Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Aliens to Citizens

Philippians 3:15-21 " But our citizenship is in heaven.And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body"

In my country, Singapore, a person is a citizen if he's born here. But a foreigner can obtain the status of citizenship after he meets certain conditions set by the government. In either case, he carries certain documents to prove that his citizenship is legally accepted. But besides the supporting documents, the real test of citizenship is whether a person obeys the laws of the land and fulfills all the responsibilities required of him. To me, no loyal citizen will disparage his own country and leaders and behave in a way that is contrary to the good standing expected of him.

In the same way, Christians are citizens of heaven. By the death and our resurrection of Jesus, God changed our status from aliens to citizens. We are forgiven and legally declared as "children of God's Kingdom." But as individuals, there is still a lot of change that is needed, since we are not perfect yet. Our daily living has a long way to go to match out current standing before God. With the help of the Holy Spirit and God's Word, we grow to become committed citizens of heaven; loving and obeying God as our King and fulfilling our responsibilities as His loyal subjects.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paunl wanted believers to understand that heavenly citizenship affects the way we think and live. Our destination is different from those in the world. Our desires should be different too. Christians should not be obvious about these things, because citizenship has its responsibilities.

But there is something fascinating about Christians Living out our responsibilities as believers and struggling against sin are not actions without hope. Unlike many who are bogged down with uncertainties, we can eargerly look forward to the future, Jesus will transform us to be perfectly righteous. This hope should keep us walking faithfully as heavenly citizens on this earthly journey.
~Lim Chien Chong

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