I have been thinking a lot about Who I Am in Christ, mainly because I am currently teaching a 6-week study at my church by that name. During the week, the women learn about the 33 benefits of being in Christ. These benefits are from the list produced by Neil Anderson’s Freedom in Christ Ministry.
The study has been a great reminder of my position in Christ as I do the daily workbook portion of the study with the ladies. Today’s lesson is on Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The benefit for you and me here is an important one. Although we live in this world, our real citizenship is not here. Our allegiance, loyalty, and hope are in the God we serve, and this position in Christ should make us more heavenly-minded. The reality of this heavenly mindset is a significant benefit. As we consider this truth, our mind begins to think more and more as Jesus did while he was here on this earth . For me, this is a relief. There are times this world is confusing and hard to decipher, so having my citizenship with a stable and trustworthy God takes a lot of my anxiety down. It is like standing on a solid rock rather than on top of a teetering teeter tauter.
When I was a teenager, our pastor spoke at a youth group event and said something to this effect; although we look at this world as real because we can touch it and see it, for the believer, our actual reality is in the spiritual world. In other words, our citizenship shifts from this world to our heavenly citizenship when we come to Christ. And Paul tells us that this shift means we eagerly await Jesus’ return to this earth to put things upright again.
This is my great hope – Jesus Christ is returning! How glorious will that day be! And in his return, Jesus will reign and make this world new, just as he had always desired it to be. Yay, God! This day of his return will be extra exciting for you and me because we will be given our transformed bodies. Scripture suggests that all believers will simultaneously receive a gloriously transformed body- at Christ’s return to this earth! WOW! These glorified bodies won’t decay in death and will never experience sickness, sadness, and sin again. How magnificent is that? I cannot wait for that day. We will still have bodies, but they will be wonderfully, gloriously transformed.
Most of us have heard this saying, “She is so heavenly minded she is of no earthly good.” Is this possible- to have your head so fixated on heaven that you are useless here? Some people think so! But I think the truth is that a mind set on things above is genuinely more helpful here. A mind set on heaven should be a mind that thinks and acts more like Jesus, and Jesus, we know, although seriously heavenly-minded, did marvelous things for people here on this earth. He loved people well, cared for people beautifully, and ultimately sacrificed his life for a world needing redemption.
So, how should having this heavenly mindset change our outlook and actions while we live here?
The first thing that it should give us is HOPE. Hope that this world is not all there is. Hope that there will be a day when all will be made new. Hope in the truth that every knee will bow to him on the day that Jesus comes again, and we will be changed forever.
The next thing this heavenly mindset should give us is JOY. A joy that reality for us is that our citizenship resides with Jesus, which is very good since we have a good, good father! Joy in knowing that the enemy is on borrowed time and that his time is almost up. And Joy because we know that the pain in this world is temporary and our eternity is VERY secure in Jesus.
And lastly, this mindset should give us a deep LOVE and concern for all people around us who are in pain and don’t have this glorious assurance. And it should also cause us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as Jesus did. And that was very well.
So, friend, when this world gets a bit too much for us to wrap our heads around, let’s not lose hope, joy, and love. Let’s remember that our citizenship is in heaven and that because of this great truth, we can eagerly wait for our Lord to return. And let’s not forget that in the meantime, let’s pursue growth so that we can think and act more and more like Jesus.
2 thoughts on “Who Am I in Christ?”
Really timely! Thanks Anne!
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I am so glad!