The beautiful thing about giving yourself in full surrender to God (Romans 12:1-2) is that you also give yourself the great gift of discovering all that God created and redeemed you to be (verse 3). God wants to do a “big give” Himself. He wants to give you…you, your true self-identity! But He can’t give you you until you give Him you. So if He can’t have you, then you can’t have you. You may need to read this paragraph a couple of times to get the flow of thought and let the truth of it sink in, but it’s worth it.
One reason you need to know who you are in Christ is because God created you to be a masterpiece. You may be saying, “Wait a minute, Tony. I don’t remember reading that in the Bible.” It’s there; Paul says that Christians “are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). The Greek word for “workmanship” is the word “masterpiece.” A masterpiece is something rare, special, of great value. And the best part is that a masterpiece bears the name of its author or creator. That means that as God’s masterpiece, you are His poem (the literal meaning of this Greek word), His sonnet, His artwork. And you carry His name!
One Body in Christ
Why would God want to show you who you are? Romans 12:4 says it’s for a reason bigger than yourself: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” God wants you to give yourself to Him so He can show you the real you, but also so He can connect you with others in the body of Christ.
I hope you know that there is no part of the Christian life that was designed to be experienced in isolation. That’s why the Bible refers to us believers as one body in Christ with many members. Paul calls the parts of a human body its “members.” This is where the idea of church membership comes from. The parts of a human body are interconnected members that function together if the body is healthy.
That’s the way God designed the body to work, and also how He designed the body of Christ to work. So in addition to the fact that you give yourself the great gift of an authentic selfhood when you give yourself to God, you also give yourself and others the great gift of functioning together in the larger body of Christ. This is why it is important to cultivate a proper relationship with other believers as well as having a proper relationship with God.
This means being a Christian is never just about you. Some folks come to church to get their blessing, to find out what God can do for them. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a blessing or a breakthrough from God, as long as you realize you aren’t an only child in His family. In fact, this matter of connectedness with others is so important that God has tied some of your blessing and spiritual growth to how well you relate to others in the body of Christ. The only place where a disconnected body part continues to grow is in a horror film. You’ve got to have a monster to have a disconnection that grows because things grow best and properly when they are in relationship.
The Bible says we are members of one another, and that’s why Jesus’s principle of “Give, and it will be given to you” in Luke 6:38 begins when you give to somebody else. It’s a way of reminding you and me that this thing is not all about us. We aren’t the only kids in the family.