We often need reminders. Today I want to look at some foundational truths that should under gird our faith and spur us on in our walk. This is likely very familiar ground to us, but it’s something we need to preach to ourselves from time to time so we can remain steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, as Scripture says.
The first thing we need to remember is that God chose us.
God chose us (Eph 1:4) – This means that God selected by a highly deliberate choice with a definite outcome. It means to pick out for myself. God picked us out. He selected us. We are not second class, second rate, or inferior. We are not boastful, prideful or arrogant. We are blessed because he chose us before time to be able to stand before him holy and blameless. How? Through Jesus. Why? For Himself. To what end? The praise of his glorious grace.
We are redeemed through his blood (Eph 1:7). This word, redemption, means a release effected by payment of ransom. Deliverance. It’s literally saying that God is buying back from or repurchasing what was previously forfeited or lost. In other words, our soul was lost to sin and through the blood of Jesus, he purchased us back from death.
We have received an inheritance (Eph 1:11) – This phrase that is often translated “obtained an inheritance” or “received an inheritance” reads like this in the Greek: “in whom (ie Christ), indeed we were lot-cast”. In other words, we were assigned a portion to receive a share. You can also look at it like this. We were chosen as an inheritance, or we were made an inheritance. We were claimed as his portion. You see it’s really a both/and situation. It’s used here to refer to God’s portion in his people and of the everlasting portion which he has reserved for us.
We have the holy spirit as a down payment (Eph 1:13-14) – In ancient times, sealing, served as a legal signature which guaranteed the promise (or contents) of what was sealed. They would often use a signet ring to seal wax that closed a letter. Often they would use religious tattoos. Here, Paul is saying that the Holy Spirit is the seal that God gave us, bearing witness with our own spirit that the promise of eternity with him is true, valid and secure.
We are now citizens of heaven (Eph 2:19) – Because of all that we just covered, what God did through Jesus, choosing us, delivering us, making us and giving us an inheritance and giving us the Holy Spirit as a down payment for what is coming, we should realize that because of all this, we are now citizens with the saints and members of God’s household. We are citizens of heaven. But many of us act as if we have dual citizenship. But we are foreigners here on earth. This is not our homeland. We are aliens. Strangers. Sojourners. To sojourn is to live temporarily or for a time or season. I think we often mix these up. We get a little too comfy with the trappings of earth. And believe me, there is much to behold and enjoy here. We don’t need to hole ourselves up or abstain from everything earthly. That’s not what I’m suggesting. But we do need to treat everything here as temporary. We need to realize that much of what we devote our energies to will fade like the flowers of the field. We need to hold on to the reality of whose we are and where we belong. And it isn’t here.
So in light of all this, how should we respond? What should we do?
Well, we need to act like we’re citizens of heaven. Eph 4:1-3 – If you look at ch 4, Paul says to walk worthy. We need to walk worthy.
- This word to walk means to walk properly or how you conduct your life.
- We need to walk with humility. That means lowliness of mind or modesty. The Bible tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.
- We need to walk with Gentleness, or gentle-force. This is meekness and it begins with the Lord’s inspiration and finishes by his direction and empowerment.
- We need to walk with patience. That’s same as long suffering. Accepting or bearing with one another in love. That means we endure or persist. We don’t give up on each other.
- And we need to diligently keep the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us all together. To walk worthy is to act like we are citizens of heaven. We represent the King and we want to do so with excellence.
We need to strive for maturity (Eph 4:14) – When we have a solid foundation and are built up to be mature believers, we won’t be little children in our faith, tossed around by every wind of doctrine. We’ll know the truth and we can spot false teaching. And we need to strive for this.
So let’s recap:
- God chose us
- We are redeemed or bought back through Jesus’ blood
- We have received an inheritance
- We have received the Holy Spirit as a down payment
- We are citizens of heaven
- Because of these things we need to:
- Act like we’re citizens of heaven
- Strive for maturity
With these truths fresh on your mind and in your heart, you are now ready to face the day. 🙂