Whenever I know that I am going to meet someone for the first time, I immediately research them on the many social media platforms. I want to know who they are, what their interests are, and how they present themselves to the world. Bios are especially intriguing to me because you must label yourself in just a few short words, so that your followers will know you better. I love to see how others describe themselves. Some people are clever. Some are political. Some are funny. Some are poetic. Some people are even a combination of these, which I admire. How do they do that so eloquently?
I am conflicted about which words I should use to introduce myself. Which single word is the most important? Wife? Mother? Educator? All of these describe me, but in Ephesians 2, my inner struggle is answered. The most important word that I could ever use to describe myself is believer.
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
— Ephesians 2:1–9
In the passage above, Paul points out just how desperately I need a savior. I am a sinner, and sinners are dead. The entire Old Testament points to the fact that only a perfect person could ever keep the Law. Every day, I am reminded just how far from perfect I am. Each time I let myself yell at the car who cuts me off in traffic or spend money on something frivolous, I let my flesh and my mind keep my from accepting the gift of God.
Thankfully, Paul doesn’t stop writing at verse 3. In Ephesians 2:4, the passage takes a remarkable turn with those sweet words: But God. God loved me when I was dead, and he loves me each day as I struggle to be more like him. When I get to heaven, I want to look like my Father, so that I may sit proudly with him just as he promised. My identity should be solidly in the grace that he freely gave.
When we stop thinking of ourselves as the labels given to us by this world and truly believe that we are first his, then we become so much more.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed. Being transformed means that God can use our gifts, our uniquenesses, to further the kingdom. We are able to do far more than we could imagine just by allowing our identities to be seated in Christ. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of that spurs me on to remember each day who I am: I am a believer!