Can knowing who we are make a difference?
When writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1: 1-3 “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul identifies those in Corinth as “the church of God”, “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…”
Why is it important to know our identity?
Growing up, I did not have the example of a father who was faithful to the Lord. My dad taught me many things and don’t get me wrong—I loved and appreciated my dad. But when it came to understanding what it meant to be a godly man, a godly husband, and a father, I did not have an example I could look to. It was sometime in my high school years when I realized my history, my identity, could be found in the faithful example of those we read about in the Scriptures. I began looking at these examples of faithfulness and they became for me, a history, an example of godliness and an identity. I realized as a Christian, I shared in a long line of faithful men and women, a family who was devoted to the service of the Lord. It made a difference in who I was and would become.
Understanding our identity shapes our future
In addition to the examples in Scripture, I began looking to examples in the church where I worshiped. These examples came from elders, preachers, and godly women who served and shared the love of Christ. This became for me a family who were faithful to the Lord. Many of these examples never knew the importance of the role they played in my life. They were just faithfully serving the Lord. As I grew and matured in the Lord, understanding my identity as a Christian shaped my decisions and choices - this shaped my future. I had many examples and a family history that I wanted to honor through a life lived in my own faithfulness to the Lord.
Understanding our identity helps us live as we are called
Paul identifies those in Christ at Corinth as “the church of God,” “sanctified in Christ Jesus” [and] “called to be saints,…”. Understanding our identity shapes our future. In knowing our identity in the Lord, we need to live as we are called. As those in Christ, we are the Lord’s church, those who are set apart, called to faithfulness. We need to live as examples of that to which we have been called. We must share and show His truth in our lives. We need to live with an understanding of the family we represent, knowing that others are looking for and looking to our example of a godly life.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.