What defines you?
Is it your personality? The way you see the world? Do your views on current events give others a glimpse of your true self?
Is it your vocation? Do you receive your sense of identification from the work you do? The way you spend your time? I’ve heard people say if they couldn’t do such-and-such job, they wouldn’t know who they were. Or what am I if I don’t have my work?
Is it your relationships? Do you find your identity as a father, mother, friend, husband, or wife? If those relationships were to fail, would you know who you are? Would you cease to be you?
What about your past? Is there something in your past that seems to stay with you no matter what? Do you feel defined by that one-time incident?
It seems to me, a person needs to get their sense of identity from something greater than themselves. It needs to be derived from something that isn’t subject to change, from external forces or time.
Human beings don’t spring up out of the ground on their own. We’re created by God. We belong to Him and are endowed with His purpose.
Unfortunately, we’re also born with a sin nature we inherited from our original parents in the Garden of Eden. This nature separates us from God on a spiritual level and causes us to not recognize who we are in Him.
But God provided a way to correct that problem, a way to undo the damage caused by our sin natures and bring us back into fellowship with Him. And in so doing, He establishes our true identities.
Over the last several years, life has thrown me a series of curve balls regarding my vocation and finances. To the point that I questioned my purpose. I still don’t have the answers, so each day I’m faced with the challenge of continuing to search for the reason I’m even here.
However, my identity, who I am, or I should say whose I am, was settled many years ago.
I am fortunate to have been reared by parents who are both believers in Christ. Because of this, I attended church and heard the message of the Gospel from an early age. In fact, I’ve said on several occasions I knew how to become a Christian long before I did so. That speaks to the work of the Holy Spirit, not any stubbornness or rebellion on my part.
I once heard R. C. Sproul on video say that God not only provides the power of salvation to man, but also the very ability to hear and choose Him. I agree with that assessment. I believe, from scripture and experience, that God decides when a heart is ready to hear Him, and He offers His free gift of redemption.
You see, because of man’s sin, he is separated from God. He cannot achieve the righteousness and holiness that is required to be in the presence of God. Thus, without intervention, he will never be able to enter Heaven and will instead spend eternity in Hell.
But God in His great love and mercy toward man provided a way for us to be reconciled with Him. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross and pay the price for man’s sin. And since Jesus was without sin of His own, His righteousness is extended to all mankind. When He died on the cross, He died once for all men and women and all sin.
To receive this gift of salvation, all a person need do is acknowledge his/her sin, repent of that sin, and ask Christ to forgive them in full surrender to Him. That’s what I did on April 29, the year I turned ten.
I was aware of God’s existence and presence long before that night. But it was not until that week that He began speaking directly to me regarding salvation.
I had seen others accept salvation at church and had questioned how a person would know when it was time. I was told God would speak to me and let me know. And that’s exactly what happened.
He actually started on Tuesday night by making suggestions about some other things, to get me used to hearing and obeying. By Thursday evening, He began speaking directly about redemption.
The best way I can explain it is I became very aware that I had committed sin, that the sin kept me from Him, and that I needed Him to forgive me and cleanse me of it. This fit directly with what the Bible says about one of the functions of the Holy Spirit, to convict us of sin. And I had an overwhelming desire to get rid of my sin and surrender to Him.
So that’s what I did. I asked Jesus to forgive my sin, to cleanse me of it, and to come live in my heart. That last part is a churchy way of acknowledging that the Holy Spirit would indwell me at the point of salvation, another of His functions.
And just like that, I was granted all the righteousness and privileges of a child of God. As it says in 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.”
I was also endowed with eternal life. This body will someday have to either die or be changed at the Rapture because of its sin nature, but my spirit is now alive forever. Jesus said in John 11, “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Once my body has been changed, I’ll be a complete immortal being, like God intended from the beginning.
That’s who I am. That’s whose I am. And that can never change.
Son and servant of the Most High God. Joint heirs with Jesus to the throne of the universe.
And you can be, too.
Have you surrendered your life to Him?
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!