Recognizing our identity requires faith.
Many of the ladies in our church have been reading and discussing a book about identity. Being a woman is part of one’s identity (if you are a woman), as is being a man. Recognizing that difference does not require wisdom, though in our day it does require honesty and courage. Some are young, some are old, and God speaks to the different glories of each kind. We are not all the same part of the body, we do not all have the same spiritual gifts. These categories, and others, belong with who we believe ourselves to be as image-bearers of God and as disciples of Christ.
I mentioned a few months ago the difference between optimists and pessimists, not regarding world history per se, but regarding personal sanctification. I want to cover that ground again from a different angle because identifying ourselves correctly affects our hope.
Christian, are you a sinner or are you saint? Are you guilty before God or justified in Christ’s righteousness? Are you a conquerer, or are you a coward, a compromiser, a loser?
Here’s the giveaway: if you are asking those questions, the answer is obvious. If you are not asking those questions, there is an obvious problem.
If you struggle to identify as a saint, knowing that you sin and that you have to repent from sin and that you hate sin, then the Bible commands you to identify as “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 5:11). This is not telling yourself a lie, it is the way you reckon with having died with Christ to sin. If you see that you are wretched, and long for full deliverance from sin (Romans 7:24), then you must acknowledge that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Are you weak, are you groaning, then you should know that in all these things you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).
This is not trying to convince yourself of something to make it true, this is the life of believing what Christ said is true.
It’s those who say that they don’t have sin who God identifies as liars (1 John 1:10). So speak the truth, confess your sin, as overcomers of the world by faith that Jesus is the Son of God.