Identity is a current buzz word. People are preoccupied with trying to figure out who they really are and who they connect with. ‘Who am I?’ is the question of the moment.
Trading on this, Jonathan Cruse exhorts new believers to come to grips with who they are in their salvation. Taking up a biblical buzz word, ‘in Christ’, he highlights the reassuring reality that their identity is found in Jesus Christ. He does this by looking at basic gospel doctrines: election, justification, adoption, new life, the church, perseverance, and glorification, showing how these truths establish the believer in a living and secure relationship with the Lord Jesus.
The ten chapters are based on textual sermons preached by the author to his congregation in Michigan in 2018. This book is written in a contemporary style and is soundly Reformed in its theology, with a very clear presentation of the atonement. To his credit, he, as a Presbyterian, structures his language when dealing with baptism to accommodate the Baptist position.
There are some quotable passages along the way. ‘We are better Christians together than when we are apart… We have failed to understand our personal identity in Christ if we have overlooked our corporate identity’ (p.78). ‘When we fall into sin, we are showing that we have forgotten who we are’ (p.102). ‘The Spirit is our tether to Christ’ (p.123). ‘Through the sacraments Christ claims us as his own’ (p.148).
This is a good book to give to anyone who has evidently come to faith, and it could be used as a basis for a young Christians’ study group. It will be especially useful in safeguarding those who may be influenced by the current identity options offered by our confused and corrupted society.