G. Enemies of Satan
If you are a child of God, then, you are also an enemy of Satan , and he is your enemy. I read 1 Peter 5: 8 to you.
“Be sober, watch, because your adversary, the devil, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8 NIV)
We are enemies of the devil, he is our adversary. Therefore, we must be on guard, always remain sober, and never forget that he wants to harm us and lead us astray from the way of Christ. He wants to hurt us, very, very bad. If we are not sober, if we are not on guard, if we do not keep our eyes on Christ, Satan can harm us, an evil that we should not have suffered. So part of our identity is that we are enemies of Satan. Let’s remember this to be sober.
However, we must also remember that since we are in Christ Jesus, whatever evil Satan can do to us if we are not sober, he cannot rob us of our identity in Christ. I read you John 10:
“27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one “.” (Jn 10: 27-30 KJV)
We are confident in Jesus Christ. If we are not sober, if we take our eyes off Christ, Satan can hurt us. However, neither Satan nor anyone else can snatch us from the hand of Jesus Christ. Our identity in Christ is sure. We live our true identity.
H. Citizen of Heaven
If you are a child of God, then, you are a citizen of heaven . I read Philippians 2:30 and then Ephesians 2:19.
“Our citizenship is in fact in heaven, from where we also expect the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil 3:20 NIV)
“You are therefore no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of the family of God,” (Eph 2:19 NIV)
This world is not our home. Here, we are strangers, pilgrims on a journey to get to what is our home, our homeland, for all eternity!
How important it is to remember our identity as citizens of heaven, rather than of the world! When we remember that we are citizens of heaven, the difficulties, problems and injustices of this world no longer weigh on us as before. So let us not seek our joy in what we will leave behind, but we find our joy in what awaits us forever!
Remembering our identity as citizens of heaven helps us walk in holiness on this pilgrimage, as we read in 1 Peter 2:11.
“Dear friends, I urge you, as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.” (1Piet 2:11 NIV)
Thank God that we are citizens of heaven, through Jesus Christ. We live this reality.
I. A branch in Christ, to bear fruit
We discover in John 15 that we are branches in Christ Jesus, which is the true vine, and that we exist in Christ to bear fruit, which is another way of describing good works. I read John 15.
“1” I am the true vine and my Father is the farmer. 2 Every branch that bears no fruit in me takes it away; but every branch that bears fruit, he prunes to bear even more. 3 You are already clean because of the word I preached to you. 4 Abide in me and I will abide in you; just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. vine, you are the branches; whoever abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit, since without me you can do nothing. ” (John 15: 1-5 KJV)
A simple question: are you bearing fruit, are you abiding in Jesus Christ? This is our true identity. Are you living it?
J. Servants of God, ministers
When we consider our identity in Christ, it is important to remember that whoever is in Christ is also a servant of Christ, a servant of God. This is also a very important part of our identity, of the way we must see ourselves. We are God’s servants, God’s ministers, on a mission for Him. We are God’s ambassadors, in a world of darkness.
I read Romans 6:18 and 22.
“And, having been freed from sin, you have been made servants of righteousness.” (Ro 6:18 NIV)
“Now, however, having been freed from sin and made servants of God, you have sanctification as your fruit and eternal life as your end.” (Ro 6:22 NIV)
It is very important to remember our identity as servants of God, ready to do whatever our Master commands us to do. Our life does not belong to ourselves. We must not make our own decisions by evaluating only our preferences and considerations, we must inquire about what the will of our one God and Master and Lord is.
I also read 2 Corinthians 5: 18-20, which speaks of our identity as ministers of reconciliation, as ambassadors for Christ.
“18 Now all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 for God has reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not blaming men for their trespasses , and he has placed in us the word of reconciliation. 20 We therefore act as ambassadors for Christ, as if God were exhorting through us, and we exhort you for Christ’s sake: Be reconciled to God. ” (2Co 5: 18-20 KJV)
An ambassador always represents his homeland. He never speaks on his own, without representing his homeland. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and everything we do and say represents Christ, for good or for bad.
As servants of God, part of our identity is to suffer for Christ. We have received grace for this too, as we read at Philippians 1:29
“For grace has been given to you for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,” (Fl 1:29 NIV)
As servants of God, we are also called to suffer for Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Or that we can rejoice in this great privilege, to be ready to live for Him, to serve Him and, when needed, to suffer for Him! This too is part of our identity in Christ. Let’s live it!
