Read Reclaiming Identity Pt.1 here
Jesus, in coming into the world, fully joined himself to humanity and humanity to himself forever. God became man (Philippians 2). One could say that he was the most fully human person to walk this earth. He was everything that we were created to be and everything we couldn’t be. His gift to us was to give us his goodness, to free us from our being identified by our sin and brokenness, to restore our relationship with God and others, and in return he would take the punishment and pain we deserved upon himself (Isaiah 53:5; Romans 5:9-10; Ephesians 2:14-16; Titus 3:4-8).
The apostle Paul would capture this gift of Jesus masterfully in the words of Colossians 3:1-4:
Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
We call what Paul says here about Christ being our life and our lives being hidden in Him “union with Christ.” The importance of our union with Christ is that it allows us to hear the words Jesus heard that day in the Jordan in a whole new way. The words that gave definition to Jesus’ life are now words that can define our lives as a gift given to us by Jesus. It is as if God was speaking to each and everyone of us. Our only response is to receive them by faith, to “set our hearts on things above.”
"Because of our union with Christ, the words that gave definition to Jesus’ life are now words that can define our lives... It is as if God was speaking to each and everyone of us."
THIS IS MY SON…
Just as the voice of the Father declares that Jesus is the Son of God; it is because of Jesus that we can hear God say to us that we are His sons and daughters. We are God’s children, and have been adopted into God’s family (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:15-21; Galatians 3:26-29). As people who are always looking for belonging in this world; we now know that we do belong to the God of the world that created us, and calls us His own. This is a key component to our identity. We don’t have to become something or someone that we are not to fit into a particular group or define ourselves. We don’t have to put on a façade or pretend. We simply get to be what we already are — God’s child. You and I get to finally say “I belong”, and we can find rest and stop the endless search for something to belong to.
We don’t have to put on a façade or pretend. We simply get to be what we already are — God’s child. You and I get to finally say “I belong”, and we can find rest and stop the endless search for something to belong to.
WHOM I LOVE...
We know this may sound cliché, but it is a truth we believe in deeply:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
When the voice of God declared His love for Jesus it was meant to echo in our hearts as well, telling each of us that we are loved by the God of the world who created us and has saved us. We don’t need to “look for love in all the wrong places.” We don’t need to wait for the phone to ring hoping for the voice on the other end to tell us something we so desperately want to hear. We don’t need to somehow be someone for somebody so that we can somehow make them like us.
This love of God for us, unlike our love for one another, is also something that can never be taken away or separated from us (Romans 8:35-39). We fail each other, hurt each other, disappoint each other, break our word, and neglect our commitments. We love one another and God the best we can, but we often fail. These things can definitely affect who we are and our identity if we allow them. But, this is what makes God’s love for us even more powerful. He knows everything about us, still loves us, and won’t stop. If that doesn’t shape who we are, what will? You and I are God’s beloved and nothing will ever change that.
"You and I are God’s beloved and nothing will ever change that."
WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED...
Jesus’ belonging to God and being loved by Him was a declaration before he did a thing in his ministry. There were no miraculous healings up to this point, no words of wisdom shared, no waters stilled, and no life given on a cross for the sake of others yet. Not only was Jesus told at this point that he belonged and was loved, but God said He was pleased with Jesus. Just as with Jesus, and because of Jesus, God is pleased with us independent of our doing anything for Him. There is no amount of mapping, measuring, or managing our lives needed for God to be happy with us. Our identity doesn’t have to be connected to any spectacular feat, or award that needs to be won in order for God to smile over us. There is no amount of self-improvement or sin avoidance that will earn more of God’s pleasure. Our Father wants us, loves us and is proud of us. We get to rest in this truth. We get to rest from the relentless pursuit of trying to earn God’s “well done” spoken to us and trying to earn God’s love for us.
"Just as with Jesus, and because of Jesus, God is pleased with us independent of our doing anything for Him. There is no amount of mapping, measuring, or managing our lives needed for God to be happy with us."
This one little phrase “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17) gave shape to who Jesus was and who he would be, and gave him the strength to do what was necessary in order to bring new life to our relationship with God and with the world. This was an identity he lived from instead of something he lived for or labored to find. This same phrase, this same identity, can not only help us answer that all important question “who am I”, but also offers us something to live from, instead of something we try to live for or labor to find.
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Read Reclaiming Identity Pt. 1 here > https://www.thetablenetwork.com/post/reclaiming-identity-1-3