Identity is a complex issue. It is nearly impossible to quantify the ways in which the life we live is affected by our personal understanding of our identity. As people created in the image of God, how we think about ourselves is especially vital. If my personal identity is grounded in the person of Jesus Christ, everything about my temporal and eternal destiny will be transformed, and I can live in freedom as an image-bearer of God. This is easier said than done. Sin complicates the identity issue by tempting image-bearers to set up all sorts of identity idols, which take the place of God and pull us aside in our worship.
I think this reality is what makes Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll such a valuable book. He breaks down the book of Ephesians into 15 targeted chapters, and walks the reader through the text of Scripture passage by passage on a journey of Christ-discovery. Finding “your true self” or discovering “who you are” is a popular venture in our culture today. But for the sinful human being, a journey of self-discovery is really not the most profitable venture. A journey of Christ-discovery is what we should actually pursue. Only in identifying Jesus can we truly find the identity we were created to exemplify.
I was massively encouraged as I read this text. Each chapter is titled “I am ____” with a different theme based upon the passage from Ephesians that it summarizes. I think chapter 9, “I Am Heard,” and chapter 10, “I Am Gifted” both really stood out. I was challenged by the call to prayer in chapter 9, and I feel like I learned a lot in chapter 10 about the practical reality of spiritual gifts, and how God works them out in my life.
The most redeeming aspect of the text was the fact that it wasn’t an overly technical commentary on Ephesians, but it was a thoroughly expositional and practical treatment of the text. Breaking it down passage by passage helped tremendously, and I think “identity” is a good summary of this book of Scripture. I think you could go a number of directions on Ephesians, but the fact that he utilized ‘identity’ as the unifying factor was sound.
Who Do You Think You Are? will either inform or remind you of some significant baseline truths. Driscoll has a way of really summarizing large theological concepts in memorable ways, and I love his teaching and writing for that reason. Whether is it breaking down the types of affliction (chapter 8: “I am afflicted”) or detailing the ways in which salvation works in our life (chapter 6: “I am saved”), this book is a great reference tool as well as a solid read for every Christian.