K. Saved to do good works, with zeal
If you are a child of God, then, you have been saved to be zealous in good works. Part of our identity is to engage in good works. I read Ephesians 2: 8-10.
“8 For you were saved by grace, by faith, and this does not come from you, it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one may boast. 10 In fact, we are his work, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has previously prepared, because we do them. ” (Eph 2: 8-10 NIV)
We were saved by grace, created, or born, in Christ Jesus, for good works. God saved us to do good works. Hence, it is important to identify with this.
I also read Titus 2: 13-14 which explains why Jesus redeemed us.
“13 awaiting the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself up for us, to redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a special people, zealous in good works. ” (Tit 2: 13-14 NIV)
Jesus Christ gave himself for us to be zealous in good works. Not being is means not living by what we were saved for.
L. Light of the world
If you are a child of God, then, along with other true believers, you are also the light of the world.
“13” You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt becomes insipid, with what will it taste? ; a city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. ” (Mat 5: 13-14 NIV)
God left us here as lights. Not living this identity of ours means leaving people in darkness and being guilty towards them. To be light means to live in such a way that in every moment Jesus Christ is visible in us, and it also means to be active in proclaiming Him to others. We live this way, thanking God that others have been a light for us, and praying for the privilege of being a light for so many others.
M. A royal priesthood
If you are a child of God, then you are also part of a royal priesthood. I read 1 Peter 2: 9,10. Notice what our office is as a royal priesthood.
“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a people bought for God, so that you may proclaim the wonders of him who called you from darkness to his wonderful light; 10 you who were not once a people, but are now the people of God; you, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. ” (1Pi 2: 9-10 KJV)
You have noticed, our commission is to proclaim the wonders of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We are priests, royal priests, priests of the King of kings.
As priests, we offer spiritual sacrifices, praise sacrifices, and even thanksgiving. I read 1 Peter 2: 5, and then Hebrews 13:15.
“You too, like living stones, are built to be a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pi 2: 5 KJV)
“Through him, therefore, we continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)
Or that we can always live according to our identity as priests of God, offering Him sacrifices of praise and thanks!
In reality, there is still a lot to say, but I have to conclude here. I pray that each of you will strive to discover and understand more of our identity in Christ Jesus. And then, I pray that each of us who is in Christ will live according to his identity, and will not seek his own identity in other things or other roles. .
What happens when a person fails to keep his true identity in mind?
Let’s take an example: what happens when a parent does not live out his or her identity as a parent? If, instead of seeing himself as a parent, he seeks his identity in some other way, such as in the opinion that others have of him, or in friends, career, entertainment, or commitments in the Church, and if does not find his identity as a father or mother, how will his life go? How will your family fare?
When one does not live according to his or her true identity, sooner or later his life will be a disaster, and the negative consequences will also spill over to the people close to him or her.
If we think about this example, being a parent is a demanding job. There is no time to waste. Forgetting even for a short time your identity as a parent will lead to bad consequences.
How much more must we always remember our identity in Christ Jesus, as the most important thing in our life.
In fact, you can’t have a satisfied heart if you don’t live for who you really are. Who is saved, first of all is in Christ Jesus. Important as marriage is, it will end with the death of one of the two spouses. As important as being a parent is, this role will change dramatically as the child leaves home to form a new family. The role of shepherd is also a role that often ends up with problems due to old age. Instead, being in Christ is the most important thing in all life and all eternity.
Message for non-believers
Before concluding, I would like to say a word to you who are not yet children of God, who are not yet saved. In the Gospel of Mark 8, Jesus said:
“What good will it be for man to gain the whole world if he then loses his soul?” (Mr 8:36 KJV)
If you seek your identity in anything other than Christ, even if you were to achieve all your dreams, if your identity is not in Christ Jesus, it will do you no good. Indeed, it will lead you to have an eternity of torment, away from the presence of God.
So, I urge you, don’t worry about work, home, friends, or anything else. Rather, seek your identity in Christ Jesus. Jesus invites all sinners to repent, and to go to Him for forgiveness and to become new creatures in Christ. Give up everything, stop looking for your identity in other things, look for Jesus Christ.
Any other identity will be lost, it will end. Look for Jesus.
Speaking again to you who are in Christ, I ask each of you a question:
Are you finding your identity in Christ Jesus or in something on this earth that has no importance in the light of eternity?
Or that we can say with the apostle Paul what we read in Galatians 2.20:
“I was crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and that life that I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ” (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
May every true believer say this! In fact, being able to express yourself in this way is a fruit of being a true believer. Amen.