So many of the issues and problems in our society revolve around these questions of identity. Politicians claim you are theirs—or that they are yours, but at any rate you should agree with one of two parties and be Democrat or a Republican and support everything our government does. Corporations say you are consumers for their products, that you are a person defined by their products and their logos should be everywhere. The media define you as consumers of entertainment and pleasure, so that they can deliver you more and more. Sexual politics revolve and focus on this question of identity as well, reducing you to a person defined by your attractions and appetites: you are straight or gay or somewhere in between and this fact is the most important thing. Everyone and everything is trying to convince you to be who they say you are. This is the way of the world.
To all this Scripture gives a radical answer that throws us off-kilter and opens our lives to real freedom: you are none of these things. The Scriptures say you are a Creature of God, not just a meat-bag with appetites and attractions. The Scriptures say you are a Child of God through Jesus Christ, not just a rational animal to be entertained with flashing lights and spectacular spectaculars on screens around town. The Scriptures say you are an heir of the kingdom of Heaven, not only an American or a Canadian. That political identity is temporary. Our kingdom—that is, our hope and treasure and faith—is not of this world, because Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. We are eternal because Christ is eternal.
You are more than your products and desires and appetites and interests. You are more than your work and career. Of course, these things are important and gifts of God, but they are not the core of us. The core of us is a Creature of God, lost and condemned, but loved, purchased and won by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Gal 3:26-29 ESV)
This is radical. No one else claims this. No one else says this. You are so much in Christ that all these other identities listed in Galatians 3 fade away. You cannot get more radical than this.
But it does not mean our genders or sex or job or country or appetites and desires and preferences don’t matter. They matter greatly to our God and in our lives with one another. God would have us be Christ’s in all vocations and places in our lives. This means some vocations are off-limits for us who belong to God. Many of our preferences
Let us remember this when hearing debates and arguments. So many advocates and activists of every persuasion and issue want to define who you are and who they are on their terms. Remember you are Christ’s. Remember you are Sons and Daughters of the King. That is who you are.and desires and appetites are destructive and undermine our nature and calling to be Children of God. We are still male and female in this world and as we relate to one another. We are still Jewish or Greek, well, American or German or Italian by blood and genes and tax schedules and benefits. But we do not idolize these identities. Christ is our God, and we are His and He is in us.