IDENTITY: Who You Are in Christ
B&H Publishing Group
Christian Life/Spiritual Growth
Pastor Eric Geiger offers evangelicals (and anyone from seeker to skeptic) a primer on their identity as God's beloved child. He uses 1960s social psychologist Erik Erikson's famed "theory of development" to illustrate how similar today's Christian is to those teenagers in Erikson's study who suffered from role confusion. Evangelicals mostly don't understand who they are, writes Geiger, and when an individual doesn't understand his identity, he gets stuck and merely exists. Knowing who you are is critical, not only for your sake but for the sake of Christ and the world at large.
Geiger challenges readers to rediscover who they are in Christ and quotes 1 Peter 2:9-11, in which the apostle Peter explicitly lays out the Christian's identity in Him. Believers are children of God (chosen people), priests (priest), His bride (holy), His servant (belonging to God), God's friend (people of God), an alien in this culture (alien and strangers) and an ambassador (that you may declare). With this set of specifics, Geiger encourages fellow Christ followers that God sees them, knows them, and because of this intimate knowledge, He fully intends to set His people free. Instead of pharisaical rules and regulations, and a composite set of dos and don'ts, God invites His children to replace their "to-do" lists with a much more powerful "get-to" agenda.
As God's children, believers get to know and trust God as their father, spend time in His presence, be faithful to Him, serve Him, hang out with Him, live for His kingdom and speak for Him. Once Geiger lays out the groundwork of biblical theology identity 101, he then takes each aspect of Peter's descriptives and offers readers a full chapter's worth of scripture-saturated resource pertinent to each individual facet.
Especially helpful is the chapter detailing the Christian's journey through a largely unbelieving world as an "alien," in which Geiger discusses in practical terms how Christians must live differently from those who do not espouse faith in God. While believers live in the world, they are mandated by their love for God to follow a different leader (Christ), live under a different law (God's Word) and hear a different language (the Holy Spirit). He consistently refers back to the 1 Peter passage in which Peter urges Christians, in light of their identity as aliens, to fulfill two directives: hold back from sin and live well among the people.
Geiger presents these biblical truths so positively and persuasively that Christians will be left wondering why they hadn't read the import of this passage more completely and how they missed its power punch of victorious Christianity living. This primer is both timely and time-tested by historical Christians who better understood who they were in Christ than many of today's watered-down counterparts.
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe, Single Parenting Expert (www.Bizymoms.com)
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