Merriam-Webster defines identity as “sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; sameness in all that constitutes the object reality of a thing.”
I often hear Christians describe themselves as nothing more than saved sinners, people whose souls are now saved from hell, but whose identity still rests in sin. They claim to be covered by a grace that saves them from the condemnation of sin, yet they cannot see themselves as being transformed and empowered by a grace that keeps them from sin itself. But as a believing Christ-follower, is that how we are to see ourselves? Is that how God sees us? Who you think you are defines how you act.
Mark Driscoll puts it this way: “A Christian’s identity is primarily saint, not sinner. You will sin some of the time, but you are a saint all of the time in Christ. A saint is remorseful over sin, receiving conviction from God; there is no condemnation for the saint. A saint is faithful and powerful over sin through the empowering grace of God…If your primary identity is as sinner, and then you are tempted to sin, your identity will determine your activity: ‘I’m a sinner, I guess I’m going to sin.’ No! I’m a saint, I don’t have to!”
There is a distinct and important difference between our inability to reach sinless perfection in this life and living in sin. As much as the reality of the saint-identity for the believer is a rich and glorious promise, it is also a severe warning to those who profess Christianity yet use the sinner-identity to excuse their delight in or dependence on sin. In Romans 6:1 & 2, Paul asks and answers a pivotal question: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Friends, if you are in Christ, your identity is not sinner, it’s saint! “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires…those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit of God who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it…For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God!” (Romans 8:5-12, emphasis mine.) Claim the name of saint, friends, it is who you are!
My Thanksgiving List 2/7/13
738. Warm, comfy clothes after a steaming hot bath
744. Praying with Peanut before her meals, and hearing her exclaim, “Mamen!” at the end
721. The face of an angel
750. Soft, cushy diapers for my baby’s adorable fanny
767. Homemade mozzarella sticks
777. A noisy dinner at Tucanos
755. Lying tummy down, working, laughing, and creating with my mama
772. Being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves
769. Park dates with my loves
Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?