I’m increasingly aware that we operate out of a sense of who we are. That our identity, or our perceived identity, will dictate our values, our priorities, and our behaviors. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that if we have an enemy opposed to the things and people of God (and we do), and our battle is not against flesh and blood (and it isn’t), then to mess with our view of our identity is a great way for the enemy to mess with our life’s direction.
If we see ourselves as independent, free to do as we please, then we’ll operate from that mindset. Captains of our own ship. No one telling us what’s right or wrong or what to do.
If we see ourselves as a misplaced piece in the context of some great chaotic puzzle called life, if we see no bigger picture and where we fit into it, then we’ll live as if life is meaningless. Or, perhaps worst yet, we’ll create our own meaning for life and then define how we measure whether or not we’re making progress, or whether or not we’re successful.
If we believe that we are on our own, that if we don’t look out for ourselves no one else is going to do it for us, then when the going gets tough, we’ll get going. If it’s me against the world, then I’ll depend on my own strength and do whatever I gotta do so that no one gets the upper hand on me.
Who we think we are can’t help but influence how we live.
This morning, reading in Romans 8, the two word phrase “we are” jumped off the page three times. According to Paul, here’s at least some of what defines the child of God. Here, at least in part, is our identity in Christ. #WeAre
So then, brothers, we are debtors . . .
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . .
. . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
(Romans 8:12a, 16-17a, 37 ESV)
#WeAre . . . Debtors. We owe Another. We are under obligation. Not to live as independent but by the Spirit. Having been purchased by the blood of Christ, we are no longer our own. Our body no longer our body, it is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we are debtors to glorify God in our body (1Cor. 6:19-20). While the salvation we’ve received is a free gift, one we could never afford nor one we could every repay, the Spirit, indwelling us as the guarantee of that gift (Eph. 1:13-14), calls us to a life set apart as a response to God’s abundant love and grace.
#WeAre . . . Children of God. And if children, then heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Far from being some misfit orphan piece in some chaotic puzzle, we have been born again into a forever family. Once not a people, we have been made a people. Once poor apart from God, we have been made rich through Christ. Nothing more to be gained. Awaiting “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Pet. 1:4), what matters here and now is how well we “suffer with Him” (8:16) rather than how successful we are perceived by ourselves or others.
#WeAre . . . More than Conquerors. Not by of our own capability. Not through our own toughness and strength. But “through Him who loved us.” Because nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:39). Not in our own might or power, “but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). Not on our own, but with our Father who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
That, at least in part, is who we are.
O that it would, in ever increasing measure, direct how we purpose to live.
By His grace. For His glory.