To Be Identified In Christ
To be identified in Christ is to have life and that more abundantly now and in the world to come for all eternity. But there is much more to this unique identity. Our model is only known to us by faith and that by faith in His Word, the Bible and the revelation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
We believe Him because we have heard and heeded His Word. We know Jesus by His Words, by the witness to those who were intimately related to Him. We know Him by the apostles, the prophets, the pastors, evangelists and teachers He has given to the church for our perfection for the work of ministry.
His example is our model for life. We are called to be like Him.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24
Jesus took this relationship very seriously. He even chided those who claimed to be His followers but did not act in accordance with His commandments.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49
If we say we are Christ’s that should mean we have yielded ourselves to His will only. But if we claim identity in Him and still, as my Mom used to say, “act like the devil,” then we are not His but we belong to the one whose will we serve. That one is our master.
In our present culture Christians ought to stand out like sore thumbs in the midst of the God-hating lovers of self. And many do standout. They are those of us who live our faith despite popular ridicule or social pressure to the contrary. They are those of us who decisively determine to, and do, walk in love, having our faith and hope firmly grounded in God’s Word to live and move and have our being and sole identity in Him.
When compelled to choose, we stand with those of like faith even if it means standing against our social culture, family heritage, national origin, racial group or religious denomination when they are not in right relationship with the Word of God. To identify with Christ we do not join ourselves to those who stir up strifes and divisions, who mock God and His people, who threaten violence or bare false witness, spreading lies and deceptions to gain power over the righteous and dominate those whose Godly lives threaten to expose them for who they really are.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Now the question of our relationships is settled. We are Christ’s. We are God’s priests and kings; we are the children God. We are His ambassadors and ministers of reconciliation to the world. We are called to be those who by our actions and words set the standard of behavior for those who see us. How we live sends a message to the world about whom we believe, whom we worship and whom we serve.
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” James 3:13