What does identity in Christ involve?
1. A Putting Off Level: On one level it involves taking off your worldly clothes – putting off all sorts of false worldly things.
~ So maybe the real reason why you strove for the highest grades in class was because that gave you a sense of importance and you received a pat on the back from friends and family. Finding ones identity in Christ involves the realization that you are important in God’s sight whether or not you get the highest grades or not. You are accepted by Him. Yes, school is important but if things go wrong in that area, God will not reject you.
2. A Putting On Level: On another level it involves being clothed on Christ – this means you get into your head and heart the truths of the Bible – and this not just at home , but out on the street. Not just in private, but out in public. And these are truths such as knowing you are loved, accepted, justified, not guilty, … and so on.
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” ~Romans 13:14
~ Now it seems to me that most of the discussions online on said topic stop here. They generally produce a list of adjectives (loved, chosen, etc.) and then just stop there. Somehow these articles still leave me scratching my head. I think that there is more to think about. So lets move on…
3. Permeative Level: A third level is a level where your identity in Christ permeates all other things in life – including perhaps what we may call our secondary identities.
~ There is this fish out there called Tilapia that I have tried. I have not eaten it much, so I can’t comment fully here, but they tell me that you cannot really eat Tilapia by itself because its sort of has no taste of its own. On its own its rather bland. Apparently the way you really need to eat Tilapia is with some kind of marinade or flavoring. The Tilapia flesh tends to take on the flavor of the marinade or whatever and have its own taste.
~ Like so your identity in Christ shapes everything else you do. Maybe you are an professional ice-hockey player. This is what you do for a living and you love it. We could say that this is your secondary identity. This is what God has given you to do in this life. However your primary identity is Christ in you, the hope of glory, so you do not play ice-hockey in the way that it so often is. You refuse to take part in the violence so characteristic of the sport. You are a team player, not a glory-hound. You work hard at building everyone’s morale. You believe in camaraderie.
4. Finally there are other things … stuff to think about anyways… and I am not sure how this works…
~ How do I go from knowing that I am accepted to really actually feeling that out in the public in a challenging situation? and …
~ How does my identity in Christ help me take on a secondary identity? How does knowing that I am in Christ help me become a hockey player rather than a sumo wrestler? I am not sure I know the answer to that question currently.