A close-up photo of a person holding a worn-out Bible, their hands gently cradling the pages filled with highlighted verses, reflecting a deep sense of self-discovery and spiritual connection.

Who Am I In Christ? A Biblical Study On Our Identity In Jesus

Identity is one of the most fundamental aspects of human existence. We all grapple with questions like “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?” As Christians, the Bible offers profound truths about who God created us to be and how our identity is found in Jesus Christ.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: As children of God, our core identity is found in being loved, accepted, and valued by God. Through faith in Christ, we become new creations with a restored relationship to God.

Scripture reveals our true identities in Christ – we are heirs of God, saints, citizens of heaven, temples of the Holy Spirit, new creations, and much more.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the biblical foundation for our identity in Christ, including key verses and passages. We’ll cover the dramatic shift from being “in Adam” versus being “in Christ,” and how union with Christ changes everything about how we view ourselves.

In addition, we’ll look at more than 20 examples of who Scripture says we are as new creations in Jesus, and what those truths mean for how we live.

The Problem of Sin and False Identity Apart from Christ

Made in God’s Image but Fallen in Adam

Humanity was originally created in the image of God, endowed with dignity, purpose, and the ability to have an intimate relationship with our Creator (Genesis 1:26-27). However, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and marred the perfection of God’s design (Genesis 3:6-7).

Ever since the Fall, people have struggled with a sinful nature that distorts our sense of identity apart from Christ (Romans 5:12).

The Futility of Crafting Our Own Identities

In the absence of knowing our true selves in God, people often attempt to construct their own identities based on factors like careers, relationships, ideologies, possessions, pleasures, and even sinful lifestyles.

But basing our worth and purpose on such things often leads to feelings of emptiness, anxiety, disappointment, and suffering when those things inevitably let us down. As John Piper says, “What you do does not determine who you are.”

Our self-crafted identities prove shallow and fragile in a fallen world.

Confused and Distorted Views of Self

The accumulation of wounding life experiences and exposure to the world’s distortion of truth can cloud our understanding of who God designed us to be. People struggling with mental health issues, trauma, or difficult circumstances may find their view of self is extremely confused or diminished.

Without knowing their true worth and belonging in Christ, people can fall into despair, addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, perfectionism, people-pleasing, and other harmful ways of coping.

Romans 12:2 instructs us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” In Christ, the lies and confusion about our identity are replaced with “the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Getting to the root issue of understanding our God-given identities is paramount.

Union with Christ – A New Creation and Identity

Dead to Sin, Alive to God in Christ

When we place our faith in Christ, Scripture tells us that we become united with Him in His death and resurrection (Rom 6:3-5). This means our old sinful self has died, and we are raised to new life in Jesus.

As Romans 6:11 (ESV) states, we are to consider ourselves “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”. This happens because God credits Christ’s righteousness to us, and our sin to Him on the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) further confirms this transformation: “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! “ We are made completely new spiritually through rebirth in Jesus.

Sin’s mastery over us is broken as we abide in Him (1 John 3:6), being led by the Spirit to bear godly fruit (Galatians 5:16-25).

In Christ: A New Creation and Kingdom Citizenship

More than just positionally “in Christ”, this intimacy indicates we are included “in Him” as part of His body on earth after conversion (1 Cor 12:27). We receive a new family in God’s household (Ephesians 2:19), along with a new identity and citizenship in Christ’s kingdom (Philippians 3:20).

As new creations in Jesus, we are also being continuously renewed inwardly as we grow in godliness and the knowledge of our Lord (Colossians 3:10, 2 Peter 1:3-8). This happens through the Spirit’s sanctifying work to make us like Christ.

Significant Identity Changes in Scripture

The Bible outlines many key facets of who we are in Jesus. These include being:

  • Children & heirs of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:17)
  • Saints/holy ones (1 Cor 1:2, Phil 1:1)
  • Priests with direct access to God (1 Peter 2:9)
  • Salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16)
  • Branches in the true vine (John 15:5)
  • Living stones being built into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5)

As Christians, our core identity is found in Jesus Himself. We are no longer separated from God but intimately joined together with Christ through His indwelling Spirit (1 Cor 6:17). Understanding our new position, privilege and purpose fuels us to walk worthy of the gospel as we grow into His likeness.

Who Scripture Says We Are in Christ

Loved and Accepted by God

As believers, we are dearly loved children of God (1 John 3:1). There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less – His love for us is unconditional and everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). When God looks at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

We have been made completely acceptable to God through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). Though we were once alienated from God because of sin, we have now been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

Children and Heirs of God

We are adopted into God’s family and enjoy all the privileges of sonship (Galatians 4:5-7). As His children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing in His inheritance (Romans 8:17). God is our perfect Father who will meet all our needs (Matthew 7:11), correct us when needed (Hebrews 12:5-11), and shape us to be more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).

Saints and Priests

In Christ, believers have been declared holy and set apart for God’s purposes (1 Corinthians 1:2). We have direct access to God through faith and can boldly enter His presence (Hebrews 4:16). As priests of God, we can offer spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to Him (1 Peter 2:5).

