“I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:14-19
Are you discouraged or frustrated by the barrage of identity politics, labels and divisions that run deep even within families and lifelong friendships? Consider even a few of the labels thrown around today. Mask or no mask. Vaccine or anti-vax. Red or blue, left or right, black or white. The world tells us we have worth based on the labels we have or the ones we avoid. But make no mistake – we are missing the big picture when we adopt these labels and entrench ourselves (and others) in these identities above that which we have in Jesus. When we categorize people (particularly those we disagree with) by lesser identities we forget the foundational truth that all people are precious in God’s sight, not just the ones who happen to agree with our position on a particular matter. In a city that glorifies and promotes division perhaps more than any other, we are called to be in the world, but not of it. It’s easy to identify ourselves and others according to the world’s lesser labels, but who does Jesus say we are? As followers of Christ Jesus, God’s Word bestows the following “labels” upon us, each a priceless blessing:
- WE ARE NEW CREATIONS. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
- WE ARE FREE. Romans 6:6 says, “We know that old old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
- WE ARE RECONCILED TO GOD. Romans 5:10 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.”
- WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. Romans 8:15-16 says, “…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”
- WE ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST. Galatians 3:29 says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
- WE ARE FRIENDS OF CHRIST. John 15:15 says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
- WE ARE SECURE IN OUR SALVATION. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- WE ARE EQUIPPED. Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
- WE ARE FULL & COMPLETE. Ephesians 3:14-19 says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
- WE ARE WASHED, SANCTIFIED & JUSTIFIED. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
What palpable worth do the fading labels of this world have to offer in light of these eternal, invaluable promises?
As we seek to honor Jesus by knowing Him and making Him known, the RBC staff meets, worships and prays together each week. A couple months ago, Tony Cho led us in the song we’re introducing in Doxologies, My Worth Is Not In What I Own. Several worship team members have also expressed a deep resonance with its lyrics, particularly as we wrestle with the labels of the world versus the identity we are given in Christ. As we sing this song congregationally, our prayer is that it will aid each of us in reassessing where we find our worth: in the world, or in the Kingdom? In man’s words, or God’s Word? In the treasures we hold in our hands, or in the Savior who holds us in His?
May this song serve as a reminder of the solid truth that our identity if formed and founded in Jesus: that our worth is not found in human riches, worldly metrics, or cultural labels du jour, but in the name of Christ Jesus – our Redeemer, Treasure, Wellspring of our souls.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
My Worth Is Not In What I Own (At the Cross)
My worth is not in what I own Not in the strength of flesh and bone But in the costly wounds of love At the cross My worth is not in skill or name In win or lose, in pride or shame But in the blood of Christ that flowed At the cross CHORUS I rejoice in my Redeemer Greatest Treasure Wellspring of my soul I will trust in Him, no other My soul is satisfied in Him alone As summer flowers we fade and die Fame, youth and beauty hurry by But life eternal calls to us At the cross I will not boast in wealth or might Or human wisdom's fleeting light But I will boast in knowing Christ At the cross Two wonders here that I confess My worth and my unworthiness My value fixed, my ransom paid At the cross