Philippians 3:17-4:1 — Living as citizens of heaven

The Philippians were very proud of their status as Romans citizens. And many people today are proud of their status as citizens of their country, whether it be America, Japan, or wherever it may be.

But Paul reminds us here where our true citizenship here. He says,

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ… (3:20)

More, he reminds us of our ultimately destiny in 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. (3:21)

In short, this world is not our home. And our final destiny is not this corrupt, decaying body. Rather, we have a much higher destiny in store for us. It is because of this, that Paul says earlier,

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. (3:17)

Paul had mentioned earlier not only himself, but people like Timothy and Epaphroditus, and he said, “Follow our example. Our lives are completely centered on Christ, and not ourselves. And that’s how you should be.”

This was in stark contrast to the people the Philippians lived among and the people who we live among today. People who,

live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. (3:18-19)

In other words, people who live solely for themselves and the things of this world. But who in doing so are headed for destruction.

But that’s not what Christ saved us for. He saved us that we could know him, and to ultimately become more like him. To find true life in him as he not only transforms us, but dwells in us, leading us and guiding us each day. And as we his church walk as citizens of heaven, we shine his glory to the world.

So Paul concludes,

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! (4:1)

The question is then, is this how you’re living? Focused not on yourself nor the things of this world, but on Christ? Is it your greatest desire to know him and that he be glorified in you? For that is where true joy is found. That is where true life is found. Not in “self-realization” or self-gratification.

If you are a Christian, you are a citizen of heaven. Are you living like one?


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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