Your identity is what makes you, you. It is who you are! So where does our identity come from? What forms our identity? If we are saved, our identity is rooted in our salvation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Therefore, before we are saved, our identity is formed in ourselves. But when we place our faith in Christ, He makes us new in Him. Our identity is now placed in Him; He forms our identity. I recently did a Bible study on several of the scriptures that speak of this.
Figuring out our identity in Christ starts with creation. Genesis 1:27 says we are created in the image of God. The center of who we are has always been God. We just never saw that until we were saved. We were blinded to who we are by sin. We have always contained some aspects of God, whether we realized it or not.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Galatians 2:20 NKJV
Christ lives in us. If Christ is in us, then He makes up our identity. We will begin to become more like Him as we grow and He encompasses more of our being. This process is called progressive sanctification. The passage that speaks specifically of this is Ephesians 4:22-23. In these verses, Paul describes the three part process of becoming like Christ.
- Put off the old man. Stop letting your fleshly lusts lead you.
- Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Make your thinking holy.
- Colossians 3:1-4 says that our minds are to be Christ’s. We are to set our mind on heavenly things, not worldly things, since we are in Christ. Our identity is centered in the heavenly so we must think on such things.
- Put on the new man. Choose actions and desires that honor God.
- Ephesians 2:10 says we are created in Christ, to do good works through Him. God has set aside good works for use to do; works that others will see; works that will help form who we are in Christ; works that will honor Him.
The most important part of gaining our identity in Christ is denying the right to create our identity ourselves. Luke 9:23-24 says we are to deny ourselves as part of following Christ and that includes our identity without Him. From the moment of salvation, our identity is Christ’s and not our own.
I have struggled with my identity and who I am for a long time. It was once I found salvation in Christ that I finally found who I am. I am a child of God (1 John 3:1-2). I am Christ’s. If you struggle with who you are, I suggest that instead of looking to the world for answers like we often tend to do, to search the Scriptures for your identity. You will find who you are in the words of God, not the words of man. If you are saved you are ultimately Christ’s, not your own.