Our Identity and Christ

“So what does it mean to be getting our identity from Christ? I’m afraid we throw around phrases like that without knowing what they really mean, so I want to take today and explain what I think that means. Here’s what Peter says: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Another way of saying this is, “God has already given me everything I need for life and godliness.”

Now I want to nitpick over the two words ‘life and godliness.’ If Peter had only written, “God has given me everything I need for life,” we would tend to add in the word ‘eternal’ and say, “Of course I know this. God has given me everything I need so that someday I’ll have eternal life.” But that’s not what Peter is talking about. Peter is talking about the ‘here and now’, which is why he uses the term ‘godliness.’

What is godliness? It’s a God-honoring life between the time I come to Christ and the time I go home to be with Him. And Christ has already given me everything I need for it! Yes, we face the harsh realities of life in a fallen world, and yes, we still struggle with indwelling sin. But because of my relationship with Christ, I have been given a Warrior Spirit that lives inside of me. He fights on my behalf and enables me to produce good fruit: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7).

This passage is describing the ‘here and now’ benefits of our salvation. Listen, it’s not enough for us to believe in life after death – we need to start believing in life before death. If we understand our identity that we’ve been given in Christ, we can live filled with hope and courage. Christ has not just forgiven you. He has completely and fundamentally changed who you are, and because of that, you can live in a very new and different way.

If you remember that in your marriage, if you remember that in your job, if you remember that as you face the situations and relationships of life, it will make a tremendous difference in the way that you live. You’ll begin to produce new and surprising fruit, and you’ll be used by God to help others remember their identity.” Paul Tripp : Life & Godliness https://www.paultripp.com/articles/posts/life-and-godliness

“We “know” that identity influences our thinking, our choices, and our behavior, but we have a hard time getting identity right. I call it Identity Amnesia – misunderstanding and replacing our identity in Christ.

Identity Amnesia is powerful and potentially destructive. Here’s the critical issue: you either define yourself vertically, or you’ll end up defining yourself horizontally. Horizontal identity is the subject matter we talked about the past four weeks – I Am my success, my relationships, my righteousness, or my possessions.

You might be asking, “What does it mean to define myself vertically?” Hear this – vertical identity is always rooted in worship. In fact, the Bible tells us that a true understanding of anything starts with acknowledging God. As the great Christian thinker John Calvin taught, there’s no knowing that does not begin with knowing God.

It’s only when you have God in His proper place and are celebrating who He is that you can ever truly know yourself. The theological principle is that knowledge of the Creator is fundamental to understanding the creation. To the degree that we’ve failed to worship God for who He is and what He has done, we’ll take unseen identity confusion into life.

There are three pillars of worship that support a Biblical sense of vertical identity, and we’ll tackle them in the upcoming weeks.

  1. How might you be defining yourself horizontally?
  2. How can you better define yourself vertically?
  3. How will knowing God more help cure Identity Amnesia?

God bless, Paul David Tripp” Paul Tripp : Getting Identity Right Wednesday, February 6, 2013 https://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/getting-identity-right

Stay blessed in having your identity in Christ alone,

Pr. Paddick


Pic: Instagram Tim Keller

Articles: Paul Tripp Ministries

Published by Coram Deo

Coram Deo means that which takes place in the presence of, or living before the face of, God. Worship, prayer, the Christian life being lived to God's glory...

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