A very good morning to you my precious family in the Lord
Galatians 2 verse 20 says "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
“WHO AM I?” is a question that all of us ask ourselves at some point. What defines me? What makes me me?
Identity means different things to different people. But typically people see that a person has a core of what makes them different, something for them to latch on to and claim as their own. It wasn’t always this way. Being special and unique is a modern Western value. In other countries and in much of the ancient world, your identity wasn’t in your personality but in your group—your family, tribe, associates and class level. Today identity is much more complicated—it can incorporate your relationships outside of you and all your interests and talents inside of you.
As Believers saved through Jesus, we have a shortcut to the million-dollar question. Who are we? We are a part of the family of God. We have an identity in Christ. While this is cause for celebration—being “in Christ” is a pretty impressive title because when our identity is in Christ, then by definition our identity is not in something else.
When we are saved by faith, we are positioned IN Christ. We are taken from being in Adam's fallen race and transferred into Christ's Body - a new creation in HIM. We are identified with all that He is and all that He has done. As well as being saved by Christ's death we are also identified with His death. My old, fleshly self was crucified with Jesus when He died on the cross. My old sin nature, which the Bible calls my 'old man' was crucified with Jesus.
Being in Christ means we have to let go of past, fleshly identities. Followers of Christ belong to the Lord Jesus, rather than ourselves. God is in charge, not us. Paul puts it powerfully in Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”.
Life in Christ means death to our old lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that we are “new creations.” Things have to change when we have an identity in Christ.
“and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”. Hudson Taylor called this “the Exchanged Life”. None of us can ever live the Christian life in our own strength and power. None of us can resist temptation by our own will-power and determination. None of us can love as we should just by our own efforts. Only Jesus Christ can successfully live the genuine victorious Christian life – it is, after all, His life–but when we come to Him in full surrender, He invades us by His Holy Spirit and He begins living His life through us.
As Christians, sin is a reality, always trying to get us to lift us up on a pedestal instead of founding our identity in Christ.
The Lord Jesus in Matthew 16 verse 24 says a true follower will “deny himself and take up his cross.”
Christianity is hard, it’s difficult. But it’s way more rewarding when our identity is in Christ, firmly rooted on the ground that will never shift under our feet.
Discovering what it means to be identified as belonging to Christ takes some work. It means constantly searching the Scriptures for lessons on how to be like our Lord Jesus, it means praying that the Holy Spirit reveals to us how to live godly lives, and by spending time with mature Christians who are good examples and rooted deeply in the Lord Jesus. Being like our Lord Jesus is an ongoing process that takes deliberate practices, thinking, and attitudes every day.
So who am I? “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” We should primarily be defined not by anything else in the world except Jesus Christ. Believers are forever marked by having our identity in Jesus Christ.
Thank You, Father, for Your Indwelling Holy Spirit, Who was sent to lead and guide me and all believers, through this earthly life. Teach us to listen to His voice and recognise His promptings. I pray that more and more, Your will, not mine be done, until I can say with Paul, “the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” In Jesus’ name, AMEN
Much love from Maurice and Margaret