“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
(1Peter 2:9 ESV)
If I go back fifteen or twenty years, I had an interest in genealogy. Even though I had a pretty good idea about my heritage, I wanted to learn more about my family and where I’d come from. And, for this reason, I spent a fair amount of time tracing my family history.
I did so until I hit a couple of roadblocks. At the time, I was frustrated by them. However, in recent years, my attitude has changed.
Although I don’t want to forget my family history, I no longer find my identity in it as I once did. I find my identity somewhere else. I find it somewhere more important.
I find my identity in the Lord. And I do so for a couple of reasons. I do so because, no matter our heritage and no matter our race, we find our origin in one place. All of our family trees go back to the same starting point.
Our ancestry goes back to one man. It goes back to one couple. It goes back to the first man created by God in the Garden of Eden. It goes back to the woman that God created from that man.
I also find my identity in the Lord because of what we read in the above verse. We see in these words that God has made us to be his own. We’re told that we are a chosen race. And, in saying this, he isn’t talking about a certain culture or skin color.
As we read in John 1:12-13, we’re made his children by faith in Christ. We’re told that all who received Jesus and who believed in his name were given the right to become God’s children. And this is not a matter of ancestry or bloodline. It’s not something that we do for ourselves, nor is it something that others do for us. We are made to be the children of God by God alone.
As we see above, we are a royal priesthood. We’re a people set apart for his service. We’re a people set apart to share his Word and promises with the world around us. We’re a people sent to bring the message of salvation to all mankind. We’re a people sent to declare his excellencies.
We are a holy nation. We are a people that have been set apart from all other peoples on earth. We’ve been set apart to belong to God.
God calls on us to honor our father and our mother. And we must not fail to do so. However, we must also bear in mind that the church is our family. We must bear in mind that the faithful, all around our world, are our brothers and sisters. No matter their background, if they trust in Christ, if they trust in his death and resurrection for salvation and the forgiveness of sins, if they hold to his Word and promises, they are our family.
My identity, then, is in Christ alone. And the same is true for you. In him we find our beginning, and in him we find our eternity.