Sunday, March 13, 2022

Citizens of the Spiritual Realm


Second Sunday in Lent

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35

The Bible invites us to center ourselves on Christ in Heaven, and from that spiritual home to do all we can to transform ourselves and the world around us.

Notes for sermon preached on March 13, 2022 at Briensburg UMC | [Audio] 

Heaven is our spiritual home, even in this lifetime

 Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:.      (Philippians 3:20 KJV)


·       Politeuma  pol-it'-yoo-mah  (like our words “politic, political, or polity”)

o   Translated “Conversation” in KJV

o   Often translated “Citizenship” in other translations

o   Strong’s definition:

1.     the administration of civil affairs or of a commonwealth

2.     the constitution of a commonwealth, form of government and the laws by which it is administered

3.     a state, commonwealth

·       the commonwealth of citizens

·       This same verse in the RSV: Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.      (Philippians 3:20 RSV)

·       Two or more citizens of heaven, gathered in the name of Jesus and engaged in a divine conversation constitute a form of body politic with the power to make decisions and carry them out to manifest some facet of God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”

o   In another context, Jesus said,
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:18-20 KJV)


Our heavenly Parent is always ready to receive us

 How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!    (Luke 13:34 GNT)


·       Spoken to Jerusalem, and through Jerusalem as a word to all humanity from our heavenly parent through our spiritual brother, Jesus, offering

o   Shelter

o   Sanctuary

o   Home

·       Ecclesia: Gathered community

o   Church home / church family

o   Faith community / faith family

o   Spiritual home / spiritual family

§  Transcending all earthly geo-political boundaries

§  Eclipsing our physical environment

§  Gathering our thoughts, feelings, relationships and powers and uniting us through the divine nature in which we were created



God dispels our fears and strengthens us to face even the most challenging circumstances

 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?      (Psalm 27:1 KJV)


·       There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 KJV)

·       As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love, 1992).

·       The Psalmist concludes this passage, Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14 KJV)

o   Can we trust God to bring us through the chaotic and horrifying issues confronting us in the news, and challenging us in our own lives?

§  Wait

·       Isaiah “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

§  Be of Good courage, the Psalmist says

·       Phrase appears 17 times throughout the Old Testament in KJV

·       The idea appears many more times in various ways throughout the Bible

·       For example, Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9 KJV)

§  Let God strengthen our heart

·       Jesus said as he was facing the cross, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1 KJV)


“We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV)

 [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.     (Genesis 15:6 KJV)


·       Stated several ways throughout the New Testament

o   This concept is foundational to the idea of salvation by grace through faith

o   We have been studying this concept in our Wednesday Bible Study group:
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Romans 4:3 KJV)

·       Great Question at tomb of Lazarus:

o   Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

·       Summary of the Christian Faith, John 3:16-17

o   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)


Today, the world stands in desperate need of what we have: spiritual gifts ministered in good faith and perfect love in the all-powerful authority of the name of Jesus

We have our gifts. We have our place in the work of transforming the world. It’s right where we are in the relationships we have around us and in the work that lays before us.

Throughout this Lenten Season, may we work on addressing the challenges and issues in our own lives and around the world from the perspective of our divine citizenship and spiritual empowerment as the daughters and sons of God.



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