'Your identity' by Mal Calladine - February 24th 2019

Someone wrote you a letter, and it's in the Bible! How will it feel to adopt it as your own, as the writer describes who you are in Christ? Mal presents this as a talk and practical exercise.

0:00 Introduction

We are in a season of considering what God says about our identity. Psychologists point to two basic human needs, to belong somewhere with a sense of identity and a sense of purpose. These guide what we do, including what we choose to watch and consume.

When we try to go after purpose without knowing who we are, it normally gets ugly. We start looking for love in all the wrong places.
— Mal Calladine

5:00 The importance of knowing our identity

Mal spent the last few days with Orphan No More, a collective of musicians and artists in Bath who have just put together a new album. One standout song contained the words "I know that I am known."

Watchman Nee wrote a study on Ephesians which focused on our identity using the framework of "Sit, Walk, Stand"

Ephesians chapters 1 to 3 are about sitting and understanding our identity before God. The next two chapters are about walking out our identity in relationships with others, and the final chapter is standing in our identity as we put on the armour of God.

9:10 God affirms our identity

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet." (Luke 15:21-22, NIV)

Over the next weeks, we are looking for the Father to put a robe around us, a reminder of our identity in the family we belong to. The ring in this story of the prodigal son is a symbol of authority, and sandals help someone to walk! So these are items which help in the "sit, walk, stand" process of knowing and living our identity.

11:50 Paul's letter to the Ephesians

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed (your name here) in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)

You have every spiritual blessing in Christ. Paul wrote this letter to be passed around believers, so it is possible to put ourselves in to receive the blessings and affirmations of identity Paul wrote about. You can do this by opening the exercise sheet below, printing it out and writing in your name.

Practical exercise

Here is the text to print and fill in with your own name…