Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Olympic Identity

Two American Olympians who won a silver medal for synchronized diving both acknowledged the Lord after competing. See the video here.

Many athletes thank God, along with coaches and parents. But David Boudia and Steele Johnson independently downplayed the significance of the Olympic medal. Each man said "my identity is in Christ." The medal is a great honor, but not necessary for their self-esteem.

With identities secure in Christ, the men were free to perform their best. They had nothing to prove. They could dive in peace.

So what is this "identity in Christ" stuff?

When we have right standing before God, nothing else really matters. Through a relationship with Jesus believers receive, as a gift, the righteousness of Jesus. It is not earned but received. We don't have to work for it.

Paul puts it this way in Romans 3:21-22: "But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known...This righteousness from God comes through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe."

The believer's "identity in Christ," then, is that of perfect righteousness, given as a gift. It is "apart from the law," not earned by being good. It is received by faith.

I find it very hard to live from this identity in Christ. I am constantly striving to prove myself, trying to be good, trying to be productive. But when I experience deep in my soul the security of Jesus and his righteousness, I am at peace. I don't look for any silver medals or perfect dives, but I can truly do my best when I remember that I have nothing to prove. Jesus proved it all on the cross.

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