Who Are You?

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

I heard a song on the radio the other day that reminded me of my time spent in elementary school. I remember that we’d start each morning with announcements, the national anthem, the Lord’s prayer (believe it or not) and then we’d exercise to the latest hits which at that time included a song called “Who Are You?” by The Who. Now aside from a couple of shockingly clear expletives which you’d think should have led to it not being played over the school sound system, the song does pose one of life’s most pressing questions… who are we and how, for that matter, do we identify ourselves?

These days, people seem to answer this question in relation to such things as their career, education, sexual orientation, income level, or accomplishments. And when you think about it, not only does the list goes on and on, for many, it seems to constantly be changing.  But for those who by God’s grace have put their faith in Christ, this question has been decisively answered in and through the gospel. As Tullian Tchividjian explains in his book Jesus + Nothing = Everything

The gospel liberatingly declares that in Christ “we already are.” While the world, the flesh, and the Devil constantly tempt us to locate our identity in something or someone smaller than Jesus, the gospel liberates us by revealing that our true identity is locked in Christ. Our connection in and with Christ is the truest definition of who we are.

If you’re a Christian, here’s the good news: Who you really are has nothing to do with you—how much you can accomplish, who you can become, your behavior (good or bad), your strengths, your weaknesses, your sordid past, your family background, your education, your looks, and so on. Your identity is firmly anchored in Christ’s accomplishment, not yours; his strength, not yours; his performance, not yours; his victory, not yours. Your identity is steadfastly established in his substitution, not your sin. As my friend Justin Buzzard recently wrote, “The gospel doesn’t just free you from what other people think about you, it frees you from what you think about yourself.”

You’re free!

Now you can spend your life giving up your place for others instead of guarding it from others—because your identity is in Christ, not your place.

Now you can spend your life going to the back instead of getting to the front—because your identity is in Christ, not your position.

Now you can spend your life giving, not taking—because your identity is in Christ, not your possessions.

When we truly see and understand all these aspects of what we’ve become in Jesus Christ, what more could we possibly ever want or need when it comes to our self-identity? Here in Christ we have worth and purpose and security and significance that makes utterly laughable all the transient things of this world that we’re so frequently tempted to identify ourselves by.

Here is a great short film that expresses this idea very creatively…

Heavenly Identity

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 (ESV)

  1. Gwen says:

    Hi Pastor Lee, As I read your blog, the thought that immediately came to mind was when I gave my life to Christ. Free, I was finally free. I remember that feeling, that sense of completeness, the overwhelming presence of Christ who loved and accepted me. It was HUGE for me. That freedom was and is precious to me. I believe yet again God is reminding (way too serious) me that I am indeed free 🙂 ps: sometimes I forget so thanks for sharing.

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