Dec. 4, 2020

What Does Philippians 3:20 Mean?

What Does Philippians 3:20 Mean?

Philippians 3:20 (NIV): 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:20 (ESV): 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:20 (AV): 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

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Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth

In Philippians chapter 3, Paul encourages the church in Philippi to live a life that desires to become more like Christ. In verses 18 thru 19, Paul warns of false believers who devote their lives to satisfying their sensual, earthly desires. But Paul says that as followers of Christ, we should have an entirely different perspective as he writes in Philippians 3 verse 20, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Once again, Paul was a master of carefully crafting his words so that his listeners could completely grasp his message. The Greek term “our citizenship” referred to a colony of foreigners. You see, at the time of Paul’s writing, Philippi was a Roman colony and home to retired Roman soldiers who had served their country for 21 years and were granted full citizenship. Now, the cool thing was that even though they were 800 miles from Rome, the soldiers still dressed like Romans, they spoke the native language of Romans, and Roman laws applied. They never forgot that they were Roman citizens. 

And Paul uses that idea when he tells the believers in Philippi that they were a colony of foreigners. Their citizenship was in heaven. And their customs and ways of speaking should reflect that truth. 

Another cool fact here is that the capital city kept a register that listed the names of the citizens. Paul uses that same analogy for us as Christians. Our names are registered in heaven because we are citizens of heaven. Jesus himself said the same thing in Luke 10 when he tells us to rejoice because our names are written in heaven. 

So, your Simple Truth for today: This earth is not your home. You are simply passing through. But in the meantime, you are an ambassador for Christ here in this foreign land pointing others to an eternal home in heaven. 

Hey, if you’re enjoying these podcasts, could you please spend one more minute leaving a review? Even if you only have time to press the five stars, you are pointing others to a life full of God’s Truth. 

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you soon.