AND AS STATE
The apostle Paul intentionally uses political language, the very Greek words from which we get our English words “politics” and “politicians” and “policy,” to drive home a very important point to the little church in Philippi.
Our home is in heaven. Heaven is our homeland. And while we’re here on earth, we are a colony — a commonwealth — of heavenly citizens.
To confess that Jesus is Lord is to say Caesar is not. To claim citizenship in heaven is to declare our allegiance, first and foremost, to God’s Kingdom, not the Empire. To conduct ourselves politically or to behave as a citizen (Phil. 1:27) of that Kingdom and as subjects of our crucified and resurrected King is to first understand that none of it is of this world. He, nor his Kingdom, are from here. So, therefore, neither are we. The Kingdom to which we belong transcends all national borders. The Kingdom respects no geographical boundaries or distinctions of powers. And as colonists living under the rule of our Christ, we rise high above any national thought, national pride, or national agenda. The Gospel of Jesus levels all of us into an eternal and international community of those who follow the Savior. And it’s his Kingdom that deserves our undying allegiance.
If citizens of heaven do choose to engage in the politics of America or any other earthly country, we approach it, above all, from the standpoint of our relationship with God. Scripture tells us that Christians survive in a hostile environment not by legal proceedings against persecutors but by endurance; not by imposing a lifestyle on others through law but by living holy lives that compel others to watch us; not by destroying others with sound bites and emails but by respecting them even as we witness to the eternal truths of the Gospel.