Identity in Christ – Truth Sets Us Free

This article commences a five-part series on our identity in Christ as those who have come into relationship with God. What do I mean by ‘identity in Christ’? Well, that is what I hope to explore over the next four articles.

To start off, let me throw a question your way: If someone asked you, ‘Who are you,’ how would you answer them? Or, let’s redirect the question to me: If someone asked me ‘Who are you,’ how would I reply?

I might answer something like this: I am Scott Lencke. But is that really me, or is that simply my name? I could change my name and still be me, right? I might answer the question posed by replying that I am pastor of Cornerstone International Church. But that is really my calling and my role to the people within the church, but not the core of who I am. I could go on to reply to the question by stating I am an American, but that more speaks of my nationality. As a final response to the question, I might respond by saying I am 6ft 1in tall (185 cm), have dark hair and hazel-colored eyes, but that is simply describing my physical attributes. In actuality, I could bleach my hair blond, or even cut off my arms and legs, and I would still be me. Matter of fact, if I had a physical heart transplant, would I not still be me?

So, who are we? It seems that this question is not an attempt to truly know our name, occupation, calling, nationality or even physical appearance. This is a question of our core identity. I would say that the ultimate answer to this question is found as we discover our identity in Christ.

In John 8:32, Jesus makes a simple statement, but one that we probably know very well:

And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Of course, we know this is not referring to the knowledge of specific mathematical equations such as 2 + 2 = 4, nor that our car runs best on 10W/30 oil. This is speaking of spiritual truth that sets the captives free.

I do wholeheartedly believe that the greatest truth one can possess is that of knowing God. But I believe the truth that runs in a close second is that of knowing who we are in Christ. Not only that, but I am convinced that not having a healthy understanding of this second important truth can impede our growth in the first. And, though, Jesus stated that knowing such truth sets us free, there is a call to our hearts that we will only be set free as we are willing to receive the truth. So, let not these only be wonderful words found on a computer screen, but let us receive it with open hearts. For if we do receive this truth, I believe we will step more into the freedom that belongs to the children of God.

One thing that most of us are aware of is the reality that when we were born from above, Christ came to live in us by His Spirit. Colossians 1:27 makes it simple when Paul stated:

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It is a mystery how the God of the universe lives inside us, but nonetheless, it is truth and an empowering piece of truth at that. But, what we many times might not realize is that the reverse is true as well. Not only is Christ in us, but we are also in Him. Matter of fact, for every verse that speaks of Jesus being in us there are another ten Scriptures that speak of us being in Him. In Paul’s letters alone, there are some 164 references to us being in Christ.

This is what we are going to explore – the reality of our identity in Christ, or as the fathers of a few centuries ago termed it, our union with Christ. What do we mean by ‘union with Christ’? It simply refers to the fact that we have been joined to, or united to, Christ. It’s a beautiful truth, a lovely reality to ponder. Paul declared it this way:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:3, 7)

God not only goes out of His way to save us from our sin and eternal wrath, but He goes the ‘extra mile’ by both coming to reside in us and bringing us to dwell in Him. This sounds a little scary to the conservative, a little too mystical. But it is a reality and the only relationship God would want between a Husband and His Bride (Revelation 21:1-2).

Stay tuned over the next week as I look to add four more blog posts looking at our identity in Christ. Click here to read about our new standing in Christ.

6 thoughts on “Identity in Christ – Truth Sets Us Free

  1. I remember hearing you preach this message like 5 years ago! It was one of the most memorable sermons of my short, adult memory. I consequently used this theme as a topical sermon I preached at Liberty to pass along the message!

    -ACR =D

  2. Yes, I first heard this message about our identity in Christ through Mike Peters and the book ‘Victory Over the Darkness’ by Neil Anderson, whom I will quote at some point. I’ve taken their foundation of the message and adapted a few things. But I believe it truly is a very powerful message if we begin to grasp it.

  3. Man, you have really come down my row. I am a youth pastor who has basically dedicated my life to worship and self discover/identity. Actually I just finished a book about Identity that is soon to be available to the public. I too believe that our Identity in Christ is the essence or who we really are. In this day and age of people from young to old searching for purpose and meaning in life, I have found that the fullness of that quest will not manifest until we know who we are in God. What an awesome and life-changing topic my friend. Lets spread the word, lets all be set free.

  4. Scott, thank you so much for this article…and the ones to come. When I first listened to Neil Anderson repeating over and over again about who we are in Christ, I thought, “You need a deep revelation on this.”
    Scriptural concepts without revelation of the deep spiritual meanings encapsulated become jargon. I was determined for “in Christ” to not be jargon for me. Your article would have been most helpful at the time!

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  5. Hi Jeanie. There are a few other articles I have written about identity in Christ. You can find them by scrolling down and clicking on the label link ‘identity in Christ’ on the right side of my blog. Hope that helps.

    Thanks again
    Scott

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