Who Am I? Devotions On Our Identity In Christ

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

You Are Given a Mission

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

—1 Peter 2:9

There is a lot of talk in our day of self-identity. How do we view ourselves? It is an important question. And what I hope you hear from 1 Peter 2:9 is that Christian selfhood is not defined in terms of who we are in and of ourselves. It’s defined in terms of what God does to us and the relationship he creates with us and the destiny he appoints for us.

In other words, as a Christian you cannot talk about your identity without talking about the action of God on you, the relationship of God with you, and the purpose of God for you. The biblical understanding of human self-identity is radically God-centered.

Who am I? Who are you? You are a God-chosen one, a God-pitied one, a God-possessed one, a God-sanctified one. The very language of our identity in 1 Peter 2:9 necessitates that God be included as the one who acts. Our identity is not an end in itself, but for the sake of priestly service in the world, which Peter defines as “proclaim[ing] the excellencies of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

God made us who we are so that we might proclaim the excellency of his freedom in choosing us. The excellency of his grace in pitying us. The excellencies of his authority and power in possessing us. The excellencies of his worth and purity in making us holy.

In other words, he has given us our identity in order that his identity might be proclaimed in the world through us. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known his identity. The meaning of our identity is that the excellency of God be seen in us.

Therefore, being a Christian and making the greatness of God known are almost identical. We can do it in church services with preaching and singing and praying and reading. We can do it at work as we tell people what we love about God and why we think he is great. And we can do it in a thousand different ways of love that suit our situation and personality.