Find Your Identity in Christ… Not in Being a Christian

Many times, people are like, “Hey, you’re that super Christian guy.” And I do not know that I am okay with that.

Christians are constantly reminded to find their identity in Christ. And rightfully so. While that exact phrase might not be found in the Bible, it is an idea that is all throughout Scripture. However, I believe that too often, Christians are led astray as to what this exactly means. I believe that we have equated the idea of finding one’s identity in Christ with finding one’s identity in being a Christian. While those may sound like the same thing, I can assure that they are not only different, but mutually exclusive.

People usually think that finding their identity in Christ means you need to become a “Jesus Freak”, be “on fire for Jesus”, or morph into Ned Flanders. In other words, you better start reading your Bible in public places (preferably Starbucks), praying louder and longer than everyone else, making Christian statuses, tweets, and posts (much like this one… I am getting major Christian identity points right now), and making sure you go to church and invite as many people as you can.

But, what a shame that is!

Finding one’s identity in Christ is so much more than doing “Christian things”. It is human nature to want to define who we are by what we do. Literally. Ask someone who they are and watch them fumble around. We do not know how to answer that question! So, since they do not really know, they will say stuff like, “Well I work at this business, and I graduated from this university, and I am married to this person, and I have this many kids.” That says nothing as to who you are though. So, what we do when we try to find our identity in being a Christian we simply change the criteria in what we do. Now, it is how often we read our Bible, what church we attend, what denomination we are, what role we serve in our church, and the list could go on and on.

Now, please do not misunderstand me. All of those things are absolutely great, however, they are not where we should find our identity and they are definitely not how we find our identity in Christ. It is simply where we were before, now with a religious twist. So, how do we find our identity in Christ?

The Bible has a ton to say about who we are in Christ. I will just give you Scripture.

  • …even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… (Ephesians 1:4-5).
  • 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. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10).
  • 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).
  • And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
  • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
  • 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:15-16)
  •  …for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)

I could go on and on, but just look at a little of what the Bible says about who we are in Christ! Really. If you just skipped the verses or skimmed over them, go back up and read them again. How amazing are those verses!

My point is, we are not saved to do “Christian things”. We are saved to do all things to the glory of God. In other words, our identity is in Christ. Therefore, everything we do will always be put through that filter. Christianity is not about being a Jesus Freak! It is not about being “that super Christian guy”. It is about knowing who God says we are in Christ and living in response to that. It is about walking in the reality of who you are now that you know that you are God’s. Your identity is not in what you do, but in whose you are. You are sons and daughters of God. If you do music, do it as His. If you do art, do it as His. If you do sports, do it as His. If you do your job, do it as a son or daughter of the most high God.

Do not find your identity in being a Christian. Always remember that your identity is and will always be in Christ. 

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This is an excerpt from my book, “Church Kid: Restoring Your Faith After Being Raised in Church,” now available for purchase here.

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2 thoughts on “Find Your Identity in Christ… Not in Being a Christian

  1. for many years I struggled with my own identity–it was my realization that my identity is within Christ that has made all the difference–great post!

  2. I recently read an article that discussed the common rhetoric of “finding identity in Christ.” I wish I knew the link so you could read it, but its premise was being critical of how the phrase is thrown around. People use it to keep themselves somewhat separated from reality. For example, if you don’t like your job, don’t worry, your identity isn’t in your job but in Christ. The problem with dissolving every aspect of our lives to what it’s “not” leaves us with a lot of emptiness.

    The identity is found in Christ but the practicality, the applicability, and the reality of Christ infiltrates people so that they may MORE actively take part in “life.” I personally just really like this idea because its not a quick-fix answer to questions of identity, but oddly satisfying.

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