We’re kicking off 2023 with a focused effort on Identity—Who am I? This question is foundational for all believers, because when we are saved by Jesus, we become a new person. Understanding the characteristics of our new nature is an ongoing process in living a life that reveals Jesus to the world. Likewise, it’s important to recognize when you’re wearing a label that the enemy has given you—failure, unloved, alone—so that you can begin the healing that comes from wearing the label of the new identity you’ve been given in Christ.
How we answer the question “Who am I?” determines … well, exactly who we are. As believers, we know that the answer to that question is, “I am a new creation in Christ.” Still, we rarely spend the time to focus on exactly what that means, or on how we can demonstrate it through our actions. As we kick off a new year, we encourage you to do just that: make time to re-center and refocus on understanding and living in the light of your identity in Christ.
Take a moment and read the following 12 verses that draw upon some aspect of our identity in Christ. As you work through the study questions below, consider how these verses might act as a framework for your answer. The Bible has many more verses that focus on identity. Is there another verse that comes to mind? The verses and study questions below are intended to equip you wherever you are, whether that’s individually, with a mentor, or with your local fellowship group. Our prayer is that pondering these questions will draw you into deeper fellowship with God and with each other.
Scripture that focuses on identity
- “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, ESV).
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV).
- “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9, ESV).
- “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, ESV).
- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV).
- “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27, ESV).
- “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15, ESV).
- “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3, ESV).
- “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, ESV).
- “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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:27-29, ESV).
- “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, ESV).
- “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14, ESV).
- How do you define “identity”? What does it mean to have a new identity in Christ?
- What is the purpose of our new identity? Why does God make us into new creatures?
- What are things that you find yourself tempted to place your identity in?
- What are some practical ways that you can demonstrate your new identity in Christ to those around you?
- Consider Ephesians 2:19-22. How do the concepts of identity and fellowship among believers relate to each other? How does a better understanding of our identity in Christ affect our fellowship with other believers?
- Consider 2 Corinthians 5:16-18. What does this passage say about the nature of our new identity? What does it mean to be a “new creature”? Also consider verses 20-21: What does it mean to be an “ambassador for Christ”? How can we live out this calling?
- What does our status as new creatures tell us about Christ? How can we better understand our Savior through examining our new identity?
- Consider Colossians 3:1-17. How can this passage help us in the practice of living out our identity?