I.D.UNCOVERING THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE
UNCOVERING THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE
identity: the fact of being who a person is
identity crisis: a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society
We often associate ourselves with things that are natural and temporary – things that can be instantly and easily stripped away from us (examples: a certain skill or ability we have, our favorite hobby, the NFL team we support, the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the possessions we own, the music we listen to, a person we’re dating, our body image, our friends, our GPA, our occupation). While it’s not wrong to have, enjoy, or associate ourselves with these things (to an extent), it’s incredibly tragic and wrong when we’re blind to who we are apart from them.
For instance, let’s say that I’m a multi-talented person who plays division one soccer, competes as a semi-pro skateboarder, has an IQ of 150 (making me a qualified genius), plays bass for a well-known band, and drives an Audi R8 GT (a super rare sports car). One day, my band and I are being interviewed, and the interviewer turns to me with a question: “So, Brad, how would you describe yourself? What defines you as a person?” If all I claimed to be was an athlete-musician-genius, who has a good taste in cars, I’d be setting myself up for a major identity crisis. (Even if I were to highlight aspects of my moral character to describe myself, if I’m not a believer – which, for the sake of this example, let’s pretend that I’m not – my character really isn’t worth much according to Romans 3:10, which says that no person is righteous, not even one). Anyway, a couple weeks after the interview, I’m cruising down I-25 in my Audi at 70 mph, when suddenly, a deer runs out onto the road, forcing me to swerve and lose complete control of the wheel. It ends up being a terrible, life-altering accident. What was once a sleek and beautiful Audi is now nothing more than a shredded piece of metal. It’s a miracle that I’m alive. To my surprise, I wake up in a hospital bed connected to all sorts of tubes with nurses scrambling all around me. Within a few minutes of being awake, I learn that my spine was severely damaged. A doctor sits down next to my hospital bed and reluctantly tells me that I’ve been paralyzed from the neck, down – basically stating that I’ve lost all movement in my arms and legs. I also learn that I’ve suffered brain trauma, which has drastically reduced my level of intelligence, at least compared to before. I don’t even feel like I have the same personality anymore.
In the blink of an eye, I just went from being a star athlete, skilled musician, renowned genius, and passionate car enthusiast, to having pretty much all of my physical abilities, a large chunk of my mental capacity, my personality, and not to mention my one-of-a-kind Audi, stripped away from me. Now imagine if I were to be asked that same interview question from before, after my accident, “So, Brad, how would you describe yourself? What defines you as a person?” If my entire identity was wrapped up in everything I had just lost, I’d have no answer to give; therefore, any former sense of security that I had about myself would be completely out the window.
This is an extreme example, but when you actually stop and think about how fleeting man-made titles and objects of this world are, it’s no surprise that a majority of people today are suffering from identity crises and confusion.
Thankfully, for those of us who know and believe in the one, true, living God and have received the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God has granted to us an identity that is eternally secure – an identity that never changes as we get older, or as we experience shifts in our circumstances, relationships, social statuses, job positions, etc. It is unwavering – built to weather the unpredictable storms of life.
This is SUCH an incredible gift that God has given to us, yet sadly, many Christians will go through their entire lives without ever soaking in this reality for themselves. Others will maybe grasp hold of it for a season, but as time passes, they start to overlook and forget it.
The next three quarters of this article are dedicated to helping you discover your true, God-given identity, according to scripture (which is rock-solid truth that was recorded by a handful of Holy-Spirit-inspired writers many centuries ago).
As you scroll through it, you will find a list of statements, each describing a piece of your “new-creation” identity, and the supporting verse or passage found in the bible. You will notice that blank spaces (______) are inserted in front of each statement, and are also contained within most of the supporting verses. The purpose of these spaces is to insert your name (or the name of the person you are describing) as you read through this article out loud. I encourage you to make a practice of doing this over yourself, your friends, and your family. You will also notice pronoun changes within many of the supporting verses, which were made in order to preserve grammatical correctness. Be assured that these minor changes do not obstruct the original meaning or structure of the verses as they appear in their biblical context. All supporting verses (with one exception) were extracted from the ESV translation.
If you’re a Believer – meaning you’ve chosen to believe in God and made a confession of faith that Christ died and rose again to save you from your sins and restore you to a right relationship with the Father – then the following statements are 100% true of you.
Your true identity according to God’s Word:
______ is God’s child
But to ______, who did receive [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the right to become a child of God, who was born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. -John 1:12-13
…for in Christ Jesus ______ is a son of God, through faith. -Galatians 3:26
For he who is led by the Spirit of God is a son of God. For ______ did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but he has received the Spirit of adoption as a son, by whom he cries, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with ______’s spirit that he is a child of God, and if a child, then an heir—an heir of God and a fellow heir with Christ, provided he suffer with Him in order that he may also be glorified with Him. -Romans 8:14-17
If ______ knows that God is righteous, he may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of [God]. See what kind of love the Father has given to ______, that he should be called a child of God; and so he is. The reason why the world does not know ______ is that it did not know God. ______ is one of God’s children now, and what he will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when [God] appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see [God] as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. We know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him… Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. -1 John 2:29 – 3:10
______ is a friend of Jesus
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You, ______, are [Jesus’] friend if you do what He commands you. No longer does [Jesus] call you a servant, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but He has called you ‘friend’, for all that He has heard from the Father He has made known to you.” -John 15:13-15
______ is one of God’s chosen people
But ______ is [part of] a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ______ may proclaim the excellencies of God who called him out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once ______ was not [a part of] God’s people, but now he is one of God’s people; once he had not received mercy, but now he has received mercy. -1 Peter 2:9-10
Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed ______ in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, [just] as He chose ______ in Him before the foundation of the world, that he should be holy and blameless before Him. -Ephesians 1:3-4
______ is an ambassador (representative) of Christ; ______ is a minister of reconciliation:
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled ______ to Himself and gave ______ the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to ______ the message of reconciliation. Therefore, ______ is an ambassador for Christ, God making His appeal through him… For ______’s sake, God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him, ______, [along with the global body of Christ], might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:18-21
______ is God’s witness
1But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. 5Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 10…You, ______, are my witness,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. [In other words, “that you may know and believe God, and understand the truth about who God is—proclaimed in verses 1-7”]. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” -Isaiah 43:1-7,10
______ is God’s possession
But ______ is [part of] a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that ______ may proclaim the excellencies of God who called him out of darkness into His marvelous light. -1 Peter 2:9-10
______ is God’s workmanship
For ______ is [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that ______ should walk in them.
