Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our True Citizenship

{Ephesians 2:19-22, ESV}

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. 

The only citizenship that truly matters is our citizenship in God's Kingdom.  In this passage the apostle Paul is addressing Gentile Christians, and he reminds them that before Jesus they were on the outside of the God's Kingdom.  They were no better than strangers and aliens in a foreign land, for they did not possess the citizenship papers of the Kingdom, the citizenship papers of faith in the One True God.

That has now all changed!  They no longer had to live as foreigners in regards to God's Kingdom, because now they belonged.  What wonderful news that is!  Regardless of the land of their birth or their ancestry they could find a place, not only in God's Kingdom, but in His very household.  They could be part of the precious and loved people of the World's One True God!

One of things we like to say is, "God bless America!" and we come to believe that because we are citizens of the United States we have a privileged status in the world.  What we forget is that none of that matters.  We can be the most productive and patriotic citizens of this country and it wouldn't matter, because we would be aliens in God's Kingdom without Jesus.  Being citizens of the United States means nothing if we are not first and foremost citizens of God's Kingdom.

When we are citizens of God's Kingdom we realize that the way God blesses America is through blessing His people (the Church), that we can go out and be a blessing to those around us.  We realize that the foundation of our lives is not some political philosophy, be it liberal or conservative, but Jesus Christ.  So what is needed for a God Blessed America is not converting people to our political persuasion so that "Christian" laws can be made, but to convert people to the way of Jesus so that true Christians are created.

The Church will do far more good for the United States when we stop trying to create a Christian nation through politics and begin to bless those around us as we live as true citizens of God's Kingdom.  For that to happen we will have to accept the fact that our American citizenship is worth nothing, and our true citizenship in God's Kingdom is worth everything.

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