Most people experience confusion about who they really are because they lack a biblical understanding of what determines their identity. Your behaviour is an outgrowth of your identity. Our personal identity is determined by what “family” we are born into. Spiritually, everyone is a descendant of Adam – we were born into “Adam’s family.” No one in Adam’s family has the capacity to live as God designed us to live.
A new spiritual life is made possible in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. To embrace Him as your personal Lord and Savior is to inherit a new family and a new identity “in Christ.” With this new identity you will begin to develop Christlike character by choosing to rely on Him to deal with your daily problems. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
The Family of Adam: Every individual is born into the family of Adam, is identified with Adam and will exhibit the character of Adam. Adam represents the humanistic view of life.
- The one in Adam sees human beings in control of events and circumstances.
- The one in Adam believes there is no absolute truth; everything is relative.
- The one in Adam believes in choosing one’s own moral restraints.
- The one in Adam sees self-fulfillment as life’s highest purpose.
- To be in Adam means that you are an heir to everything he was.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
The Family of Christ: God has made it possible for any individual to have a new identity by moving us out of the family of Adam and adopting us into the family of Christ. Everyone who is “in Christ” experiences a new birth – “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3), receives a new heart – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26), and becomes conformed to the character of Christ – For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).
- The one in Christ sees God in control of events and circumstances. “The Lord works out everything for his own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster.” (Proverbs 16:4)
- The one in Christ is set free by the truth. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ ” (John 8:31–32)
- The one in Christ knows moral absolutes that establish godly behaviour. “You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.” (Psalm 119:4)
- The one in Christ sees fulfilling the will of God as life’s highest purpose. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
- To be in Christ means that you are an heir to everything He is.
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)