Citizens with the Saints



Scripture:

Ephesians 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Observation:

The followers of Jesus Christ were sanctified, being made holy, as they continued on the journey of life. The saints were God’s holy people, those who had been saved and were now being sanctified. The holy ones had been adopted into God’s household. This was a new home, a house where Christ was the cornerstone. 

This new home was the dwelling place of God, a holy temple. Every member of the new household was a stone, held together by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, so that, together, we could serve as a holy temple in the Lord. As a corporate body we are the “dwelling place for God.” 

Application:

I’m not sure who it is that comes to mind when you think of a saint. Maybe it’s one of the early church leaders — St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Mary; or maybe it’s someone who came a long later in church history, someone like Martin Luther, Susanna Wesley and her children, or Mother Theresa. All of these are very special individuals who have influenced the world in a powerful way. They may seem almost superhuman, and imagining any type of spiritual partnership with them could seem out of reach. But, they were simply ordinary people who were transformed by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. 

Saints are ordinary people who become shining reflections of Christ in this world, and therefore seem extraordinary. The invitation is for all followers of Jesus Christ to be saints. To be a saint is simply to radiate with the holiness of Jesus Christ. Strangers and aliens do not radiate with this holiness and as long as life is lived in sin. The good news is that all are invited into citizenship within God’s household. 

Consider how difficult it is to obtain citizenship here on earth. Every nation has their own rules or pathways for citizenship, and I’ve never heard of one country that makes it easy. The best thing is to be born into your citizenship and then not try to make any change. Those who have tried will testify to the challenges, and usually great cost that is involved. Amazingly, Jesus Christ pays the price for our new citizenship with his very life. Yes, this new citizenship is costly, but not to us. We are invited to stop living in fear and wandering through the wilderness, and find a new home. This new home is organic, a place where brothers and sisters become united together, creating great beauty in the midst of diversity, and become God’s living temple. It is a citizenship of God’s saints, molded together and reflecting the holiness of Christ, in all its dazzling glory. 

We are invited to embrace our new citizenship, and with great pride link arms with others in the kingdom of God. There is no regret for what has been left behind, for this new life, in Christ, is much more than anything we could have imagined. We are invited to shed the pain of our past, stop our wandering, and allow the saints to welcome us into our new home. 

Prayer:

Lord, may I proudly live into the citizenship you have afforded me. May I live my citizenship well and responsibly live our my role as a part of your holy temple. 

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