As we examine the epistles of the New Testament, one of the most common features that we find is the identification of the author of the epistle with the Lord Jesus Christ. As an example, consider 1 Peter 1:1, which starts out with, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ . . .” Notice that the very first thing we find out about Peter is that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ. Peter puts this right at the head of the letter. The most important and most significant feature of Peter’s life is that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ. That fact defines who he is. Ever since Peter met Jesus on the shore of Galilee, his relationship with Jesus has been the dominant fact of his life. Jesus is Peter’s Lord and Master. If you would know Peter, you must know that he is a follower of the Lord Jesus. Peter knew Him when He walked on this earth as a Man, Peter knew Him when He was crucified and buried, and Peter knew Him when He was raised from the dead, and when Peter is writing this letter, Peter still knows Jesus as the ascended King of kings and Lord of lords. Peter’s first point of identification is that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ.
As I thought about this, I realized that this should be true for every disciple of the Lord Jesus. Every disciple of Jesus should seriously consider how to make sure that everyone in their sphere of influence is aware that they obey Christ. The fact is that a Christian is defined by their relationship with Jesus Christ and this should be public information.
A believer in Christ is born again, according to John 3 and 1 Peter 1. A Christian is united with Christ (Romans 6:5). A Christian has died and been raised up with Christ (Romans 6; Galatians 2:20). For the believer, Christ is your life (Colossians 3:4). There are many more teachings in the New Testament that make clear that the follower of Christ, the Christian, is defined by their relationship with Christ.
The follower of Jesus, therefore, should be bold to identify with Jesus and should make sure that their relationship with Jesus is their first point of identification. SDG rmb 11/27/2015