Most of us live by certain principles based upon personal values and beliefs. Our identity often rests on these ethics and ideologies. Once we become an independent individual and are on our own, we have the freedom to separate or unite with the standards our parents established (or did not). Just like our salvation, we are given the freedom to choose our individual morals and tenets.
So, how do you identify yourself? “I am a good person.” “I am a renowned doctor.” “I consider myself a productive citizen.” “I am just a soul trying to make ends meet.” “I am independent.” “I do the best I can with what I have.” I am a legendary athlete.” “I deem myself as a conservative.” “I am a male Native American.” “I am a prominent business owner.” “I am an educator.” And the list goes on and on of a multitude of answers people might give. Maslow theory states that our identity is a formation process beginning as an infant which is based on a hierarchy of needs. The psychologist notes there are levels to accomplish before obtaining self-actualization.
Paul might argue that self-actualization occurs differently. We all know how he distinguished himself in his early years. However, I bet if we asked Paul how he identified himself after his Damascus road experience, he would probably say, “I am a child of God through His unity!” Have you ever thought of yourself as unified? I am not sure I have given it much thought until now.
In Ephesians, Paul sheds great light on being identified as unified. Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 1 that Christ Jesus came down from His heavenly home for the primary purpose to join Himself with man. It establishes the mere fact that God loves us beyond measure and desires for us to become one in our beliefs and faith in Christ. This first chapter affirms that our Lord and Savior extends the gift of grace with the opportunity to find identify ourselves in Him. Once we accept this distinct portrait of who we are in Jesus, the worldly identification seems to fade away. It no longer holds the significance it once did. Our notorious titles, positions, crafts, race, etc. is not our primary standard nor is our self-individuality.
We now want to be known as: UNIFIED!
I am unified with Christ. I am not my own. I am a child of GOD! In Him I find my security and empowerment. Through my faith, He has freed me from all unrighteousness. Christ Jesus has connected me with the Father and fully equipped me with all I need including His Spirit, which is alive and well within me. I treasure my unity and I never want to be found without Him by my side. I am who I am because of the the GREAT I AM!
Who do you say you are?
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13