“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 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.” – Philippians 3:20-21 (NASB)
Citizenship was of special in the first century. Philippi was an important Roman colony. Named by Alexander the Great for his Father Philip II. New Testament usage had varied applications. Primarily, it designated one’s city or city-state of birth and upbringing. Additionally, if Roman, it conveyed protections, benefits and status and responsibilities of the Roman empire. Paul uses his birthright as a Roman citizen to take advantage of legal privileges. Roman citizenship could be purchased if not conferred by birth. Our citizenship in heaven comes freely with our new birth into God’s family. Granted to us by God the Father on the basis of what Jesus Christ did when He sacrificed Himself for us and died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross. But on this earth our citizenship is – temporary. It comes with a guaranteed promise that will be fulfilled when one day, our Lord Jesus Christ transforms and conforms our bodies into ones that will be like His resurrected body reflecting His glory. This happens for all when Jesus returns as He promised. Alive or asleep (physically buried) The creator of all things, the Son of God will recreate for us a new perfect body.