Posts Tagged 'citizenship'

Purpose Driven Plus One: Citizenship

Purpose Driven Plus One: Citizenship Sermon Audio Here

Daniel 2:19-23; Romans 13:1-5

Purpose Driven Church has 5 ideals: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Evangelism. All great, but I think it misses a crucial part of life. It is Christian-focused. But what about the rest of the world? How do we interact WITH them?

H. Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture is one of the best examples on Christian Citizenship of the 20th century. He talked about 5 ways Christians have interacted with their culture:

  1. Christ Against Culture; {loyalty to Christ and the church entails a rejection of culture and society. Example~Amish/Mennonite}
  2. Christ Of Culture; {Jesus as the culture sees Him: “the great enlightener, the great teacher” etc. Problem: loyalty to culture trump loyalty to Christ, to the point the New Testament Jesus gets replaced with an idol that shares his name}
  3. Christ Above Culture (synthesis); {“both Christ and culture” as God uses the best elements of culture to give people what they cannot achieve on their own}
  4. Christ and Culture in Paradox {conflict between God and humanity is ever present~Christian lives between two magnetic poles}
  5. Christ as Transformer of Culture {all of culture is under the judgment of God, and yet culture is also under God’s sovereign rule. Therefore, “the Christian must carry on cultural work in obedience to the Lord”}

How Can We Be Purposeful Citizens?

Learn CORE of Authority ~
Daniel 2:19-23

  • 19/20 recognize power comes from God
  • 21/23 leadership from God; wisdom/knowledge as well; God puts political leaders in power (lots of people WANT to rule the world; only a few get that position. Why?)

Live CARE-full-ly ~
Romans 13:1-5

  • 1 God is in control; He’s the source of authority
  • 2/3 our response to authority shows our heart; what DRIVES your political stance?
  • 4 Odd thought: someone who doesn’t recognize God as the source of authority can be God’s servant! One need not be a follower of Jesus to be used by God
  • 5 we interact with government for OUR good; when we function as Christ’s servants IN it, we do so for the good of ALL

It comes down to this question: do we care about people or not? If we believe that the world is just going to hell anyway, is it Christ-like to just abandon people to that eternal fate? And if we believe that God wants “Thy Kingdom come on earth”, shouldn’t we be part of BUILDING that life here and now?

Learning from Luke: Getting in the Door

Learning from Luke: Getting in the Door Sermon Audio Here
Click here to play the file

Luke 13:22-30

Have you ever looked at the Immigration requirements for different countries? For Austria, they only consider those with skilled jobs. In China, one must be invited by a known Chinese citizen. And immigration from the United States to Argentina is basically unheard of, although ex-pats retire to Argentina without becoming citizens.

What did Jesus teach about being a citizen of God’s Kingdom?

What is Crucial For Kingdom Entry?

Effort Is Needed to Keep Relationship Alive
(Luke 13:22-25)

Effort Alone Doesn’t Replace Relationship
(Luke 13:26-30)

  • v26 being AROUND / knowing ABOUT doesn’t count
  • v27 evildoer= motives don’t match the Owner
  • v28 prophets LISTENED to what God said, and did it. What about us?
  • v29 Jewish warning: people from OUTSIDE Israel would be accepted as belonging OVER native Israel
  • v30 why the reversal? GOD’s values, not ours, make the rules

We can’t automatically assume that because of our background, we’re living like God wants. God chose us for inner relationship, not outward piety. That being said, BOTH must be present (cf. 2 Peter 1:8 – don’t be ineffective or unfruitful)

Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic?

Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic? Sermon Audio Here


1 John 5:1-6

In 1908, Methodist pastor Lynn Harold Hough wrote a pledge for the new (at the time) Christian Flag: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and in love.

The concept of pledging allegiance (to a flag, or a concept, or a nation) brings to mind the question:

What Shapes Our Kingdom Citizenship?

We are marked by obedience
1 John 5:1-2 Obedience sets us apart as Kingdom People

  • v1 belief is our birthright; brotherly love is our response
  • v2 love is shown by obedience

We are motivated through obedience
1 John 5:3-4 Kingdom work is empowering

  • v3 obedience is NOT obligation (not have to, but want to)
  • v4 faith enables our obedience, and so we can overcome

Jesus modeled obedience
1 John 5:5-6 Jesus’ ministry was obedience to the Father

  • v5 to win at life, you need faith
  • v6 water of baptism; blood of the cross;
  • – both acts of submission to the Father

We are called to live as subjects of a Kingdom even as we live as members of a republic. The key to this balancing act is submission: we submit to the Father, and because of that, are empowered to be His servants in a hurting world.


Pastor Ed Backell

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