Ipseity: Latin: individual identity : SELFHOOD (The “dead” language, Latin appears to be making somewhat of a comeback).
Our need of identity and significance is like a tripwire releasing a signal flare if we lack a self-awareness of either or both. The difficulty then becomes how and where do we find the two. The answer in that will determine whether we set ourselves on a path toward illuminating and flourishing maturation, or toward entropy and self-destruction.
I have heard it said: “Reputation is what men & women THINK of us, CHARACTER is what God and Angels KNOW of us.” From where and how do we perceive our personal identity?
I taught a daily class at the Mission for some years I called “The Christian’s Identity in Christ.” The subject being a biblical answer to mankind’s search for significance and meaning in this world. I primarily used the book of Ecclesiastes, but often quoted from sermon’s by James Smith, C.H Spurgeon and other classics. In this age of the world that we are in now, there is becoming a more desperate need for a sense of personal significance. Even as nihilistic modern social engineers and media are preaching that there is no meaning to life, no fixed – but fluid identities, especially among the young generation. The need to hear a positive word of life in Jesus Christ is more critical now than even it was when those of the classic preachers, like James Smith, were giving such heralding in their own times.
Our need for a return to a fixed and positive sense of identity and personal significance has become one of desperation to the point of being a matter of life and death. Consider for a moment the ever rising suicide rate among pre-teens and teens. Now add a moment to consider the out-of-control, and ever growing, drug abuse among all ages. The increasing splintering into factions, generalized anger, hatreds, and mass-murders becoming common place. Can you sense an awareness as to why so many among us desire to escape by any means? A return to what once was called “common sense,” we now know was sanity unquestioned. The return has to begin with each one of us, personally, to regain our sure sense of who we are and what we expect of ourselves. Through a fixed sense of our own personal knowledge of our identity and significance in Christ.
Such as follows here:
What Am I?
James Smith, 1856
If you are a believer in Jesus — then you are a SON OF GOD; for we are “all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.” As a son of God, you are distinguished from the world, you are honored above the world. To you belong . . .
the promises of grace,
the provisions of Providence,
and the prospects of glory.
For you . . .
the throne of grace is erected,
the Word of God is preserved, and
the Intercessor in Heaven pleads.
To you . . .
the glory of God should be dear,
the name of Christ precious, and
the work of God delightful.
By you . . .
the cause of God should be espoused,
the people of God be encouraged, and
the enemies of God should be warned.
You should . . .
walk with God,
work for God, and
expect great things from God.
If you are a child of God — then you are a SERVANT OF CHRIST. Jesus died for you to redeem you, he paid the price of your ransom; and, being bought with a price, the one object of your life should be to glorify him.
In your family, you should serve Christ.
In the church, you should serve Christ.
In the world, you should serve Christ.
You should serve Him right heartily, as if it were your delight.
You should serve Him daily, as if it were the object of your existence.
You should serve Him with your purse — by giving to His poor, and to support His cause.
You should serve Him with your pen — by writing to others of His name, fame, and glory.
You should serve Him with your tongue — by speaking of Him, and by speaking for Him.
You should serve Him with your hand — by giving the tract, or the book, which tells of His wondrous love.
If you live — live for Jesus.
If you work — work for Jesus.
If you spend property — spend it for Jesus.
If you die — die to Jesus.
Living or dying — be the Lord’s.
Let there be no question upon this point. Act for Christ so that all who know you may be compelled to say, “If there is a Christian upon earth — that is one!” Live now, as you will wish you had — when you come to die!
If you ever ask the question, “What am I?” answer it by your life, and say, “I am a son of God. I am a servant of Christ. I am, therefore, an heir of glory!”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing(renewing) the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
James Smith (1802 – 1862) was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841-1850. His sermons, published articles, devotionals and insights are getting a “new lease of life” as they are finding a resurgence of re-publication in this 21st century. A time when the church again sorely needs to hear from such a Christ-centered preacher.
via What Am I