From the news stories and happenings of the last few weeks and the last couple of years, the issue is clear our culture has an identity problem. In fact, we are told identity is ours to choose. We have the right to identify as we see fit and how we feel. The reality, however, cannot be further from the truth. We are not sovereign over our identity. When we deny this reality the issues surrounding identity becomes a problem of idolatry. Why? Because identity is not ours to choose in a vacuum. Identity centers upon the person of Jesus Christ. For Christians, this is especially crucial. In the midst of suffering and harsh circumstances we can be prone to question whose we are, our identity. We must review and remind ourselves where we find identity. Our identity is built not by us, but by God. God has caused us to be born again (1:3, 23) and because we know God we live a life longing for His Word (2:1-3). We are living stones being built for the living stone (2:4-6). Our identity is centered upon the cornerstone who is Jesus Christ (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is the one who is foundational and central in our identity. The one who was rejected by men but chosen by God was the one who is the living stone. This specific living stone is building a spiritual house made up of other living stones as they rest in the cornerstone. In other words, we who place our trust in Christ, find our identity in Christ. We can only “be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (2:5). Through Jesus Christ can we see our identity as living stones. We do not exist for our own sake but are being built up for Him. Our identity is not what we choose and our identity is not centered upon us. God in Christ chooses our identity and Christ is the center of our identity. But what about those who reject Christ? Christ is not the center of their identity. In a sense, no, He is not. They have rejected Christ. Yet, realize their rejection of Christ reveals their identity. They are unbelievers. As unbelievers, they disobey the word. Thus, their identity impacts their mission. Their mission reveals their identity and points to their destiny. And it all has to do with how one responds to Christ. He is the cornerstone. He is the One who gives us our identity. For those who reject God’s building an identity, their destiny will be eternal separation from God in hell. For those who receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, God uses to build a spiritual house and they will spend eternity in fellowship with Him. The question for you is: Where is your identity?
- How does knowing our identity help during times of suffering and hardships?
- How do we see Christ as central to our understanding of identity?