THE I AM OF YOUR IDENTITY AND THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR SONSHIP
A sample of people drawing near to the end of their lives revealed that most of them wished they had taken more risks, stepped out of safe conformities and explored new identities or as we might hope - their real identity. THE FALSE SELF Then again there are many who sadly live out an identity that is far less than themselves as though it is themselves. The have lived from a self-made identity which is both them and at the same time, not their real selves but a faint likeness. They are what C S Lewis called ghosts of themselves. God, by which we means the trinity is love. God is also I AM which means that God is maximum identity. When we are in God and not dissipated by abstractions like the law – so are we. Your ultra-identity is you with your being in God. Should we follow Jesus as The Way who is the new and living way, since He is a person and not an ideology, we will have entered what Paul called ‘Christ our life.’ Here we live in life personified and as a result we become life itself with a name called Bob or Jane or Elizabeth or Samuel. THE LOST IS FOUND ‘For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it’ Luke 9.24 NIV. This is not about service. It’s about us becoming our real selves because Jesus rather than religion is our life. I feel sad when I see people stagnating as conservatives. In the political sphere they can be seen to resist change because it is change and because it is new. They fear they will lose some of themselves if not all. Yet they are living their present life in what was once change brought about by people who were more bold, more daring and more ‘themselves’ than these recalcitrants are. They were willing to risk what they had to gain infinitely more. In the spirit, these are the people who leap into a new covenant life that is Christ alone, even if it appears insubstantial compared to their present life in the law. Their rewards is Christ come in their flesh – the conception of their real selves.
Of the refuseniks Jesus said, "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ Matt 10.37 NOV. Jesus means that that in not being worthy of Him they are not considering themselves worthy of what He offers: Unlimited life and a real self.
Richard Rohr in The Immortal Diamond, observes “The path of dying and rising is exactly what any in depth spiritual teaching must aim for. It alone allows us to say afterward, "What did I ever lose by dying?" It is the letting go of all you think you are, moving into a world without any experienced context, and becoming the person you always were anyway-which you always knew at depth, and yet did not know at all on the surface.”
Rohr is describing new birth in terms of identity. It’s the kind of identity we gain when we make the leap from ‘christianity’ into ‘Christ our life’. This is the move from Adam to Jesus and from religion to the Kingdom of God. Or as some have said, ‘the transition from sermons about ‘sonship’ to the status of the actual sonship of our being. Here we are competent to minister the Kingdom. We have risen above the illusion of presenting something and nothing as if it is life. We have been baptized into our real selves as ministers of spirit and life.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV. Here you are a real son of God with a real identity as your real self. You speak words of spirit and life because you as your real self are alive in spirit and life.
FALSE GOD – FALSE LIFE
As Karl Barth noted, the ground of our being is God, which is to say that we are who we are as we are one with Christ and in nothing and no one else. It’s possible to be an adherent of a belief system or a minister of a religion and have a mal-formed self or even no genuine self because God is not our life. Our religion is. As such we can be the possessors of no real identity, and merely a shady representation of our real self.
You can live your entire life as a false self and an incomplete self because you have settled for a false gospel. Rohr continues, “The False Self is terrified of death, because it knows this mental ego that it calls "myself" will die, and it cannot find any long-term alternative to it, so it works for short term instead. The False Self has no substance, no permanence, no vitality, only various forms of immediate gratification.”