February 23

This week's sermon was about identity. Our identity in Christ can be summed up by three different truths:

  • we are children of God
  • we are the family of God
  • we are missionaries of God

These are not things that we become, but rather things that we are. This is our new identity in Christ when he has made us new creations.

I was reminded of this while reading 1 John 5 today.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Whoever believes has been born. And those who have been born have overcome the world. These verbs "has been born" and "have overcome" are both past-tense. These things have already happened. As stereotypically Christian as this sounds, my identity does not lie in what my grades say about me, what people say about me, or what law schools say about me. The reason why it sounds so old, something that has been repeated over and over isn't because it's just the party line. It's because it's true, but it's a truth that is so easily forgotten. This is why I need to remember who I am. I am a sinner saved by grace who has been born again into a new family, into a new mission, and who has overcome the world.

We do not work for these things. They just are. However, we have the choice whether or not to live these identities out. To reference my pastor's sermon on Sunday, are we going to be birds that walk or birds that fly? Either way we are birds, but we have the choice whether or not to live like them. If a child of a God who is powerful and loving, why live like a child of a world that will destroy me if I let it? If a member of the family of God, how will I show love to my brothers and sisters? If sent with a mission, will I fulfill it? And if I have overcome, why live defeatedly?