are a myriad of answers we can reply when asked the question, “Who do
you think you are?” We are sons, daughters, teachers, entrepreneurs,
artists, moms, dads, etc. Often, the world looks to name people by what
they do. In our society, what you do and how you feel equals who you
are. The world will tell you self-esteem is how much we feel
valued, loved, and accepted by others. The way others see us, and the
way we see ourselves, is where we find our worth, they say.
Many people’s identity stems from their
earthly characteristics. Gender. Race. Ethnicity. Sexual orientation.
Wealth. Family. People think these characteristics are what defines
them. If any of these characteristics are challenged or are taken away,
people feel as if they are going through a crisis – an identity crisis.
But this approach of self esteem is the world's way of self-esteem, and
God is left out of the equation.
So what does the Bible
say about self-esteem and about who we are? What is the truth?
Knowing who you are is
important, because what you do flows from who you are. To
find a true, Biblical identity, we can start by going back to the
beginning of time.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in
our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea
and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and
over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man
in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he
created them” (Genesis
First of all, if we want to know who we
truly are, we must look at our relationship with God. Though many people
like to spend time gazing in a mirror, we must know that we are to
reflect God’s image. It can even be said that we are mirrors to
reflect God’s glory. We are not our own mirrors.
But the devil likes to tell us
differently. He’s been using the same trap since the beginning and
continues to use it today. How did he tempt Adam and Eve, the first
humans whom God created to reflect His image? Genesis 3:5 shows Satan
enticing Adam and Eve, “For God knows that when you eat of it (the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil) your eyes will be opened, and
you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan created the first identity
crisis. Adam and Eve ate the fruit because they forgot who they were.
They forgot that mankind was already “like God.” They wanted to
be more than a reflection. They wanted to form their own identity apart
from God, and this was sinful.
Because we are born naturally into
Adam’s family, we share his sinful, selfish, and identity-crisis nature.
We are dead in sin because of Adam. But 1 Corinthians 15:22 gives us
hope, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
When a team captain calls heads or
tails during a coin toss, his call affects the whole team. Just as a
captain’s choice affects his entire team, so Adam’s choice affected all
of humanity. But thankfully, because Jesus chose to die on the cross for
our sins, His choice also affects whoever believes in Him. In Adam,
there is condemnation; but in Christ there is salvation.
Paul understood the meaning of an
identity crisis when he spoke to the church at Ephesus. This church was
looking outside of God for worth, self-esteem and identity. In Ephesians
alone, Paul spoke of believers as being “in Christ,” “in Him,” “in
the beloved,” or other variations a total of twenty-two times. In
sum, Paul used the phrase “in Christ” or its variations in all of
his books some 216 times. He knew we were going to forget our identity.
He knew we needed to remember our true identity.
Who are we?
of all, we are in Christ.
Some look good in dresses,
others in slacks, in red, or in black. But we all look good “in
I Am a
This brings us to another question
then: what does it mean to be “in Christ?” Paul had something to say on
this subject. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace
to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians
The first identity Paul mentions to
those “in Christ” is that of being saints. He says, “To the
saints in Ephesus.” But surely there were all types of believers in
Ephesus! Some were mature in their faith, some weak. Paul, however, does
not make any sort of distinction between the mature and the new
believers. He calls them all saints.
1. In Christ, we are saints.
When I was young, I accepted this
designation. I used to work at a restaurant, and after helping an
employee, he told me, “I will ask God to make you a saint!”
I replied, “You don’t have to. I
Of course, he was shocked! A saint? How
could I be saint? Didn’t it take some miraculous sign or wonder for me
to be considered a saint? What he didn’t know was that in Christ, we are
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How
can I be a saint? I sin all the time! Don’t you know how bad I am?
Saints don’t act like me.”
Friend, how can you expect to act like
a saint if you don’t even believe you are one? If you believe you are a
sinner, you’re going to be walking like a sinner under condemnation.
Focusing on sin leaves us in despair. But no! If you are saved, then you
are a saint. God has wiped away your iniquities.
Yes, the bad news is that you still
sin. But you’ve forgotten the good news –you’re in Christ now! And in
Christ, your sin does not define you; it is no longer a part of your
identity. It does not matter how you feel or what others say; God says
you are a saint.
This is not the only thing you are
though. Let’s continue reading Paul’s words to the Ephesians. “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”
Who are we?
2. In Christ, we are blessed.
You might say, “It says that God
blessed us with spiritual blessings and spiritual blessings only.”
In other words, some think we should not expect physical blessings
like health and money.
But if God gives something to us, even
if it is physical, then it is a spiritual blessing, because James 1:17
says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from
the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting
Your life? A gift from God. Your job? A
gift from God. Your family? A gift from God.
What are some of the blessings God has
“he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in
accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5).
looks forward to being adopted. But first they must be chosen. We are
chosen by God! He adopted us into His family. It wasn’t an accident.
