Rhonda and I recently went to the movie “Overcomer”. It is a message of hope, forgiveness, and restoration. We follow along as the main character, a high school cross-country runner, finds new life in Jesus.
Following her conversion, she begins to learn who she really is by listing all that God says about her as a new believer. She started in the book of Ephesians. And her list is incredible. “I am loved, I am chosen, I am redeemed, I am forgiven, I am a child of God, I am raised up with Christ, I have been brought near to God… and so much more”.
At the end of the film, she shared her story with her new college friends. One line of her testimony touched me deeply. After talking about some of the new labels God has pronounced upon her, she said, “The Creator is the one who defines the creature.” The Creator is the one who defines who you are.
Who we are in Christ is not left to our description, not left to how we feel, or how we experience life, or our past, or how we describe ourselves. Who we are in Christ is defined by what God says about us. And these new and beautiful ways we are described are not just theological jargon or blanks to fill out in a notebook. They really are who we are.
But we will only experience the freedom, the joy, and the peace of these new truths about us if we really believe they are true. If we believe, by faith, that we are loved, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, a child of God, raised up with Christ, brought near to God … and so much more. If we believe that God Himself, and His grace, live inside us, we will walk in this broken world with His guidance leading us.
I love this thought from Ted Dekker in his book, The Forgotten Way, “It is never what you believe about yourself that defines you; it is your Father’s opinion of you that defines you. Your opinion of yourself only defines the experience you have in this life.”
My prayer and my passion in writing on our new identity in Christ is to help each one of us bring our thoughts about ourselves into alignment with what God says about us. But it is even more than this. This alignment in our thinking is just the start. The next step? To let what God says about us penetrate beyond our minds to our deepest heart and not just be our theology, but be our actual every day experience as well.
And the experience of being an overcomer, of seeing everything God says about us come to life in our day-to-day walk, is brought about by faith. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith” (I Jn 5:4). If you have embraced the gospel message, you are a child of God; a son or daughter who has overcome the world by faith. Believe what God, your heavenly Father, says about you!