Citizens of Heaven
Fellow citizens with the saints. - Ephesians 2:19
What is meant by our being citizens in heaven? It means that we are under heaven's government. Christ, the King of Heaven, reigns in our hearts; our daily prayer is, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."1 The proclamations issued from the throne of glory are freely received by us: The decrees of the Great King we cheerfully obey.
Then as citizens of the New Jerusalem, we share heaven's honors. The glory that belongs to beatified saints belongs to us, for we are already sons of God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the spotless robe of Jesus' righteousness; already we have angels for our servants, saints for our companions, Christ for our Brother, God for our Father, and a crown of immortality for our reward. We share the honors of citizenship, for we have come to the general assembly and the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.
As citizens, we have common rights to all the property of heaven. Ours are its gates of pearl and walls of chrysolite, ours the azure light of the city that needs no candle nor light of the sun, ours the river of the water of life and the twelve kinds of fruit that grow on the trees planted on its banks; there is nothing in heaven that does not belong to us. "The present or the future"2-all is ours.
Also as citizens of heaven we enjoy its delights. Do they rejoice in heaven over sinners that repent-prodigals who have returned? So do we. Do they chant the glories of triumphant grace? We do the same. Do they cast their crowns at Jesus' feet? Such honors we have we cast there too. Are they charmed with His smile? It is just as sweet to us who live below. Do they look forward, waiting for His second advent? We also look and long for His appearing. If, then, we are citizens of heaven, let our walk and actions be consistent with our high dignity.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Joshua 12, 13
verse 2 Psalms 145
Name above All Names
By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson
Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the diversions of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.
In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the whole sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and ministry:
- Jesus as the True Prophet
- Jesus as the Great High Priest
- Jesus as the Conquering King
- Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
- Jesus as the Son of Man
- Jesus as the Suffering Servant
- Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.