Dear God, I thank You for Your Word. As I study this today would You make clear what You want me to hear today. After I have read, give me wisdom and discernment and then the courage to be obedient to what You call me to do. Amen.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of his household, Ephesians 2:11-19 NIV
In our text today, the writer of Ephesians speaks to the non-Jewish believers in the church. He describes their identity, first before they became Christ followers and then after that decision. Once (before) they were hearing the voices of the Jews excluding them from the promise, from hope and labeling them as unclean. Look closely at the before and after identities. These identities could not be more different.
Before: uncircumcised, separate, excluded, foreigners, without hope, far away and aliens.
After: brought near, at peace, no barriers, one with believers, fellow citizens, and family.
What had changed? Only that they had believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They were now “in Christ.” Their identity was no longer what themselves or others saw but what Christ assigned to them. The Jewish believers and the non-Jewish believers, once two separated peoples having nothing to do with one another, were now actually one in Christ. When you are “one” you have the same identity. In this case, we are children of God in the same family.
As you consider the descriptive words in the “after” section above, which word or phrase means the most to you? “At peace”? “One?” “Family?” Each brings value and esteem. As a child of God, you can forget whatever negative label that you or others have placed on you. Embrace your identity as a child of God and believe what the God of the Universe declares about you. Who are you going to believe anyway – the God of all Truth or some random voice you hear accusingly? Welcome to the family you beloved child of God. Now go live in the confidence of who He declares you to be.
Father, my Father, the God of the Universe, I accept who you declare me to be today. As a part of Your family, I ask you to help me think, speak, and act accordingly. In Jesus name, Amen.