January 31, 2016

I Am a Citizen of Heaven

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Series: Identity Crisis Scripture: Philippians 3:17–21

Identity Crisis
I Am a Citizen of Heaven
Philippians 3:17-21

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Our Conduct must match our citizenship

Characteristics of Citizens of Heaven

1. Remember Their Position In Heaven

“but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

“and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6)

2. Speak Heaven’s Language

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:5–6)

3. Obey Heaven’s Laws

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.” (James 2:8)

“But Peter and John replied, 'Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.'” (Acts 4:19–20, NIV84)

4. Demonstrate Loyalty To Heaven’s Cause

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20)

The Great Commission Is Not Politically Correct!

5. Look For Heaven’s Lord (20-21)

“For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27)

6. Sacrifice Earthly Pleasures/Treasures For Heavenly Causes/Rewards

“Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?'” (Matthew 16:24–26)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19–21)

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:29–30)

7. Regularly Reflect On Their True Home

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1–2)

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13–16)

There is tremendous energy in the Present Power of a Future Hope

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” C. S. Lewis

Making It Personal:

  • You are a citizen of a country here on earth by your physical birth. The only way to become a citizen of heaven is by spiritual birth. Have you truly experienced a spiritual birth through faith in God’s provision of the life and death of Jesus Christ?
  • How often do you think about your heavenly home and heavenly citizenship? How can you grow in your practice of reflecting on your heavenly citizenship?
  • In what ways is your daily conduct reflecting your heavenly citizenship? What areas of growth, change and adjustment may need to take place?
  • With the first month of a new year coming to a close, how have you been involved in the heavenly cause of the great commission this past month? What would it look like for you to demonstrate a passionate commitment to the great commission for the rest of this year?
  • What is one thing that you need to do differently out of this teaching from God’s Word?

other sermons in this series

Feb 7


I Am a Saint

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13–16 Series: Identity Crisis

Jan 24


I Am a New Creation

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Scripture: Ezekiel 36:26–27 Series: Identity Crisis

Jan 17


I Am Adopted

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Scripture: Romans 8:14–17 Series: Identity Crisis