Last week we began the series, The Church and Politics by laying the foundation for the discourse. We came to the conclusion the Church is a political organ and Jesus is a political figure. You can read more at www.myilluminare.com/the-church-and-politics/
This week we begin exploration of the concept of citizenship.
The Christian has dual citizenship. He is a citizen of Heaven as well as a citizen of his earthly country. Our heavenly citizenship is why the Bible calls us a “holy nation”: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated (holy) nation, a special people for God’s own possession…” (1 Peter 2:9) Christians are dimensioned politically. The Bible says we are “citizens along with God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 2:19 NLT)
Citizenship is a two-sided equation: it has a demand side and a supply side. The demand side is a schedule of responsibilities, duties and obligations – things demanded of us. The supply side on the other hand is a schedule of rights and privileges.
The first principle of citizenship, be it heavenly or earthly citizenship, is a pledge of allegiance. It manifests as patriotism. The state demands allegiance. The pledge of allegiance to God is encapsulated in this statement made by Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) A more contemporary translation says, “Love your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” (Matthew 22:37 MSG) God clearly expects us to love him with our intelligence and faculties. Paul says, “God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can.” (1 Corinthians 12:1-3 MSG) You cannot as a Christian volunteer your faculties to evil or to the agenda of the spirit of the Antichrist. (1 John 4:3) It’s betrayal of nationhood.
God expects us as Christians to demonstrate patriotism to our heavenly kingdom. Fealty to the Kingdom is why you don’t run down the body of Christ in the marketplace for acceptance by the world. (James 4:4) Fealty to the Kingdom is why you can’t say Christ is accursed. (1 Corinthians 12:3) Therefore, you can’t as a Christian say “Goddamn” or “Christ be damned;” or that Christ is terrible or bad. Fealty to the Kingdom is why you don’t side with the world against the Church for political correctness. (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15) Fealty to the Kingdom is why you don’t offer the Church to the world for mockery and derision. You can’t sit in the seat of the scornful as a Christian. (Psalm 1:1) Fealty to the Kingdom is why you use the dispute resolution channel inside the Church rather than brother take brother to court. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) These are allegiance principles.
There are other kingdom responsibilities, duties and obligations. For example it is the duty of the Christian to strive to bring his nation close to God’s governmental ideals. Bringing a nation close to God’s governmental ideals is what the Bible was referring to in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9-10) It’s the duty of the Christian to preserve and protect his national patrimony: “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth.” (Matthew 5:13 MSG) For the Christian searching for purpose and meaning in life, here’s the answer: “You’re here to light, bring out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept.” (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG) We are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:13) Our nation ought to look up to us for moral direction. Brilliant ideas are supposed to emanate from us.
The Church ought to provide policy direction to the state. Sometimes, the reason Christians get trampled in political maelstroms is because of failure to fulfil mandate and function. When salt loses its saltiness, it gets thrown out and trampled. (Matthew 5:13) In furtherance of those preservative functions mandated by God, the Christian must duel with the Axis of Evil: “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT) There’s a vicious contest for your country going on. God is counting on you to do the battle. What Ephesians 6:12 tells us is that there is a place for prayer in the political scheme.
Now, there are benefits of heavenly citizenship and there are privileges. Those privileges are cleverly structured into a constitutional implement called “righteousness”. It overwrites the sin issue. God devised a devolution scheme to transfer his rights and privileges to us. It was a foreign exchange transaction. It’s why Jesus became our righteousness. In so doing, WE became God’s righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The mathematical equation for the righteousness exchange is PQ=QP. In other words, there was interchangeability and total identification. Brilliant idea! Very brilliant scheme by God. The rights of Jesus gave us access to incredible privileges. But most importantly, we have virtual access to the encryption key, “Jesus”. It’s a primary access code. It operates in all dimensions.
The “Jesus key” unlocks secrets and opens doors. It’s an incredible thing God did for us. We became a spoiled and pampered group of undeserving people. This is captured in a statement made by Paul: “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare entangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – In the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!” (Romans 8:31-39 MSG) What more can we say!
We will continue the series next week.
To read the full version of The Church and Politics Part 2: Heavenly Citizenship go to www.myilluminare.com/the-church-and-politics/
If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father, I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father, please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
To read and download FREE copies of Understanding Tithing (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4), please go to www.myilluminare.com/
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