Identity in Christ

Until Christ came we were guarded by the law, kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could believe in the coming Savior.

Let me put it another way. The Jewish laws were our teacher and guide until Christ came to give us right standing with God through our faith. But now that Christ has come, we don't need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him. For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men and women, but we are all the same -- we are Christians, we are one in Christ Jesus. And now that we are Christ's we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God's promises to him belong to us. Galatians 3:23-20 (TLB)

Luis David Arias is from Bogota, Colombia. During a recent job interview, Luis was asked to draw an identity wheel - a pie chart depicting the importance he placed on his social identities. After he completed the wheel, he looked at how his gender, race, socioeconomic status, education, religion, country of origin, age, family structure, and physical ability shape and define who he considers himself to be. He realized how much he conducts his life according to these identities. Then he asked himself, Where does Christ fit in? What if I leave no space for Christ to fill?

Luis doesn't think we need to renounce our social identities. After all, Paul didn't deny the reality of being Jew or Gentile, male or female. He simply said that we should act as God's children all the time, under all circumstances, no matter what our social identities are. We can clothe ourselves with Christ through the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that our way of living, our thoughts, our decisions, and our actions demonstrate our identity as children of God.

Prayer: Dear God, help us always to show through our actions that we are your children, in Jesus' name, amen.

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