Fellow Citizen with the Saints
Eph. 2:19 – 22
We are now in the last few verses of Chapter 2. As I read the previous notes or sermons we have talked about, I saw many things which I was not able to tell you or expounded fully. To that I apologize, and hopefully in the near future I will have time to tell you more about those things I missed. In the meantime, let’s continue and hope that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us as we continue to study His words. Let me summarize first our conditions before, and at present and after we have Christ in our life.
I. Our Past
A. Dead in trespasses and sins – we are spiritually dead
B. Walked according to the course of this world – under the influence of Satan and cannot even resist the worldly things and the flesh.
C. Without Christ – spiritual poverty, Christ less life is the most miserable, most dangerous, and the worst situation I can ever think of and people just don’t realize this. No Saviour, no Deliverer. Without Christ is a one way ticket to hell
D. Without promise – It is said that there are thirty thousand promises in the Bible, but not one for the man whose mind is at enmity with God. There are “exceeding great and precious promises,” but the worldly, carnal, Christians soul sees no value in them.
E. Having no hope – No divine promise, they are without hope in the sense that their hope is not properly grounded. It was built on false belief and false teachings that is not biblically grounded.
F. Without God in the world – Gentiles have many gods but they did not know the one true God and they don’t want Him.
Illustration: Saddest Words
Several famous people were asked what they felt was the saddest word in the English language. Here’s what some of them said. Poet T.S. Eliot: “The saddest word in the English language is, of course, ‘saddest.’” Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II: “But.” Writer John Dos Passos quoted John Keats: “Forlorn! the very word is like a bell.” Psychiatrist Karl Menninger: “Unloved.” Statesman Bernard M. Baruch: “Hopeless.” President Harry Truman quoted John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’” Alexandra Tolstoi: “The saddest word in all languages, which has brought the world to its present condition, is ‘atheism.’”
Put all of these answers together and you have a faint picture of a soul without Christ. I think of that word which Keats used so dramatically—“forlorn.” It is the English form of the Dutch word verloren, which means “lost.” But the Word of God, through the apostle Paul, gives the ultimate description, “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” Eph. 2:12
II. Our present:
A. We were quickened by the Holy Spirit – new life were given to us, spiritual life.
B. We were made nigh by the blood of Jesus Christ – we were brought near to God by his blood which were shed on the cross.
C. We were raised together with Christ.
D. We were seated together with him in the heaven lies
E. We are His workmanship
III. Our Citizenship
A. Never again or no longer we are stranger or foreigner.
B. We become family of God, fellow citizen of heaven. Our conversation or our citizenship (Phil.3:20) is in heaven.
C. Describing believers as citizens was a clear way to describe the position in God’s kingdom that Jews and Gentiles now share equally.
D. We, whether Jews or Gentiles are “of the household of God” meaning we become family members. We become His body the church.
E. Figuratively this speaks of members of the household of faith in Jesus Christ.
F. As citizen those whose faith is in Christ are like a structure that is being built, the cornerstone and foundation having already been laid in place.
1. The foundation for this church was laid by the Apostles and New Testament prophets. Jesus Christ is the Foundation (1 Cor. 3:11) and the Chief Cornerstone (Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:14). The strength and stability of the structure depends on the presence and position of the “Chief Corner Stone” (Matt. 21. 42). The cornerstone binds the structure together, Jesus Christ has united Jews and Gentiles in the church.
2. In whom all the building fitly framed together. In Christ every separate believer is depending on Him as the foundation of all their hopes, but they are also individually to be `fitly framed together” with their local fellow-believers. There is to be “no schism in the body.” Stones which do not fit with each other make an untrustworthy or uncomely structure. Christians have often relined their testimony by being out of harmony with their brethren. The Church is a growing concern, “groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.”
3. Builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. . Formerly the Holy Spirit dwelt in the temple; now he dwells in the church, and in the hearts of his people.
Illustration: Eiffel Tower
When it was built for an international exposition in the last century, the structure was called monstrous by the citizens of the city, who demanded it be torn down as soon as the exposition was over. Yet from the moment its architect first conceived it, he took pride in it and loyally defended it from those who wished to destroy it. He knew it was destined for greatness. Today it is one of the architectural wonders of the modern world and stands as the primary landmark of Paris, France. The architect, of course, was Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. His famous tower was built in 1889.
In the same way we are struck by Jesus’ loyalty to another structure—the church—which he entrusted to an unlikely band of disciples, whom he defended, prayed for, and prepared to spread the gospel. To outsiders they (and we) must seem like incapable blunderers. But Jesus, the architect of the church, knows this structure is destined for greatness when he returns. – John Berstecher
To be a citizen of heaven is one of the best thing that could happen to you and me. Would you like to be citizen of heaven with all the rights and privileges that Christ had given to all who believes on Him? Repent from your sins and receive Him now as your personal Saviour. Now is the time tomorrow may be too late.