The "Bourne" movies are a series of films that I have thoroughly enjoyed (at least the first three, I did not bother to see the fourth motion picture). Without ruining the plot for those of you who have not seen any of the films, the first flick "The Bourne Identity" centers around the character Jason Bourne. Mr. Bourne wakes up and cannot remember a thing about his past; he has no idea who he is, where he is from, or what he has done. From this point forward the movie goes about piecing together this guy's "identity". As I was thinking about this film the thought of identity itself crept into my mind. What is identity? What is my identity? What would others say their identity is? What is our "born" identity?
Here in the United States, and I assume other countries as well, our society pretty much tells us what our identity is. Shortly after birth we receive a birth certificate that identifies who we are, we get a social security number, we get health records, we get school records, we get a driver's license or ID card, we get a bank account, and on and on and on. The point is, that all of these different things that we obtain add up to be part of our identity. This is just the tip of the iceberg; on top of these many accumulations, each of us receives identity on an individual basis as well. For instance, I am: six-foot four-inches tall, an ex-football player, an ex-drug user, bi-racial, a former college drop-out as well as a graduate, a son of a single-mother, a brother, a husband, a father, a pastor, a resident of Redondo Beach, a Baltimore Ravens fan, a basketball fan, etc. Most of us have a long list of what makes up our identity; such as, what we do, how much money we make, what type of house and car we have, what kind of family we belong to, where we come from, what our upbringing was like, or any other of the details about our lives. All of these are what we believe make up who we are. As you can imagine you would be devastated if you lost this identity. Within the past decade or so we have seen a rise in "identity theft" and many of us know people or have heard stories of peoples lives being turned upside down because of it. I guess we have this "born identity" and as we age this identity is added to and subtracted from to give us who we are today... Right?
Not so fast... not one thing that I have mentioned is who I am. Not one thing that I have said makes up my identity. Some of these things are minor details about my life and some are major details about my life, but not one or any assortment of these details is the identity of Kenny Kauffman. Why? Because I am reborn! Jesus said in John 3 that no one will enter the kingdom of God unless they are reborn. There was a time in my life when I wasn't reborn as a matter of fact I was dead in my sin, but God raised me from the dead to new life in Christ. My identity was centered in details about my life, but now my identity is centered in Jesus Christ and Him alone! 2 Corinthians 5:17 proclaims, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has past away; behold, the new has come." I am a new creation IN CHRIST! I think sometimes we struggle to figure out what we identify with, who we identify with, and even what our identity is. Christ came to identify with sinners like us and if you are in Him you have a reborn identity; an identity that cannot be lost, because this reborn identity is a gift of God, it is not dependent on you. The Word of God reminds us that, "you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable..." This means that my salvation, my reborness, if you will, is indestructible! I praise God that He gave me birth into His family and that I don't need any type of ID card or a series of digits to authenticate it! Brothers and sisters, I don't know where you are or what you are feeling as you read this, but I do want to encourage you to remember who you are in Christ. You are free from the bondage of sin, You are filled by the Holy Spirit, You are a minister of the Gospel, and you are a beloved child of the Most High God. So, the next time an identity theft scare hits feel free to secure your assets and various accounts, but remember if you are in Christ then your true identity can never be stolen.