TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:3-14

Most Hindus who live in India hold to belief in dharma. Dharma represents the order of the universe and a code of living that governs all reality. While it sounds harmless enough, the Hindu caste system extends from dharma. Part of the order of the universe is that each person is born for a certain role in the order of things. Some humans enter the world as religious leaders and some as warriors. Some are born as merchants, farmers, or hard laborers. And lamentably, some are born as untouchables. Dharma determines your identity and little can be done to change this status.

Fortunately, our culture is theoretically opposed to any sort of caste system. But we do have a tendency to blame our sins and our identity on those who came before us. We say things like, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” or “That’s the way my Daddy was.” Are we really stuck being just like the people who influenced us, especially if that influence wasn’t positive? Does it determine our identity?

To be called a Christian is to determine your identity. To be called a Christian is to have your status elevated. In Ephesians 1, Paul describes the Christian’s identity: chosen (1:4), adopted (1:5), redeemed (1:7), forgiven (1:7), owner of an inheritance (1:11), predestined (1:11), and sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13).

Regardless of your background, you are not stuck with an identity. Christians have been brought from the lowest level — sinner — to the highest status before God — an adopted child. Your identity is not determined by dharma or what previous generations did. It is determined by God, who “predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5).

Today, I will…be conscious to live out my identity as an adopted, redeemed, forgiven son or daughter of God and not use my past as an excuse to live otherwise.