Shortly before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which would end a week later with his crucifixion), Jesus was having a conversation with his disciples. By now Peter, John, Andrew and the others knew Jesus quite well and had come to expect these teachings as they traveled from village to village.

On this occasion, as they entered the region called Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked all of them this question: "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

The disciples reported that some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead; others thought maybe he was Elijah or Jeremiah. Jesus looked intently at the men who had shared his meals and ministry for the past three and a half years and said, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?"

The disciples looked at each other uncomfortably, trying to guess the tenure of Jesus' question. But Simon Peter spoke up and answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" (Matt. 16:16).

Peter had a new revelation of who Christ really was and where Jesus had come from. Peter had been given a first hand revelation of the identity of Jesus. The Father had so graciously revealed this to Peter who was a simple fisherman.

Suddenly a new realm of understanding came upon Simon Peter, as if his entire life had been leading up to this crucial declaration. Jesus immediately announced that Peter was blessed for having been given this insight from the Father. No longer would he be Simon "the unsteady"; from now on he would be known as Peter "the Rock." He would possess greater authority and would become a cornerstone of the future church.

Peter had found himself.

What Happened?
Why would such an apparently simple conclusion be so paramount? Jesus had told the disciples all along that He was the Son of God. What was so different about Peter's declaration? The difference was that Peter gained an understanding of his own identity because he understood by faith the identity of Jesus!

To put it another way, until Peter understood who Jesus was, he could not begin to understand himself. As Christians, we must come to the point that we know Jesus in order to understand our freedom in Him. Our identity—who we are—must be anchored in the reality of who He is:

He is the Rock…therefore we are unshakable.
He is the Almighty…therefore we are confident.
He is Holy…therefore we are sanctified in Him.
He is the Savior…therefore we have eternal life.
He is the Provider…therefore we have provision.
He is Love…therefore we have security.

Because Jesus is the great "I Am"—the ultimate reality—we can become identified with the power of His resurrection and truly understand who we are.

Read Paul's words from Philippians 2:1-2:
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Paul's joy can only be made complete if Christians are one with each other and with Christ—completely identified with the Savior. Why would this complete the apostle's joy?

Because Paul understood that the only way Christians can have true freedom and spiritual ability is by completely surrendering to the cause of Christ and identifying ourselves with Him. We must consistently, on a daily basis, strive to have our lives conform into the image of Christ.

Someone once said: "Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the victorious Christian life."

The old song says, "There is power in the blood of the Lamb." There is also power in identifying ourselves with Christ and discovering who we are in Him! There is:
  • Power to Change!
  • Power to Deliver!
  • Power to Pray!
  • Power to Heal!
  • Power to Witness!
  • Power to Live!
Finding Ourselves in Jesus
What does it mean to identify with Jesus? It means that we know who we are based upon our relationship with Christ, and that we now believe that everything the Bible says is possible can be accomplished in our life as a result of that identification.

We can't truly know ourselves without knowing our Creator. Christians who are accomplishing great things for God have their identity securely in Jesus. They know God, therefore they know God is at work in them. Remember Daniel's great words: "…the people who know their God will display strength and take action" (Dan. 11:32 NAS).

I was talking to a friend of mine, Tim Storey. At the time, I was just getting back with the Lord and being discipled in a class taught by this great man of God. I had been struggling with who I was, and my self-esteem. Then Tim told me something that totally revolutionized my life. He said, "Benny, WHO ARE YOU? God's opinion of you makes man's opinion irrelevant—find out what God says about you!"

That's what we need to do. We need to go to His Word and discover our true identity in Christ!

Source: Pacesetters: Setting the Standard, by Benny Perez
Excerpt permission granted by WinePress Publishing