“For it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
– Galatians 5:1 –
“‘Who do you think you are?’
This question radically changed my heart over the last few months. It made me rethink aspects of my identity in Christ that I was struggling with and had never thought through before. Throughout my life as a Christian and before I gave my life to Christ I considered my identity to be who I was in school, sports and with my friends. My identity was in my grades, how well I performed, and if I felt content with the attention and laughs I was getting from people around me. It was all about my achievement. What got me thinking more about myself, who God made me to be, and who he says I am is the simple question: who do you think you are? I spent a lot of my time telling myself that I was something I wasn’t. It’s funny sometimes how we talk about ourselves and view ourselves as if we had anything to do with our creation. Imagine if your own artwork or drawing, your own creation, decided one day that it was something else other than what you had created it to be. As the creation is has no idea what the creator has in store for it. God is our creator, so why would we go to anything or anyone else to find out who we are? As Children of God we are loved, forgiven, redeemed, heard, and not alone.
Our identity in Christ is something we will never fully know or feel. There will always be a deeper level to learn of Christ’s love for us. We will never feel the full freedom of Christ’s forgiveness. What we can do, however, is go to God’s word and begin to study what it means to be in Christ. For me, truly learning that I was forgiven was something I struggled with. I was stuck with the idea in my head but never had the feeling in my heart. In Ephesians 1:7 Paul tells us that, ‘In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.’ This truth, along with Psalm 103:12 which reads, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us,’ help me know that I do not have to see myself as a sinner or a failure. Because of God’s grace and through the death of Christ, I am forgiven. I can daily say that I am justified and redeemed by the work of Christ. Understanding that the God of the universe sees me as the forgiven, not the sinner, and applying this to myself is so freeing. Living with the pain and shame of failure is not what the Lord wants for us. If we strive to know in our hearts that God loves us and sees us as his blameless children, it allows us to live in freedom. ‘For it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.'”
– Addison Poole, RA of Venture