About this Study

Facebook profiles. Twitter tweets. Instagram postings. Cosmetic surgery. Sex-change operations. With enough time and money, people can create a highly customized, self-defined image for themselves in today’s technologically advanced society. Increasingly, people are looking within themselves for true identity and then projecting those subjective feelings through social media outlets and physical reconstruction.

Is all this self-marketing and self-designing actually producing happiness and contentment, or are people becoming more self-absorbed, more anxious, and more confused than ever before?

How do you know who you are? What defines you as a person? Is it your gender, your physical appearance, your personality, or your intelligence? Perhaps, your identity is found in your feelings, beliefs, pursuits, and accomplishments. Who has the final say regarding your identity?

While many men and women wish they had a choice in determining their hair color, eye color, birthplace, parents, personality traits, gender, intelligence, and/or socioeconomic status when born, the fact is that people cannot chose any of the above attributes for themselves, either at conception, while in their mother’s womb, or upon their birth.

There has been a lot of debate over whether a person’s identity is the result of nature, nurture, or both. More than ever before society is pushing long held boundaries by attempting to alter natural born characteristics of all kinds, including gender. While DNA determines physical characteristics at conception, from where or whom did DNA originate?

Yet, there is great news amongst all the confusion about identity in the world today: we are not in charge of ourselves, and that’s a good thing!

The Bible has all the answers to the above questions God’s word tells us that we are not our own. We cannot invent ourselves.

This study is divided into six lessons: Lesson 1 explores the marketing forces that are not only branding people but also seeking to determine church culture; Lesson 2 focuses on prevailing cultural influences upon generational identity; in Lessons 3 and 4 Michael Horton and Sam Allberry discuss same-sex attraction; Lesson 5 addresses the contemporary assertion that feelings and self-perceptions define a person’s identity; and in Lesson 6 the WHI panelists explain what it means for those who belong to Christ to not be their own (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

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