Winter Olympics are now going full throttle. Even though I personally don’t identify with many of the competitions and am upset that they are being hosted by a tyrannical, ungodly led country such as China, each morning I check the medal counts to see how well Americans have done. Even during these tarnished times, I am proud to be an American and bleed red, white, and blue. I stand at attention when our “National Anthem” is sung or played and treasure the song, “America Beautiful”.
Did you know as Christians we are citizens of another nation? 1 Peter 2:9&10 explains, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” The below highlights the citizens of this nation:
- Its citizens have placed their “trust in him (and) will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6). All of us have become “naturalized” citizens by the shed blood of Jesus.
- Its citizens are “a royal priesthood.” Until Jesus died on the cross, only the high priest could be in the presence of God. There was a curtain between the holy of holies and others denying access. When Jesus died on the cross having shed His blood for each of us, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). This means that each of us as believers in Jesus have 24X7 priesthood access to God Himself.
- Its citizens are “holy”. Jesus’ blood cleansed each citizen of sin past, present and future. God looks through the grace and mercy of His Son and judges us not guilty meaning we are holy in His eyes. 1 Peter 1:15 states, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” We are called to live holy lives in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Its citizens are “His special possession.”We recognize the price that God paid for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
- Its citizens are full of praise. “Declare the praises of him who called (them) out of darkness into his wonderful light.” “God is holy, enthroned in the praises of (His people)” Psalm 22:3.
- Its citizens never forget His mercy. “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
- Its citizens can be identified by their fruit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.” (Galatians 5;21&22).
We as believers in Jesus are citizens of a holy nation and each should be proud and honored to be called a “CHRISTIAN”. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). Now, God wants each of us to “set (our) minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).