A non-entity's unique identity in Christ

Lunminthang Haokip *

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE: My ancestry is a family tree of pre-Christianity ignorance. Ignorance of the Creator of heaven and earth put old folks under serial bondages. The heavy burden that the sin of Eden got men laden with was a dead conscience. Spiritual sanity of the first couple of the garden, where the forbidden fruit laid trap, was deactivated from divine sensibility.

Ephesians 4:18 says, "Having the understanding darkened, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." Our ancestors down the ages knew not many truths or knew them in half measure. The devil could have hidden the poignant half from them. Might was right for many hill tribes of the past. The arm of the flesh held sway.

Swearings, inheritance Law and fine systems were primitive and devoid of spiritual rationale. Forgiving the enemy meant cowardly submission to the brute unchastened adversary. Jesus came to turn the half-truths of human ignorance into full truths. My community, for example, were under the curse of many harmful practices that tradition held as the ultimate truth.

God sent His Son so we may gain the identity of His sonship. John 1:17 drove many converts back to their senses: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus." The truth has come. Let's repent and get it for ourselves. Acts -7:30, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."

YOUR FUTILE SEARCH FOR AN IDENTITY : Two drunkards, hand in hand, walked in circles inside a pub, asking "Where are we ?" They were totally drunk. As a matter of fact, they didn't know where they were ! A decorated Navy officer swaggered into the same pub where 'his bluff was called.' The tipsy duo tapped the officer's shoulder and asked again, "Where are we, tell us where are we?"

The disciplined Navy man in blue saw red and fumed, "Look at my decoration, you senseless fools! Don't you know who I am?" In their blur thinking, the sozzled pair thought silly and blurted aloud: "We don't know where we are! This man is worse. He doesn't know who he is." The tragedy of life is that we struggle to equal our betters, and later, try to better our equals, in a mad rush to find a bankable identity in the world.

But, like the drunken duo who failed to understand what the Navy officer meant in his angry retort, one's imagined pride in one's hard-earned identity holds no water with another fellow. Yet, God sent His Son so that through Him, we may have a new identity of sonship and know "who we are."

John 1:12, "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God." You can never become a Tata-son or an Ambani-heir. But if you are rooted in Christ, you can be a son of God.

YOUR WORLDLY GAINS ARE A PAIN TO YOUR SOUL: We all strugglers aim high. Humble beginners want to touch the acme of name and fame in their feverish bid to grab an identity in the world. The world isn't kind. A few who triumphed through odds like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe never knew contentment with their super global success. Monroe forgot to thank her Creator, got sold on her good pair of legs and insured them.

That's the height of vanity for 'a lady of many acts who made faces before the camera.' She was so vain that she even denied an audience to young Billy Graham who wanted to lead her to Christ then. Marilyn died young at age 36 due to drug overdose. Perhaps, the matinee idol of the 1950s and early 1960s could have lived longer through the next decades had she turned to the Lord. Elvis the Pelvis attained heights of worldwide fame.

He craved for more adulation. Dizzy height of cross-continent rock-solid stardom drove him crazy to drug addiction. Both of the above-mentioned celebs were wealthy, but not happy; worshipped by fans but deceived by their hell-bent 'stands,' and famous but overdosed ! Mark 8:36 warns, 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" They paid a heavy price for "having forgotten their Creator in the days of their youth."

UNIQUE IDENTITY IN CHRIST: Your identity in the world is not for keeps. You may scale high in power politics or in the levels of bureaucracy. People honour you when the getting is good with an eye on 'out-of-turn' favour. But once your chips are down, they will skip you and frown upon you as if you were a 'creep of a clown.' That's why Jesus was sent to give to each a new identity, beyond your biometrics, that no one can take away or dishonour.

2 Cor 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone; the new has come!" You may win fortunes in your 'out-of-une' gambles in life. But your vanity-aligned identity in the world will soon be 'gone with the win.' Yet your testimony, the evidence of your sin being forgiven by God, is your real Unique ID in Christ. It's special. Like diamonds, it's for ever.

When you repent for your sins, confess and forsake them (Proverbs 28:13), and get divine forgiveness, you are a new creature. Jesus left His heavenly comforts and on His own accord, willed to be born in human form, in the manger of a cow-shed, with the one-point agendum to redeem men from eternal damnation. Matt. 1:21.

Accept Him as your Saviour and Lord. He will give you a new ID. The new nature will hate sin and delight in obeying God's Word. Then the promise in 1 Peter 2: 9 can be yours, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people."

GOD SENT HIS SON TO SHOW HIS LOVE: In 2005, as ADC (some called it Additional Demand Contact), KPI, the Spirit burdened me to do something for the PwDs - persons with disability - or The Differently Abled. I went to the DHQ (now) after getting a promise from Jeremiah 15:19-21. It was an out of the box idea to be motivated to improve the lot of the helpless. My sub-district (then) had nothing for the PwDs.

I sought God's help. By His grace, We could provide appliances like hearing aid, walking sticks, and wheelchairs to hundreds of needy PwDs. God inspired me to write a song for them titled, "God Loves You." We can bank on Jesus to love the unlovely. Our Lord loves all equally. He descended from heaven to 'wipe every tear from every eye (Rev. 21:4).

It was such inspired deeds of faith that made me come to the realisation of the truth that "Giving never empties the purse and loving never empties the heart." We can only love our fellow human beings only when we love the Lord our God.

It would have been more appropriate had the parable of 'The Prodigal Son (Luke 15)' been named as 'The Parable of the Loving Father.' It's a demonstration of God's love for His children who repent to 'dust and ashes.'

The love Jesus was sent to impart to mankind was described in John 15:13, "Greater love no man hath than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." That's what Christ did for us sinners. We become winners when we forsake our sins for His sake.

JESUS WAS BORN TO CONVEY GOD'S LOVE: Love is the greatest: 1 Cor 13:13 says, "And now these three remain: Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." A boy and girl may declare undying love (actually it's lust painted with the 'coating' of love) for each other.

But terse words exchanged between them after marriage can make them hate each other more than they hate anybody else. At times, greed to meet one's needs is cleverly wrapped in the covering of love. That's disgusting disguised intent to loot. A celeb lady used her charm to trap a rich tycoon.

The gullible purse-proud man fell hook, line and sinker for the beautiful temptress, and gifted her an expensive diamond necklace. But the false love petered off after sometime. Soon, they parted ways. The part-time hubby who hated the acting 'Delilah' demanded his diamond necklace back. The whistling woman, like a crowing hen, replied, "I never hated my man so much to return his gift!"

That's the fickle conditional love of men. Shakespeare in Sonnet 116 wrote, "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove." But I John 3:1 says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

The love of God for us is eternal. Jesus loves us so much that, like the candle, He burns Himself to give light to us. The light of His Word dispels all darkness that blurred our understanding hitherto. Won't we reciprocate His sacrifice by accepting Him as our Saviour and Lord this Christmas season?

* Lunminthang Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an IAS (Retd)
This article was webcasted on December 28 2022 .

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