When a person becomes a Christian he changes his spiritual citizenship. He is no longer alienated from God. Rather he is a member of God’s royal family, with all the blessings and privileges of that position. The following are some of the Bible’s statements regarding our former and present citizenship.
We were aliens to the kingdom of God.
Eph. 2:12, “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
We were citizens of the domain of darkness also known as being in Adam. We walked in darkness.
Col. 1:13, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,”
Eph. 5:8, “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”
1 John 1:5-10, “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;”
“but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
At salvation, we became citizens of God’s kingdom. Our behavior should be different from that of citizens of darkness.
The mechanics of the transfer of citizenship is the baptism of the Holy Spirit resulting in union with Christ.
Col. 3:1-3, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
1 Cor. 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
Therefore, the Christian is a citizen of heaven, not of earth.We live in a hostile foreign country!
Phil. 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”
John 17:11, “And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as we are.”
John 17:14-17,“I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
“I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.”
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”
We are aliens in the domain of darkness, strangers just passing through.
1 Pet. 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.”
A Christian is not to love the things of this world. A believer can enjoy the creation while not loving Satan’s domain.
1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
“And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
1 Tim. 4:4, 5, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”