"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." - Philippians 3:20-21
Our citizenship is in heaven. Paul was a citizen of the Roman Empire and he was not shy about standing on his rights as a citizen, but he knew that his real citizenship, the one that counted, was in Heaven. The law of the Roman Empire saved him, as a citizen, from unjust abuse as a prisoner on several occasions, but that same law eventually condemned him to be beheaded for his Christian faith.
From it (from heaven) we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul appealed to Caesar and was given protection for a time under Roman law, but eventually Caesar himself ordered Paul’s execution for being a Christian. Caesar wasn’t a Savior for Paul. Paul knew that, and even as he made use of the protection afforded by Caesar, he knew that the real protection and his only real hope was the Lord Jesus, and he wrote these words for us to remember.
The Word of God reveals, and History teaches us over and over again, that while the governments of this world may provide a fading reflection of justice to God’s people for a while, eventually they will turn on us. We are to be faithful and loyal citizens in service to our country, but always remember where our true citizenship lies. Keep your trust in the only true Sovereign, who is able to save you no matter what the powers of earth may do.
Like the song says:
This world is not my home,
I’m just a-passin’ through...
Lord Jesus, I trust You, and only You. Thank You for preserving good and just laws on this earth and for keeping us from descending into chaos by giving us human authorities. I receive them as a gift from You, and pray that You would give wisdom to, bless, and prosper the authorities that You have given us. But keep me aware always that my citizenship is in Heaven and my hope for true justice and right comes from You. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen. Pastor Dan Giles