Text: Genesis 1:26-28, Gen. 3.
Who am I? or who am I truly?
The best place for us to go to when it comes to knowing and defining our identities, first and foremost, is the book of Genesis. Genesis contains the creation story which includes the creation of humanity. Many scholars attribute this book to Moses as part of the first five books of the Bible which he has written. This creation narrative is authoritative, as God’s word, in defining who we truly are. We will learn in our passage (which is Genesis 1:26-28 and chap 3) that there are three important chapters of our identity. I call it chapters, other than I love reading books, but because it is a story, a narrative about who we are as human beings.
That is our first point, asking “Who am I, or who are we? We are created by God purposefully with His own image. The first chapter of our identity, I AM AN IMAGE OF GOD [imago Dei]
Two words were used to define our identity as created being by God. First is the “image” then second is “likeness” (1:26)In brevity, the image pertains to the vertical relationship we have with God, as Father and child. While the likeness is for our horizontal relationship with all creation, as rulers or stewards of the world. P. Gentry and S. Wellum call it “servant kingship or rulership.”
Through this event, sin entered the history of humanity. We know that this is true. We commit sin on a daily basis. We struggle a lot, we conform to secularism, embracing temptations, and enjoying our vices. We rebel against the idea of our “true” identity as the image of God. Some say, “We do not need God,” or others are antagonistic about His existence. Why? Because we think we are just fine.
Indeed, the second chapter of our identity is, WE ARE SINNERS IN NEED OF REDEMPTION.
Indeed, we have free will, but this free will that we have is always diverted and tainted by the sinful nature that we bear. We are still the image-bearers, we are still rational, we feel, we know things, we seek someone transcendent to us. But we cannot do it alone.
This is true, Paul said in Ephesians 2:1, “we are dead in our sins.” All of us, “we are sinners (Rom 3:10,” we all fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).” We try to be morally good, but we fail. We blame others instead of admitting our sins. In Genesis 3:11-13, Adam blamed the woman, and the woman blamed the serpent. Even Paul in the last part of Romans 7, struggles so much in wanting to good but ending up being defeated by the indwelling sin that he has.
This redemptive plan is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. With that, the third chapter of our identity is that “WE WERE REDEEMED BY GOD.”
To make it clearer, and I will be ending with this, let us look in the books of Romans 5:12-21, and 1 Cor. 15:22, 45-49. Both stated that it is because of the first Adam (one man) that sinned entered the world and death through sin. Likewise, the redemption for all sinners came through one man, the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Christ redeemed us from our sins, let us quickly read it in Col. 1:13-14, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
In a word, we are God’s image, sin entered and ruined this image, but Christ came and redeemed our image. To wholly exemplify our identity, we ought to conform to Christ’s image. This story continues and we will discuss more chapters of our identity in the coming Sunday. So do not miss out on this series on defining our identity in Christ.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
January 31, 2021
*This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript above.