Celestial Citizenship – Philippians 1:27

statue_of_liberty“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Philippians 1:27, NLT).

My paternal grandfather was born in England and migrated to the United States with his family as a baby. Later in life he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

I have a copy of his citizenship papers. His certificate of naturalization says that he intends to reside permanently in the United States and is entitled to be admitted to citizenship.

Citizenship is a legal concept that is defined by most countries of the world based on one’s heritage or descent. In other words, you are a citizen of a country because one or both of your parents are citizens of that country or you are born on territory belonging to or claimed by that country.

Most countries provide for a naturalization process for obtaining citizenship when you have not been born a citizen. Countries often require persons who are becoming naturalized citizens to renounce any other citizenship.

God has devised a legal process for the naturalization of human beings into His Kingdom. By believing that God sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem you and to bring you into fellowship with God and by committing yourself to following Him, you become a citizen of God’s Kingdom. And you effectively renounce citizenship in Satan’s domain, which is this world.

When you become a citizen of God’s Kingdom, Satan does not automatically revoke your citizenship in his domain. When you become a naturalized citizen of God’s Kingdom, you still live within the territorial boundaries of the evil kingdom and your human heritage coupled with Satan’s continued temptations and deceptions combine to try to cause you to renege on your allegiance to God’s Kingdom.

Fortunately, God has provided His Holy Spirit to enable and empower us to conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven and in a manner worthy of Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring eternal life into this present age—to bring God’s future Kingdom into our present reality.

In God’s present and future Kingdom, the very nature and life of God lives in and through Kingdom citizens by the Holy Spirit.

By the Holy Spirit, the eternal God is ever-present with His people. “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives” (vs. 3:20).

[Excerpted from my book, The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present]

One thought on “Celestial Citizenship – Philippians 1:27

  1. Pingback: Heavenly Invasion – Hebrews 6:4-5 | Steve's Bible Meditations

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