Our Identity is LOVE
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)
Love Himself—Jesus—rebirths us as New Creations. All the stuff that once seemed important becomes nothing more than rubbish when compared to the glory of who Jesus is. Christianity is all consuming when rightly understood. Jesus is either the preeminent reality in our lives—the center, the focus, the beginning and end, the light–the purpose, truth and glory of who we are—the passion that drives us, the power that transforms us—the Person we live for and the One who died for us—or we have not really grasped Christianity yet…!
How do you see yourself? So often our identity is shaped by many things other than our relationship with Jesus. Perhaps we view ourselves through the lens of our early years. Perhaps our identity has been more shaped by the wounds of life than the healing we have in Jesus’ wounds. Often, we see ourselves through the words of others, rather than the Word of God…
As Pastor John Cahill said so well in a Facebook post this week, sexual sin is more crippling than other sin, because people identify themselves through their broken sexuality, rather than through Jesus. The Bible confirms that sexual sin is different than other sins precisely for this reason (See 1 Cor. 6:15-20).
Thus, to identify yourself as “straight” or “gay” is to be sold cheap by nothing more than sexual preferences and brokenness, rather than to be owned by Jesus—who bought you, Christian, at highest price.
Our identity can never be reduced to or defined by what our flesh wants, or by the work we do, or by the emotions we feel, or by the voices of others or those in our own mind. Our identity, if we are Blood Bought, is simply this: CHRISTIAN.
BY GODS GRACE, THOSE LESSER THINGS THAT CLAMOR TO BE OUR “IDENTITY” CAN BE HEALED! REMOVED! DEYSTROYED!
Christians have one and only one identity: JESUS! We are IN Jesus. To “add” to Him is the ultimate subtraction. To identify ourselves through something broken, rebellious, sinful, or fallen is the ultimate rejection of His grace.
So, as individual Christians, our identity has been set. We are a New Creation in Jesus. We identify with Him. We see ourselves through His eyes. Jesus defines who we are, what we are, how we are, where we are and why we are. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega (beginning and end) of our Identity…!
What about congregations? Church people, like sheep, often flock to places because of identity—Identity other than what is ours in Jesus. “Cool” Church, “Rich” Church, “Hipster” Church, “Traditional” Church “Contemporary” Church “Mega” Church… all have one too many words in their name. Jesus plus anything is…nothing. The Bride is identified in and by Her Groom, period. Jesus alone forms the Church’s real identity.
We should know. Our congregation, in the recent past, has been identified most proudly as Livingston’s “richest” church, “coolest” church, and “largest” church. None of those things are inherently evil, but when “cool”, or “wealthy” or “biggest” becomes more important to our identity than “Christ-follower,” we have missed the point of being a New Creation.
The Lord has called us as a congregation and as individuals to settle this thing in our heart. We are NEW CREATIONS not through a building or a job or a reputation or by sexual brokenness; we are New Creations only in and by Messiah Jesus. He is our identity. He is the only point of Church. He is God… and we are not!