December 21, 2014
(Advance Slide #1)
When you go on a vacation, say to the beach or to see Mickey Mouse, at the end you had better see either of those things.
- We too are on a journey although it not to see a beach of a mouse.
(Advance Slide #2)
- We are looking towards our heavenly reward.
- We are torn between living in the world and being a citizen of God’s kingdom.
- The text today says, “we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- We can be proud of this!
- This should bring us great joy!
The citizens of Philippi had great pride in being Roman citizenship.
- They had all the privileges as though they were living in Rome.
- Citizenship was something that people longed for.
(Advance Slide #3)
Paul is now telling the Christians there that they have a citizenship that makes their Roman citizenship insignificant in comparison.
(Advance Slide #4)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 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.
4 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
(Advance Slide #5)
What really mattered to Christians was their heavenly citizenship!
- This is a stark contrast from those that Paul writes about in vs. 19
- They were ‘enemies of the cross.’
- Why are the Christian not like the ‘enemies of the cross’?
Paul encourages them by reminding them of their real ‘citizenship’
- REMEMBER - they were filled a high level of patriotism.
- Paul is playing on their ‘dual’ citizenship by indicating which one was really to be prized.
(Advance Slide #6)
- He also indicates that Jesus is their Savior.
- This was term that was commonly used as a title reserved for the Roman emperors.
We frequently sing songs that serve to remind us of our citizenship:
- “This World is Not My Home”
- “Here We Are but Straying Pilgrims”
- These type of songs should remind us of the hope that we have.
- We should be eagerly awaiting the return of our Savior and His redemption of the creation itself.
(Advance Slide #7)
Our bodies will be transformed.
- It is the Savior that does so and we will share His glorious body.
- He will bring everything into submission.
- When we do this we will be able to look to the future and our future homeland.
(Advance Slide #8)
In vs. 4:1 says that the Philippians were his “joy and crown.”
- He’s telling them to not back down but to stand firm!
- He had encouraged them to do this before but now he adds this phrase, “in the Lord.”
- This ‘crown’ is a not a crown of royalty but rather a crown of victory!
- This should be a mark of triumph!
(Advance Slide #9)
Where is the joy?
As we consider this text there are so important things that we need to know:
(Advance Slide #10)
We are not citizen here…
- I think we have covered this in good detail.
- But consider this…
- This citizenship is not so much about a place as it is a person.
- Christ is the focus and center of everything.
(Advance Slide #11)
When the lost sinner becomes a Christian and a citizen of heaven, their name is written in His “the Book of Life”
(Advance Slide #12)
We will be changed...
- Our Savior will bring all things under His control.
- The activities that we read about here are usually attributed to God.
(Advance Slide #13)
- At our baptism we have been changed...we are a new creation.
- Yet, in this passage we learn about another transformation.
- From this ‘lowly body to be like His glorious body’
If we are living in the future tense, then we will be exercising the spiritual mind and living for the things that really matter.
(Advance Slide #14)
We should stand firm…
(Advance Slide #15)
- Paul loved the Philippian Christians.
- We too are loved!
- We too, when living the righteous life, can be described as His victory!
C.S. Lewis are helpful here:
“It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.”
(Advance Slide #16)
It is possible that we have forgotten who’s we are.
- It is also possible that we have forgotten where our real citizenship is.
- We can get so wrapped up in this world that we forget this is temporary!
When Jesus returns, He will “subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:21b).
- That word “subdue” means “to arrange in ranks.”
Isn’t that our problem today?
- We do not arrange “things” in their proper order.
(Advance Slide #17)
- Our values are twisted and our lives are wasted on useless activities, and our vision is clouded so that the return of Christ is not a real motivating power in our lives.
Living in the future tense, as a heavenly citizen, means letting Christ arrange the “things” in life according to the proper order.