Monday, January 5, 2015

The Better Life in Jesus: Heavenly Citizens living out life here on earth

Hebrews 11:39-40  "And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."

A couple of days ago we began a new blog series entitled: "The Better Life in Jesus". In this series we want to consider what the writer of Hebrews refers to here in Hebrews 11:39 as “something better for us” or what we could call “the better life”. People all the time are interested in having the so-called “good-life” – a life with no problems, plenty of money and endless possibilities. But why have the “good-life” that is a myth when you can have “the better life” from God that is described here in Hebrews 12-13. The Christian life is of course “the better life” of which we speak. In the details of Hebrews 12-13 there may be parts which may not sound appealing or good, let alone “better”. However by the end of this blog series we will discover four truths about the Christian identity that demonstrates it to be “The Better Life in Jesus.” The first one we considered was that Christians are: "Victors Running Out the Better Life". Yesterday we considered the second truth that shows why life with Jesus is the better life: Children (of God by adoption & faith) secure in the better life. Today's blogpost features the third truth: "Heavenly Citizens living out the better life". 

Heavenly Citizens living out the better life. Hebrews 12:19-13:19

Paul writes regarding the Christian’s heavenly citizenship in Philippians 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” The writer of Hebrews describes the Christian as one who is not approaching God under the fear and judgment of Sinai. By grace through faith we are transfered out of fear of judgment into the freedom of citizenship in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. (1 Peter 2:9-12) 

The writer of Hebrews describes this citizenship as a heavenly reality that is foretasted here on earth in the Christian life. (Hebrews 12:19-24) As citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom of Jesus Christ, we are in the process of receiving an unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:26-29) and are called to offer forth our lives and relationships as spiritual sacrifices for Jesus’ sake (Hebrews 13:1-19). Such a better life of Heavenly citizenship impacts our relationships, marriages and handling of resources. (Hebrews 13:1-5) Such a better life includes great and precious promises tied to Jesus Himself. (Hebrews 13:6-14) Such a better life as citizens of the Kingdom yields forth a life of worship and praise to God. (Hebrews 13:15-19) 

More tomorrow...

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