Our citizenship in heaven
By Ivan Ho. 26 Dec 2017
Some people have lived in one place all their lives. Others, like myself, have moved from one country to another city which is very different from our former home. We have to adapt ourselves in the new place with a different culture, meet new people, and often times speak in a new language. The more we are willing to leave behind the old the more we are able to adapt to new life in the new place.
Indeed, this is the kind of challenge facing every born again believer in Christ. Accepting Jesus is not just about putting up one’s hand and saying a prayer but more importantly, what takes place internally must transform us to a new way of life in Christ. When we become born again in the spirit, God has transferred us from the former kingdom of darkness to an entirely new kingdom of His Son. It is in the kingdom where Christ reigns that we find redemption and forgiveness.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV
Note that when we become born again in Christ, the Bible tells us that “He has (not He will) delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). In other words, we have already been delivered from sin and darkness and have been migrated to the kingdom of Christ our Lord. So why do so many of us believers often find ourselves struggling with things that keep us in darkness of the past?
I believe it is not unlike the struggles a lot of new migrants have after they have moved to a new country. Physically, they may be living in a new environment but mentally and emotionally they are still living in the former place in which they grow up. While it may be an understandable state of mind for many new migrants, when similar kind of mindset occurs for born again believers, it will turn into a real bondage and tug of war between the old and the new!
The thing is, the longer we try to hold on to former things and linger in the kingdom of darkness, the more impossible it would be for us to experience the reality of new life in Christ.
Spiritually speaking, when Christ becomes our Lord and Saviour, we have already been migrated to His kingdom. Mentally, emotionally and physically, we need to align ourselves to our new found reality in Christ.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who, being the Son of God, migrated from heaven to earth in the form of human flesh, so that we may be reconciled to our heavenly Father in the here and now. We don’t have to struggle till the day we die before we enter the kingdom of heaven. God, through Jesus Christ, has already conveyed us into His kingdom. In Christ, our citizenship is no longer on earth but in heaven.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV
When Jesus Christ returns, we will be given a new glorified body and all things will be reconciled to Himself. But while on earth, we are not waiting to attain our heavenly citizenship. The word of God declares that for those who are in Christ, our citizenship is in heaven right now. This is our new identity. Although our bodies have not yet been transformed, spiritually speaking, our citizenship status has changed and the kingdom of God is already in us.
It is like when I migrated from Hong Kong to Australia, I have been granted the right to become an Australian citizen. Even when I stay in Hong Kong, I will not have my Australian citizenship revoked. It does not matter where I dwell, I am still an Australian citizen once that status has been granted to me.
As we are about to enter into the new year, let us embrace and live in the reality and identity of being a new creation in Christ. and allow the power of God to totally deliver us from all things that hold us in the past!