The Cost of Citizenship
I am a citizen by birth! (Acts 22:28).
My adopted son Wasswa became a naturalizedAmerican citizen when we flew in from Uganda on 3rd June, 2011 and passed through immigration. Though we were in America only for the summer, and would return to Uganda a few weeks later, by law Wasswa’s citizenship is his for life.
His rights as a citizen include voting in elections, serving on a jury, bringing family members from abroad to America, traveling with a passport, running for government positions, and eligibility for government grants and scholarships. With privileges come responsibilities. As a citizen, Wasswa is to support and serve his country when required, participate in the democratic process and respect and obey government, state and local laws.
As fortunate as Wasswa is to be a citizen of a country, such membership pales in comparison with citizenship in heaven. Without residency in Jesus we are “foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12 NIV). But by the blood of Christ, you and I are “no longer strangers and foreigners” (v.19). To the contrary, we “are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. [We] are members of God’s family. Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself” (vv.19-20).
Paul states in Philippians, “We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior” (3:20). As such we’re to “live as citizens of heaven, conducting [ourselves] in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ” (1:27). Consider today how your words and actions convey where your citizenship lies.
Read Philippians 1:27 and note what marks a responsible citizen of heaven.
How can you more actively participate in the community of believers? What are the rights and responsibilities that come with being a believer in Jesus?