#161 – LIVE AS CITIZENS (3/8/20)
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‘Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel’ (Philippians 1:27)
No matter what - ‘whatever happens’ - our lives are to revolve around Jesus; that is, ‘conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.’ This is easy to say when things are easy, but when hardship and temptation arise, how will we respond?
This is a mindset that we must set and cultivate in ‘peacetime’ so that when the battles arise, we are prepared.
The verb ‘conduct’ means (literally) to “live as citizens.”
We have a new citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Jesus, as he will show in the next chapter, is the model citizen that we are to imitate. This is our primary identity and completely shapes how we are to live.
Let’s thank God for making us citizens of His Kingdom. This comes with all the protections that come from belonging to our Heavenly Father.
Being a citizen also brings a complete change in identity and behaviour. Peter writes,
‘Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.’ (1 Peter 2:11-12)