“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We can identify as so many different things: as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, students or professionals, surfers or hikers, indoorsy or outdoorsy and so much more. These different identities can be very good things, especially as God has created us to have unique lives and plans for our individual lives to ultimately glorify Him. But these identities are not ones that should primarily shape our lives. Our truest identity is being “in Christ” and leaning into this truth should transform every aspect of our lives.
First, being in Christ is a gift from God which results in us being a new creation (Eph. 2:8, 2 Cor. 5:17). Our identity is not because of anything we have done or will do, but everything that Christ has done, which means that we can rely entirely on Him despite our shortcomings and failures. Second, we are utterly united with Jesus. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God as He has allowed for us to become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21, Rom. 8:35–39). Third, being in Christ gives us a new belonging with the family of God that grows together to become more like Christ (Eph. 2:19). Lastly, we are in this very moment, citizens of heaven that will be made perfect, even in our current fleshly and failing bodies (Phil. 3:20).
So how does this new identity transform us? We can live our lives as new creations full of gratitude and joy knowing that we are loved without regret by our heavenly Father. Being united with Christ means that we are incapable of pressing too much into Him through prayer and meditation of scripture, and should unashamedly do so for strength, wisdom, and guidance. Being part of the family of God means that we have no excuse but to be in a community that will result in becoming mature in Christ and see more and more the incredible things He does in others and our own lives. Being a citizen of heaven means that we can endure and be comforted through trial and suffering as we look to an eternity in and with Jesus Christ.
Today, and as you continue in your walk with God, reflect on your identity in Christ and how it has transformed and can continue to transform your life.