Rhonda Kelley Challenges Christians to Rejoice in Identity

April 10, 2000

Christians should rejoice in the identity given to them by God, said Dr. Rhonda Kelley at Oklahoma Baptist University's Women's Day chapel service Wednesday, April 5.

Kelley, first lady and associate director of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Department of Innovative Evangelism, told OBU guests, students and faculty that Christians can find a clue to their identity in I Peter 2: 9-10.

The scripture calls Christians "a chosen generation," "a royal priesthood" and a "holy nation."

Kelley said the world asks the question "Who are you?" and expects you to respond with a description of your relationship to others, your role or your accomplishments.

"When people ask 'Who are you?' they often want to know who you belong to," said Kelley. "When I was younger, my identity was based on my relationship to my father in New Orleans. Now that I am married I am Chuck Kelley's wife. People want you to list your connections. I am a chosen person, set apart. I am God's own child. That is awesome. What a heritage!"

She added that people also often expect the question to be answered with a role or an occupation, but for Christians, the answer is in the occupation of the "royal priesthood."

"It's not just the stuff that keeps me busy every day that makes me who I am," Kelley said. "As believers, as a royal priesthood, we are special and we have a role in life that connects us directly to God."

Kelley said while still others expect a list of accomplishments when the question "Who are you?" is asked, the Christian answer concerning accomplishments should be what one has done for God as a holy nation and not what "we have done on our own power."

"My challenge to each of you today is that you remind yourself every day of who you are and that you rejoice in that," Kelley concluded.