A Non-Citizen's Role in Society
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
Speaking primarily to new Gentile believers, Paul welcomes them into the body of Christ, made up of all true believers, either Jew or Gentile. Each new member enjoys full privileges and benefits given to all “saints,” those “of the household of God.” “For our conversation [literally ‘citizenship,’ same root word as in our text] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Regarding our former state, Christ declared: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). However, we have broken with this former alliance and transferred our allegiance to “God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18). “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (v. 17).
Our function as non-citizens still living to a degree in our prior realm is revealed, for “God . . . hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (v. 18). God is in the business of reconciling others who are now estranged back to Himself, and even though He could do it all Himself, without any help from His feeble creation, He has in His grace given us a part in this blessed work. The work will involve a struggle, for our warfare is against the ruler of this world and his henchmen, but we will, through God’s enablement, be victorious (Ephesians 6:10-18).
“Now then [since] we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Let us be about this blessed business. JDM