One challenge that I brought to the youth group while we were on our Summer retreat was to be themselves. Being yourself is the calling of all Christians, but to truly be oneself, we must first understand who we are. See, I’m not saying we should be ourselves, as we were born, broken and in sin. I’m saying we should be ourselves, but specifically be who we are in Christ. Sometimes Christians self-identify with the sins of their past without taking hold of the freedom they have received in Christ.
We’ve been born one way, but then when we place our faith in Jesus as God, we are re‐born as a new creation. The Bible teaches that we are born as a fallen, broken, sinful person. But when we place our faith in Jesus, we’re re-‐born as our better self, according to 2 Corinthians 5:17. Sometimes we excuse things we shouldn’t be doing by saying, “well, I’ve just always been that way.” I use to use that to explain away being rude to people in general. I’ve always been smug. It’s not like I wasn’t trying. I was just being myself. But there’s a better self to be. Karl Maeser said, “Be yourself, but always your better self.” That’s what we ought to be striving for as Christians: be our better selves, the new creation we have been made into through Christ.
So who are we in Christ?
In Christ, we are new creations. As new creations, we can live for Him and not for ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15-17
In Christ, our sinful flesh is put to death, and a new life is in us. In fact, a whole new Person – Jesus Christ – is alive in us. Galatians 2:20
In Christ, we are dead to sin but alive in righteousness. Romans 6:4
In Christ, we are no longer children of disobedience, but created and capable of doing good works. Ephesians 2:4-10
In Christ, we are holy and precious. We should live like it. Colossians 3:12-14
So be yourself, but be who you are in Christ.