Text of the week: Iain Gibb

editorial image

‘I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Philippians 3:8)

Recent referendums and elections have made me think again about what is most important to me, concerning my identity.

When the Apostle Paul was a young man, his greatest pride was in his nationality (of the people of Israel), his family (of the tribe of Benjamin), his ethnicity (a Hebrew of Hebrews), his religion (a Pharisee) and his own righteousness (under the law, blameless).

Then on the road to Damascus, he met the risen Lord Jesus Christ and his own words were changed to “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ”.

More recently, the present Archbishop of Canterbury found out that his biological father was not Gavin Welby but, in fact, the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne.

In his own words, he said: “This comes as a complete surprise.”

Archbishop Welby goes on to say, however: “I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in Him never changes.”

Although there were elements of sadness, and even tragedy, in Archbishop Welby’s history, he himself saw in it a story of redemption and hope emerging from a place of tumultuous difficulty and near despair.

Many millions of people who have followed Jesus throughout the world, in all kinds of circumstances, are able to affirm alongside Archbishop Welby, that they find their true identity in Jesus Christ.

There is nothing like the grace and power of Christ to liberate and redeem us.

This grace and power is offered to every human being.