Our identity is one of the most important things about us. It determines how we see ourselves and how we live our lives. As Christians, our identity should be founded on what God says about us in His Word. The Bible has a lot to say about who we are in Christ and how we should think about ourselves. In this post, we will explore the key truths Scripture reveals about our identity as followers of Jesus.
We live in a world that is constantly trying to tell us who we are. Family, friends, social media, advertisers, and culture at large all try to shape our identity by telling us what we should look like, act like, and care about. With so many voices trying to define us, it can be easy to become confused about our true selves.
As Christians, our identity is not determined by outside influences. The Bible makes it clear that our identity comes from God alone. When we put our faith in Christ, we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). God Himself, through His Word, tells us who we are. Scripture gives us an anchor for our sense of self that stands firm regardless of changing cultural winds.
In this post, we will look at several key truths the Bible reveals about our identity in Christ. Understanding these biblical truths can help us build a God-centered sense of who we are. As we embrace how Scripture defines us, we can reject the world’s labels and live confidently in the identity God declares over us.
- Our identity comes from being made in God’s image and His children through faith in Christ
- We are chosen, loved, and accepted by God through Jesus
- We have a new identity in Christ as a new creation
- We are united with Christ and bear His name as Christians
- We are saints, holy and blameless before God
- We are God’s workmanship, created to do good works
- We are loved by God and can boldly approach Him as our Father
- Understanding our identity in Christ helps us reject worldly labels and pressures
We Bear God’s Image
The first truth about our identity is that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NKJV)
Being made in God’s image distinguishes us from the rest of creation. It gives human beings dignity and worth. One key aspect of bearing God’s image is that we have the capacity to know and relate to our Creator. Our identity as image-bearers identifies us as spiritual beings created to connect with God.
The Fall distorted the image of God in humanity. However, through Christ, believers are being renewed in the likeness of our Creator (Colossians 3:10). As we grow in godliness, we reflect God’s character more and more. Our identity as God’s image-bearers never changes, even when our actions don’t live up to that identity.
Remembering that we bear God’s image impacts how we see ourselves and others. It reminds us of the inherent value all people possess. Seeing ourselves and others as image-bearers of Almighty God should lead us to treat ourselves and one another with love and respect.
We Are God’s Children
When we put our faith in Christ, we are adopted into God’s family. The Bible tells us:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12 NKJV)
Through faith, believers gain a new identity as children of God. We can call the Creator of the universe our Father! Being God’s children gives us tremendous privileges:
- We have a new family – God is our perfect Father, Jesus is our Brother, and other Christians are our siblings (Hebrews 2:11-12).
- We have a family inheritance – As God’s children and heirs we have an eternal inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1 Peter 1:3-5).
- We have guidance from our Father – God promises to lead and guide us as a Father does His children (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- We have eternal security – Once we are adopted into God’s family, we are His children forever. We cannot be separated from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Knowing we are dearly loved children of God provides comfort and security. We are not abandoned or unwanted. We have a Father who wants the best for us and will care for us forever. This truth protects us from looking to other things like achievements or relationships to define our worth. Our identity as God’s treasured children never changes.
We Are a New Creation
In one of the clearest statements about our identity in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)
What an incredible promise! In Christ, we are completely made new. Our past does not define us. The sins, mistakes, wounds, and baggage from our old life are gone. We have a fresh start and can live in a new way.
This truth of being a new creation liberates us from guilt and shame over our past. We don’t have to carry those burdens or continue unhealthy patterns of behavior. The old sinful person we were apart from Christ is dead, and we have been spiritually reborn as a new person in Him.
Our new identity empowers us to resist temptation and live differently. As a new creation in Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin but have been set free to walk in holiness and righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). We do this not out of obligation, but because Christ lives in us, giving us new desires to please God.
The fact that we are new creations also gives us purpose. Jesus redeems our lives, putting them to use for His Kingdom. He makes all things new, including our reason for being on this earth. We have the privilege of playing a part in God’s restorative work in the world.
We Are United with Christ
Several Bible verses speak of how Christ’s identity becomes our own:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20 NKJV) Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (Romans 6:3 NKJV) But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV)
These verses show we are intimately united with Jesus. His crucifixion becomes ours, and we spiritually participate with Him in death and resurrection life. We can no longer view ourselves apart from Christ. Our old self is dead, and Jesus now lives in us as our true life.
Because we are one with Jesus, we share in His righteousness and all spiritual blessings from God:
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)
No longer does our sin define us. Now Christ’s righteousness is our own. Being united with Jesus determines our standing before God and our access to spiritual blessings. Our new identity in Him is the basis for living differently than our old self.
We Are Christians
To be a Christian is to identify with Christ. The term “Christian” first appears in the book of Acts:
And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:26b NKJV)
The name “Christian” means “belonging to Christ” or “follower of Christ.” Being known as a Christian becomes part of our identity. This name unites all believers into one family of faith, regardless of background.
