Who are you, really?
It was the early ’80s and I was enjoying burgers and rings with a group of friends after a singles Bible study I led. We were talking about the Christian’s new identity, which I’d touched on during our study. It was a concept the participants weren’t that familiar with. I can remember one girl in the group having a hard time believing these truths could possibly be describing her.
I can’t remember many of the details of the conversation, but I remember saying to her, “If you are a Christian, then this is what the Bible says about you.”
She went home that night and had a long conversation with God. She determined that she was not yet a believer, so she gave her life to Jesus. After that, she knew who she was and who she belonged to, and she hasn’t looked back.
These are the verses I shared with the group that night and with many other people in the years since. I have experienced the power of these verses in my own life and have seen them empower others as well.
The verses are stated as confessions of belief. To confess is to agree with the truth as God sees it. What follows are confessions of who we really are, if we are really in Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God! And such we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17
When the tempter confronted Jesus in the wilderness, his basic approach was to question Jesus’ identity, to get him to doubt who he was: “If you are the Son of God,” he said (Luke 4:3, 9). The enemy wanted Jesus to trust his feelings rather than to stand on what God had said about him.
But Jesus knew who he was and could stand against both his feelings and the tempter’s deceptions. This confrontation took place immediately after Jesus’ baptism, where he had heard God’s voice from heaven proclaim: “You are my Son, whom I love” (Mark 1:11–12). This knowledge of his own identity was Jesus’ “first line of defense” against enemy attack.
What is your “first line of defense” when the tempter comes? Do you know who you are? Will you stand firm, confident in what God’s Word says about you? Or will you be shaken by the enemy’s seeds of doubt?
Would you like a suggestion?
- Pick one of the seven verses—whichever one is hardest for you to believe—and start memorizing it.
- Print this article out and read the numbered confessions, out loud, every day, for the next seven days. (You can make the confessions come alive for you by emphasizing the word “am” as you say the confessions: “I AM the righteousness of God in Christ.” The Devil won’t like it a bit.)
- Recruit a friend to sit down with you in a place where you can talk out loud and not be interrupted (or embarrassed). Then take turns speaking the confessions and verses into each other’s life (“Mary… YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ!”)
Check out The Journey into Growth, Part 1: Works of Art, the first in a six-part series on spiritual growth.
What suggestions do you have?