Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ephesians 2:1-10 New Citizenship in Heaven

KEY VERSE: Eph 2:5-6 “made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
KEY THOT: God raised up with Christ in baptism as citizens of heaven to sit us with Christ in the heavenly places as Christ's co-rulers.

Through baptism, we participated in Christ's death, resurrection and exaltation to the right hand of the Father. We are now citizens of heaven, though not fully revealed: “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2).

While Jesus has already completed the whole process of transformation as the firstfruit of the new Adamic race, we who are believers have also participated in his transformation in baptism, though not completely. But when Jesus returns, our transformation will be complete. Nevertheless, we are NOW seated with Christ in the heavenly places. We are NOW citizens of heaven and co-rulers with Christ on earth. So Paul affirms: “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” (Phil 3:20-21) and Jesus confirms: “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt 18:18).

As a consequence, I must start to live, work and minister from my new status as citizen of heaven and co-ruler with Christ—with a sense of privilege and authority derived from my heavenly citizenship. My heavenly citizenship has bestowed on me with “every blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). I am fully endowed with all the rights, privileges and authority of citizenship of heaven.

I must start to develop habits of mind and heart to fit myself for heaven when Christ returns. I am not here to “kill time” but to “kill self” so that I may become what I am already am, with the view of fitting myself in the kingdom of heaven when Christ returns. The more I am like Christ in spirit and soul, the more I will look forward to the new heaven and new earth when it finally arrives at Christ’s coming. If I don’t start cultivating the character that fits me for heaven, I may unlikely be looking for to the revelation of the kingdom of heaven: "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (“Luke 9:62). There is no second-chance purgatory after death to fit me for the kingdom of heaven--if I am not ready now before Jesus comes, I am unlikely to be ready when He finally returns.

Father, I thank You that You have raised me up with Christ and seated me with Him in the heavenly places. I thank that as a citizen of heaven, I have all the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. Help me the channel of heavenly blessings to people here on earth. Amen.

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