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What marks you as you? Seriously, by what are you primarily known?
Is it personality? Location? Ethnicity? Accent? Temperament? Occupation? Frankly, all those things (and more), while not wrong, are simply cultural identifiers. They’re social descriptions that recognize our individual uniqueness, even though we still share those “marks”with others as well.
As I keep reading and re-reading Ephesians, however, I discover more and more that God wants us to find our primary identity—our “knownness”—in the kingdom, not the culture. Our relationship to him and those around us through Christ is the main thing that should “mark” us. Our union with Christ should be our distinguishing trait and treasure, the kingdom characteristic by which we are clearly recognized. Essentially, the label “Christian” should be sufficient to indicate the most important thing about us: that we are “in Christ” singularly and collectively.
Consider Ephesians 2:14 — “For he himself [Jesus] is our peace, who has made us both one…”
Or 2:19 — “…you are fellow citizens with the saints and member of the household of God.”
How about 3:6 — “…the Gentiles are fellow heirs…partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
In other words, unity in Christ is greater than identity in society. In a world that seems hellbent on dividing, how comforting to know that God is committed to unifying his church. He does this through his Son, and in the process destroys human barriers and artificial categories that separate. Undeniably, his kingdom is more powerful than this culture. And it’s in his kingdom—and only there—that true, lasting unity occurs.
Today, when you wonder if you measure up, rest assured that if you’re in Christ, you do. When you sense the culture is critical of your commitment to Christ and tags you as “unapproved,” or when you think society squints at your scriptural stances and labels you “out of step,” be encouraged. Why? Your primary marker is apparently plainly visible. Your single kingdom characteristic—Christian!—is prominent. Loudest. Primary. Clear.
So take heart, fellow traveler on the road to the City whose builder and maker is God. You’re not out of step with your real home. You’re not mischaracterized by your true King. He cares. He loves. He knows. And he’s with you at every turn and in every mile as you shine brightly. Walk distinctly. Live differently. Stand boldly. Yes, as you bow humbly underneath your most simple and precious identifying trait—Christian—journey on with confidence that you have been blessed with the highest compliment about your truest identity.
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