- When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
- My Jesus Fair
- Near the Cross
- One of the great themes of the NT is the position of the Christian. So much of our daily living, our daily growth in holiness is an expression of our understanding and application of our position in Christ. That is something entirely unique about Christianity. The Bible does not simply tell you to be a good person. It does not say, “Shame on you, you need to be better.” It does not simply say, “Just go out and live a moral life.”So many times in the NT, God’s Word invites us to reckon to be true our position in Christ. And because of what Christ has done for us, because we are united to Christ, because of our position as believers, let that grand spiritual true ignite loving joyful obedience unto holiness.There are so many grand wondrous truths about Christians because of our union with Christ!1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.Romans 8:17 (ESV)17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,And we could go on and on! This wonderful, beautiful truth of our position in Christ, often called our union with Christ, ought to motivate us by love to glad obedience.This morning we are going to look at our position in Christ! We are going to look at one of these wonderful truths that is the believer’s present reality in Christ.20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,Notice carefully the beginning of the verse. Our citizenship IS in heaven! Not our citizenship WILL BE in heaven, no, our citizenship is even now in heaven. It is even now a fact—not that we are going to be, but that we are!If you are united to Christ, if you have been born again, you have a new citizenship. Because you are in Christ and thus you share the same privileges as Christ, you already are a citizen of heaven.4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,The Christian is already sitting together with Christ Jesus in heavenly places— we are there in a spiritual sense, we are citizens of heaven.13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,We have already been transferred into the kingdom of His beloved Son. It is already your reality!Our citizenship is in heaven!Citizenship- the place or location in which one has the right to be a citizenc.f. Phil 1:2727 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis, Volumes 1–5 (πόλις)“as citizens of heaven live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” “You know the pride and responsibility attached to living in a Roman colony: remember that you have a higher allegiance calling you to faithful conduct”
“the background of the word, in this context, is the situation of the readers who live in a city which was a Roman military colony directly related to the capital city of Rome” (The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians , 160–61). As Roman subjects, the Philippian Christians owed an allegiance to the far-off capital city of Rome. At the same time, they had “another king, one called Jesus” (Acts 17:7). Hence, on earth they are resident aliens who dwell temporarily in a foreign country; their true home is elsewhere (cf. Heb 11:13; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:11; Jas 1:1; Diogn. 5.4–5, 9–10).13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,Yes, you are citizens of the USA. Yes, you take pride in that citizenship. But, there is another citizenship that must take precedent. Because you are in Christ, you have been translated to a new kingdom. You are now an exile, a stranger, a sojourner. Your true home, your true country has a heavenly address. This must affect how you live here and now!As citizens of heaven, as people blessed beyond measure because we are in Christ, how should that effect our daily living?How should our higher allegiance to our heavenly kingdom dictate our earthly conduct?1. Citizens of heaven eagerly look forward to the return of their King20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,We await- to await eagerly or expectantly for some future eventBut our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we are continually and eagerly looking forward to and awaiting expectantly a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!This is the Apostle’s great passion in life!8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain ChristFor Paul, it is all about Jesus Christ. He is eagerly awaiting his King! His Savior! The Lord Jesus Christ! This is the focus, this is what is most important!21 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.This is wonderful! This is glorious! This is our great hope, but the thing that Paul was really waiting for was Christ Himself!This is how citizen’s of heaven really live. They are constantly, eagerly, expectantly waiting for their king!7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.Eagerly looking forward to something. - Johnny, the day after his birthday, telling me what he wants for his next birthday breakfast.What are you longing for? What are you eagerly and expectantly waiting for? Are you waiting for Jesus to return? Do you talk about it with others? Does it come up in your prayer life? Do you fill your thoughts often with what it will be like when Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with Him in glory? This is something a citizen of heaven does all the time.2. Citizens of heaven take an interest in what really matters in this earthly life“Now, of course, when Paul tells us that our citizenship is in heaven, he is not teaching that the Christian should not take any interest in this world and the affairs of this life.” —Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.It matters a great deal how we spend our earthly lives. It matters how we involve ourselves in earthly affairs. We cannot treat the time we spend here and now flippantly or carelessly. But, citizens of heaven will spend their lives on things that really matter, things that have eternal value- that is other people.The Philippians to Paul were people he loved and longed for, they were his joy and crown.17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.For Paul, what consumed his life while on this earth was others!Who is your joy? or crown of boasting? Who is your glory and joy?That is all that keeps citizens of heaven tied to this earthly life.22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.This is how citizens of heaven should think!How about you?3. Citizens of heaven selflessly work to maintain unity2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche-Εὐοδία and Συντύχηπαρακαλέω- entreat, urge, appeal, plead, implore, encourageI strongly urge Euodia and I strongly urge Syntyche (repeated use!)To agree in the Lord-φρονέω- to have an attitude, to think in a particular manner, to dispose the mind in a certain wayUsed 7x’s in Philippians!!2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,Paul is strongly urging these ladies to strive for unity within the local church!How does Paul go about encouraging unity within the local church at Philippi?By encouraging every believer to have the same mind in the Lord. Only when we have the mind of Christ, only when we share that mindset in common with