CCXXIII. Our Citizenship.

PHIL. iii. 20. “For our conversation is in heaven.”

“TELL me, art thou a Roman?” The inquirer’s eye lights
up with a glance of pride and envy: “Didst thou step
easily into the heritage it was so costly for me to win?” “I
was free born,” answered Paul. But in this text his boast
is that his citizenship is in heaven.
I. What is the source of this heavenly citizenship? It
is not obtained by birth, for we are by nature the children
of wrath. It is not obtained by manumission; it is by re-
demption purchased for us by One who loves us, who has
paid the price and exerted the needed power.
II. The duties which this citizenship involves. That
this citizenship entails duties follows from every principle
of right. Thus, whom the State protects and whom the
State defends, owe to it loyalty and patriotism. So in the
Divine sphere, if we are citizens we shall cheerfully obey
the laws and watch over the interests of the kingdom to
which we belong.
III. The immunities which as citizens we have a right to
claim. The heavenly citizens can claim the protection of
the land to which they have sworn their fealty and whither
their footsteps tend. And how glorious that protection is!
Over the heirs of grace the angels have charge continually.
In heaven there is no inequality. Beggars below may be
heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.

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