Living As Citizens of Heaven

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” (Philippians 1:27 NLT)

While it sounds really good to consider that we are citizens of heaven, the fact remains, we’re not – yet! On some levels it’s like an American thinking about what it would be like to be a citizen of Russia or China or any other “foreign” country. We can read about it or watch documentaries or speak with citizens of those countries, but unless we’ve been there and experienced it for ourselves, it’s very hard to conceive.    

However, on the other hand, as Christ-followers, we’re getting to know Someone who is from heaven, actually lives there now, but has also taken up residence in our hearts and lives in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said of the Spirit in John 14:26: “But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

So, the main thing we need to learn is how to listen to the Spirit. Paul instructs us in the verse at the top of the page, to conduct ourselves “in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” What does that look like? Perhaps a more basic question is – what is the Good News of Christ? If we’re going to live in a manner worthy of something or someone, it makes sense to think about what that might mean.

The Good News in a nutshell centers and focuses on Jesus, God’s only Son, who came to earth from heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, then died a horrible death on the Cross in order to pay the penalty for our sin, the debt for which we could never in all eternity ever have paid for ourselves.

But death could not hold our Savior. He burst forth from the tomb under His own limitless power, visited with His disciples and others for several days, then decided He’d head back to heaven. There’s no way any human being CAN be worthy of any part of what Jesus accomplished on our behalf, unless and until we submit ourselves in unashamed devotion to who He is – Almighty God, Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all that has been, is, or ever will be!

We can never begin to walk in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ until we see ourselves as the helpless, hopeless, sin-drenched, worthless excuses of human beings we were and are apart from Him. We are nothing and can do nothing apart from Jesus, period, end of story! Almost!

If all that you’ve read so far was void of love, then yes, it would be the end of the story. But love made a way where there was no way. So, now, because of who Jesus is and what He has done, He invites us to join Him in God’s activity in this fallen world. Because of the empty tomb and our Risen Savior, we can be forgiven and given a new life – we can become a brand-new species of being, one that’s never existed before (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) by yielding our life and allegiance to Him by faith.

We can be infused with His Holy Spirit’s power to live like we were never able to before Jesus. We can learn to live in a manner worthy of His holy Name and of His unequaled sacrifice, but it begins at the Cross. We must understand that what we see there is what we deserved. Jesus was there in our place!

And if that doesn’t fill you with a deep, gut-wrenching sense of appreciation and gratitude, I can’t imagine what would. But if your spiritual eyes are opened and your heart breaks with insight into the tremendous debt we owe our loving Savior, no power on earth or that Satan can muster will ever stop us from being all we can possibly be for Jesus. Your life will become a monument of honor to the One whose name you bear. Bear it with gratitude and devotion, sharing that Good News with others until your dying breath.

That’s what it means to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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