Who are you?
…God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(Colossians 1:27 NIV)
During John the Baptist’s public ministry a group came from the religious establishment asking him, “Who are you?.. What do you say about yourself?” (John 1:22) This is Satan’s question to each one of us, ‘who do you think you are?’ Ever since mankind’s fall in the Garden of Eden he has been planting into the human psyche the phrase, ‘I am not’. I am not good enough, not valuable, not clever, not worthy, not important, not wanted, not accepted. In other words I am not OK. Satan knows he is not OK and he sets out from our birth to make us feel we are not OK. If someone tells you as a child that you are not smart or not pretty, then you think that’s the case and it’s likely you will begin to reinterpret your world through that lens. Satan uses those words and hides them from us so we don’t even know where they come from, but they begin to frame how we see ourselves. He plants inside us fear, guilt, shame and sadness, all of which makes us self-centred, isolated and angry. We come to a conclusion about ourselves: that we are not right and that no one would ever love or want us.
What is the answer to mankind’s problem? Instead of seeing the ‘I am not’ of Satan we need to see the ‘I am’ of Jesus in us, the hope of glory. The gospel message started in one word, Immanuel, ‘God with us’. If God is with us then we are with Him. Now that begins to change the way we look at things. If God is with us to restore the damage that occurred at the fall then what can separate us from His love? (C.f. Romans 8:31-39). Suddenly the shutters can be lifted off our eyes and we can begin to recognise that we are loved, more than we can ever imagine. This hope is summed up in John 14:20, “…you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
Ultimately this is the answer to mankind’s attitude of ‘I am not’. Because Christ came to be with us in order to rescue us from The Fall, we are now in Him, and because we are in Him we are in the Father. We are now ‘hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3) and we will ‘appear with him in glory’ (v.4).
Our identity is not in the fallen nature of the first Adam, but in the last Adam, Jesus. We are ‘accepted in the beloved’ (Ephesians 1:6 KJV), that’s who we are.
Father, thank you for accepting me in Christ. May this shape my identity as I move forward with you. Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a Minister in Grace Communion International and is Regional Pastor for Southern England.
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