Sometimes I think that we should never pay attention to things posted on the internet <irony>This is being posted on the internet</irony>. A couple weeks ago I followed a thread about how the terminology of “identity in Christ” is unhelpful, worldly—psychological and self-centered, and wrong. And I mean, I guess I can imagine someone using that terminology with no clue about identity and no reference to Christ. I can also imagine a lot of ways to abuse a lot of good things.
Identity refers to the characteristics determining what a thing is, or who a person is. For example, a “woman” is a female who is post-puberty. A woman is an adult human with two X chromosomes. A woman is the kind of human who can get pregnant and give birth. One woman and one man in covenant make a marriage. I am not a biologist, but I do have a Bible. And eyes.
As Christians, there are characteristics that determine who we are. Among an abundance of characteristics given in God’s Word, Christians are those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, so that means we were baptized into His death, buried with Him, and “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
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)
It should be as obvious that you are a Christian as it is that you are a woman, or a man. Your baptism is a sign, and so is your communion at the Lord’s Supper. “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:54 ESV). What is a Christian? A person who identifies with, and has their identity in, Jesus Christ.