In the current climate of our culture and society, an ongoing challenge is becoming more prevalent:
IDENTITY- Who am I?
As followers of Christ, Scripture teaches us that our identity is IN Christ. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT I am realizing how crucial it is to understand this as we “live out God’s grace” in our lives.
The following is an excerpt taken from Jerry Bridges book, The Discipline of Grace. It illustrates our new identity and new status when we become followers of Christ:
“During the long years of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, a Russian air force pilot flew his fighter plane from a base in Russia to an American air force base in Japan and asked for asylum. He was flown to the USA where he was duly debriefed, given a new identity, and set up as a bona fide resident of the USA. In due time he became an American citizen.
The Russian pilot’s experience illustrates to some degree what happened to us when we died to sin and were made alive to God. He changed kingdoms; he was given a new identity and a new status. He was no longer a Russian; he was now an American. He was no longer under the rule of what was then an oppressive and totalitarian government. Now he was free to experience all of the advantages and resources of living in a free and prosperous country.
This former Russian pilot, however, was still the same person. He had the same personality, the same habits, and the same cultural patterns as he did before he flew out of Russia. But he did have a new identity and new status. As a result of his new identity and status as a citizen in a free country, he now had the opportunity to grow as a free person, to discard the mind-set of someone living under bondage, and to put off the habit patterns of a person living under the heel of a despotic regime. Furthermore, as a benefactor of US government’s intelligence establishment, he was furnished all the resources needed to make a successful transition to an American citizen.
In effect, this Russian pilot “died” to his old identity as a Russian citizen and was “made alive” in a new identity as an American citizen. As an American, all the resources of our government were at his disposal to become in fact what he has become in status. But this could not have happened without first changing his status.
We we as believers died to sin, we died to a status wherein we were under the bondage to the tyrannical reign of sin. At the same time, we were granted citizenship in the Kingdom of God and through our vital union with Jesus Christ, were furnished all the resources we need to become in fact what we have become in status.”
When our identity is in Christ, it not only influences our status, but our whole being. Having this new identity given us, it calls us to a new mentality. Ponder that thought! More next week….
So girls, this next week, remember who you are!