January 6, 2011 by Dwight Bernier
I was very sick yesterday, and still am fighting the energy-zapping part of the flu. But hopefully, all will be well soon. Therefore, I didn’t get the chance to post the third question in hearing from Jesus.
This third question is very important in understanding who we are. Identity is such a key piece to the Christian life that so many of us try to find in what we do. But our identity is not found in what we do. Rather, our identity is found in who God and what He’s done. Therefore, He gets all the glory for whatever we are. This is why it is imperative to see first, who God is, and second, what He has done. Otherwise, we try to find our identity as Christian in the deeds we do – which is a very bad place to start.
As we hear from Jesus in His Word, when we see what our identity is, we can rest assured in this. When doubts arise, we can run back to see who we are in Christ. Ephesians 1 is a great chapter to look at identity, because many times within the passage, the prepositional phrase, ‘In Christ’, is used. This helps us understand our identity in the midst of crisis.
So, now having answered ‘Who God is’ and ‘What God has done’ in Ephesians 1, let’s continue to answer the third question – ‘Who am I as a result of what God has done?’
- Saint (v. 1)
- Faithful (v. 1)
- Recipient of peace (v. 2)
- Recipient of grace (vv. 2, 6, 7)
- Blessed (vv. 3, 6)
- Chosen (v. 4)
- Loved (v. 4)
- Predestined for adoption/Child of God (v. 5)
- Redeemed (v. 7)
- Forgiven (v. 7)
- United in Christ (v. 10)
- Recipients of an inheritance (v. 11, 18)
- Sealed for God by the Holy Spirit (v. 13)
- Called (v. 18)
- Objects of God’s immeasurable power (v. 19)
- Part of the Church (v. 22)
Imagine feeling the weight of sin and condemnation, which I am sure everyone of us has felt. But then we read Ephesians 1.7 which tells us that we have been redeemed and forgiven. We are truly free from our sin and need to no more feel our condemnation. What about when we feel like no one loves us? We read Ephesians 1.4-5 and find out that we were chosen by God before there was time and that we were predestined to be children of the most High God! We don’t gain identity by how we feel (i.e. guilty, unloved); instead, we gain our identity by what God says about us in Christ.
I’m convinced that we miss so much in our relationship with Jesus because we’re looking to question 4 right away, which we’ll deal with tomorrow. That question has to do with what we do in light of who we are. But we can’t do what is right until we understand that we don’t work for our identity and that it is strictly based on who God is and what He’s done.
Question: Why is it so hard to live out of our identity? Why is it so hard to believe some of what God says about us?