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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Identity in Christ

Been thinking lately how easy it is for us to find our identity in anything or anyone other than Christ. The other day, sitting at a coffee shop, I was struck by people’s eagerness to show off their identity outside of Christ. As you can imagine at Goldberg’s these are the type of things that people project as part of their identity: the way people dressed, talked about stuff, the sunglasses we wear, even being a young single mum seems to be part of creating an identity for yourself these days. We see it most starkly at the moment in little subcultures such as the EMO crew (if you don’t know what EMO is then you are definitely getting old – check out this website for EMO info People are always creating an identity for themselves outside of Christ – which makes sense if you’re not a Christian.

But as a Christian we don’t have this luxury. Our identity is found “in Christ” and is far better than any identity we can create for ourselves. Gal 3:25-29 reminds us of this truth...

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave* nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

The problem is that sin is essentially declaring ourselves to be independent of God and his Son Jesus and so we keep trying to create an identity for ourselves outside of Christ, through work, through marriage, the house we buy or don’t buy, through parenthood, through the clothes we wear, our leisure time, the people we hang out with. We even create an identity for ourselves through things that have happened to us in the past or things that are happening to us in the present – abuse, depression, unemployment etc. But the Bible keeps reminding us though we’re different we’re all one in Christ Jesus.

Where are you tempted to build your identity?


Anonymous dcypl said...

Great post, I must be old, I thought you were talking about Brian Eno for a moment there, but now, I really feel old.

Is it OK to be part of a subcultural group and be a Christian? From the extreme to the bland, everyone has a style, (OK, OK, not everyone), but can we be an "individual" in Christ, or a punk rocker in Christ?

9:13 PM

Blogger Newyhilton said...

Yeah i think you can be a punk rocker in Christ but probably we need to see ourselves as "in Christ" first. Tim Keller talks about Christians submitting to the Lordship of Jesus in such a way that we create a counter-culture within a culture without being a sub-culture. He makes the perceptive comment that a sub-culture is exclusive in its nature, whereas Christianity can only be exculsive in the sense that Jesus is the only way to salvation. The gospel is inclusive in scope but exclusive in the way we eneter a realtionship with God - that is through Christ alone. I think Tim's point is a helpful corrective... not sure how to be a church which does this but i think we're working on it (speaking for 5pm people primarily)...

11:34 PM

Blogger Newyhilton said...

that last comment is very longwinded! But you get the point - twice i think!

11:36 PM


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