Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
It’s not at all a new Idea. Nor am I the first person to address this question. Who am I? Books and songs have been written, sermons preached, conversations had been led among tin pot philosophy hipsters in boutique coffee bars. There are three contexts in which this question may be asked.
That’s it. Plain and simple. There is no middle ground. I suppose you could argue specifics. You could ask who you are to your friends, your church, your spouse, etc. But it ultimately boils down to those three. And only one of the three is big enough to answer the other two. And if you have a church background I’m betting you already know where I’m about to go with this.
Let’s get one thing on the table straight away. Some of what I am about to say is less than popular in the church today, and none of it is popular in the world. I do not care to concern myself with the opinions of either, not when it comes to this. This is far too important to address in any other way other than absolute brutal honesty. Let’s find out who we are. And even… Who we are not.
You are not the sum of your mistakes. They were all left on the Cross with Jesus as God punished him for them. You are not some lost cause meant to surrender to the depressing reality of your shortcomings and then begrudgingly accept God’s mercy for them. And you most certainly are not the center of God’s universe. And the Bible is not a book about you. So…? What are You?
Well. What if you are saved by grace through faith? You are a new creation with a heart of flesh and blood beating for one purpose and one purpose alone. To glorify and worship the holy sovereign of the universe. Meant for awe and wonder as you see him more and more for all that he truly is. Raptured by the unfailing love and mercy for which you have been predestined. An heir to the kingdom of heaven with Jesus himself. You are the object of God’s affection, with the right to enter the throne room of heaven and make petition to the almighty. You are redeemed by Universal Grace through faith because one day the Holy Spirit acted upon your darkened sinful heart and thus transformed you from an enemy of God to a son or daughter of Him… And absolutely NONE of this… is because of you. And If you have a real, honest, consistent, and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, then THAT is who you are, plain and simple. Regardless of whether or not you view it that way yet.
So why you? Why me? Why would a God be so worthy of our lives and yet so deeply offended by our iniquity ever give us the gift of knowing him?
The answer is simple, for the praise of his name. For his glorification in our lives and hearts. God is only and ultimately for His own glory. It is the very reason he created every iota in the universe. It all praises him on repeat. And he created the US so that we would satisfy that desire in Him and through Him. He sustains us in our weak attempt at serving Him. Because the more elevated our view of God becomes, the more we see how small we are and how insignificant we would ultimately be apart from his love. God is for us because God is for God.
And this is marvelous news because knowing this frees us up completely. It’s no longer on us to earn the favor of God. Once we realize the reality that this story we have been written into is not actually about us, but rather about God, we become free to live in repentance, restoration, and rest. THAT is freedom. Jesus bought and paid for your eternal soul on the Cross. We aren’t under the curse of sin and death in the eternal scheme of things, Jesus defeated it. We don’t owe our sin debt anymore. Jesus paid the bill.
Who are we?
We are his unconditionally loved children.
We are the object of uncommon grace.
We… are… His. And you cannot possibly do anything to earn more of his favor. If you are His, he sees you through the righteousness of Christ. If you are His, He loves you, not because of you, but in spite of you. Do you see the difference? Do you see how special that is? Do you see how free that makes you live for him when you can finally remove the standards of arbitrary religiosity that you place on yourself and simply run to him the way a toddler runs to his father? Because that is who HE is. He is our Father. We are His children. And there is exactly NOTHING that can ever change that.