Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s 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.
There is no greater citizenship than that of God’s kingdom. To have a relationship with the One who created you, to know his unfailing love and protection, and to have a place reserved in his kingdom of heaven where there is no more sadness, disease, or death, and where you will be face-to-face with your Savior God forever—it doesn’t get any better than that!
But there are strict requirements when it comes to this citizenship. God is very clear that anyone who wants to be a citizen of his kingdom needs to be holy just like he is. There is absolutely no place for sin in the kingdom of God—which makes sense when you consider who God is and the disdain he holds for anything that is impure and unholy.
This creates more than a significant problem for us as human beings. No matter how hard we try we still do things every day that are not pleasing to God. It’s called sin. Even if somehow, we could stop, there is still the issue of all the sins we have committed in the past which disqualify us from citizenship in God’s kingdom.
That’s why Jesus came to this world. He became a real human being to give you citizenship in God’s kingdom. He accomplished this by removing that which would prevent you from holding that citizenship. Through his innocent death on the cross, Jesus removed your sin forever. Now, through faith in him as your Savior from sin, you have been given an eternal place in God’s kingdom that can never be taken away.
One of the wonderful things about this gift is that it unites you with your fellow citizens of God’s kingdom. No matter their background, skin color, or spoken language, you have a special bond with the other citizens of God’s kingdom. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ, and they will be your neighbors forever in heaven.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me to send your one and only Son to die so that I can be a citizen in your kingdom. Help me to rejoice in the unity that citizenship gives me with other believers in your Son. In his name I pray it. Amen.
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