“Who am I?” That is the question that circulates throughout our world today. We seek to find the answer by searching deep within ourselves, gaining social status, building relationships, studying self-help books, and taking personality tests, all to no avail. Not only are we looking in all the wrong places, I believe we are asking the wrong question. The truth is you are a new creation in Jesus Christ, and the question that can help you understand your identity is “Who is Jesus?”
The Key to Understanding Your Identity
What would happen if we stopped asking, “Who am I?” and began asking, “Who is Jesus?” Paul tells us the key to understanding your identity in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is IN CHRIST, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”
Jesus Christ specializes in making old things new. From the very beginning, when the earth was formless and empty, God spoke and filled this new world with life. We can witness His ability to bring new life every year as the seasons change. Each year, the cold winter months sap the earth of the vibrant colors of fall. But this temporary death gives way to the fresh, new life of spring. God doesn’t just do this with creation, He does it with people as well.
When Jesus came to earth, people from all walks of life came to Him because they had heard the news about Him. A man ravaged by a leprous skin disease sought help from Jesus, and in his compassion, Jesus healed him. A sinful woman caught in the act of adultery was put to public shame, but rather than condemn her, Jesus chose to forgive her. Jesus also used His power and authority to bring freedom to a man taken over by demons. Or perhaps we should remember Saul, whose heightened enthusiasm for his own ideals led him to throw Jesus’ followers in prison. However, when he encountered the risen Christ on one of his murderous missions, he not only received God’s grace, but he received a new name and a new identity. When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he was reminding them that he knew first-hand what it meant to be a new creation in Christ.
Each one of these people came to Jesus with their own specific problem, and all of them found themselves healed, delivered, forgiven, and radically transformed by God. Each one could say with confidence, “I am a new creation in Christ. My old life is gone and a new one has come.” They found their identity when they found Him. Likewise, when you place your faith in him, you are a new creation in Jesus Christ.
A Story of Identity Transformation
I recently witnessed the transformation of a young lady as she turned from openly rebelling against God to trusting in Jesus. She grew up hearing all the Bible stories and learning all the worship songs but didn’t want anything to do with Jesus. She attended a camp this summer, heard a gospel message, and encountered the real living Jesus for herself.
Someone asked her the other day, after a time of worship, what the difference was between how she sang the worship songs now, as a new creation in Christ, verses before when she didn’t believe in Jesus. She replied when she heard the songs before, they meant nothing to her and were dead and empty. But now, she could hardly explain it. She could no longer listen to the same songs without weeping, because of how great God is and all He had done for her. Instead of hatred, there is love and gratitude. Instead of complaining, there is speechless awe and wonder. “I am not who I used to be,” she said. “I am a new creation in Christ.”
Just like this young lady, you can find your identity—by understanding that you are a new creation in Jesus Christ.
Remember You Are a New Creation in Christ
It can be so easy to become discouraged when our focus is on the wrong things.
- We can believe the lie that our past failures are too great for His grace.
- We can become distracted by the entanglement of our present difficulties.
- We can allow the uncertainty of the future to fill us with anxiety.
Our identity can never be found in what we’ve done, the titles we have, or the successes we might achieve.
If your identity is found in Christ, you are a new creation in Jesus Christ and it only makes sense for you to seek after Him and grow to know who He is. While we are sinful and needy, He is forgiving and filling. While we grow old and are dying, He brings new life that lasts forever. While we can be full of fear and doubt, He is confident and filled with peace and love. Jesus calls us to find our identity in Him and to trust in who He is. We can believe Him when He says:
“You are a new creation IN CHRIST. The old has gone and the new has come.”
So, when we are tempted to ask, “Who am I?” perhaps we should get in His word and remind ourselves of who HE is, the Great I AM, who makes all things new.