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You are a Fellow Citizen

September 2, 2020 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Focus

In a day when “spiritual” people are less and less inclined to be actively involved in any religious community, when millions of Christians seem satisfied to remain disconnected from other believers, when COVID-19 keeps us from being in physical proximity with other believers, we need to hear the good news of Ephesians 2:19 and consider the implications for our lives. Because of Christ, we are fellow citizens with God’s people. We belong, not just to God, but also to the community of those who have pledged their allegiance to God through Christ.

Devotion

Have you ever been present when people become citizens of a country? Perhaps you were an immigrant who became a citizen of the country where you now live. Or perhaps you attended a naturalization ceremony in support of a friend or family member. I have never been present at such an event, but I have watched filmed snippets as people take the Oath of Allegiance and become citizens of the United States. They proclaim their allegiance to this country with obvious pride and sense of accomplishment. Their entry into citizenship is often expressed through tears of joy and much celebration.

Honestly, I sometimes tear up as well when I watch strangers become citizens of my country. Why does this move my heart? There are many reasons, but one is that they are not just citizens of any country. They are becoming my fellow citizens. Though I will probably never meet them, we share something profound: a common bond and commitment. We are part of something that is bigger than ourselves. We are connected in deep and meaningful ways.

Ephesians 2:19 reveals that Gentiles “have become fellow citizens with God’s people.” Once we Gentiles were “separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But now, because of what God has done through Jesus Christ and his reconciling death, we who were once excluded from God’s people have become “fellow citizens.” The Greek word used here is not the ordinary word for citizen (polites), but a compound word that emphasizes the “fellow” part of our citizenship (sumpolites). We belong, not just to God, but also to the community of our fellow citizens in God’s kingdom. Ephesians 2:19 underscores the relational quality of our citizenship by adding, “you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.” We are also God’s relatives, members of his family.

In a day when “spiritual” people are less and less inclined to be actively involved in any religious community, when millions of Christians seem satisfied to remain disconnected from other believers, when COVID-19 keeps us from being in physical proximity with other believers, we need to hear the good news of Ephesians 2:19 and consider the implications for our lives. Because of Christ, you are a fellow citizen with God’s people. You belong, not just to God, but also to the community of those who have pledged their allegiance to God through Christ.

Reflect

Are you living out this truth? Are you an active, engaged citizen, sharing life and mission with your fellow citizens? If so, why? If not, why not?

How might you become a more involved citizen of the kingdom of God, even in the midst of a pandemic?

Act

If you have a few spare minutes, do a video search on “citizenship oath ceremony” and watch a couple of YouTube video clips. Think about how what you are watching in relevance to your citizenship in God’s kingdom.

Pray

Gracious God, thank you for welcoming me as a citizen of your kingdom. Thank you for receiving me into citizenship, not all by myself, but as one of many fellow citizens. Help me, Lord, to live fully as a fellow citizen. May I share life and ministry with your people. May I offer myself in service to them, and with them in service to the world. Amen.


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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Gift of Identity


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One thought on “You are a Fellow Citizen

  1. Mary says:

    This article by Mark&team is good.

    In Christ we are one💗🙏
    From another Believer, we will pray and not be afraid, TRUSTING God
    Through Jesus.
    Amen

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