In this final teaching on spiritual identity, I’d like to focus on three (3) essentials that will assist us in our journey toward spiritual maturity and wholeness. These principles will help believers to remain true to their identity in Christ when confronted by the negative influences of the world, Satan, and our flesh (Gal. 2:20). Jesus’ ministry and personal relationship with His Father provides us solid principles that will help us guard our true identity in Christ and keep the “main thing the main thing”. These essentials include knowing: (1) where you came from, (2) why you are here, and (3) where you will ultimately return. Jesus knew the essentials.
Jesus knew where He came from. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, people continually inquired as to His origin. Questions came from the scribes, the Pharisees, and the priests—any and all who questioned His works (Matt. 13:54) and His authority (Mark 11:28). There was even a moment of doubt by John the Baptist (Luke 7:20). However, Jesus was never hesitant to proclaim His origin. He came from God, His Father. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:5)
Jesus knew why He was there. Jesus was never dissuaded or confused as to His purpose. Early in his life, the boy Jesus reminded his earthly parents of the need to be “about His Father’s work” (Luke 2:49). Even when Jesus was burdened by His imminent death and separation from His Father, He quickly refocused His attention to God’s purpose for His life—salvation for mankind through the Cross. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)
Jesus knew where He was ultimately returning to. Jesus’ return to heaven would not mark the end of His life but the fulfillment of His destiny. In heaven, as a result of His obedience, He would be exalted and glorified as Lord of Lord and King of Kings. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
So how do these three principles affect our spiritual identity? The knowledge of our origin (in Christ) gives the believer confidence knowing that Jesus is the Source and Sustainer of our life. We have divine access to God who is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present (Ps. 145:13). Our purpose becomes the channel through which God’s purpose is fulfilled. Our life has eternal value and consequence. We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us (2 Cor. 5:15). Our destiny is inexplicably connected to heaven where Christ now resides (Ep. 1:10). Knowing our true destiny redirects our efforts “to store up treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20) while teaching us to wisely “number our days” here on earth (Ps. 90:12).
Our spiritual identity is found in Christ. This union with Christ connects our origin, our purpose, and our destiny with Him. What Jesus has, we have! We who were once dead in our sins are now “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). This “sameness” guarantees us a common spiritual life with the Father and Son (1 Cor. 6:17), eternal security from all spiritual enemies (Heb. 7:25), and access to all God’s blessings (1 Pet. 1:4). Such knowledge of our true spiritual identity is too wonderful for words yet let us boldly proclaim our identity in Christ!