“Who Am I?”
Now there’s a question people have been trying to answer for all of human history. Christians believe your identity is all that God says you are and he says a lot about you. In God’s story we find our identity is both older than our existence and yet can also be renewed in the here and now, no matter what our family history is.
All of this is written down in a letter that Christians believe God inspired, a letter written by one of Jesus’ early followers by the name of Paul who wrote to a church in a place called Ephesus in order to remind them of their true identity as children of God. Read Ephesians 1:3-5 here
The first thing to notice is that this isn’t a story about us but rather about how we find ourselves in the story of God. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet has also blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Those in Christ are Chosen before the creation of the world. If you believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God, you must not believe that you are a reject. Before your earthly family or friends even existed, you were chosen by God to one day find your identity in Christ!
Those in Christ are holy and blameless in God’s eyes. Whatever others might suggest you are guilty of, Jesus Christ came and died to make you holy and blameless from the moment you placed your trust in him! Your identity is found as one of God’s holy people, blessed with holiness and innocence by Jesus.
Those in Christ are loved. Whatever affection or lack of affection you may have experienced, Jesus Christ came and died to make sure you would know that you have always been loved by God.
Those in Christ are predestined. Whatever your family history or background may suggest about your future, Jesus Christ came because God’s plans for you are bigger and better than you could ever have imagined! Your future is in the family of God!
Those on Christ are adopted as sons and daughters. Whatever sense of abandonment you may struggle with, Jesus Christ came because God does not abandon his children. He chooses to love and care for us when all others might turn away from us because each of you is a child of God!
Everything happens in accordance with his pleasure and will. Whatever your parents may have told you or made you feel, you are not an annoyance and you are not an accident. God was pleased to create you, chose willingly to die for you and it brings God pleasure to see you find your original identity as children of God through Jesus.
No matter what your family history is, your family present & future can be the family of God. You can redefine yourself based on who God says you are. Identifying as a child of God can change everything!
Questions for reflection or small group discussion
• What factors do you think have defined some of your sense of identity up till this point in your life?
• What are some of the labels or traits that people in today’s culture allow to shape their sense of identity?
• Paul talks about Christian identity in terms of the family of God. If you are comfortable, tell the group a bit about your own family background and how that has affected you identity in positive or negative ways.
• Paul describes Christians as blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, loved, predestined, adopted, sons & daughters of God. Which, if any, of these descriptors do you struggle to relate to and why?
• Which of the descriptors might bring you the most freedom, encouragement or hope in the midst of your current circumstances and why?
• What next step might God be leading you to take in order to embrace your identity in Christ more than you do today?
If you’re exploring faith:
• Download the [Youversion Bible app]( https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/) and start a daily reading plan called “Living Changed: Identity”. • Pray for God to reveal more of what Jesus means to you. • Come to our services again next week.
Looking to connect with your new identity? • Why not attend our baptism course and see if this is the right next step?
Looking to partner with us? • Check out the “More Resources” tab in the “Partner” section of our NextSteps Web Page
Looking to lead better? • Check out Craig Groeschel’s [Alter Ego]( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Altar-Ego-Becoming-Who-Says/dp/0310333830) book/DVD/small group study which can be ordered online or through the Vine Bookshop in the Bridge building on Bridge street in Andover.