“For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” – Philippians 3:8-9
Our identity in Christ is such a wonderful and glorious thing. It is wonderful just to be made in His Image, but this goes further than that. When we are His, we receive the identity Jesus won for us.
What does this mean? The way I picture it is this: when Jesus was hanging on the cross, a divine exchange was made. In that moment every sin, shame or wrongdoing, was nailed on Him, and He received the punishment for them. All our names of “Failure”, “Unwanted”, “Unlovely”, “No belonging”, “Sinful”, “Unworthy”, “Useless”, “Ashamed”, “Worthless”… He took on himself, and as He died, these died with Him. Forever.
And then He rose – our glorious, beautiful, powerful, holy, and righteous King! And with Him, we rose. The new you.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus is Holy. In Him we are holy.
Jesus is righteous. In Him we are righteous.
Jesus is the Approved of God. In Him we are the Approved of God.
Jesus is God’s chosen one. In Him we are God’s chosen ones.
Jesus is the cornerstone. We are built on Him – living stones creating a temple, a dwelling place for God, a spiritual house.
Jesus is the head. We are His body, called to see, hear, serve, and speak, as he directs. And as He was broken and given out for many, we too are called to be broken and given, and through our wounds to minister the healing of His.
Jesus is the Beloved. In Him we too are God’s Beloved.
Jesus came as a servant. In Him our calling is as servants.
Jesus is the sacrifice that bought our salvation. In Him we are called to be living sacrifices, withholding nothing from God, and fully devoted to Him.
Jesus is the perfect high priest. In Him we are His holy priesthood.
You want to know who you are? You want to find your identity and calling? Look to Jesus.
Smash the mirror. Gaze at God.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” – 1 Corinthians 3:18
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:4-5
You Are. This is not an identity you work your way to. It is not for another point in your life when you are less sinful, more useful, have brought dozens of people to know Christ, cleaned up the mess in your life, sorted those habitual sins, have learned to control your temper, be more organised, and watch your tongue. It is not for the spiritual Christians, or the mature ones. This is for all those who are In Him.
Those names we mentioned at the beginning, and any others you have earned yourself, leave them in the grave where they belong. That is not who you are. That is not who He is creating you to be.
Look to Him and receive the names He speaks over you…
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10
Illustration by Valerie Martin