It seems everything happens at Applebees Restaurants.

Brianna Priddy loses her wallet and identity cards. She finds out later that someone has been using her ID to write hundreds of dollars-worth of dodgy cheques. Later while at work as a waitress at Applebees she is serving some customers who have ordered drinks. Asking for ID from the group to confirm their age (at Bi-Lo when I sold cigarettes the rule of thumb was always ask if they look 30 years or younger) one of the women at the table hands her some ID. The ID is Brianna’s! Staying apparently calm, cool, and collected, but shaking from the nerves, she calls police who arrive on the scene and arrest the woman who produced the stolen ID.

The kicker: the suspected thief is 26 years old. Old enough to order drinks on her own ID!

It’s a remarkably ‘slap your head’ funny story.

But we feel for Brianna don’t we? Some of us have lost wallets or purses before, and have experienced the intense worry that your ID, credit cards, and other items are being used or seen by strangers. I lost my wallet once on the bus, but was thankful to get it back minus the $15 in cash that was originally in there. I’ve also had my credit details swiped somehow and $1000 charged on it at some strange electrical parts store in the middle of America. It’s not a nice feeling.

But even though identify theft is on the rise there is one part of a Christian’s identity which is totally and utterly secure: our identity in Christ. Justified, righteous, sanctified – all won and secured for me by Jesus alone. Nothing that I have earned, nothing in my own goodness or fulfilling of my own potential. All I have is Christ.

Here’s how some bits of the New Testament put it:

Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus


Romans 8:31-39

[31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [33] Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? [36] As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

[37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Philippians 3:20

[20] But our citizenship is in heaven


2 Corinthians 5:17

[17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


1 Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

There’s a number of implications from having our identity secure in Christ, and here’s a few I can think of this evening:

  1. As someone on the cusp of Gen-X and Gen-Y I’ve often found parts of the sociological description either highly insightful or off the mark. With regards to Gen-Y it has been said that they are unable to separate performance from personhood. Give them critical constructive feedback and they crumble as if their whole world has fallen apart! I’ve found this tendency within myself – a nagging sense that I need people to agree with my view otherwise I’ve failed. It’s plainly sinful thinking. So my antidote is to ground my identity not in being right or having people agree with me, but seeing my identity as righteous as secured by Jesus (cf Romans 3:21-24). So no matter what criticism, justified or otherwise, is thrown at me my personhood, who I am, will not be shaken and my joy and satisfaction in God cannot be taken away.
  2. There is incredible freedom of expression. With my righteous identity secured in Jesus I am therefore under no law except the law of Christ. The Law of Christ compels me to love and seek the best for my brothers and sisters in Christ, seek the glory and growth of God’s Kingdom through my living worship and evangelism, and to centre my life and joys on Christ. In the light of all that I am free to be whatever I want to be in order to win some to Christ (cf 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
  3. That our identity is secure encourages us to persevere in the faith (Hebrews 3:14)

What other implications can you think of that arise from having our identity secured in Christ Jesus?


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