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Philippians 1.27-30 – Heavenly Citizenship

The Life we live matters. Today when people want to define what an Evangelical is we often forget that the Lordship of Christ extends to every area of our lives. We tend to focus on here and now when as Christians we should focus on our heavenly citizenship. We are heirs of the King, but far too often we seek the benefits of this world rather than the heavenly kingdom of which we claim we want to spend eternity. Why would anyone want to have a heavenly citizenship without holiness is just a reflection of how anemic and weak American Christianity is today. In this passage Paul gives us 3 avenues that will help redirect our loyalties toward the heavenly kingdom. They include: 1) The Call to live as worthy Citizens (27a), 2) The Distinctives of Worthy Citizens (27b-28), and 3) The Grace of Worthy Citizenship. For Paul the Gospel of Christ is first. The gospel must be the center pole of all that we do and any philosophy of ministry we have. The call to be a heavenly citizen is a call to salvation and be a disciple of Christ. Paul also shows how allegiance, spiritual steadfastness, teamwork, and fearlessness are character changes that will speak volumes to an outside world and to the Christian community about the supremacy of the Heavenly Kingdom. Finally Paul shows us that believing and suffering are given to us in our heavenly citizenship. The Philippians were all recipients of grace as they hade been given the gifts of salvation (believing) and suffering. If we only see grace to be only pleasant benefits and blessings then suffering will be seen to be anything but grace. This must be combated because it leads people away from the true God and the true Gospel.

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