Every person is “citizenized” by their particular culture and time. As guest speaker John Dickson shows us, however, Christians should be transformed by the Gospel into citizens of heaven. Studying Paul’s letter to the Philippian Christians, Dickson helps us discover the many ways in which our heavenly citizenship changes our relationship to evangelism and to each other, working itself out especially in communities of biblically informed love.
1Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace,4 both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
12I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard6 and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word7 without fear.
15Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice,
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.