Pastors  Joe's Blog

Our Identity in Christ (Part IV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1 Pe 1:3–4).

Before we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Bible tells us that we all were “alienated from God” because of sin. (Eph 4:18)  In fact, before Christ the Bible tells us we were “enemies of God” and “far away” from Him. (Rom 5:10; Eph 2:13)  But the miracle of our salvation is that now in Christ our identity completely changes.  Instead of being far away from God, we are now called “children of God.”  This means we have the privilege of a close loving relationship with God.  In fact, so intimate is this relationship, that the Bible invites us to now call God our “Abba Father.” (Rom 8:15)  And Abba in the original language of the ancient world can literally be translated “Daddy!”   How awesome it is that God invites us to love Him in such a way that we can now call Him “Daddy!”

 

Our identity changes everything about us.   A good example of this is the way a child’s status changes before and after adoption.   Before adoption, a child does not have a home or a legal right to be part of one.  Before becoming part of a family, an orphaned child may be a ward of the state or part of some group home without parents.  But after adoption, that child’s identity so radically changes that now legally they have a right to live within a home and be part of that family.  Assuming there is no abuse in that home, those ‘rights’ guarantee provision, parents, and even a future inheritance.

 

That is the way the Bible describes us as adopted children of God.  John 1:2 put it this way, “to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  In Ephesians 1:3-11 we are told that in Christ we are now “holy and blameless,” “forgiven” and “redeemed” through His shed blood.  In Christ “we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”  The Apostle Peter describes this inheritance as something that would never “fade away” and is “kept in heaven” for us.  (I Peter 1:3)

 

This changed identity in Christ should radically change everything about how we now choose to live.  It should change our direction and purpose with which we live life and should change the attitudes and actions with which we live it.  This radical change or transformation should ultimately point others to God.  This is what it means to bring God glory.  This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to help us with when He wrote in Ephesians 1:12, “we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.”   So remembering your new identity in Christ, take heed to Paul’s encouragement in Col 3:17, “whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  Amen!