In the introduction for Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Who We Are in Christ, Melissa Kruger, an author, speaker, and editor for The Gospel Coalition, writes:
At some point or another, we’ve probably all assumed an identity not our own. [. . .] The problem arises when we dress ourselves up with counterfeit identities and wear them on a regular basis. We believe we aren’t enough, so we find ways to make ourselves appear better. [. . .] There’s also the opposite reality that someone may attempt to steal our identity. [. . .] Sometimes we knowingly live duplicate lives: we act one way with one group of people and quite differently with another group. Other times, we put on a pleasant Christian exterior, but inside we’re angry, bitter, and boiling over with frustration at God and others. We’re also prone to becoming victims of identity theft in a spiritual sense: the Devil seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us with his lies and accusations.
Our three enemies – the world, the flesh, and the Devil – all seek to discourage and dishearten us from living in the fulness of who we are in Christ. The world wants to conform us into its mold, our flesh craves self-glory, and Satan reminds us of past sins and present failings in an attempt to paralyze our faith. [. . .] It’s a struggle to remember who we are in Christ. We need a biblical understanding of identity to guard our hearts and minds as we seek to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
To answer the question, “Who does the Bible tell me I am in Christ?“, Kruger and the other contributors in the book consider a three-step process that I want to remember:
- Identity theft: Expose our false notions of identity.
- Identity truth: Understand the biblical truth of our identity in Christ.
- Identity transformed: Reflect on what it looks like to live in our new (and true) identity.
In his Christianity Today review of the book, Louis Markos writes: “While most of us would like to jump ahead to the transformation part, we cannot assume our true and full identity in Christ before first seeing through the false identity thrust upon us by society and then searching the Scriptures to determine what exactly it is that Christ desires to do in and through us.”
QUESTIONS: What are your false identities? Who do you understand yourself to be in Christ?