“You are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:23
Because you are of Christ and Christ is of God, God accepts, owns, and affirms you.
If you have put your hope in Christ, God will never let you go even when you think he may be unimpressed with you. Martin Luther is helpful in explaining why this is so. He gave us a helpful phrase: simul justus et peccatore, which means “simultaneously just and sinful.” This is a realistic identity. According to your sinful desires and actions, you are a sinner deserving judgment. However, because of God’s mercy and his actions at the cross, you are justified. God’s grace changes our identity.
If you’ve seen Fight Club, you’ll remember the scene with Tyler Durden’s powerful diatribe against the false identities we assume: “You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your . . . khakis.”
When we trust him, the vicious cycle of identity maintenance stops.
In light of this passage and Luther, we can add more. You are not your impurity. You are not your binge eating. You are not your STD
. You are not your divorce. You are not your parents’ divorce. You are not your sexual sins. You are not your pattern of messed-up relationships. You are not whatever your abusive father called you. You are not an adulterer.
You are God’s child whom God sees as pure and perfect because of what Jesus has done. If your faith is in Christ, God doesn’t see us how we are and act; God actually sees us how Jesus was: perfect. Isaiah tells us that our righteousness is like “filthy rags,” but it is Jesus’ robe of righteousness draped over us that God sees.
Our God is the one before whom we can put aside the disguise, trusting that when he sees us for who we really are, he won’t run away screaming, nor smite us in anger. When we trust him, the vicious cycle of identity maintenance stops and we can step onto the firm ground of acceptance, through Jesus Christ, who has made us his own.