Theology Thursday: Embracing Your Identity in Christ

By Mike Richardson, Faculty

Man getting baptized showing his identity in Christ

A key to living life God’s way is rightly embracing our identity. As with so much in this universe, “right” is defined by God. Human beings often rely more on their own opinions than on God’s, which is never wise.

When we rely on our own opinions, we often use our mistakes and failures (the worst of our lives) as evidence to draw a conclusion about our own identity. Then we think that this is who and what we are. Perhaps the father of lies, the devil and his demons encourage this. However, the standard for determining and declaring our identity is firmly discovered in God’s grace and truth.

What Is Your Story?

Have you embraced “worm theology” for your life? Do you say to yourself, “I will always get picked last on the playground of life, that is, if anyone picks me at all.” Have you heard that voice in your head declare, “You have no idea how many times I have blown it! All I ever do is mess up."? Maybe you hear "I'm all alone. Nobody cares about me, I’m not popular or liked. I’m not really good at anything, and if I try it will just turn out badly.”

If that is your story you are a “worm theologian,” living under condemnation and shame without accessing the goodness and greatness of God. You have yet to grasp that Jesus came from the Father “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

God’s Story of Grace and Truth

On the other hand, if grace and truth have captured your heart and mind, your story plays out differently. Or at least it will if you really accept what God has done for you and who He is in you.

You affirm, “I am loved and significant, and my Father has a special purpose for me. I am His child, adopted into His family! He never leaves me, and He is carrying out a long-term restoration project in and through my life. When I fail and, in turn, feel guilt and shame, He forgives. I can get a fresh start to use the gifts He has already given me to do good as I respond to the call God gave me to accomplish His purpose.”

God isn’t finished with me yet, and today His mercies are new, and I get a fresh start. Christ in me is the hope of glory, empowered by the Holy Spirit for an abundant life and a compelling purpose for the rest of my life. (By the way, this is only a partial list of all the good news showered upon us in Christ and of the identity we have in Christ.)

Aligning Myself With God’s Design

Who I am matters, and also importantly, who I think I am matters. If I believe lies about me derived from my worst failures — my “worm theology” — the obstacles of life will batter me into bondage. If I embrace God’s story of “grace and truth,” the story written and determined intentionally to be the source and center of the universe as His creation, I find my identity in Christ instead of my failures.

My outlook and expectations of life dramatically shift, and I am able to be more than an overcomer in light of (and in spite of) the obstacles of life. Worms don’t aspire to much, but children of the most high God, daughters and sons of the kingdom, aspire to and accomplish great things.

Want more? Check out the GCU blog page and our theology degree programs. To start your educational journey at our Christian university, fill out the form on this page for more details.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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