In the opening scene of the Hollywood blockbuster, “The Bourne Identity,” a fisherman spots actor Matt Damon floating in the ocean and pulls him into his boat. He soon finds that half-dead Matt has several bullet holes in his back. The fisherman digs the bullets out, patches the wounds, and soon, Matt heals and regains his strength. There is only one problem: while the body has healed, the mind has not. Matt has amnesia. He has no clue who he is, why he was shot, who his enemy is, or where he was going.
The rest of the movie is about Matt (a.k.a. Jason Bourne) discovering his real identity.
This scene reminded me of church. We fish for men, dragging them half-dead from the ocean into the boat. We cast devils out, heal wounds, and save some lives and marriages. But real discipleship is more than a rescue mission. The goal is more than survival. Once we are saved and healed, we must discover who we are and why we are here so we can get about our Father’s business.
Some ministries major on getting the fish in the boat, others on getting the bullets out, others on healing the wounds. All of this is necessary, but inadequate. The church has caught, patched, and healed multitudes who are confused about their real identity. Because they do not know who they are or why they are here, their main goal becomes avoiding being “left behind.” Obsessed with being left behind, many are left out of God’s purpose for them on earth.

 

At some point in the movie, the character played by Matt Damon opens a lock box that will reveal his true identity. As he peers into the box, he sees a USA passport. He opens it and finds his photo with the name “Jason Bourne.” Now he knows his real identity, or does he? Another glance in the box reveals several different passports, all with his picture and different names. Vladimir, Carlos, Pierre. Now he is really confused. “Who am I and why am I here?”
Many Christians are confused because they are using multiple fake ID’s. They have one identity around the office, another one on the golf course, a totally different one at home, and a religious one at church. Some people change ID’s so often, they forget who they really are. Other Believers are using expired ID’s. They are still identifying with something from their past, an identity that expired the day they were born-again.
It is not enough to be fished out of the sea, to have our wounds patched and healed. We must know who we are in Christ. Because who we are determines how we live, we must embrace our born-again identity. If we do not understand who we are, we will not live the life we are destined to live. We will live beneath our potential. Jesus not only saved and healed His disciples; He gave them new identities. Their new identities demanded new behavior.
Peter, the recipient of a new identity, tried to help his readers understand who they were, before telling them how to live. He established their born-again identity by telling them:

. . .  you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation . . .

(1 Peter 2:9)
Peter is telling them, “You are chosen, royal and holy, so act like it!”
Likewise, if we are born-again, we are chosen, royal, and holy. We are not trying to do religious good works in hope that God will choose us. He already has! We must carry ourselves like the royalty that God says we are, not with slumped shoulders, staring at our feet, afraid to look people in the eye. We must live by God’s holy standards, not to establish self-righteousness, but because the Holy Spirit lives in us.
It is time to get rid of all fake and expired ID’s and embrace our born-again identity.Chosen. Royal. Holy. Now act like it!