Lately I’ve been researching my roots. I wanted to know a little about my father’s family. Since my grandfather died in 1918, when my father was only 12, there was never much information about the family. A cousin in California, whom I have never met, sent me some information including the name of my great-grandfather, John Hill Sanders, who was born in Alabama in 1825, married in Georgia in 1858, and passed from this life in Arkansas in 1900. His father, whose name I have yet to discover, was born in Tennessee. That1s all I now know about my namesake.
I have learned that the identity I have chosen is just as important as the identity I inherited. When I chose to become a Christian, having been taught the gospel, I became a child of God (John 1:12-13). I was born again of an imperishable seed, the gospel which was preached (1 Peter 1:22-25). I became a fellow-citizen with the saints and a member of God?s household (Ephesians 2:19).
Paul explains, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him’ (Romans 8:14-17).
Because I am a son, I can draw near my heavenly Father. Because I am His Son, I am a fellow-heir with Christ. God desires to lavish His love upon His children for all eternity (Ephesians 2:5-7). Though my earthly parents gave me a wonderful heritage of faith and love for God, my real inheritance is with God for an eternity.
God is preparing a place reserved just for me for all eternity (John 14:1-3; 1 Peter 1:3-5). That place will be without spot or blemish. It is imperishable.
John expresses my heart when he says, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1).
The identity I have chosen is just as important as the identity I inherited.