Back in the 1990s I was involved as a counselor at a Christian counseling center in Midland, Michigan. For a number of years during that time I co-led a very dynamic codependency group. Codependency can be described as an unhealthy attachment or reliance on people, things or substances. One of the things we worked very diligently to do in this codependency group was to help people shift their reliance on drugs or alcohol or other people to a reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we have lots of people who are confused about their identity pertaining to their sexuality. But I believe that in Christ Jesus our identity can be made complete and we can fully live what God has created us to be. Over and over again in the book of Ephesians we see this concept of being “in Christ” or “being in the Lord” presented to us. When we are “in Christ Jesus” He is the one who gives us a sense of identity, purpose and meaning in our lives. Jesus is the one who can set us free from faulty gender identity, drug addiction or any other addiction that you can imagine. In the second chapter of Ephesians Paul writes, “but now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ,” (2:13 NASB). I know what it is like to be far away from the Lord Jesus Christ, but I also know of his transforming power to so change my thoughts and actions as to make me a new person in Him.
Paul comments further on this concept when he writes to the Corinthians and tells them, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”, (2 Cor.5:17 NASB). I know what it is to be a new creature in Christ. Jesus Christ can set us free and give us an identity that is the identity that God designed us to have. This is the concept behind Paul’s words in Ephesian where he states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might”, (Eph.6:10 NASB). Here in this passage Paul talks about being strong in the Lord Jesus Christ to guide and direct our every step. How do we face a world of temptation and corruption and gender confusion? In ancient Ephesus the believers there faced a morally corrupt and evil society just as we do today in 21st century America. The only way they could prevail was to be strong in the Lord and the identity He had given them when they became new creations in Christ. In order for that to happen we must allow His Holy Spirit to empower and enrich us as we walk every step of the way with Jesus Christ. He is the one alone who can help us fulfill the destiny that he created us to have as a child of God. Having the identity as a child of God also releases God’s power to work in our lives so that we may be all that He designed us to be.
Finally, one last question I’d like you to consider as I conclude this blog. Are you “in Christ” or is “Christ in you”? If you are “in Christ” then you know indeed that He has designed you with a very special plan for your life. He desires our worship and our commitment but most of all He desires and deserves all our love for He alone can give us our true identity “in Christ”.
Pastor Rich Sivo