Kingdom Citizenship

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Doctrine of Kingdom Citizenship

 

1.      Introduction to kingdom citizenship

1.1.   Kingdom citizenship identifies two Bible subjects:  The kingdom of God and the citizenship in this kingdom.  The kingdom of God emphasizes the domain, authority, and purpose (see Doctrine:  Kingdom of God).  Citizenship emphasizes the people in the kingdom, what they have, and what they do.

1.1.1.      The kingdom of God is a kingdom with God as king and believers as citizens (John 3:3; Acts 20:25; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Ephesians 2:19; 5:5; Colossians 4:11).

1.1.2.      Sovereign God rules all creation, but He favors those that are in faith relationship with Him.  He puts them in His kingdom by grace through faith
(1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalms 2: Jeremiah 50:17-20; Daniel 4:17, 25, 32: Haggai 2:21-22; Luke 8:22-36).

1.2.   All believers are citizens of Godís kingdom and commanded to be patriotic toward his Kingdom (Philippians 1:27; 3:20).

1.2.1.      A citizen is a resident of a kingdom and enjoys privileges and opportunities which that kingdom offers.  The New Testament words teach that kingdom citizens are residents of Godís kingdom.  The church is the present mystery form of the kingdom.  New Testament words that teach kingdom citizenship include:  1) polis, BAG2 685, city (Hebrews 11:10.16; 12:22).  2) politeia, BAG 686, citizenship, commonwealth, state (Ephesians 2:12).  3) politeuma, BAG 686, commonwealth, state, colony (Philippians 3:20).  4) polites, BAG 686, citizen, fellow citizen (Acts 21:39; Hebrews 8:11).
 5) politeuomai, BAG 686, to have citizenship or home, rule or govern the state, conduct oneself (Acts 23:1; Philippians 1:27).  6) sumpolites, BAG 780, fellow citizen (Ephesians 2:19).

1.2.2.      A patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends his country.  The English word comes from Greek for "fatherland" and "of one's fathers."  A kingdom patriot is one who is loyal to the heavenly Father, and appreciates, loves, supports, defends, and serves God and His kingdom.  The Bible words that teach this doctrine include:  1) pat8r, patros, BAG 635, father (Ephesians 1:2; 3:14; Philippians 2:11).  2) patria, BAG 636 family, clan, people, nation, division of nation (Luke 2:14; Acts 3:25; Ephesians 3:15).  3) patrikos, BAG 636, paternal (Galatians 1:14).  4) patris, BAG 636, fatherland, homeland, home town or own part of the country (Matthew 13:54, 57; John 4:44; Ephesians 3:14-15;
2 Timothy 4:18).

2.      All kingdom citizens are in the plan of God.  The plan of God for day to day life has at least four basic categories.

2.1.   Mission: (Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 3:17, 23-24; Hebrews 12:1).

2.2.   Preparation (in the local church):  Learn, Apply, Grow (Ephesians 4:11-14).

2.3.   Practice:  Learn and Apply (James 1:21-25, Basic techniques (John 13-17; Hebrews 12:2), Priorities
(2 Peter 1:3-4).

2.4.   Environment: Source dependent love (1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:4-7; 1 John 3:23).

3.      Just as every citizen of a country has a national heritage, national purpose, and the confidence and courage from his citizenship, so God has given every believer in the church His royal family heritage/inheritance, His purpose or mission, and cause for confidence and courage.  They are the foundation for good kingdom citizenship in Godís kingdom (Philippians 1:27-29).

3.1.   Royal family heritage/inheritance:  Philippians 1:27, standing firm in one spirit.  This is the kingdom citizenís position of strength.

3.1.1.   Sons of God heritage:

3.1.1.1.Positional truth (1 Corinthians 1:2;
2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:13-22).

3.1.1.2.Family of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-17; John 3:1-2).

3.1.2.   Word of God heritage:  This is Bible doctrine, the mind of God.  It is the constitution for the citizen in the Kingís kingdom (Psalms 19: 7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21).

3.1.3.   Blessings of God heritage:  These are the grace support blessings directed toward fulfillment of good kingdom citizenship ((Philippians 2:1-4; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:2-4; Matthew 6: 33-34).

3.1.3.1.Spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3):  There are seven categories of spiritual blessings.  They are (1) being in Godís plan (eternal, historical, and daily) (Romans 8:28-30), (2) a solution to the sin problem (Ephesians 1:7), (3) a new home and citizenship (Colossians 1:13), (4) a new relationship (1 John 3:1-2), (5) a new status (2 Corinthians 5:17),
(6) provision for living the Christian way of life (daily plan of God) (Galatians 5:17;
2 Peter 2:2-4), (7) a future (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
     A new home and citizenship (the subject under study), point (3) above includes: 
(1) the fact (Philippians 3:20, Colossians 1:13), (2) grace support for proper relationship with God our King (Philippians 2:1, Colossians 3:1-3), and (3) grace support blessings which motivate and support right thought and action among citizens.  The main support on the human level is humility toward self and love toward others (Philippians 2:2-4;
Romans 13:8).

3.1.3.2.Physical blessings:  These are the grace blessings from God for life in physical bodies on earth (Matthew 6:32-34; Philippians 4:19).

3.2.   Mission: Striving together for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27.  This presents the objective in broad terms for believers.

