Can I See Your ID?
I got saved in 1973 during the height of the Jesus People movement which swept across the country from the West Coast to the East Coast. Like many, I was a very confused teenager trying to “find myself.” I heard a lot of great Bible teaching…but not much about the believer’s identity in Christ, which is what I really needed to learn.
Times have changed. Do a search on “identity in Christ” in the Books category of Amazon and you’ll get over 1,000 results. It’s exciting to see such a wealth of material on this vital subject. I’ve read a number of these books (and expect to read many more), and I plan to review the ones that I have found more helpful.
If you want a place to start, I recommend Eric Geiger’s iDENTITY: Who You Are In Christ. Geiger is the pastor of Christ Fellowship in Miami. If his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard of the bestseller Simple Church which he coauthored with Thom Rainer.
The unusual title capitalization is intentional, I’m sure. It’s meant to both get your attention and make a point. The lower-case “i” in iDENTITY conveys the point that your new identity as a believer is not all about you. Your identity comes from Christ, and you bring glory to Him when you grasp who you really are.
In iDENTITY, Geiger explores seven aspects of the believer’s identity in Christ. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a highlight of the most important concepts. He devotes a full chapter to each point, and includes Group Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter, making the book an easy-to-use resource for small group Bible studies.
You Are His Child
The first thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are His Child.” In 2 Corinthians 6:18 God declares, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” We are created to have a supportive relationship with a loving father. Sadly, in today’s society the proliferation of divorces and absentee fathers has robbed many of this. We tend to develop our understanding of God through a “father filter,” and Satan’s tactic is to distort that view in order to keep people away from God. Unfortunately, it’s been a successful tactic.
The truth is, whether your dad was rad or bad, you have a heavenly Father whose love for you is boundless. He is a Father who will never leave you, a Father who desires to spend all of eternity with you. Geiger explains that the heavenly Father’s love for His children is:
- ETERNAL: “Before the world was even created, God knew you as His child. He permanently fixed His love on you from the beginning of time.” (Ephesians 1:4)
- PERSONAL: “Your Father not only loves you; He also likes you. He enjoys you. He delights in you and rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
- INTENTIONAL: “He did not just happen to notice you one day and fall ‘head over heels in love with you.’ His love for you is intentional as He has chosen to set His great love on you.”
- UNCONDITIONAL: “As your Father, God loves you unconditionally. While many people love you because or love you if, God loves you period.“
- GENEROUS: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
- PURIFYING: “Since He desires to conform you to the image of Christ, He will use every situation and circumstance to purify you.”
You Are The Priest
The second thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are the Priest.” The Bible tells us we are a royal priesthood in 1 Peter 2:9. To the Western mind this doesn’t mean much. But in Jewish culture there was no more important position than the high priest. Geiger explains, “The high priest had the privilege of entering the most sacred place in the Jewish culture. The high priest was able to go into what was called the Most Holy Place. Every God worshipper wanted to go there, (but) only the high priest could go there. No one else held such an honor. No one else had the privilege. No one else was invited.”
When Jesus died on the cross, all that changed. The veil of the temple, separating everyone from the Most Holy Place, was torn in two from top to bottom. There was no more separation. As a Christian, you now have the same privilege previously reserved for the high priest. You have free access to God any time, anywhere. As His priest, you can approach Him with confidence. You are always welcome in the presence of God!
You Are The Bride
The third thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are the Bride.” Okay, I’ll admit, as a guy this is pretty hard to relate to (I’m sure it’s much easier for the ladies!) But the point is that a bride is the highest form of love a man can hope to attain. Geiger says, “Jesus declares you are His bride. He chose the highest expression of commitment between two people to express His commitment to you. Your identity is wrapped up in the reality of your relationship with Christ.” There is no higher degree of relationship than marriage. Jesus will forever be by your side.
You Are His Servant
The fourth thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are His Servant.” Again, this is a foreign concept to many Westerners. But this is a key highlight of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus took upon Himself the role of a servant, and that is the example He sets for us. It is a part of our identity in Christ. And what many don’t understand is that there is a blessing in serving that cannot be experienced any other way.
Many Christians, if we were to be honest, prefer to be served. But Geiger points out that a nonserving Christian is an oxymoron: “God has given you a spiritual gift, and one of the reasons for your gifting is so that God’s family will benefit from your contribution. The family suffers if you choose not to serve.” But our service is not solely for the benefit of the Church, but for the unsaved as well: “When you serve, you administer God’s grace to other people. As you serve others, you dispense God’s love and compassion.”
You Are God’s Friend
The fifth thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are God’s Friend.” As a teen, one of my favorite singers was Carole King. I had all her albums. One song that especially touched my heart was “You Got A Friend,” because every time I listened to it I imagined it was God singing to me. The truth is, you’ve got a Friend, and He calls you His friend! Geiger says, “As God’s friend, you are in His inner circle. He shares His thoughts with you. You are God’s friend, and the Holy Spirit constantly shares God’s thoughts with you because He never leaves you….As His friend, listen.”
Geiger uses Jesus dining with Mary and Martha as an example of this, and points out the key difference between the two sisters: “Martha viewed the evening as dinner for God. Mary viewed the evening as dinner with God.” Think about that. God values time spent with Him. “Because you are His friend, simply enjoy being with Him…The bottom line is an intimate relationship with God.”
You Are An Alien
The sixth thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are An Alien.” No, not that kind of alien! An alien is a foreigner or stranger in a culture. An alien is not the same as everyone else. An alien is someone who is not a citizen; he doesn’t belong here.
In other words, don’t get too comfortable, because this world is not your home. “God wants you to know exactly who you are in relation to the world around you,” Geiger writes. “We must know who we are if we are going to live out the faith in our culture.” We have a message that our society needs, but our society may not always welcome us. Some find it easier to keep their faith “personal” and just blend in with the crowd. Geiger warns against that: “Nothing hurts the cause of Christ more than Christians who do not live out their faith. Nothing hurts the movement of the gospel more than our failing to live what we say we believe…We are different and we must live differently. Your life should be a statement of the gospel, a walking billboard of God’s transforming power. And as people see your righteously attractive life, God will draw them to Himself.” And that leads in to Geiger’s final point…
You Are His Ambassador
The seventh thing every Christian needs to know is that “You Are His Ambassador.” I love what Geiger has to say about this: “Jesus is not a product we add to our lives. We don’t sprinkle our lives with a little bit of Jesus to make everything taste better. When we become a Christian, He becomes our King.” And we become His ambassador: “As an ambassador, your mission is to represent Christ. You stand for His kingdom while living in this one. You speak for Him. You love people on His behalf. You show compassion and mercy in His name. You stand for truth and justice as His representative.”
Does that sound good to you? Your identity in Christ makes you someone special, doesn’t it? The more you study this topic, the more you’ll see how incredible it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He truly does transform your life!
This is just a brief summary of iDENTITY: Who You Are In Christ. It’s an easy read, and a good place to start exploring who you are in Christ. If you’d like to purchase the book, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Identity-Who-You-Are-Christ/dp/0805446893/ref=sr_1_1?crid=FW4FATZJPPOE&keywords=identity+by+eric+geiger&qid=1655581364&s=books&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks%2C1418&sr=1-1
Understanding who you are is essential. God has given every believer a new, incredible identity. Discover yours, and start living the transformed life!
“Hello, My Name Is…?” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/hello-my-name-is
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