ODJ: True Identity

July 20, 2018 

READ: Ephesians 1:3-14 

Because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God (v.11).

As I was growing up, I often felt as if I didn’t quite fit in. I was different from even my close friends but couldn’t figure out why. I tried to take an interest in what my friends liked and to talk and act like them. But it wasn’t until I went to college that I decided to stop worrying about what other people thought of me. Knowing that my identity was in Jesus, I didn’t have to try to be the ‘cool kid’ anymore.

Thankfully, our social identity doesn’t define who we are. Paul opened his letter to followers of Jesus in Ephesus by explaining that God “chose us in Christ” and adopted us as children of God (Ephesians 1:4-5). He then wrote, “Because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance” (v.11). Jesus chose to die for us and we’re now united with Him, a part of His family and heirs to His kingdom!

During His time on earth, Jesus assured His followers that, although He had to leave, He would send a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who would be an advocate and guide (John 14:15-21, 16:5-15). And according to Paul, the Spirit is also “God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people” (Ephesians 1:14).

Believers in Jesus aren’t simply His followers, we’re children of God, adopted into His family. Our social identity may have some value now, but it doesn’t compare to who we are in Jesus and what that means for our future. As Paul wrote, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (v.3). We find true identity in our relationship with Jesus and in our inheritance as a child of God!

—Julie Schwab

365-day plan: Mark 7:1-37

Read Romans 8:15-17 to learn more about what it means to be adopted into God’s family. 
Are you struggling with your identity? What does having an identity in Christ and being adopted as a child of God mean to you?