Who You Are (1 Cor 3:21b-23)

For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23, AV)

I heard this illustration used at a conference several years ago. The speaker had us all take a label and write the name of Jesus on it. He then recounted a portion of the movie, “Toy Story.” In the movie, Woody, the main toy character goes though very human struggles. He was Andy’s main toy, the prominent one in Andy’s collection until he gets a new toy, Buzz Lightyear. Buzz is modern, new, and fresh. Andy plays with Buzz and Woody begins to feel left out, doubting his status as Andy’s toy.

It just so happened that Andy inscribed his name on the boot of Woody and also Buzz. In this time of Woody’s emotional crisis, he looked down at his own boot and saw Andy’s name inscribed upon it. When he saw this, it affirmed that Buzz, having the same inscription, was Andy’s toy. Yet, even though Woody had the same inscription on his own boot, he forgot the significance of this as it related to himself. Then Bo Peep reminded Woody of this significance, “He’ll always have a place for you.” Woody needed a reminder regarding to whom he belonged.

Paul made an interesting statement here in these verses. He stated, “ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” Often in life we can get down in the dumps. We can find ourselves stuck in the valley of despair. Often things come at us that can steal our joy, leave us feeling hopeless, and sometimes abandoned. Life can be tough. Whether we are on the top of the mountain or down in the valley, we need to remember to whom we belong.

The speaker at the seminar had us take the sticker with Jesus’ name written on it and attach it to the sole of our shoe. His point was whenever we feel discouraged, downtrodden, hopeless, or abandoned, we should look at the name inscribed in our hearts and realize whose we are. We are privileged to belong to Jesus.

Paul wrote this truth to the church at Corinth to let them know as a corporate body, that they belonged to Jesus. Moreover, because of this truth, he previously stated, “all things are yours.” The church must never take their eyes off of this truth. The church is not some civic organization, like the hundreds of others in the world. The church belongs to Jesus and He has blessed the church with the richest blessings imaginable.

Moreover, as He has blessed the church because the church is His, every believer in Jesus is also Christ’s. As such, every believer is fully and permanently blessed by God. So, whenever you find yourself in that emotional state, look at the inscription written on your heart and realize that you belong to Jesus and He will never leave you or let you down.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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