At a very early age we learn how we all have our own fingerprints. That is one of our first lessons in identity. We learn about identity through fingerprints, we can even be identified by our fingerprints, but no one finds their own identity in their fingerprints.
When we think about our identify, we are speaking of something deeper. We are talking about who we are. Looking at their fingerprints will never answer that.
What is your identity? We are taught to identify ourselves in general terms from our earliest ages.
One of the first ways we find our identity is by our gender. When a child is born, the doctor notices certain anatomy and writes down the scientific biological objective truth. That baby is identified as either a male or female.
A child should grow up and find some part of their identity in their gender. There are biological differences between the two genders. Some of those difference are more subtle and others are more obvious. It is no wonder that we have such identity problems in the world today. Children are brought up in a society where they are allowed to question their most basic biological identity.
A person can identify themself by their job. A fireman will identify themself as a fireman. An engineer will identify as an engineer. Sometimes people fall into huge pits of depression because they are fired or they lose the love for their career. That person has an identity crisis because they are losing a part of their identity.
A person may find their identity in being a husband and father. Then one day their spouse leaves and takes the children. We can see how that would send someone into a terrible identity crisis. What are they if they are no longer a husband?
We will face things that are going to cause us to stop and reassess who we are. Most people will experience a massive change that can be described as an identity crisis. While we do not wish anyone to go through the misery of not really knowing who they are, there is a great blessing that can come from it. If we open our bibles, this time can be a perfect time to see what God wants us to be.
When we do this, it becomes clear that all the titles and positions that we can hold don’t matter much to God. He doesn’t look at outward appearance (1 Sam 16:7). He looks at things from the eyes of a spirit because He is a spirit (John 4:24).
This truth should have two reactions. It should be comforting. Some people should realize that God see’s the truth of your situation. The way he identifies you doesn’t change based on these outside identifiers.
But we should also be terrified because God’s view of you doesn’t change based on meritorious works (Eph 2:8-9). That means you can live as squeaky clean as you want to for your entire life, but God still see’s you for what you are. Because of the reality of sin, God looks down on every accountable individual as a son of the devil (John 8:44, Rom 3:23).
God doesn’t want anyone to have their identity in Satan (2 Pet 3:9). He sent His own Son to shed His blood to wipe out that sin and allow us to identify as God’s children.
In Galatians 3:26-28 God reveals his desire to let us find our identity as His children. Please read these verses slowly and appreciate what is being said.
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Paul says that God identifies those who are “in Christ” as sons. “In Christ” is the location where the identity of God’s child is found. Therefore, everyone should begin a journey to that location. How do we get there?
Paul says that we get in Christ “through faith”. There is a lot said about faith on Sundays. Very few churches would get up and say “You don’t need faith to be a child of God”. Almost everyone is in agreement that faith is necessary to be a child of God. Unfortunately, a lot of people are teaching that a demons faith will make one a child of God (James 2:19-26).
Faith is an inclusive word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17), therefore it automatically will include obeying what that word says (Heb 5:9).
Paul says “In Christ, you are all sons of God through faith. For…”. We can read over three letter words pretty quick but we need to slow down on the word “for”. It is a conjunction that explains what has just been said. Paul is pointing them back to the specific act of faith that put them “in Christ”.
Now read the specific act. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Faith is the avenue that we travel to get us in Christ, but baptism is what puts us into Christ.
If someone is traveling to Middlesboro we would give them directions. How would they get to Middlesboro? Through following the directions. Thats what Paul means when he says they are in Christ “through faith”. You have to follow the directions.
If someone is traveling to Middlesboro, they have to drive through the tunnel. Following the directions and stopping short of the tunnel won’t put anyone into Middlesboro. The same is true for getting into Christ. Baptism is the tunnel that allows us to find our identity in Christ.
The beauty of the language in Galatians 3:27 is that when one is baptized into Christ, they are “clothing” themselves with Christ. God looks at those who have followed his directions as people who are wearing His Son.
Now I need people to think. A lot of people have been baptized. You may read this article and find comfort in the fact that you were baptized. Ephesians 4:5 says there is one baptism. That one baptism is for salvation (Mark 16:16), not because of it. If you were not baptized to be saved, then that baptism did nothing more than get you wet. In matters of religion, you can’t do the right thing for wrong reasons and still be right (Acts 5:1-11).
How does God identify you? As saved? As one of His children? Or does he view you as a son of the devil? It should be the greatest identity crisis you ever have.