August 25th, 2018
What, or who, are we? Who do we think we are? In many cases, there exists a discrepancy between these two questions: Who we think we are does not match up to who we actually are. Unfortunately, who we think we are constitutes the way in which we live our lives. If what we think of ourselves does not align with our true identities, then we end up living a life that feels conflicted and even chaotic.
Oftentimes, it seems, that even many Christians get the first question wrong. Many Christians assert that the fundamental identity of any human being is that they are a sinner. While it is certainly true that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23, NIV), and that “there is no one righteous” (Romans 3:10, NIV), this does not describe the beginning of the story and our origins. The Scriptures begin not with the story found in Genesis chapter three, but instead with the passages of Genesis chapters one and two. Here, within the story of creation, we find what it truly means to be human. For vegetation to emerge, God points to the land, and from within the land, trees and plants begin to grow. In the same way, God points to the waters for the creation of sea creatures, and He points to the skies for the formation of birds. For the creation of human beings, however, God points directly to Himself and creates mankind “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27, NIV). God then blesses mankind and gives them power and authority over everything that came before.
This, then, provides us with our true identities. While we have allowed sin and brokenness to taint our lives, the image of God still dwells within us all (Genesis 9:6). Through the saving power of Jesus, we find redemption from the corruption that has infiltrated the world and ourselves. Those who are in Christ, therefore, should not live as if they are sinners who have simply been excused by God, but rather as image bearers of the Divine who have been healed and restored by God. Once this identity is recognized, we can confidently, without fear or shame, live out our lives alongside God and “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28, ESV).