"Our citizenship is in heaven..."
Text: Philippians 3:20
A GENTLE REMINDER
When we live in the world, it is sometimes difficult to remember that we are not of the world. Paul must have been mindful of what Jesus taught about being in the world but not of the world (John 17:15-18). Paul reminded the Philippians that their citizenship was in heaven.
“For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ.”
a) Philippi was a colony of Rome.
b) The Philippians were conscious that they were “citizens” of Rome (consequence of being a colony).
c) Not every region received a “colony status”.
d) This status was prized.
2. The word “citizenship” in Paul’s writing
a) The word “citizenship” comes from the Greek word “politeuomai”.
b) This word was translated as “conduct” (Philippians 1:27).
c) “Citizenship” and “Conduct” in Paul’s understanding were closely related.
3. “For our citizenship is in heaven”
a) It is a great privilege indeed to be granted “citizenship” in heaven.
b) This thought ought to affect our conduct (that is “our walk”).
c) This was the point of Paul’s mention of our citizenship in this text.
4. “From which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ”
a) There should be a tremendous sense of relationship
i) Between citizens and their Lord.
ii) Between citizens and their country.
b) Eagerly wait
i) This is a reference to the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
ii) This was a strong theme in the New Testament era.
iii) Believers were taught to anticipate eagerly the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
iv) This thought ought to fill the heart and mind and not earthly things.