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Monday, June 22, 2015

I Self-Identify As . . .

Sometimes it seems funny and sometimes sad. A man identifies as a woman. A woman identifies as a Native American. Another woman identifies as black. A woman in England asked a politician, “If I self-identify as my dog, do I still need to pay taxes?” (She was joking, of course.)

What is self-identification, exactly? It’s what you believe yourself to be.

I believe myself to be Caucasian—mostly; one ancestor was Native American—a woman, married, a resident of Spain, a citizen of the United States, sister to my siblings, etc. All those things are true.

I've always had a fertile imagination. A very long time ago when I was a little child, I thought how fun it would be to be a boy (for outdoor play reasons), black (because I think dark skin is beautiful), French (because I wanted to visit France), an actress (never would have happened), a princess (what little girl doesn’t want to be a princess?) and all kinds of other ideas. I didn’t identify as any of those things, and I never thought about them for very long. I merely admired people who were different from me.

I sincerely feel a sadness for those who mess up their lives because they mentally identify as something they’re not. It’s not going to be a happy outcome because the whole concept is based on a lie. Even if others are sympathetic with the lie, it’s still a falsehood. The Bruce Jenners, Elizabeth Warrens, and Rachel Dolezals of the world know down deep inside them what they are. Even though they identify differently, they really are something else.

So, where is a Christian’s identity? How is a person who has put his faith in Jesus for his soul’s salvation to self-identify?

Let’s see what the Bible says about it:

We’re not our own.
  • For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20).
  • What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me (1 Corinthians 15:10).

We’re not worthy of salvation. It’s by the grace and goodness of God.
  • This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief (1 Timothy 1:15). 
  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We’re in Christ. That means everything is different.
  • Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
  • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
  • For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (Acts 17:28).

We’re one part of a whole: the church.
  • So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Romans 12:5).

God expects us to live, walk, and grow in Him.
  • As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. . . . And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:6-7, 10).

God gave us the Holy Spirit as a Witness that we’re God’s.
  • Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1 John 4:13, 15).

Our identity is in the Lord.
  • For to me to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21).

Being in Christ means we have a purpose: to glorify God. It means we have a task: to reach others and disciple them. It means our identity has everything to do with God and very little to do with us.

For me to live is Christ.

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