The most important part of identifying citizenship is through identification with a passport or a driver’s license. A police officer, if you are pulled over, is going to ask for your ID. What happens if you lose your ID? What if you lose your passport and you are living outside of the U.S.? BIG TROUBLE!! What is our ID as a citizen in God’s country?
In the Old Testament citizenship was different than today. Look at our verses today in Philippians and see how Paul describes how things changed.
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:4-6
This is a long list of legal “citizenship” in the Old Testament that became null and void after the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. We got new ID’s. A new way of being identified as God’s people. Why? What happened? God changed the rules. In the Old Testament, it started with what your heritage too. Were you a Hebrew? In similar ways God gave us legal citizenship through birth, not a physical, but a spiritual birth. We become born-AGAIN, through believing Romans 10:9-10.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10
After believing Romans 10:9 you are now an Ambassador for your home country, heaven. The King of that country is God and because Jesus Christ was the first citizen of the new birth and the one who made it available to us, we are Ambassadors for Christ. Paul in the verses in Philippians tells us here how his incredible stature in the “Old Citizenship” didn’t mean a thing in the new country. Look what he says it means.
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Phil. 3:7-8
Wow, let’s look at the literal translation so we can see what he counts as a loss.
“But I consider those things which were formerly a personal gain to be a loss on account of Christ. Yea indeed, I consider all these things to be a loss on account of the exceedingly superior knowledge pertaining to Christ Jesus my lord. For his sake I lost all these things and I now consider them garbage and dung, so that I might gain Christ and be discovered in him, not with my own righteousness according to the law’s standard, but with the righteousness according to God’s standard, which is by perfect believing of Christ.” Phil. 3:7-9
This is a long way of saying, Paul is prouder of his new citizenship than his former personal gains. Paul knew that all those former priorities now held no influence in God’s Kingdom.
What old life status or personal gains are getting in the way of our new citizenship? Are we being talked out of believing God? Are we being talked out of His gift of Holy Spirit? Maybe someone told you some lies, such as, speaking in tongues died with the apostles, or healing and miracles just don’t happen anymore, or there just isn’t any power in Christianity today. Those lies remind me of this verse, among others.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:5
In other words, this sounds godly, but if it denies the power of God, turn AWAY! They are lies because the POWER identifies our citizenry. God working mightily and powerfully in us is our ID.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…” Mark 16:17
So go ahead display your new ID proudly. Ask God, if you were me how would you deal with the devil wreaking havoc in my life? Ask Him, God if you were me what would you do today? See what happens. See how God shows off His citizens.
God bless you today!