All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Our true identity is not based on what we do but on whose we are. I love how this verse points out that God chose us to be a part of His family BEFORE He made the world!!! More than 6,000 years ago you were put on the list. So you really didn’t have anything to do with making the team! It is just up to us to accept the invitation.
When you are a part of a family you have the same genes as your parents and you pass on those genes to your children. Eye color, hair, and even character traits are passed on from generation to generation. Now each person in the family will have genes that are expressed in different ways. For example two of our kids have brown eyes and two have hazel. Nate’s people-pleasing character trait is more dominant in two of our kids and my stubborn, get-things-done-my-way trait is more dominant in the other two.
All of us who have chosen Jesus as our Lord and Savior want to become more like Christ. We work hard to replace our natural tendencies with those we deem more worthy and holy. Guilt and shame often discourage us and make us think that we can never become as “Christ-like” as we would like. But I have good news for you! You don’t have to try harder; you just have to be.
Here, let me explain. In John 3:3-6 it says…
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.”
The word “born again” in the greek means God’s divine nature is imparted into the believer. How wonderful is this!!! When you get saved God’s genes are automatically imparted into you. The only thing you have to do is to choose to accept this gift! (Romans 10:9-10)
Now the moment you get saved and those genes are imparted into you, you don’t act perfectly. Oh how I wish that was true!! We do have to work at allowing God’s divine nature to come out and our selfish nature to die. We have to hold to the truth that is in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here.”
The more we spend time with God the more we learn about His character, the way He talks, responds to others and the way that He acts and thinks. The word Spirit in John 3:6 is the part of us that perceives, reflects, feels, and desires. It is our inward man and this is the part of us that we are allowing to come out and show who we truly are.
So instead of working to gain our identity, let’s work from our identity!
1 John 3:1 “See how very much my Father God loves me, for He calls me His child and that is what I am.”