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Daily Devotional: Tuesday, January 18 - New Identity

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” — 1 Peter 2:9-10

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I wear a silicone wedding ring. If I take off my ring, it doesn’t make me single again. The ring is simply a public witness that I’m married.

Similarly, baptism is a public witness that we’ve identified with Jesus. When we are publicly put under the water and lifted up, we are saying we’ve identified with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Baptism doesn’t save us, but it is a way for us to publicly declare Jesus has saved us. So if you’ve never been baptized and want to publicly identify with Jesus, set up a day and time to be baptized with your pastor or a Christian leader.

In Biblical days, cloth was dipped (or baptized) in dye to give it a new identity. We still do this today. Raw cotton cloth is dipped in blue dye to make blue jeans. In the same way, part of making disciples is helping people grow in their new identity in Jesus. The New Testament is full of verses on our new identity. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, we find that in Jesus we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God’s special possession. You may feel overlooked and rejected, but in Christ, you are chosen and special.

So part of making disciples (and being a disciple) is growing in our new identity in Christ. The world will try to give you a temporary identity, but you already have an eternal identity in Jesus.

— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain

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