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Question

What is to be our true identity?

true identity
Answer


In a world where we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages about who we are and who we should be, discovering our true identity can be a confusing process. According to the Bible, however, our true identity is found in Jesus Christ. Once we understand this, our focus shifts from self-perception to a God-centered perspective that gives purpose, joy, and peace.

The foundation of our true identity is the fact that we are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV). God’s divine imprint on us signifies that we have inherent worth and dignity and sets the stage for understanding our true identity and who we are meant to be.

Our true identity is further defined by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Through faith in His crucifixion and resurrection, we are forgiven and transformed. Second Corinthians 5:17 proclaims, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (ESV). In Christ, we are made new, relinquishing the old self rooted in sin and embracing new life in Him.

When we believe in Christ for salvation, we are adopted into God’s family, which is central to our true identity: “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26). And John 1:12 affirms, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (ESV). Our new birth, our adoption into God’s family, changes our relationship with God. We are heirs with Christ and deeply loved by the Father.

Repeatedly in Scripture, believers are said to be “in Christ.” Our identity is wrapped up in Him. Colossians 3:3 goes so far as to say, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” In His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus prayed this kind of unity: “I pray . . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:20 –23). Believers are “predestined to be conformed to the image of [God’s] Son” (Romans 8:29).

Our true identity in Christ also includes the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 states, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” (ESV). The Holy Spirit guides, comforts, and equips us to live as children of God, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives.

Another aspect of our true identity is freedom from condemnation. Romans 8:1 assures us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (ESV). The freedom we have in Christ allows us to live boldly, knowing that past sins do not define us. We are instead defined by God, who “created [us] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (ESV). As God’s creation, we are called to live out our faith in holiness and righteousness.

Our true identity in Christ connects us with other believers. First Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (ESV). As part of the body of Christ, believers are interdependent, supporting and encouraging one another in love.

As we grow in our true identity in Christ, we are called to reflect Him in all we do. Colossians 3:12–14 instructs us, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another. . . . And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (ESV).

Our true identity is not found in worldly achievements, human relationships, career choices, or social status, but in our relationship with Jesus Christ. When we embrace the truth of Scripture, we can live purposefully and confidently, knowing that we are in Christ. We are created in God’s image, redeemed by Christ, adopted as God’s children, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

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This page last updated: June 5, 2024