“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you… Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” ~John 14:18-20
The adopting work of the Holy Spirit pulls us out of the cosmic orphanage into an intimate and eternal relationship with God. The Holy Spirit gives us new life in Christ — Christ in us. By the work of the Spirit, God lives in us and we live in God. And the overflow of joy and grace and peace and love of the Trinity belongs to us. It’s ours. We’re in! This is our brand new life in Christ! This is my new and primary identity. This is who I am. And nobody or nothing can take it away from me.
I am Carrie-Anne’s husband. One of my identity markers is that I am Carrie-Anne’s husband. That’s who I am. For 27 years now, I am Carrie-Anne’s husband. And I dig it. It gives me love and stability and joy and support and, sometimes, sopapilla cheesecake. But my identity as Carrie-Anne’s husband can be taken away from me. We’re both getting older. God forbid — something could happen and I would not be Carrie-Anne’s husband anymore.
Another of my identity markers is that I am the father of three awesome daughters. That’s who I am. But could be taken away from me. Again, God forbid — something could happen and I wouldn’t be a father anymore. There aren’t any guarantees.
Another of my identity markers is that I’m the preacher at Central Church of Christ. And I love being the preacher at Central. It’s who I am. But the elders could get together and take one vote tonight and it could be taken away from me. (I’ve got dirt on every one of those guys; so, it’s not going to happen!) But you understand what I’m saying.
All of my identity markers can be taken away from me. I’m not all powerful. I’m not all seeing and all knowing. I’m not God. I live in a broken world where there are no guarantees.
But the Scriptures say the Holy Spirit guarantees that we belong to Christ. I have been adopted into a new life in Christ. So I have this one thing you can’t touch. I am a son of God. I am loved and protected and provided for and saved by my new Holy Spirit life in Jesus. I can get sick and it’s still true. I can lose my job, I can lose my family, everybody can hate me, and it’s still true. I can die and my identity as a saved child of the King does not change one bit. The Holy Spirit gives us new everlasting life and a permanent identity in him.