Value & Identity
Recordings, notes and application questions
Each week, we produce notes, discussion points and application questions for the Sunday talks — helping you go deeper into everything we’re looking at together and resourcing our Small Groups during the week. Use the embedded player to listen to the talk, or click here to visit Soundcloud and download it on a PC. You can also subscribe to Oasis podcasts on Spotify, iTunes or Podbean for listening on the go, and you can find the accompanying Powerpoint presentation for this week’s talk here.
- Genesis 1:26–28
- Genesis 2:7
- Genesis 2:18
- Genesis 2:22
- Galatians 2:28
- Colossians 3:10
God has placed immense value on every human being, breathing His life into humanity, such that we all bear His image. This value is determined by who He says we are as those bearing his image.
He has made us male and female. Equally valuable, though clearly distinct and in this way God’s image is displayed (unity in distinction). In a world of much identity confusion, our value is not found in our titles/labels (whether placed on ourselves or given by others) but in being those God has made in His image, to be in relationship with Him.
Lucy explained on Sunday that the Hebrew for ‘helper’ used to describe woman is a word often attributed to the strong help that comes from God. Woman then is given to man as “a strong helper who matches him in importance” coming alongside — not set above him nor below. A community of male and female is the context for God’s blessing as those that bear His likeness. (Gen 1:26–18)
In Jesus, the image of God is perfectly displayed (Col 1:15). By faith, we are united with Him such that our most fundamental identity is ‘in Christ’ (Galatians 3:28). Thus our truest identity is found not by looking within at ourselves, but by looking outside ourselves entirely and to Jesus. In Him, we find perfect security. He enables us to be at peace in who He says we are, rather than constantly trying to define ourselves, discovering that in Him, we are perfectly loved (John 17:23).
Living in the enjoyment of this involves taking off labels that would define us apart from Christ (often a painful thing) and putting on the identity He freely gives.
- How is identity and value often defined in the culture around us?
- In what ways is it good news that our value and identity are not self-determined but given by God?
- How can we live more in the reality of the value God speaks over us? What stops you knowing this value?
- How can we live more in the reality of our identity in Jesus? Does anything need to be removed? Why is this often painful (giving up familiar labels, even if negative ones — think Eustace in Narnia story)? What will God give in it’s place?
- How can we help each other to look to Jesus for our identity?
- How can we reveal God’s value to others? What might this look like in daily life?
- How can we invite others into the identity we know?