In our culture, we are covered in labels. We are obsessed with categorizing and labeling each other. We allow things like our jobs, our social class, our relationship status, our past, and our education define us.
Think about it, what is one of the first 5 questions you ask someone upon meeting them for the first time? We ask what they do or who they work for. We often allow what we do to become our identity. Sometimes we are proud of the labels that we carry, other times we are not and we would do anything to become someone new, to redefine who we are. In our own strength, our efforts to change ourselves would fall short. But through the truth of God and Christ's redeeming sacrifice, we have an invitation to take on a new identity. We get to become who God says we are.
We are told who we are in John 8:
"Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“We are descendants of Abraham, they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free."
We once were slaves to sin. Our flesh controlled us, but through the Holy Spirit we are no longer slaves to sin. We are now sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:14-17). Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we receive grace and freedom from our bondage of sin (Ephesians 2:8). Our label of "slaves to sin" is now traded in for "sons and daughters of God." And we now remain in the Father's house forever because of this. Our every need is provided for, we have a seat at the table of His blessings, and we are now co-heirs in the inheritance and glory of Christ (Romans 8:17). Because we know the truth and believe the truth, that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and is now seated high in all glory beside the Father in heaven, we can take on this new identity. Children of God.
1 Peter 2:9-10 sums this up beautifully:
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”
We are free indeed. We are chosen, despite our past, because of Christ.