Calling ourselves Christians identifies us with Jesus. Just as a wife takes her husband’s name, Christians bear the name that identifies us as belonging to the Lord. The name links us to Christ and all the blessings that come from being united with Him.
Being a Christian also connects us to one another. We become members of Christ’s body, the Church. Our new family identity supersedes any racial, social, or cultural differences. Adopting this common identity reminds us of the shared connection all believers have in Jesus.
The name Christian has a wonderful heritage from the early church, but also carries a responsibility. Our lives should align with the name we bear. As Christians, we represent Christ on earth. Bearing His name compels us to increasingly reflect Jesus in how we live.
We Are Saints
The Bibles often calls believers “saints.” For example:
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: (Romans 1:7 NKJV) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons. (Philippians 1:1 NKJV)
Despite common misperceptions, the title saint does not refer to a believer’s merit or perfection. It is not reserved only for super-holy Christians. Rather, saint simply means someone who has been set apart by God and for God. It identifies all believers as holy ones belonging to the Lord.
The testimony of Scripture makes it clear that we are simultaneously saints and sinners. We are saints based on our position in Christ, even though we still struggle with sin. Saints are people who have been declared righteous before God by grace alone through faith.
Understanding we are saints empowers holy living. Since we belong to God as His holy ones, we are called to live differently than the world. Our identity directs our behavior. We live up to our identity as saints by seeking purity and resisting sinful desires that wage war against our souls (1 Peter 2:9-11).
We Are God’s Workmanship
One of my favorite verses about our identity proclaims:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)
God made us in Christ for the purpose of doing good works. The Greek word for “workmanship” refers to someone’s handiwork or artistic creation. As God’s workmanship, we are His masterpiece created by Him and for Him!
Since God crafted us to do the good works He planned, we can have confidence that our lives have meaning and purpose. There are good things for each of us to accomplish according to His design. Understanding this truth liberates us from seeking our own significance apart from God.
We are not aimless beings wandering the earth in search of purpose. As God’s workmanship, we were created to fulfill His purposes in our lives. He has prepared specific good works for each of us to walk in. This truth anchors our sense of identity and gives us direction.
Our identity as God’s workmanship calls us to discover and walk in those good works He has planned for our lives. Rather than relying on our own wisdom and strength, we look to our Maker to guide us into His purposes for us through following Jesus daily.
We Are Secure in God’s Love
Knowing God’s unconditional love for us is central to understanding our identity. The Bible tells us:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)
There is nothing we can do to earn or lose God’s love. In Christ, we are fully accepted, valued, and delighted in by God. His perfect love casts out all fear about our worth or acceptance. We don’t have to earn love or perform to be loved.
Knowing we are dearly loved transforms how we live. We don’t try to prove ourselves or seek love from broken human relationships or worldly things. God’s unconditional love stabilizes our identity and provides freedom from anxiety about others’ opinions of us.
Understanding God’s love compels us to love others. The security of His love empowers us to love as Jesus loves. We can extend grace and share Christ’s love because our own need for love has been met eternally in Him. God’s full acceptance frees us to give love without expecting anything in return.
We Have Bold Access to God
Because of Christ, we can come before God with confidence. Scripture encourages us:
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 KJV) In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in him. (Ephesians 3:12 ESV)
Timid, uncertain approaches to God are not necessary. We have the incredible privilege of entering God’s presence boldly. Christ provides us direct access to Him and gives us courage to draw near. We can have open, confident fellowship with the King of Kings!
This free access empowers our prayers. We don’t have to feel unworthy to ask God for what we need. Because of our identity in Christ, we can come boldly before Him as dearly loved children coming to a good Father.
Our bold access also transforms worship. We can freely express our praise and adoration. There is no need to shrink back or give God leftovers of our time and energy in the name of false humility. We can passionately magnify the greatness of God and rejoice in who He is.
A key part of our identity is approaching our relationship with God with courage and confidence. He desires us to draw near to Him and promises to reward our boldness as His children.
Conclusion: Living Secure in Our Identity
Understanding our identity in Christ is crucial for living as victorious followers of Jesus. When we know who God says we are, we can live with purpose, confidence, and boldness. A biblical view of our identity stabilizes us amidst the constantly shifting sands of culture.
The truths above give us an unshakeable foundation for our lives. In Christ, we are:
- Image-bearers of God
- Children of God
- A new creation
- United with Jesus
- Christians (followers of Christ)
- Saints (holy ones)
- God’s workmanship
- Secure in God’s love
- Bold to access God’s presence
No other identity compares with what God gives us in Christ! The world seeks to label us in many inadequate and false ways. As believers, we must reject those lies and embrace how Scripture defines us.
Understanding these truths is crucial, but we must also put them into practice. We live differently when we live out of our true identity in Christ. Reflect on this biblical view of your identity. Let it shape your thinking, how you view yourself and relate to God and others. Knowing who you are in Christ sets you free to walk in joy and confidence as the person God created you to be.