Reaching out to others is something that we ought to be doing simply because of who we are. But sometimes we do not know who we are, or we know who we are but we just deny it. Our true identity should be the basis of all that we say, think, or do as Christians. When our behavior or lifestyle does not align with who we are, we have two other choices: 1) we can change who we think we are (which is simply a change in our mindset, not a change in our true identity) or 2) we can change how we behave or live by the power of the Holy Spirit. So who are we anyway?
Followers of Christ
First of all, we are followers of Christ. That’s who we truly are when we decided to believe in Jesus.
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:36-39)
This means that His cause is our cause, His burden is our burden. What matters to Him matters to us. So if He wants people to know Him and to follow Him also, then that’s what we want to do.
Family of God
We are also the family of God. The apostle Paul says,
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
As a family of God, with Jesus Christ as our head, we should be doing things together as one family. We should be working as a team to accomplish the purposes of God. We cannot live in isolation from each other. Together we must accomplish the heart of God for this world, which is to bring many others into His family.
Foreigners in this world
Now as we live in this world, we must remember who we truly are. We are foreigners in this world. We are different because God has set us apart for His purpose.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:11-12)
Friends of Christ
We are commanded by God to reach out to people by establishing friendships with them, which is what Jesus did.
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19)
Therefore, our approach must always be with love and respect toward others, never with arrogance or pride.
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Once you know who you are, you ought to align your lifestyle according to that reality. If you try to deny it, or come up with a different identity, you are only fooling yourself, because it’s not real. It’s a made-up identity. The only good choice is to depend on God, through the Holy Spirit, so that you can live out your true identity in Him.
Discuss this with your mentor. Do not go to the next lesson unless you have discussed it and applied it in your life in a practical way. Once you’ve done that, click here to study the next lesson. If you want to go back to the Welcome page for this course, click here.