Sources of Christian Identity, part 1
“Know thyself” is the famous slogan of Greek wisdom allegedly first uttered by the philosopher Thales. Learning who you are is an important first step in finding your place in the world. Unfortunately, Thales didn’t say much about how we discover this knowledge. The French philosopher Pascal tells us how: “Not only do we know God through Jesus Christ alone; but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ.” One cannot truly know himself until he knows his Creator and the purpose for which he was created. And one cannot know the Creator except through His Son, Jesus Christ (Jn 5:23, 14:6).
That idea—that we know ourselves because we know God through Christ—is no longer the majority viewpoint in our culture. Most people don’t identify themselves in this way. People today often identify themselves by their opposition to God. They identify themselves by their wicked passions and “vile affections” (Rom 1:26). They identify themselves by their support for the things that God hates. Or they identify themselves in relation to many other things, but not in their relation to God.
We live at a time when identity is a major topic of conversation. Many people today are very interested in identifying themselves and making sure that others identify them in ways that they demand. People don’t want to be misidentified. People insist that we use proper names and pronouns to identify them. More and more, we hear people saying, “Hi, my name is … and my pronouns are…” Identity is a very big deal these days. People are very touchy about how you identify them.
Christians must understand the issue of identity from a Christian and biblical perspective, and that’s what our Summer Sermon Series is all about. We must understand what God says about our identity, and we must accept the identity that God gives us.
Last time, we looked at some things the Bible says about identity. We considered our identity before being saved and our identity after being saved.
Today, we’ll try to more clearly define what identity is and where it comes from.