______ is God’s temple
[______], do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. -1 Corinthians 3:16-1
[______], do you not know that your body is a member of Christ? [Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? (NLT)] Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:15-20
[______], do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you, ______, [along with the global body of Christ] are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” -2 Corinthians 6:14-18
So then, ______ is no longer a stranger and an alien, but he is a fellow citizen with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him, ______ is being built together [with other believers] into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. -Ephesians 2:19-22
[______], as you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men, but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you [along with all believers], like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. -1 Peter 2:4-5
______ is God’s vessel
Therefore, if ______ cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. -2 Tim 2:21
______ is a fellow worker of God; ______ is a part of God’s “field”/ part of God’s “building”
For ______ is a fellow worker of God. He [along with all believers], are God’s field, God’s building. -1 Corinthians 3:9
______ is loved by God.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us (mankind), that God sent His only Son into the world, so that ______ [and the rest of humanity] might live through Him. In this is love, not that ______ (or anyone) has loved God, but that [God] loved _____ and sent His Son to be the propitiation (appeasing sacrifice) for ______’s sins…. So we (followers of Christ) have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. -1 John 4:9-10,16
My Identity/ blessings “in” Christ / “through” Christ:
In Christ, ______ has life
For ______ has died, and his life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is ______’s life appears, then he also will appear with [Christ] in glory. -Colossians 3:3-4
In Christ, ______ is a new creation
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:16-17
In Christ, ______ has been redeemed and forgiven by His blood
In Christ, ______ has redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of His grace… -Ephesians 1:7
He has delivered ______ from the domain of darkness and transferred him to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom ______ has redemption, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:13-14
Through Christ, ______ has been set free from sin
But thanks be to God that ______, who was once a slave of sin, has become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which he was committed, and, having been set free from sin, has become a slave of righteousness. -Romans 6:17-18
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set ______ free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in ______ [and all believers], who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. -Romans 8:1-4
In Christ, ______ has been set free from the kingdom of darkness
[The Father] has delivered ______ from the domain of darkness and transferred him to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom ______ has redemption, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:13-14
In Christ, ______ has been given the Holy Spirit
In Christ, ______ when he heard the word of truth, the gospel of his salvation, and believed in Jesus, was sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of ______’s inheritance until he acquires possession of it, to the praise of [God’s] glory. -Ephesians 1:13-14
Through Christ, ______ has been given a sound mind
But, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to ______ through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now ______ has received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that he might understand the things freely given him by God. And we (Paul and company) impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But ______ has the mind of Christ. -1 Corinthians 2:9-16
Through Christ, ______ has been adopted into God’s family
God, the Father, predestined ______ for adoption as a son through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will… -Ephesians 1:5
In Christ, ______ has been justified freely by his grace
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… -Romans 3:22b-24
Through Christ, ______ has been given all things pertaining to life and godliness
[God’s] divine power has granted to ______ all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called ______ to His own glory and excellence… -2 Peter 1:3
Through Christ, ______ has been given great and precious promises
…By [God’s own glory and excellence], He has granted to ______ his precious and very great promises, so that through them, ______ may become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. -2 Peter 1:4
Through Christ, ______ has been given authority over the enemy
Jesus: “Behold, I have given you (followers and disciples of Christ) authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” -Luke 10:19
In Christ, ______ has been given access to God
This was according to the eternal purpose that [God] has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom ______ has boldness and access with confidence through his faith in Him. -Ephesians 3:11-12
Therefore, remember that at one time, you Gentiles in the flesh (all non-Jewish people in the world), called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us (Jews and Gentiles) both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. -Ephesians 2:11-18
Therefore, since we (“brothers and sisters” in Christ) have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. -Hebrews 10:19-22
Through Christ, ______ has been given wisdom for free
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. -James 1:5
In Christ, ______ is complete
For in Jesus the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and ______ has been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority. -Colossians 2:8-10
In Christ, ______ is free forever from sin’s power
We [believers] know that our old self was crucified with Jesus in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin….
For sin will have no dominion over you (plural – “believers”), since you are not under law but under grace. -Romans 6:6,14
In Christ, ______ was, and is being sanctified; ______ was washed; ______ was justified
…______ was washed, ______ was sanctified, ______ was justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. -1 Corinthians 6:11
…God chose ______ as a firstfruit to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13b
For by a single offering, Jesus has perfected for all time, ______, who is being sanctified. -Hebrews 10:14