• Matt Beaney

#200 – CITIZENS OF HEAVEN (25/9/20)



Where would you most like to visit and why?


Different ethnic groups have different values and ways of doing things. Paul tells us that, as Christians, no matter our earthly ethnicity, we are all ‘citizens of heaven’.

This week, we have been considering what it means to ‘take hold of that for which we have been taken hold of’; embracing our heavenly citizenship has great bearing on this. Paul writes,

‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.’ (Philippians 3:17-18)

A citizen reflects his or her homeland in many ways; likewise, a citizen of heaven will reflect their heavenly homeland in every aspect of life. A Christian has been ‘taken hold of’ and has been transferred into God’s Kingdom for the purpose of knowing, being like the King and representing Him in this world.


RESPONSE

As citizens of heaven, we are ‘strangers and aliens’ in this world. We live in it but are not of it. We are here to so represent the King and Kingdom in order to help others to find their way to this ‘homeland’.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - KNOWING LEADS TO LIKENESS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Have you ever ‘idolised’ someone, a group, a team…? Why were you drawn to these people and how did it affect your life?


Introduction - please share in your group

Our message on Sunday was an encouragement to ‘take hold of that for which you’ve been taken hold of’.

We can do many things and miss what’s of true value. For example, one can go for a beautiful walk only to be so caught up with our thinking or our phone, that we miss the beauty of the place - fail to ‘take hold’ of what is of true worth.

Likewise, as Christians, are called to pursue knowing Jesus, yet we can fail to ‘take hold of that for which you’ve been taken hold of’ as we should. Paul writes,

‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.’ (Philippians 3:12)


Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)


1. What is Paul’s goal? (3:7-8)


2. How does one ‘take hold’ of the goal of knowing Jesus?


3. How does knowing that Jesus has taken hold of us (saved us) and is working in us to complete this work motivate us rather than make us passive?


4. Knowing Jesus, principally, comes from meditating on God’s word. What scripture 5. have you read recently that has helped you to know God in a deeper way?


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?



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