one another, can we maintain the unity of the local church!3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.True companion? Timothy, Epaphroditus / also Silas, Lydia, / Syzyge (proper name) or even Paul’s wife. No way to be sure, but the local church at Philippi would have known.The point here is that this disagreement between these ladies was so deep that Paul knew they were going to need help from another church member to restore fellowship. Citizens of heaven work diligently to maintain unity in the body!1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.I also want you to notice what else Paul says about these ladies!3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.Labored side by side with me in the gospel!These ladies were active in gospel ministry. They were at one time co-laborers and fellow workers, but now they are divided and they are hindering the work of the gospel.How easy is it to get distracted in gospel ministry?How important is the proper mindset for the local church? Make the main thing the main thing!2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.Whose names are in the book of life!Be careful about calling into question someone else’s salvation!Work selflessly to maintain the unity of the church-You can only do this by putting on the mind of Christ- by thinking the same way- by having your mind fixed on others, fixed on the gospel, fixed on the glory of your Savior!Why should you live this way? You are a citizen of heaven! Live like it!Though you are away from home, remember that the honor and dignity of the great kingdom to which you belong is in your hands. There are those other people around and about you who do not belong to your kingdom; they are watching you and they will judge your country by you. —Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones4. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by rejoicing4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.Citizens of heaven have a life of joy- they rejoice in the Lord always!Rejoice- 2x’s both imperatives both commandsThe key is that we, as citizens of heaven, must always discipline ourselves to rejoice in the Lord!“I am jealous of this glorious life we have in Christ and with the Apostle, and it makes me weep to think of the Christian life as just a good life, a life which is just a little better than that of the average person. Christians are people who are already citizens of heaven, people who have been translated and elevated.” —Dr. Martyn Lloyd JonesHow do you do this? How do you go about your week and rejoice (especially when things are going so badly)?6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.We smell of the smoke of this lower house of the earth, because our hearts and our thoughts are here. If we could mount up with God, we should smell of heaven and of our country above, and we should look like our country, and like strangers or people not born or brought up hereaway. Our crosses would not bite upon us, if we were heavenly minded. — Samuel RutherfordPastor I really struggle with having joy in my life what should I do? What did you fill your thoughts with yesterday? I listed to the news for most of day.Go up beforehand and see your lodging. Look through all your Father’s rooms in heaven; in your Father’s house are many dwelling-places. Men take a sight of lands ere they buy them. I know Christ hath made the bargain already: but be kind to the house you are going to, and see it often. — Samuel RutherfordThis kind of spiritual mindedness will lead to you as a citizen of heaven, to have lives distinguished by joy.5. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by graciousness5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;Notice the imperative!You must let your reasonableness be knowlenience n. — mercifulness or tolerance of slight deviations from moral or legal rectitude.
not insisting on every right of letter of law or custom, yielding, gentle, kind, courteous, tolerantIllustration: When you were little and you had to share a piece of pie with your sibling. How would you respond if the half that they got was 1 mm bigger that the half that you got? Do you remember pouring drinks? You had to line them up side by side and bend down and compare the levels of liquid because if one glass had one drop more what would happen?
Aristotle describes the gentle person as “the one who by choice and habit does what is equitable, and who does not stand on his rights unduly, but is content to receive a smaller share although he has the law on his side.”Citizens of heaven are lenient, they are tolerant of slight deviations, they do not insist on every right of letter of law or custom. Rather they are gentle, kind, and courteous.To whom are we gracious towards? Only other Christians right? Let your reasonableness be known to EVERYONE!1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.Why should we be gracious towards everyone?5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;The Lord is at HAND?Jesus is NEAR- close in time or place or relationship.29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.Is your life distinguished by graciousness? It must be! Even when you are treated unfairly! Even when you are persecuted! You are a citizen of heaven, be gentle, be kind, be gracious- your King is near!6. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by peace6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.6μηδὲν μεριμνᾶτε,You must not be anxious about anythingἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶBUT in everythingτῇ προσευχῇthrough prayerκαὶ τῇ δεήσειand through most earnest petitions (c.f. Heb 5.7)7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.μετὰ εὐχαριστίαςwith thanksgivingτὰ αἰτήματα ὑμῶν γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τὸν θεόν.Let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s peace is not the result of the power of our prayers or the effectiveness of our prayers. Prayer is not auto-suggestion, a form of self-hypnosis that produces God’s peace. Prayer is our openness about our needs before God, our emptiness in his presence, our absolute dependence upon him with an attitude of constant thanksgiving and complete trust. When we pray with that attitude, the focus is not at all upon what we are doing or will do, but on what God will do. God will do something supernatural beyond our best abilities and thoughts:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.As citizens of heaven, as people blessed beyond measure because we are in Christ, how should that effect our daily living?How should our higher allegiance to our heavenly kingdom dictate our earthly conduct?1. Citizens of heaven eagerly look forward to the return of their King2. Citizens of heaven take an interest in what really matters in this earthly life3. Citizens of heaven selflessly work to maintain unity4. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by rejoicing5. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by graciousness6. Citizens of heaven have lives distinguished by peace
1 Peter 2:11ESV
1 Corinthians 1:7ESV
1 Thessalonians 2:17–20ESV
- Until Then
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