Our Citizenship is in Heaven

Men who live in the past remind me of a toy I’m sure all of you have seen. The toy is a small wooden bird called the “Floogie Bird.” Around the Floogie Bird’s neck is a label reading, “I fly backwards, I don’t care where I’m going. I just want to see where I’ … More

Direction

The apostle called for his readers to share with him the pursuit of Christ likeness. What he wanted for himself he also wanted for them (v. 15). His plea to the Philippians was that they would live up to what they had already attained, which was a righteous position in Christ. Paul wanted to keep going toward the goal and for others to follow his example (vv. 16-17). We can always make excuses that we still have so much to learn. The instruction for us is to live up to what we already know and live out what we have already learned. We do not have to be sidetracked by an unending search for truth.

Believers should be able to determine truth from error. Paul was so concerned about the Philippians welfare that he warned them about those who trusted in their own attainments and not in the sufficiency of Christ alone (v.18). He said that all of those who do so are not children of God. He says their God is their stomach, their glory is their shame and their mind is on earthly things (v. 19). We are citizens of heaven and waiting for our bodies to be like the Lord Jesus (vv. 20-21).

To be “spiritually minded” simply means to look at earth from heaven’s point of view. This means to give our heart to heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth (Col. 3:2). This also means to practice occupying our minds with the things above and not with the things of this earth. Christians have a dual citizenship on earth and in heaven and our citizenship in heaven ought to make us better people here on earth. The spiritually minded believer is not attracted by the things of this world. He makes his decisions on the basis of eternal values and not the passing fads of society.

Application

I can always make excuses that I still have so much to learn that I don’t do anything. What I need to do is live up to what I already know and live out what I have already learned. If I wait until I am perfect I will do nothing.

Philippians 3:15-21 (English Standard Version)

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

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