Our Identity in Christ- Acts 17

One of the basic realities of being human is the search for answers to certain fundamental questions, such as Who am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going? All of these touch on the idea of identity, and we will examine Scripture to see what it tells us about who we are and why we are here. We begin in Genesis 2:7, in which we read that God “formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul”. God first formed the man, then gave him life, then made him a “living soul”. God here literally breathed into Adam (Hebrew for man) and he became a “person”, God gave him his life, purpose and identity, God told him who he is. He then gave Adam dominion over creation, and in Genesis 2:19-20, we find Adam naming the animals God had created, then in verse 23 we find Adam naming the woman God had created. So what is the significance of all of this naming? A name here represents identity, our name is representative of who we are, and we learn from all this naming a basic fact about our existence: that it is human nature to look to others for our identity, to look to others to define us and tell us who we are, that we have no identity apart from a relationship with others. In Genesis 2:7, Adam became a “living soul”. Other creatures are referred to as “souls” (Hebrew nefesh), but only Adam is a living soul. This is because life, in the Bible, is defined in relation to God. Those who are united to God have life, while those separated from God are “dead”. Adam is a living soul because he is the only “soul” united to God, and Adam “dies” (is separated from God) when he disobeys in Genesis 3. It is Adam’s relationship to God which determines whether he is dead or alive, his identity came from this relationship and his “life” depended upon it. So we learn primarily three things here: first, we receive our life from someone else, second, we have no identity apart from a relationship with others, third, we look to others to tells us who we are. Knowing this, we will now move to Acts 17:28, in which Paul tells us that “in Him (God) we live and move and have our being”. We must first note here that all of the living moving and having our being are all only in the context of being “in Him”, with the in Him here representing a relationship, being united with God through faith in Christ. Since we have no identity apart from a relationship to others and we naturally look to others to define ourselves, Paul is telling us here how to find our true identity, that we find who we really are and why we are really here only through a relationship with God. Secondly, we must note that the living and moving here are in the passive voice, while the being is in the active voice. The living and moving are passive, depending on the active being, or to put it another way, our behavior flows out of our identity, we will live out what we see ourselves to be. If we see ourselves as failures, we will live a life characterized by failure. So we conclude from all of this that the most fundamental question for human beings is, who am I? We also see here that we look to others to define us, that we have no identity apart from others, and we will look to others to tell us who we are. We also conclude that the only way we can truly find out who we really are, that the only proper source of our identity is God and God alone. It is only “in Him”, that we truly receive life (live), find our purpose (move) and find our true identity (have our being). All of us are by nature driven to ask and seek answers to the fundamental questions of who am I? and why am I here?, and it is only through a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ that we can find the answers to those questions, that we can find out who we are and why we are here.

No Comments Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  Gospels and Acts  //  Growing In Grace  //  Living with a Purpose  //  Nature of Man

Leave a Reply

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.