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Hilinaʻi #6: The Problematic Phrase


Maui Christian Blog

Identity in Christ. It’s a phrase many of us have heard, but I’ll be honest the first time I heard it I was very confused. Overtime I’ve gained a grip on what this phrase should mean. Sadly, more often than not, I hear it being used in a way that can be misleading to young believers. I’m here to set the record straight. Your identity in Christ is not something that you have to find, it’s something that has been given to you.

God given hands

My distaste for the misuse of this phrase came to a point at a young adult prayer night. It was a small group of about 10-12 young adults from all over the island. We went around the room and shared prayer requests. One girl stated in her prayer request that she was a new believer, and while she was seeking God she “Still hadn’t found her Identity in Christ.” I was heart broken. I began to feel God telling me to reach out to her, and share who the bible says she is in Jesus.

Wandering Girl

After our groups time of prayer, I spoke up and shared with her. I told her when I was at the University of Mānoa, our college groups Pastor asked us, “What is your identity in Christ?” While most of us were unsure exactly how to answer, and gave our best thoughts pulling from familiar phrases such as child of God, daughter of the king. Ted answered differently. He said…

“I’m Ted. God made me, and He wants me to seek after Him. While I’m still growing and learning, God knows where I’m at and loves me unconditionally. I’m exactly who he made me to be.”

This blew my mind. It made me think, “I’m Jared. I am exactly who God made me to be. He knew my name before I was born. He knows the number of hairs on my head. While I may fail Him, He knows my heart and forgives.” I began to realize exactly what this phase should mean. Our identity in Christ is not something that we search for. It doesn’t come in a sudden revelation. It’s been stated from the moment God spoke us into existence. Check out this section in Acts 17:24-27…

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

1. God made everything, including you! and continuing on…

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far form any one of us.”

2. God wants to have a relationship with you!

Understand how simple a Christian life should be with these two steps: Know that God made you, and that he wants a relationship with you. He made a way to have that relationship through Jesus. Our identity was solidified the moment Jesus died on the cross. A better way to say this phrase is “Our identity is IN Christ.” We are who we are because of Jesus. To break it down: 1. God made you 2. He wants a relationship with you 3. He sent Jesus so we could have that connection.

Cross Hana

So Pastors, leaders, friends, and family… please stop using this phrase in a way that confuses young believers. Don’t tell them they have to find their identity in Christ. That it's something to be searched for… Share with them exactly who they are in Christ. The Bible states in clearly and so should you!

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My hope is that Hilinaʻi: The Believer’s Blog will be a way I can share what God has done in my life, and what God is doing right now! If you’ve stumbled across this and have any questions or thoughts please reach out to us! We hope to connect with you!

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1 comment


  • Joshua Marburger

    Great stuff. Appreciate you & AKA Jared! Acts 17:24-27 is so good!


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