Identity in Christ: Imitation

Our culture’s narrative focuses on identity: with which race, class, or gender do you identify? For Christians, our identity is grounded in Christ. Even as all humans are creations of God, Christians are born again (or born from above in Greek) by the Holy Spirit (John 3: 3). Because we are now children of God, we are new creations. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Instead of focusing on race, class, or gender, we focus on becoming more like our heavenly Father. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Imitating Christ is found in other parts of Scripture as well. Philippians 2:1-5 says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

This message of focusing more on being Christ-like than promoting race, class, or gender is sorely needed in a divisive culture.

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