[The following are excerpts from a Spiritual Formation paper.]
If God were to take me from this field, I would in fact be no lesser of the person God made me than who I am currently.
I have worked a decade as an engineer and as a scientist, which I believe is a predictable result based on the fact that God made me into a very logically-oriented person intrigued with how things work and excellent at math-infested subjects. If, however, God were to take me from this field (as He has before, and as He is doing again now), I would in fact be no lesser of the person God made me than who I am currently. If we desire to know who we really are, we need to look much deeper than our surface, temporal labels, and petition God for the answer since He is after all the one who designed us! And what better place to search than in His Word?
The phrase “in Christ” is mentioned nearly 100 times in the New Testament, and many are in reference to our personal identity within the context of following Jesus. During this first semester of the DTS Spiritual Formation course, a shortened list was given of several of these “in Christ” phrases, which are listed again here (without bullets and with shortened references): “we receive grace in Christ (1 Cor. 1:4), our redemption is in Christ (Rom. 3:24), we are justified in Christ (Gal. 2:16), we have forgiveness of sins in Christ (Eph. 4:23), there is no condemnation in Christ (Rom. 8:1), we are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we have eternal life in Christ (Rom. 6:23), God supplies all our needs in Christ (Phil. 4:19), we have every spiritual blessing of heaven in Christ (Eph. 1:3), we will be presented to God perfect/complete in Christ (Col. 1:28), we cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ (Rom. 8:38-39), we are one body with fellow believers in Christ (Rom. 12:5),” and I would add that we will be made alive in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22). In reading through this list carefully, it can be seen how these passages all fall within two conclusions about who we are as Christians: 1) We have right standing before God through Jesus (1 Cor. 1:4, Rom. 3:24, Gal. 2:16, Eph. 4:23, Rom. 8:1, 2 Cor. 5:17, Col. 1:28, 1 Cor. 15:22), and 2) We therefore have rights as sons and daughters of God (Rom. 6:23, Phil. 4:19, Eph. 1:3, Rom. 8:38-39, Rom. 12:5).
Thus, the most basic characteristics that God has given each Christian as part of their base identity is this: being “in Christ” is being cleared of wrongdoing and adopted by God into His family.
Our rebellion against God is in fact a rebellion against being a part of the family of God, in favor of selfish desires. However, as a direct consequence of this rebellion, when we separate ourselves from association with God’s family for which we were created, we are immediately left with a deep void and without a sense of belonging or identity! The great ensuing undertaking is then to go find our “identity” elsewhere, which inevitably becomes making up one for ourselves, which is fake of course because the process began with rejecting our true identities.
Our true identity is fully dependent with whom we associate ourselves.
Our identity is not a relative term such that we are free to write-in whatever role, job description, title or position that we desire to be known by; rather, our true identity is fully dependent with whom we associate ourselves. If we reject God as our Father, nothing else will suffice to ease our yearning for meaning and identity because nothing is big enough to fill a God-sized hole. Instead, when we yield to God, He looks at us and sees His perfect, sacrificial Son, Jesus; and in so doing, we are declared free of wrongdoing and are given full rights as sons and daughters of the High King of the Universe!
 Dallas Theological Seminary et al., Spiritual Formation Curriculum SF100: Identity, Community, Integrity, & Fidelity, FA16-SP18 (Department of Educational Ministries & Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary, 2013).