Discovering Your Identity

We all mistakenly identify ourselves wrongly at times. We may put our value and hope in what we do, our title, or our stuff.

When it comes to the core issues of the faith and the things that matter the most, you have to figure out what you believe and why you got there. These verses in the early portion of the book of Ephesians are a literal gold-mine when it comes to the issue of helping us understand who we are. (Ephesians 1:1-2:10)

3 Actions to Discovering Your Identity in Christ

I. Be Honest about Your Past Condition
As you read these verses did you feel like you were hearing from another human? I don’t think so, this is like hearing from heaven. Some of the things that were said about our past weren’t easy to hear but it’s like going to the doctor – if there’s something wrong physically you don’t want to delay hearing the truth.

Who are you, or who were you, apart from Christ?

  • Dead in your trespasses and sins (2:1)
Paul used that phrase twice here in 2:1 and 2:5. This means we were born in the sphere of spiritual death and that’s why we sin. We weren’t dead because we had committed sin but because we were in sin. We don’t become a liar when we tell a lie; we tell a lie because we already are a liar. And so with murder, adultery, covetousness, and every other sin. Committing sinful acts doesn’t make us sinners; we commit sinful acts because we are sinners.

  • Walking according to the course of the world (2:2)
We were losing the fight with our three biggest foes: the world, the flesh, and the devil. We bought into and acted on the world’s way of thinking and living: “just go with the flow.” When you trust Christ for salvation you follow a different course.

  • Living by our own feelings and desires (2:3a)
If something gets broken in the Williams household or one boy hurts another, I ask them why they did it. They usually say, “I felt like it” or “I wanted to.” This is the same way we acted before coming to Christ.

  • Children of wrath by nature (2:3b)
People may say we’re all God’s children but nothing could be further from the truth if the holiness of God means anything.

  • This should make us patient with others who fail

1 Timothy 1:15-16 “… that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
  • Motivates us to forgive others quickly because we recognize the former depth of our need

A person who refuses to go through life with bitterness is someone who understands who they are.

  • Keeps our eyes focused on the mission

II. Be Blown Away by Your Present Identity

In Christ our identity is fundamentally and forever changed. We are now…

  • An adopted child

Ephesians 1:5-6  “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself…”
This is a critical element of figuring out who you are. We too often define ourselves incorrectly. We say I’m overweight, I’m divorced, I’m old, I’m in debt. How about, I’m an adopted child of God and that’s something that can never be taken away from me?

  • A forgiven rebel
  • C.S. Lewis said, “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must put down his arms.”

  • An informed participant
We can know God’s will through His Word, the power of His Spirit, and the person of His Son.

  • A joint heir
We need to value people above all things.

III. Be Encouraged by Your Future Hope

Ephesians 1:13-14 - In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

We've seen 3 actions to help us understand our identity in Christ. But what are you doing about it? How are you living your life today that would make anyone know who you truly are?

It's only when you begin living out these purposes, shining your identity in Christ for all to see that you will ever gain true happiness, the kind of deep, lasting fulfillment the Bible speaks of.

You were created on purpose and for a great purpose but are you living that out?
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.




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