14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God bythe Spirit.
Christ offers the gift of salvation to all. When Jesus died on the cross, His sacrifice was payment for everyone’s sins. As we talked about earlier, it’s a gift that we have to accept. Through His sacrifice, we become citizens of heaven. Our identity is not found in gender, race, ethnicity, but in Christ. Galatians 3:28 tells us “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” When we accept Jesus, we’re called to die to ourselves, to pick up our cross, and to follow Him daily.
If we’re honest, some of us don’t want our identity to be found in Christ. We want to leave our legacy, not His. We want to be recognized for our success in school or art or athletics because we want people to think highly of us. But we’re called to something greater. Our lives should be a reflection of Christ. Our goal should be for people to think of Jesus when they think of us. As Casting Crowns says in their song Only Jesus “I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me, Only Jesus”. Can we honestly say the same thing? This isn’t to say that we can’t have hobbies or excel at what we do. It’s an opportunity for us to examine our hearts and ask what is more important to us. Is it Jesus, or things of this world?
Jesus welcomes all to His kingdom, and because of this we are no longer stranger, but citizens of heaven. We are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. We are known fully and completely by Christ, and loved fully and completely.
What brings you joy on this earth? Is it what you find your identity in?
How can we find our identity in Christ?
What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven?