BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Where should we find our identity?
By Vernon Martin, Life Group and Worship leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
If you’ve been to or visited the Jubilee Centre over the last few months…
you will know that we are busy with a sermon series journeying through 1 Corinthians, exploring the lessons we can learn from the the issues facing the Corinthian church about our identity in Christ – our ‘Identity confirmed’ series. So, I’ve been thinking…. and interestingly, the word ‘identity’ doesn’t appear in the Bible; but let’s leave that there for now.
The term itself is a reasonably modern one and has its origins in psychology and social science. So, it’s a social construct; it was coined to answer the question “Who am I?” in an attempt to help people understand who they are in relation to others, their family and peers, the media and organisations we are part of and other connections in everyday life.
But how good is this! Linguistically, it’s taken from the Latin word ‘identitas’, meaning ‘the same’ or ‘sameness’ or ‘oneness’. The same word we get the English word ‘identical’ from.
As a Christian, this term takes on a unique meaning. In answering the question “Who am I” we’re not to look into ourselves to find the answer. Psychology encourages us to do that – who you are meant to be can found inside of you. What you want in life. Your desires. Your dreams. Your impulses and wants. Ironically, the answers to these questions end in everything less than “who I am”. It ends in a career. It ends in a sexual orientation. Or it ends in a lifestyle choice that leads to being unfulfilled. The ultimate question of “Who am I?” remains unanswered. Why? Because the desires of your heart, or what is inside of you is ultimately NOT what define you as a person or give you your identity.
“Who am I?” The answer is “NO” and a resounding “NO” at that!
The correct question to ask is “Who is God?” We have to start there if we are to understand who we are or, more precisely, who we are meant to be.
Scripture tells us that God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). So in order to understand ourselves, and who we were created to be, we have to look to the One in whose image we have been created. If you believe that you were created and didn’t just happen to pop into existence out of nothing, then there is no other logical approach to find out who you truly are. Or who you were created to be. And I deliberately say “who” and not “what” you were created to be.
Man was the only creature God described as being “very good” after He created them. But that’s about where the “very goodness” of man ends – it all goes to pot after that! Sin ruins that image we’ve been created in and the rest of our lives become a series of efforts to try to make up for our fallen state. We try to answer the question of “Who am I” in all sorts of ways, failing miserably as we do!
The word of God is clear – Christ shows us who God is and in whose image we were created. ‘He is the image of the invisible God’ – Colossians 1:15. If you want to find out who you were meant to be, look to the One in whose image you were created. Look to Christ.
The lessons we can learn from the issues facing the Corinthian church are as relevant today as they were in the first century. Division. Worldly wisdom. Idolatry. Greed. Lust. Greed. Sexual freedom. And the list goes on…. Bear in mind that these were issues in the church, not outside the church!
I’ve been so challenged since we’ve started this series. Our identity is found in Christ, we are called to be more like the One in whose image we are created. How wonderful it is to know that He is not only the one who made us in His image, but that He gives us our identity and allows us to see how far short we fall of what He intended for us. Then, he gives us His Holy Spirit to work in us and through us to make us more and more like Him.
Vernon Martin with his wife Yvonne
Nicki and Dave on how walking the streets and praying for our neighbours can lead to some unexpected opportunities to spread God’s word.
Gerry on how God promises to build our foundations with sapphires – and that if we trust and acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.
Danielle on giving thanks to God in every situation, whether things are going well or when it seems bleak.
Chantal Robertson on how the most important part of being a Christian is being on fire for Christ and in relationship with Him.
Dawne Cooper on how we’ve got a God who is greater than all the troubles we face in the world and who is above it all. Take Heart!
Andrew Greenhalgh on how God wants to hear ALL our prayers in detail – not just the “big” or “important” ones
“I am a creature of habit, I do not like change. I like to know what I’m doing and when I’m going to be doing it. I am an organiser and when I lose control of the events unfolding around me I lose my peace. Not good!”
Helen on Queen Elizabeth II and praying for our leaders – whether we like their ideas and agree with their policies or not.
Denise Griffiths on how our scars, whether visible or not, are not a sign of brokenness, but of God having healed us.
Andrew Greenhalgh on making the most of every opportunity God gives us
Yvonne on the lessons she learned from going to Newday for the first time – as the Jubilee 2022 sous chef!
Newday 2022 is over – hear what our leaders had to say about this year’s event.
A youth leader’s take on Newday and its power
Arlo on obeying what God prompts us to do even when it’s something we don’t want to do.
Chantal Robertson on how God knows best even when our plans are derailed and we can’t do what we had wanted!
Chris on celebrating our heavenly Father every day – and rejoicing in the fact that our celebrations will always be outstripped by his blessings on us.
Danielle asks us “Are you listening to the Lord?” and to pray for our young people a few weeks ahead of their trip to Newday this year.
“Everything that I relied on here on earth had gone and the life I thought was all set out in front of me melted away.”
Tracy, Benjy and Hannah were baptised on June 12, 2022 – here are their testimonies.
How Life Groups (or Home Groups, or Cell Groups) can change your life.
The Friday Tots team on how the new adults and tots group has been a huge answer to prayer.
Andrew Greenhalgh on doing what we were called to do – and doing it for the kingdom and His glory.
Gerry Mellors on the joy of knowing that God is in charge and that it is Him, not us, who has the master plan.
Nicki Frodsham on The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – and why we are called Jubilee Church Wirral.