Identity in Christ – A Much Needed Part of His Church
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
In last week’s post we looked at our identity as being united with Christ in spirit as individuals and alluded to the unity of the Body of Christ. This unity is essential to who we are in Christ because we are literally members of His Body (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Paul describes our identity and unity in specific analogous terms of our own bodies and reminds us that every part is important and plays its role only as we accept our identity and humbly and diligently do our part.
As a former athlete and coach, one of the greatest things I learned and taught applies here in our identity. When we try to do things that we were not given, skilled or prepared to do we end up much less effective and often “on the bench.”
However, when we recognize our calling, abilities, preparation and roles…our IDENTITY…we find that, in humility, we are much more effective in abiding in Christ and accomplishing the purpose that we were called and created for, both personally and collectively in His Body.
If you are a believer in Christ, He lovingly and boldly calls you to walk in that identity and be confident, content and fulfilled (true humility) in His purpose in and through you to love others. The thing that most often gets in the way of us sharing, serving and loving others is our discontent with who we are in Christ because we allow the world and others define us.
Christ is the only One who can truly let you know who you are and what He has created you for…look to and be fulfilled in Him and who you are in Him!
Paul tells us in Romans that we have all sinned and are sinners. In our proud flesh that’s a hard pill to swallow because each of us thinks we’re pretty good folks. But sin is our default and it separates us from God. That’s the identity that satan wants you to carry with you to the end so that his work of killing, stealing and destroying are complete… “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” (John 10:10a).
None of us wants that identity but we are stuck with it…that is until The One who came to bring us life and not just life but abundant life (John 10:10b)… “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” He gave His life to change it all! That’s the identity that we all truly desire because we were created for it (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We were made for, and to desire, eternity but we blew it. Christ came to restore our real identity so we could be assured of eternity. However, without Him forgiving us and making us holy and whole we have no chance of entering into that Eternity with Him.
That’s why understanding and walking in our identity in Him is so powerful. Each of us as sinners in our natural flesh, once we by grace through faith believe in Christ, are made saints that can live forever with our God. Everyone who has received Christ and, is faithful in Christ, is addressed as saint (1 Corinthians 1:2)!
How’s that for an identity? You can live assuredly that you are saved and God sees you as a saint, even when you stumble, as long as you remain in Christ because He has already made you so.
Are you still living in a sinner identity with all the destructive repercussions of that life…OR are you living as the saint that Christ died to make you?
We’re talking about Love and identity in Christ. My hope and prayer is that you understand what that means and by knowing Christ you truly know who you are in Him.
Another part of our identity in Christ is found in one of the most beautiful revelations about who we are not only in Christ but with Him. John 15:13-15 plainly tells us in the context of being branches in The Vine (Christ) and walking in His Love that He has called us friends. I am a friend of God, of Christ, as I walk and remain in Him as my Savior and Lord!
Do you realize that as a believer in Christ you are in an intimate friendship with Him? Are you living and growing in that friendship with Him? What does it look like to be in and build a friendship with anyone, including God Himself?
I pray you do know Him and are walking as His friend because that is what He has called you. Are you spending time with Him, in His Word, prayer and listening to Him…that’s how you grow a friendship! I pray that just as Christ has made The Father known to you that you will make Him known to others…that’s true friendship!
We have been focusing on our identity as being accepted of God as His children, friends, redeemed, saints, a part of His Body, The Church, forgiven and whole, all in Christ.
We close today’s message with the reality (don’t miss this word in all of these things that we’ve been discovering or rediscovering that we are in Him) that we are secure in Him and all the ways that we are…
Because of God’s great Love given to me (to you and all believers) in Christ, I am now reborn of God and because of His Love and Grace the evil one can’t touch me (1 John 5:18). I may choose to step out of that and enter into sin, which invites the enemy and sin back into my life and in so doing have to deal with the consequences. I can be forgiven as I recognize, confess and repent of those sins (1 John 1:7-9). But as long as I choose by grace through faith to remain in all that He has given me in Christ then I belong to Him, reborn in Christ, secure in Him and protected from the enemy.
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – As a believer in Christ as Savior and Lord, you have the security and assurance of being born of God in Christ, protected from all the enemy brings against you as you remain in Him. You also have the assurance that you are an integral and much needed part of His Body, The Church! Are you allowing Him to define you and do you know who you are in Him?
Love and Lordship…Action Items –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- Journal what you’ve learned about your identity in Christ in this post.
- Take it a step further and journal how God has recreated you in Christ, gifted you for His purposes, and how you are/can be used of Him for His Glory.
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