We have been enabled by the Spirit to proclaim the gospel and serve others (1 Peter 2:9).

Citizens of Heaven

Though we live on earth, our true citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We belong to God’s kingdom where Christ reigns (Colossians 1:13). As citizens of heaven, we represent Christ here on earth by living according to His ways and values (Matthew 5:14-16).

Our minds can be focused on heavenly realities rather than earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

Temples of the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of God dwells within every believer, making our bodies His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). We can tap into His power, guidance and gifts every day. The Holy Spirit works to transform us into Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18), bearing good fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

He gives us boldness to share the gospel, comforts us and guides us into truth (John 14:26).

Friends of Jesus

Jesus calls us His friends because He has revealed to us all that He learned from the Father (John 15:15). What an amazing privilege to be friends with God Himself! As His friends, we remain in His love by obeying His commands (John 15:14). He lays down His life for us out of love (John 15:13).

We are to reflect His character of sacrificial love and servanthood to others.

Alive and Free in Christ

Though we were dead in our sins, we have been made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5). The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, guaranteeing our resurrection (Romans 8:11). There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

His blood has set us free from bondage to sin, and we can walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

Overcomers by Grace

We are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength (Romans 8:37). By God’s power, we can prevail over temptation, sin and Satan (1 John 4:4). We do not have to give in to defeat but can walk daily in the victory purchased for us by Christ.

As we rely on His grace, we can resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). We are not meant for a life of mediocrity but one of overcoming by the Spirit’s help.

Ministers of Reconciliation

As believers, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation – restoring people to right relationship with God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). God works through us to draw others to salvation. We are His ambassadors, representing Him and proclaiming the good news of reconciliation with God (v 20).

It is a privilege to cooperate with God in building His kingdom.

Salt and Light

Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Just as salt preserves and brings out flavor, we help preserve moral purity in society and bring out the beauty of Christ in dark places. As light, we point people to Jesus – the true light of the world.

He wants to shine His light in and through us so others will glorify Him.

Members of One Body

All believers are baptized by one Spirit into one body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Though we have different gifts and functions, we need each other to build up the church (Ephesians 4:16). We are members of God’s household, joined together like stones in a building, with Christ as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-22).

We find our true identity not in isolation but in community.

More Than Conquerors

We are victorious through Christ who loves us! “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). By His grace, we can prevail over temptation, sin and every challenge we face.

We are not meant for mediocrity but to walk daily in the victory of Christ, who already conquered sin and death on our behalf.

Living Out Our Identity in Christ

Renewing Our Minds

As followers of Jesus, we are called to renew our minds and develop a biblical perspective about who we are (Romans 12:2). This involves replacing worldly thinking with God’s truth declared in Scripture.

For example, while the world may label us as worthless, we know that God says we are his beloved children created in his image (Genesis 1:27). As we meditate on biblical truths, our minds are renewed to see ourselves the way God sees us.

Not Conforming to the World

Although we live in this world, we must be careful not to allow it to squeeze us into its mold (Romans 12:2). The world promotes lies like our identity coming from our jobs, relationships, accomplishments or lack thereof.

However, God says our identity is found in Jesus Christ alone, not the shifting shadows of this world (Colossians 3:3). As kingdom citizens, we are just strangers passing through this earthly realm (1 Peter 2:11). Therefore, we must be vigilant in resisting worldly thinking about who we are.

Putting Off False Selves

As we grow in Christ, we are called to put off the old self ruled by sin and put on the new self reflecting God’s righteousness (Ephesians 4:22-24). Often, we may try to find our worth and purpose in playing certain roles—parent, employee, friend.

However, clinging to these false identities leads to bondage. As believers, our true identity is found in Jesus alone. We are God’s beloved children, co-heirs with Christ, saints, and Christ’s ambassadors (Romans 8:17, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 5:20).

We must daily crucify any false selves and put on our new selves in Jesus.

Embracing Our Position and Authority

God has blessed us with an incredibly privileged position and authority as his children. Ephesians 2:6 says God “…raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”

This means we can reign victoriously because we are seated with Jesus, above every earthly power. As God’s children, we also have authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (demonic powers) and overcome all the enemy’s schemes (Luke 10:19).

Let us boldly embrace our status as victorious, spiritual royalty in God’s family.

Imitating Christ

As Christians, we are called to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). This means living a life modeled after Jesus’ example while abiding in intimate relationship with him. According to the Barna research group, only 13% of Christians in America have a biblical worldview.

Thus, most believers struggle to live out kingdom values. However, as we behold Jesus in the Word, the Spirit transforms us into his likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Let us fix our eyes on Christ and yield to the Spirit’s work in making us like Jesus.


Our identity in Christ is a transformative biblical truth with profound implications for how we live. As redeemed children of God, we are infinitely loved, eternally secure, and called to fulfill God’s purposes.

While we wait for the full revelation of who we are in glory, we can renew our minds to truth and live out our identities in Christ each day. By embracing who God says we are, we can experience freedom and fullness of life in Jesus.

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