When we are trying to discover who we really are, going to the Bible to find scriptures on identity is the best place to start. This world tells us we can create our own identity. We can be self-made people, choose our gender, and we should follow whatever our heart desires. It is a culture of self-idolatry that has left us as a people more confused and depressed than ever.
The problem with trying to define our own identity is our hearts are deceitful and easily tossed by emotion. We are fickle people, and trying to follow our hearts is a bit like building our lives on quicksand. If we rely on other people to define us, we are in for a lot of trouble when those people move on from our lives. Even worse we can depend on someone else for our identity that ends up hurting us deeply.
If we are in a relationship with someone long enough, we will end up hurt because all people are flawed, broken, and sinful. If we hang our definition of ourselves on our roles as a wife, or a mom, we will at some point be hurt. Kids will make poor choices despite years of pouring ourselves out for them. Husbands will eventually get stressed and say something they regret. We will at some point make a big mistake at work.
The best gift we can give to the people we care about most is to not make them our identity. It’s too much pressure for them to carry. Kids don’t actually want to be our pride and joy, because they know they will never measure up to our need for fulfillment. They simply want our love.
Basing our identity around a political party, circle of friends, wealth and appearance, our gifts and talents, or flat abs are all accidents waiting to happen. When we try to identify something, we need to start with its creator.
I built a table for my family, and I am its creator. I built it for the purpose of eating and creating at it. I didn’t make it to sleep on or brush my teeth. I designed and built it, so I get to say what it is and how it gets used. It is the same with us human beings made in the image of God. He designed us, he alone gets to define us. And that is where we truly find freedom.
It is a relief to no longer carry the pressure of finding our worth and identity ourselves. This is why so many of us struggle with low self-esteem. We have been trying to define ourselves and we were never meant to. God has already given us the most beautiful identity as his children and he says we have unmeasurable value and worth.
Now let’s go together to the best place to remind ourselves of where our identity lays and the truth of who we are, the word of God. In his word, God has a lot to say about our identity, so we have put together a list of 24 scriptures on identity.
Here at Gospel Centered Health, it is our mission to teach women about their invaluable worth in Jesus. We do this by writing guides like this one, and also by tackling one of women’s biggest struggles when it comes to our identity, and that is our health. We have created the Healthy Habits Bible Study and 90-Day journal you can check out here after you finish reading through these 24 scriptures on identity.
24 Scriptures on Identity
Genesis 1:27. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
When we learn about our identity, we have to start with this beautiful truth that we are created in the image of the perfect, eternal God. Our souls are eternal as he is. When we are creative, we are like God, the master creator of the universe. Our genders are beautiful parts of our identities that are assigned to us with a purpose by God.
Galatians 4:7: “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
We are not a nameless face or a number to God. We aren’t just a tiny insignificant piece of his plan. We are not seen by God the way a government sees its people. We are his children. Children are intimately known by him, each one of us. We are highly favored and loved. We are disciplined for our good the way a beloved child is disciplined to maturity. Not only that, but we are heirs to God’s eternal riches through the blood of Jesus. When we feel like just a number to someone, isn’t it wonderful to remember we are God’s children!?
Matthew 10:31: “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Businesses often see people as dollar signs. Many employers see their employees as a labor workforce. If we need help from a company, we are simply another call in queue. When we start to devalue other people or even ourselves like this, it leads to fear. If we are just a number, what’s to stop us from being overlooked, forgotten, or crushed? Jesus reminds us to not be afraid of this tendency of people to see others as worthless and instead reminds us that we are worth more than many sparrows, and he is watching out for every detail of our needs.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Even when we mess up and struggle consistently with sin, because of Jesus’s finished work on the cross, we are seen by God as an entirely new creation. And we are! We may still sin, but sin does not have power over us, and sin is not who we are.
1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
If you are a believer in Jesus from any tribe, nation, race, or culture, you are God’s special chosen people. We have a unique eternal identity that extends far beyond the color of our skin, the language we speak, or the place we live. We are chosen by him.
This verse brings out one of the most important lessons we find in scriptures on identity. The purpose of being God’s children is not just to build up our ego or make us feel warm and fuzzy. The purpose of finding our identity in Jesus is to give him glory. When we give God glory, we are at our most happy and fulfilled. When we are the most self-focused, we are most miserable. God’s not just out for a glory grab. He is holy and he knows that when we stand in awe of him, we live the most fully.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
As humans, we all struggle with beating ourselves up and pulling ourselves down. Particularly if we had a childhood where we were given love based on our behavior or felt like we could never measure up. This is a temptation we all struggle with in some way. In those times, let us come back to these scriptures on identity and remind ourselves of this command to not destroy in our minds our identity as God’s temple.
Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
This world often tells us that might makes right and that the most vulnerable in our world do not get a voice. That is not how God sees us. What a great comfort to know that God knew us and formed us even before conception. He set each one of us apart for a special purpose and plan. Every life is precious to God.
Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
These scriptures on identity show us we can build our self-image on Christ who lived a perfect life, loves us, and even gave his life for ours. Our sinful natures have been crucified with Christ and he now lives in each of us through the Holy Spirit. This is a firm, lasting foundation we can build our identity on.
Isaiah 62:3-5: “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
As women of God, we are completely whole even without the roles of wife, mother, sister, employee, or volunteer. It is God who rejoices over us, provides for us, protects us, and delights over us. We need to be cautious to not find our identity in our God-given roles, but rather in God himself.
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If we’ve had a bumpy few years or a relationship or job that didn’t turn out as we had planned, it can feel like our future is doomed as well. We can begin to think of ourselves as a victim of our circumstances rather than as a child of God with a good future. In those times we can meditate on this verse and remember that God has good plans for our lives.
Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Handiwork is a creator’s prized creation, and that is exactly what we are. We were made with specific talents and gifts so that we could do good works in God’s kingdom. In fact, he already has those good works prepared for us to do. Our lives and contributions are needed and matter to God.
Philippians 3:20: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Most of us find at least some of our identity in our political leanings, ethnicity, country, or culture we live in. This sort of tribalism is a normal part of being a human, but let us not forget those things are not eternal and our true identity is as a citizen of heaven. When we see ourselves this way, it changes the way we treat those outside our tribe because we know that all fellow believers are citizens of heaven.
1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Believers in Jesus are part of something bigger than themselves. We are a part of the body of Christ. Being in a body means that we are an integral part of it. We are necessary for its proper functioning. One of the best things we can do for our self-concept when we read these scriptures on identity is to focus outward. When we see our identity as about more than ourselves, we will be at our most happy and fulfilled.
John 15:15: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
What a beautiful reminder that we are friends of God, and he makes everything known to us through our relationship with Jesus. This is a picture of intimacy and it’s something we have as God’s children.
1 John 3:1-3: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
If we feel like we don’t fit into this world, it’s because as God’s children we are part of a different, heavenly family. And while the world may not know and understand our identity, our Father does and takes great delight in us as his children.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
When we are tempted to treat our bodies poorly through overeating, not exercising, or living with excessive stress, remembering that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit can help change our perspective. This facet of our identity gives us the power and motivation to honor God with our bodies through healthy, biblical habits.
Colossians 3:1-4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in our daily lives and the things of this world. But through these scriptures on identity, we can remember that eternal perspective that changes how we view ourselves.
Galatians 3:27-29: “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
In today’s world, we like to separate people into racial, religious, and gender groups, and the media loves pitting these groups against one another because it gets more clicks. But in Christ Jesus, there is no partiality or intersectionality. The ground at the foot of the cross is level ground. We all need Jesus and the forgiveness of our sins.
Ephesians 4:22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
When we read through these scriptures on identity, we realize we have two natures. One is full of deceit and sin. The other is being made new each day in Jesus.
John 1:12-13: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Our identities get formed, for better or worse, by the home and family we grew up in. For some, this gives us a great advantage, and for others, it is something we will battle for the rest of our lives. But for all of us who receive Jesus, we have freedom from unhealthy patterns as children of God.
Psalm 139:13-16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Our lives have value to God from the moment of conception. Both science and scripture backs this up. Our innate worth as human beings is a solid foundation we can build our identities on.
Luke 9:23-27: “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.’”
This is an uncomfortable truth about our identities as disciples of Jesus. We are required to emulate our Savior and pick up our cross in sacrifice and suffering. The goal for us as believers is not a life of comfort. This truth can actually be a great comfort to us when we face hard times.
Isaiah 43:1: “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
God has created each of us, redeemed us, called us by name, and claimed us as his own. To be wanted, loved, and pursued like this is a powerful place to rest our identities.
Romans 8:14-17: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
In all these scriptures on identity, one of the recurring themes is our position as children of God. We are part of an eternal family with a perfect father. Amen!