How do we Define Ourselves?

by Ted Cockle

Today I had lunch with my Culture and Ministry professor Dr. Rich Little. During the discussion he made a comment that really stuck with me. He begged the question above, how do we define ourselves? As I have been thinking on this for the past few hours I’ve come to a realization.

Another major struggle that we deal with today is defining ourselves by what we are not. We are told that a healthy Christian today is not a homosexual; is not too Pentecostal or too secessionist; is not too focussed either on the spirit or the word; and is not too focussed on social justice. We try to define ourselves by being neither of the sinful extremes. Unfortunately, in our search for balance we have forgotten what should really define who we are. My suggestion? Instead of defining ourselves by what we are not, lets define ourselves by what we are.

We are sinners saved by the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

God does not declare one holy by seeing how effectively we balance between the sinful extremes, instead, we should define ourselves by what Christ has done. If we rely merely on the extremes of “religion,” and the “laws” therein, we are not relying on Christ to save us. In this way, our desire to define righteousness has made us fall into the age old trap of legalism. This is what the gospel of Christ seeks to destroy! It is not our work, or our man made idea of balance, but instead, Christ’s redeeming work on the cross that will cover our sin.

If we rely on our work, we will fail. If we rely on Christ, he will be our righteousness.