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Visually Explore 6 Beautiful Truths About Your Christian Identity

Categories Theology

9780310520436_2In their new book Visual Theology, a beautiful re-application of God's truth, Tim Challies and Josh Byers offer an illustration to explain our new identity in Christ:

On February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper stood before the Governor General of Canada and recited the oath of office to faithfully execute the powers and trust given to him by the people of Canada.

In that very moment Stephen Harper became Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Yet, as they explain, “it must have taken him some time to begin confidently behaving like a Prime Minister. There must have been a period of adjustment when he was reconciling himself to all of these new realities…” (29)

How many of us Christians can relate?

Though we were given a new identity when we put our faith in Christ, “it takes time and knowledge for you to grow into that new identity. All through the Christian life, you will be growing and straining to become who God has declared you to be.” (29)

Discover below six beautiful truths about who you have become and who you are.

identity

1) I Am In Christ

The foundation to our new Christian identity is this beautiful truth: You are in Christ.

“When I say you are in Christ, I mean you have been spiritually united to him so you identify with him and he identifies with you. There is a kind of inseparable union between the two of you.” (30)

The authors remind us of Jesus' declaration in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches.”

No matter what else is true about who we are, this will never change: “[Christ] is our deepest identity… and all that is his is yours.” (32)

2) I Am Justified

If the foundation of our identity is our in-Christ-ness, perhaps the mortar that holds it together is our being justified, a law-court term that’s crucial to our new identity.

You are a lawbreaker, which means you are guilty before God and deserving of punishment. But as a Christian, you can be confident you will not be punished. Why? Because you have been justified. You have been declared innocent. (33)

How can this be? Because Jesus paid our price in our place! And now you are declared innocent, now “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

3) I Am Adopted

This aspect of our identity reflects an aspect of my own family: my wife was adopted as a newborn, receiving a new loving family. The same is true of us.

The God who is all-knowing and all-powerful and all-good and all-loving is your Father. Think about that: He is your Father! He is a good and kind and loving Father who cares for his children, loves his children, wants only the best for his children, and loves to relate to his children. (35)

Galatians 3:26 reminds us, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…”

4) I Am Secure

“You are also secure. This means you do not need to agonize about your future or fret about God someday turning his back on you.” (36) Therefore, you don’t need to fear:

  • Separation from Christ
  • Being judged “guilty”
  • That God will grow tired of you or your sin
  • Death itself

As Romans 8:38–39 declares, nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us!

5) I Am Free

We are not only free from (shame and sin, guilt and death), but free for (loving God and neighbor):

Because you are justified, you are freed from having to try to earn your salvation and from the crushing guilt of sin. Because you are adopted, you are freed to love your brothers and sisters far more than yourself. Because you are indwelled by the Spirit, you are freed from the power of sin… (37)

Challies and Byers want you to get this, deep down: You are truly and gloriously free!

6) I Am Unfinished

Finally, part of what it means to be a Christian is to be an unfinished Christian. Translation: we’re all a work in progress!

“Christ has saved you, and he has begun to have a relationship with you. Yet you still sin. You still return to those old ways at times. Too often, you delight to do what is evil.” (38)

Challies and Byers wonder why God didn’t immediately and permanently change us the moment he saved us. Yet they give the same take-heart encouragement Paul did: “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

***

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of knowing your identity—who you are in relation to Christ. Your new identity makes all the difference. It changes everything as you live this Christian life.” (38)

Grow closer to Christ by visually exploring the beautiful truth of who you are and whose you are in greater depth by engaging Visual Theology yourself.

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