At this moment I’m sitting in the lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies at our Free Lutheran Youth Convention. The theme of this week is “Identity” taken from Ephesians 1:3-14. It’s a fairly long passage, so let me just share with you verses 4b-6. It says, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” So far this week we’ve heard some great speakers diving into various aspects of what it means to find our identity in Christ. Who you are and how you identify yourself are critically important to how you live your life, the choices you make, and our eternal destiny. In our world today, there is a lot of identity confusion. There are the extreme examples you see in the news of those who seek to change their sexual identity. But there is also a much subtler identity confusion that we all struggle with. We have this problem of sin that throws our understanding about ourselves into confusion. Sin corrupts and twists God’s will for our lives. God makes us in His very image. He designed marriage to be a reflection of His relationship between the Church and himself. He created us to live in a living relationship with himself. He calls us to worship him with our lives and words. These are aspects of who God created us to be. Yet our enemy, Satan, at every point corrupts God’s plan. Instead of living as a reflection of God’s image of purity, truth and love, we are selfish, liars, cheaters, thieves, adulterers in our hearts, prideful and arrogant. Instead of marriage being a reflection of Christ’s relationship to the Church, where there is prefect loving sacrifice, honor and respect, marriage is twisted into self-service, domineering, abuse, cheating, homosexuality, and divorce. Through sin, our relationship with God is completely severed. What God created to be a dynamic, living, love-relationship there is only death. Where God calls us to be people who worship and enjoy Him forever, we worship anything and everything else. We seek to find our greatest joy and satisfaction in the pleasures of our flesh, the prideful accumulation of wealth, and the praises of those around us. All of these are a corruption of who God made us to be. Our identity is completely tarnished and twisted. Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” From the first temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden until today, Satan seeks only to destroy the plans of God. That evil work is against each one of us and it throws our identity into confusion, deception, and if nothing changes it leads us to eternal death. Yet the words of Jesus stand in stark contrast to our fallen and confused identities we have by the work of Satan. Jesus comes to destroy the work of Satan, to give life in its fullest sense! In Christ we have life and identities that God originally intended for us. In Christ, our identity is redeemed and renewed. This is what the theme of FLY 2015 is all about, finding our identity in Jesus Christ. As our theme verse tells us, out of God’s great love for us he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. Where once we were not His children, we are now adopted. We are given all the benefits and blessings of being a child of the living God. Where sin severed our relationship with God, in Christ’s vicarious atonement for our sins, we are forgiven and given new life. Where sin and the evil one kept us captivated to sin, we are given freedom to live lives of praise to Him. Where once we were destined for eternal death we are freely given eternal life. All this is only found in Christ. In this world desperately confused about their identity, the light of the Gospel shines in the darkness. In Christ alone is found our true identities that our creator intended for us. This is truly good news! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!