“in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us”
Why would a
holy God adopt sinners like us? Grace. This is free, not earned. Before
we could do anything to show the Lord we love and obey Him, He blesses
us by showing grace.
“In him we have redemption through his blood” (Ephesians 1:7).
knows what it’s like to be redeemed or set free. They were in slavery in
Egypt until God redeemed them. He delivered them from their bondages.
Just as they were redeemed, God has broken the bondage of sin from our
lives. Because of this, even the effects of sin are broken in our lives.
Have you ever
been of ashamed of the words you’ve spoken or the deeds you’ve done?
Maybe there is someone you’ve hurt or people you’ve grieved. One
blessing we have in Christ is that of forgiveness. He has taken our
shame and has called us pure.
5.Wisdom and Understanding
“that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding”
to know what we should do in certain situations, we need wisdom. Wisdom
guides us to make the right, God honoring choices. Understanding helps
us know why we should do what we should do. These two blessings will
affect your business, career, family, parenting, etc.
6.The Holy Spirit
“Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised
Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the
redemption of those who are God’s possession – the praise of his glory”
Spirit is the executor of the blessings. He causes the blessings to
arrive in your life. He gives the gift of tongues, prophesy, and
In Christ, we are blessed! But this is
keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know
him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the
riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably
great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:17-19).
Who are we?
Christ, we are called.
At one point in your life, you may have asked yourself, “What is my
Calling is your vocation. It brings
purpose to your life, and helps you know that you are not wasting your
life on Earth.
The thing about being called by God is
that you are constantly being called. Your calling is fluid. There is a
destination God has in mind for you, but you are always headed to it.
You are always being called.
My story is like a lot of people’s – it
didn’t begin by me waking up one morning as the pastor I knew I was
meant to be. I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime, and I always knew that
it was to proclaim the Gospel and to set people free. Though I am now a
Bishop of a large church and diocese, my life wasn’t always like this.
When I first became a Christian, I had
a job in a restaurant as an employee. While I was working outside of the
church, I volunteered as a children’s church aid. Soon, the church
promoted me to become a children’s church teacher. Then, I was the
Sunday school superintendent. Being faithful to where God had called me
at the time eventually led me to being a pastor of a small church. I
stayed faithful and soon started a Christian program on a radio station.
When I felt it was time to move on, I moved onto TV stations, and then
started writing books. What started as small beginnings has now led me
to being a Bishop. And yet, this is still not the end! Right now, I am
faithful as a Bishop, but who knows where God is going to lead me?!
All those times I was faithful over
“small” things. God called me to those small responsibilities. The great
thing is that every believer is called, not just those with tremendous
business skills or great influence. A calling continues as long as God
has given you breath. You are always being called to something, even if
it is not the “something” you had in mind.
So in Christ, we know that we are
saints blessed with all the heavenly blessings, and are continually
called. Is there anything else? Let’s look at Ephesians 2:2,5, “As
for you, you were dead in transgression and sins…But because of his
great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ”
Who are we?
4. In Christ, we are alive.
On TV, there is a commercial I
love which asks kids a series of rather simple questions. The adult will
ask them, “Which is better: Faster or slower?” All of the kids will
quickly reply, “Faster!” as if there is no other option.
I have a question to ask you: Which is
better: Being alive or being dead?
To be made alive means that we were
once not alive. We were dead.
The world itself is full of the walking
dead. The world will say that you can do whatever you want because none
of it matters. The world will tell you that getting drunk and doing
drugs is going to make you happy. But the problem is, those people are
the walking dead. They are dead in their sins, thinking that what they
do will make them feel alive.
If you are in Christ, then you are
already alive! You do not need things of this world to make you feel
alive because you are alive in Christ! It is part of your identity!
Not once have I ever thought a human in
a zombie movie should be made dead. I always cheer for those characters
to survive and stay alive! It would be silly to think that them becoming
a zombie is better for them. I want them to escape, to keep running. The
walking dead are not to be admired. Yet, when we were dead before
Christ, we used to follow these walking dead. Now that we are alive, we
do not follow their ways! We lead!
In history, the Church was always at
the forefront of change. The church has continually stood up for civil
rights. Christians were at the forefront of change to end slavery.
Christians have continually stood up for women’s rights. Today,
Christians are leading the way to end abortion, stand for traditional
marriage, and combat pornography and sex trafficking. Christians are
leading because God has made them alive!
We are not the walking dead, living for
temporary pleasures. There is more to this life than what we can see;
there is a spiritual battle going on in our land. Who are you going to
follow in this battle?
Let’s remember our question from before
– the one even children know the answer to. Which is better: Being alive
or being dead? Alive! And indeed, in Christ, we are made alive.
You may look like a father or a mother.
You may look wealthy or poor. But in Christ, we are all the same – we
are more than what meets the eye. The final question remains: Who are