKJV throughout)

"For the wages of sin is deathÖ" (Romans 6:23)

"For as in Adam all dieÖ" (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Because of the sin of Adam, all have inherited death. We all need a savior to rescue us from this sentence of death.

The Solution:

The complete verses in 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Romans 6:23 tell us the solution.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

The result of sin is death. There is no way around it. No one, from Adam to you, can escape this truth. Even if you are Muslim or Hindu, a fireman or a housewife, the truth is still truth. Our identity is a sinner condemned to death.

But we do have a savior, one who died in our place. One who paid the penalty for us.

"Öin Christ all shall be made alive."

If we are in Messiah:

We have been saved from the penalty of death: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

We have been redeemed (bought back from being a servant of sin): "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1:18-19)

We have been justified (freed from any question of guilt): "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Romans 3:24)

We have been reconciled (put in right standing with our Creator): "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10)

Our Response:

So if we believe in Yeshua (Jesus), we have a new identity. We are the redeemed ones, redeemed from death. No longer should we look at ourselves, or behave, as condemned ones; the penalty for sin has been paid. Not will be paid, not paid if you are good, but, has been paid. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) If we are made righteous by Yeshua then we belong to Him; He bought us with His blood. [For further study, see article on Bond Servant]

Most people believe that their identity is in what they do. This proves only to be a temporary identity; if you change what you do your identity would change. Instead, we should change what we do according to our identity in Yeshua.

Let me give you an example; if you were suddenly told that you had inherited one million dollars, you would then begin to act like you had money. If you were suddenly told that you were a prince, next in line to be king, you would then start acting as such. Likewise, when you are told by God that your sins have been paid for, that you are justified before Him, you need to act like a redeemed, justified servant of Yeshua. You should no longer go about doing things as one who is condemned to die. Itís not what you do as a believer that determines who you are; itís who you are that must determine what you do.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:1-6 emphasis added)

Our new identity is complete in Messiah; "and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:10)

Notice it says "you are complete in Him" Not that you will someday be complete. Right now, you are no longer dead in Adam, but alive in Messiah; and if you are in Him, then what is true of Him is true of you.

We are a new creation "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) We are fully equipped to live out the life God expects of us; fully equipped to keep His commandments; to obey His word. How? "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jeremiah 31:33)

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22)

Donít let Satan deceive you; you are justified and redeemed. Start living and acting like who you are, like your identity in Yeshua. You are born again, a new man, dead to sin and the old self. Praise God! Thank Him for your new life in Him and start living that new life.

May YHWH bless you and keep you.

 


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