Identity in Christ and Our Self-Worth

There was a lot of conversation over this weeks online bible study reading. 2 main issues I wanted to address further are what does it mean to have our identity in Christ and does it pervert God’s original meaning of it to tell someone if they know who they are in Christ then it can help them with past hurts and to heal and move on. Also, are we worthy and valuable in God’s eyes or is this a prideful thought that takes away the worth and value to God. Here is what I have found from researching Scripture:

Definition of Identity: The collective aspect of a set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known

  • Our identity in Christ is the set of characteristics that make us recognizable as Children of God:
  • a new creation
  • freedom from condemnation
  • righteous, holy, redeemed
  • children of God
  • holy, blameless, redeemed, forgiven

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1

“It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

“So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of  God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothes yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27

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.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In lovehepredestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:3-8

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-7

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in
baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:9-15

I really was amazed at how Paul had the perfect balance of recognizing the power of knowing his identity in Christ but also giving the glory to God for it. I think that’s the whole pitfall to this chapter. It is possible to become free from sins and power struggles by knowing your identity in Christ, that is a part of why God made it clear in His Scripture what having your identity in Christ means. He meant to give us confidence and understanding in who we are and what we mean to Him so we can live to the fullness of who He created us to be. BUT like Paul did He meant for it to ultimately give Him back the glory. Martha must have had a lot of examples where people were not giving God the glory for their identity in Christ so she saw it abused and become a “self-centered” concept instead of a God-centered concept. Scripture truly is alive and active as I began reading these different Scriptures this concept came to light for me whereas this past week I felt in the gray not knowing what conviction to hold. I must confess here that I did what I said last week I didn’t want to do… I didn’t go to God’s Word first to form my conviction, I stuck with the book and my respect for Martha. I now realize my mistake and am thankful for God’s Word to shine light over my darkness.

All the verses were listed in this article

http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/07/identity-in-christ-verses-in-the-bible/

Our Identity and Its Purpose

“There is a lot of discussion in our day of self-concept or self-identity. How do we view ourselves? It is an important question. And what I hope you hear this morning is that the specifically biblical angle on this question is that Christian selfhood is not defined in terms of who we are in and of ourselves. It’s defined in terms of what God does to us and the relationship he creates with us and the destiny he appoints for us. In other words as a Christian you cannot talk about your identity without talking about the action of God on you, the relationship of God with you, and the purpose of God for you. The biblical understanding of human self-identity is radically God-centered.

Who am I? Who are you? You are a God-chosen one, a God-pitied one, a God-possessed one, a God-sanctified one. The very language of our identity in this text necessitates that God be included as the one who acts. Our identity is not an end in itself, but for the sake of priestly service, which Peter defines as proclaiming the excellencies of the One who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

God made us who we are so that we might proclaim the excellency of his freedom in choosing us. The excellency of his grace in pitying us. The excellencies of his authority and power in possessing us. The excellencies of his worth and purity in making us holy.

In other words he has given us our identity in order that his identity might be proclaimed through us. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known his identity. The meaning of our identity is that the excellency of God be seen in us.

Therefore being a Christian and making the greatness of God known are almost identical. We can do it in church services with preaching and singing and praying and reading. We can do it in our small groups as we tell each other what God has been for us, or what we need him to be for us. We can do it at work as we tell people what we love about God and why we think he is great. And we can do it in a thousand different ways of love that suit our situation and personality.”

I thought this was a great article and again defined this concept very well. There’s more to the article if you want to read it here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/christian-identity-and-christian-destiny

Question: “What does the Bible say about self-worth?”

Answer: The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God. Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed, and in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.

But notice the wording in each of the above phrases: “are made,” “are fearfully and wonderfully made,” “were written,” “God chose His children,” “we are God’s own possession,” and “we have an inheritance.” These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.

The Bible tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In fact, we “were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. But—and here’s the miracle—He actually loved us in spite of our condition (John 3:16), and because He did, we now have infinite worth.

John 1:12 tells us that to those who received Christ and believed in His name, God gave the right to become His children. First John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we’ll come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we’re really worth as children of the most high God.

Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.

This last article was taken from this website:

http://www.gotquestions.org/self-worth.html

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s