Birth, Not Behavior, Determines Identity.

As human beings, we all too often identify others and ourselves by what we do. We tell people, “I am a doctor. I am a lawyer. I am an engineer.” For those of us who have what appears to be “lesser roles” in life, we might say, “I am just a housewife, or I am just a janitor.” This is tragic because God has made it very clear in the Bible that what we do does NOT determine who we are. It is birth that determines identity, not behavior. May I help you with this?

Take a second right now, and bark like a dog. Yes, I am serious, do it right now! Well done, and now a question, “Did that make you a dog?” Absolutely not, you are a human being who at that moment was “acting” like a dog, but a dog is definitely not who you are because you were born a human being and not a dog! This is true in the spiritual realm as well. The Bible identifies that there are only two kinds of people in the world. First, there are sinners. Far too many people define a sinner as someone who sins. We have already learned though, that behavior does not determine identity. That is a very poor definition of a sinner. Remember, identity is determined by birth, not behavior. Therefore, a better definition of a sinner is someone who is born in Adam. This means that they were born spiritually dead and separated from God, and therefore, because they are a sinner – they sin. It is not sinning that makes them a sinner, it is being a sinner that makes them sin.

When a person receives Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and Life, the Bible tells us that in that very moment we are “born again” – we have been given a new birth. This new birth comes with a new identity. We are now saints, and no longer sinners. That is why the word saint is used of us throughout the New Testament instead of the word sinners. We have been completely changed because we have been born again into a new identity! GLORY!

Now, this doesn’t mean we don’t sin. What it does mean is that we are now saints, who don’t act like who we are sometimes, and that is really foolish for us to do that, don’t you think? But hear the glory, when we sin, it does not change us back into sinners any more than barking like a dog would turn us into a dog. Again, behavior does not determine identity. The truth is you are not a doctor, or a lawyer, or just a housewife, or just a janitor. Incidentally, there should never be “just” allowed into our defining of who we are. You are either a sinner, born in Adam, or you are a saint who has been reborn in Christ! If you are a saint, and have been birthed into God’s family, that means you are now a child of God! You cannot get any more significant than being a child of the King of Kings, because that makes you either a son or daughter of that King of Kings.

By the way, what do you call the son of a king? You call him a prince. What do you call the daughter of a king? You call her a princess. That is who you really are. If you are a believer, if you have received Jesus, you are either a prince or a princess in the kingdom of God! WOW! Don’t ever say you are “just” again… no prince or princess would ever say that about themselves.

How do you value yourself?

In the realm of humanity, we most often define ourselves and other men by what we/they do. He is a doctor. I am an attorney. I am just a housewife. HE is just a janitor. It seems that in the realm of humanity, not only do we define ourselves by what we do, but we also establish value based on what we do. The more important our "doing" the more important we are, and the less important our "doing" is, the less important we are. What a tragedy!

God makes it very clear that identity is found in our birth, and there are in fact only two identities in the world. Those who have been born in Adam, and those who have been born again in Christ. If you have been born again, you are a child of God. That is your true identity. Hence, I am a child of God who "does doctoring"... I am a child of God who "does housewifing"... get the idea?

And what about the value? Value is determined by the price one is willing to pay for something. If I value a pen at a million dollars, and try to sell the pen for that sum, but it never sells, it in actuality is not worth a million dollars because no one was willing to pay that price. Finally, I find a buyer who determines he will pay $5.00 for the pen. Now its value has been determined. Well my friends, God determined that He would pay the blood of His own Son for you, blood that is defined in the Scriptures as inestimable, immeasurable value.... He has determined that you are of infinite value.

A CHILD OF GOD WITH INFINITE VALUE --- that is how you should define yourself because that is how God defines you...

FASCINATING --- but these two ways of thinking are found in the Scriptures. When the other Gospel writers told the story of Matthew (Levi), they defined him as a "tax collector"... they defined him according to what he did.

When Matthew wrote his own Gospel, having met and embraced Jesus as His Lord, Savior, and Life, Matthew told the story very differently. He wrote, "and Jesus saw a man!" He refused to identify himself according to what he did, but according to who he was. Jesus did not see a tax collector, he saw a man who did not yet know who he was, but he was going to find out, and finding out who he really was radically altered his life. WOW!!!