Having one’s identity formed in and around Christ is the pursuit of every good disciple. However, even though there are many followers of Jesus that want to have their identity shaped in God, few genuinely achieve this goal. But it’s not because they don’t want to have their identity grounded in God. No, the truth is that it’s very difficult to live in the reality of being a beloved child of God.
If we stop and look around us, we’ll realize there are so many things constantly vying for our attention, lobbying for your identity. The world we live in is always shouting, “Follow me” or “Like my page” or “Be like me” or “Trust my message” or “Vote for me.”
It’s really hard to know where to look or who to follow! The constant struggle for our attention is all the more reason why we need to have a deeply rooted and strong identity in Christ.
It can be very difficult to form your identity around Jesus, but it is possible with intentionally implementing the ideas below.
Below, I have put together 5 of the most important tenants for forming a strong identity in Christ to help equip your Christian discipleship
Prayer is probably the most important element in building a strong identity in Christ.
Since all followers of Christ have the Holy Spirit abiding in them, we are
If you want to grow a strong identity in Christ, then you must continually be praying for this goal. Ask God to help you form a strong identity in Him. Don’t ask once or twice, but continually ask Him. Make this your breath prayer that you pray throughout each and every day.
There is so much value in sincere repeated requests to God. If you want a strong identity in Christ then repeatedly ask God to help form that in you.
God wants to make you whole and complete in Him! He will help you work towards the goal of having your identity formed in Him.
2. Understanding Forming A Strong I
dentity In Christ Takes Time
Forming a strong identity in Christ will not happen overnight, because it is a process. Having your identity rooted in Christ is the pursuit of all true disciples, but it often times it can take years to fully develop.
God will work with you and lead you deeper into his love and truth as long as you keep returning to Him, seeking Him above all else.
He will build a firm foundation in you, but no foundation is formed overnight. Understand that building a strong identity in Christ takes time and the journey is the destination.
3. Read Scripture Specifically About Having An Identity In Christ
There are so many pieces of Scripture that speak about having a strong identity in Christ, many of which are found in the Epistles (the letters in the New Testament following the Gospels).
Paul wrote a lot about having a strong identity in Christ. As a previous persecutor of Christians, Paul’s identity was crucial for his ministry. If Paul held onto guilt, shame, or feelings of unworthiness from his past iniquities, he probably wouldn’t have been the great disciple we all know and follow.
Paul’s identity in Christ needed to be rock solid and unshakable. What Paul has to say about identity in Christ is something we really need to pay attention to, because he had been in the trenches and sinned greatly, but was also someone who received the love, grace, forgiveness, and truth of Jesus Christ.
The writing of John is another biblical author we need to pay close attention to. His teachings on having a strong identity in Christ show that he was an apostle who knew he was fiercely loved by Jesus. John understood this so much so that when he penned his Gospel, he didn’t use his name but the phrase “the disciple Jesus loved” (John 20:2).
John didn’t refer to himself in this way out of vanity, but rather much like a child who knows they are loved by their parents and they proclaim that their mom and dad love them. It was the same way with John – he knew the most important thing in this world was that Jesus loved and accepted him and that became his identity. Can you imagine responding with such a bold identity in Christ? What a testimony and an aim for all of us Christ-followers.
Some verses to read:
- 1 John 3:1-2
- Galatians 4:7
- Colossians 3:12
- Ephesians 1:3
4. Read About Jesus’ Ministry
In order to have a strong identity in Christ, you must understand who Jesus is and what He did.
It’s amazing to me how much I continue to learn about Jesus when I read Scripture. Not only have I been in professional ministry since 2004
Scripture provides us such complexity and a never-ending pool of inspiration when it comes to knowing Jesus.
For example, I’ve learned over the years to pay closer attention to Jesus’ actions depicted in the gospels that seem relatively insignificant. Who did He spend His time with? How did He respond to news or potential crisis situations? What did He do in the moments before and after major teachings or miracles? How did it seem like Jesus spent his “free time”? You can get a real portrait of what Christ was like when you pay very close attention to how Jesus acted in the normalcy of life.
If you want to become deeply rooted in Christ then you need to submerge yourself in the Gospels. But don’t stop there, throughout Scripture, Jesus is present, being prophesized or taught about. There truly is so much to glean and learn from Christ.
5. Study About It.
Self-exploration can only take you so far. To really grow in having a strong identity in Christ you should invest in taking a class or picking up some study materials.
Turning to someone who is a theologian, pastor, or teacher will help you go deeper in understanding identity in Christ.
Starting October 1st, 2019, we are beginning a new series on Identity in Christ through the lens of being a child of God.
In our program, we provide you with a Christian planner for the month of October that has a Bible verse, a devotional, a reflection question, a prayer prompt, and a daily truth all to help you daily dive into your unique identity as a child of God. In addition, we release a Bible study that accompanies the daily planner to really help you grow in this area. Plus, there are tons of bonus materials so you can customize and use whatever tools will help you the best.
To find out more click here.
I hope these 5 ways help you step further into your pursuit of building a strong identity in Christ. Laying a foundation as a child of God, rooted in Jesus is perhaps the most important thing we can undertake in this life. Thankfully, God has already revealed so much to us about how to grow in Him and build an unshakable identity with Jesus at the center.