3.2.1.   General mission:  Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; 2:10; 3:10; 5:15-18; 6:7-8; Colossians 3:17, 23-24).

3.2.2.   Special mission: 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; illustrated in Acts 23:11.

3.3.   Confidence and courage:  In no way alarmed by your opponents, Philippians 1:28.  We can have confidence and courage because our King is God and His plan is perfect.  This is commonwealth pride to carry the citizen through life.  (Philippians 1:28; Romans 8:33-39; 1 Peter 1:5; illustrated in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5.)

     This confidence and courage include the winner or victor package (John 16:33; Romans 12:21; 1 John 4:4;
1 John 5:4). Our victor package includes our spiritual aristocracy (1 Peter 2:9), our spiritual wealth
(2 Corinthians 8:9; Revelation 2:10), and the fact that God is for us (Romans 8:31-32).

4.      God has commanded kingdom citizens to reflect Him and be loyal to Him.

4.1.   Seek Kingdom of God (Loyalty to God first)
(Matthew 6.33 z8tew).

4.2.   Live like heavenly citizens (Philippians 1.27 Politeumai).

4.3.   Walk worthy of God (1 Thessalonians 2:12 peripatew).

4.4.   Walk worthy of calling (Ephesians 4:1 peripatew).

4.5.   Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus
(Colossians 3:17 poiew).

4.6.   Do everything for the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24 poiew).

5.      Citizenship in Godís kingdom is secure.  The doctrine of God and the doctrine of election document this security
(Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:13;
1 Peter 1:2).

6.      The kingdom citizen has certain responsibilities.

6.1.   To God: Learn from, obey, love, represent (Genesis 1:27-28; Deuteronomy 6:1-15; Ecclesiastes 12:13;
Matthew 22:37; Ephesians 5:1; Colossians 3:17, 23-24).

6.2.   To the Bible: Learn and apply (Psalms 119; James 1:21-25; 2 Peter 3:18).

6.3.   To Godís plan: Follow it (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13; 3:17, 20; Colossians 1:9-13).

6.4.   To authority: Obey authority (Ephesians 6:1-9;
Colossians 3:18-4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13;
Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:18).

6.5.   To our nation: Live under the laws of divine establishment (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2;
1 Peter 2:13-17).

6.6.   To creation: Rule it, bring it under Godís control and care (Genesis 1:27-26; Psalms 8).

6.7.   To people: Witness as Godís representative motivated by love for God and love (source dependent love) to people (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Colossians 4:5; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 John 3:23; 4:19-21;
1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

6.8.   To the local church:  Most consistently under the authority of the pastor/teacher to be equipped
(Ephesians 4:12-15; Hebrews 10:25).

7.      The citizen believer has enemies.

7.1.   Satan and his demons:

7.1.1.   Satan attacks Godís plan and people (Genesis 3:1-7).  He attacks believers (Job 1:6-2:10; 1 Timothy 5:14; 1 Peter 5:8-9).  Demons under Satanís authority also attack believers (Ephesians 6:10-18).

7.1.2.   Godís armor (Ephesians 6:10-19) and the faithful application of Bible doctrine (1 Peter 5:9) protect believers.

7.2.   The world system ruled by Satan with its doctrine:

7.2.1.   Thought (2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Timothy 1:10;
2 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 2:15-17; Jude).

7.2.2.   People (Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 13:17; 21:15;
1 Corinthians 16:9; Galatians 4:16; Philippians 1:28; 3:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

7.2.3.   The strategy of Jude 17-25 keeps believers from joining the world system.

7.3.   Old Sin Nature (Romans 7:17, 23-25; Galatians 5:17).  The Holy Spirit is able to control the sin nature
(Galatians 5:16-17).

8.      God will give crowns to certain kingdom citizens for right function in His plan after He promotes them to heaven
(1 Corinthians 3:14; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 3:8-11).

8.1.   The crown of righteousness, Ďo tes dikaiosunes stephanos.  This will be given to believers that look forward to Christís physical return to meet His church.  This attitude indicates a genuine occupation with the Lord.  Occupation with Christ motivates service.  Service is rendered with anticipation of the masterís return.  After Christ returns He will give the crowns (2 Timothy 4:8).

8.2.   The crown of life, ton stephanon tes zwes.  This crown is characterized by eternal life with the Lord.  It is for faithful endurance of tests.  Momentary suffering in time will be replaced with eternal blessing from the Lord.  Faithful endurance in time reflects loyal love for the Lord.  God will reward this faithfulness with a crown
(James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 3:11).

8.3.   The unfading crown of glory, ton amarantinon tes dozes stephanon.  God will give this crown to the pastor/teacher for faithful, correct ministry toward his congregation
(1 Peter 5:4).

8.4.   The incorruptible crown, Ďaphthaton (stephanon).  This is a crown that does not wilt, rot, or fade.  This crown is contrasted to the wreath that was given to the games winner.  God will reward those believers that are consistent, disciplined, and faithful in the day to day Christian life.  They have consistently lived the plan of God during suffering and prosperity (1 Corinthians 9:25).

8.5.   The crown of boasting of 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and the similar idea in ďmy crownĒ of Philippians 4:1 is different than the above crowns.  This crown refers to believers that accept Paulís authority and ministry.  They reflect faithful ministry for the Lord.