What To Do With a Disoriented Identity

“She said you’re a spoiled flirt.”

Only she probably didn’t use such a nice word.

Having my friends inform me what someone called me behind me back was paralyzing. 

I don’t know about you, but once my identity is attacked I start to scrutinize every angle of myself wondering if it might be true. Am I really a “flirt?” 

That was many years ago, and I’ve grown a lot since then. Now, every time I am disoriented with my identity, I can turn to Ephesians 1:5 for the truth.

“He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-”

Adoption? Why do we have to be “adopted to sonship”? Why can’t we just be called His sons and daughters?

The Greek word for adoption in Ephesian 1:5 is huiothesian. (Don’t ask me how that’s pronounced.) Huiothesian can be described as the nature and consummate condition of the true disciples of Christ, who by receiving the Spirit of God into their souls become the sons of God. (Bible Hub)

That’s a lot of big words…

There’s a reason why Paul (author of Ephesians) used the word adoption in this verse. 

Adoption in biblical times looked different than it does today. Under Roman law, “when the adoption was complete it was complete indeed. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and completely lost all rights in his old family.” (Barclay) 

Paul is using the word adoption to confirm we are heirs who will take part in the Kingdom of God when we accept what He did on the cross. God reclaimed us through Jesus. Our sins are erased the second we are reclaimed

Under Roman rule, a slave could not be adopted, but a slave could be released to become a Roman citizen and then be adopted. If Paul is referring to what it meant to be adopted as a Roman, he might be saying that to be adopted into the sonship of Jesus Christ we cannot be a slave to things of this world. We need to release anything we are slave to before being made a citizen of heaven and a child of God. 

If something has hold over us, we need to free ourselves from it. Delete that app. Unfollow that account. Do whatever it takes to be free from bondage.

Complete adoption in Roman times consisted of giving up their former family’s name. So Paul might also be referring to the new name we receive when we are adopted into the family of God. We give up any previous way we identified ourselves to be reclaimed  into His family. Names like “flirt” or “spoiled” are released from our identity. We are renamed-an adopted daughter of God. 

The adoption to sonship happens through Jesus Christ. This means that accepting Jesus is our eternal adoption process. Being made more like Him is the process by which we can identify ourselves as one of God’s children. When disoriented with our identity we need to accept His act that reclaimed us, be released from sin, and live a renamed adopted daughter of God.

Remember: You are Reclaimed! Released! Renamed! 

God Bless // Love Brits

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