Pastors Blog 

Identity: How it was meant to be. 


Identity Title Slide 
Who we are is far more important than what we are.

Our identity, who we are is vital if we are going to live our lives out fully.

But identity, and especially how we identify ourselves and how we identify others has become more and more of discussion as this century as gone on. We have seen the rise of television programmes like Who Do You Think You Are, companies have started to offer services that track your Ancestry or even look at your DNA to find out where you are from, the term identity theft has come into our consciousness, our right to protect and define our identity has become paramount.

People identify themselves in so many ways: Gender Neutral, Male, Female, Transgender and Non-binary are just a few.

At one-point Facebook introduced 71 different ways you could identify yourselves.


For others it is not a gender that identifies them it’s is a job title. They are a teacher, a plumber, a gardener etc.

In our current world these are all things that people associate with identity and how they find their identity. But I want us to look at who the bible says we are, I want us to go back to the beginning to the very root of our identity.

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (NIV)
 

We need to understand what it means to be created in His image and likeness.

To be the image of God doesn’t mean we look like Him, everyone us looks different, an image here doesn’t mean copy we are called to reflect, to represent God, made in the image means we are representative of Him. That is a bold statement but look at verse 26 again.
 

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
 

God gives us, gives you and me the authority to rule over the earth. That is the very first responsibility He gives Adam and Eve. We are to reflect Him in the world as we rule over it. His image is to be seen in us. We are to reflect Him to the world as we steward it.

Within the creation narrative we have a unique place, we are the pinnacle of God’s creation, the first man, Adam was created in an extremely personal way:

Genesis 2:7
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

God breathed life into man!

When sin entered the world, and although we are all still created in the image of God, sin affects how we behave. Sin is not in God; it is in us and it leads us to not be the best representative of God.

You see when we start to seek our identity away from God, when we see our self-worth our significance away from God things go wrong.

If your identity is in your job what happens if you lose your job?

What happens if your identity is as a professional athlete, if you get injured and can’t continue?

As a Pastor if my identity is that of a Pastor, I could be tempted to make decisions that don’t do God’s will rather placate people/wider culture.

When our significance, our importance is found in material things what happens when they are taken away.

If we look to money to possessions for significance for our identity what does that say to people who are born into poverty, no one chooses where they are born, is a child born into a working class family are they more significant than a child born into poverty in India, Africa or China?
When the world looks at other things to see people’s identity, to see their significance then it starts to put a value on them.

If you don’t believe me think of slavery, both historical slavery and modern-day slavery. People where are taken into slavery and it is basically saying your life, you as a person are less significant have less of an identity than the person who will be your master.

We must stop wondering, looking to man made things for identity for significance, we need to go back to the start and see who God created all of us to be. We must find our identity in God. We must find our significance in God.

Our identity must be rooted in who God created us to be!

Adam Boud, 07/01/2020