The first in a series of 2 sermons
It’s no small Matter
We’ve just celebrated a BIG day… celebrations all round the nation Every nation has a day like it and all around the world celebrations mark their special day Here in Oz it’s Australia Day On such a day people celebrate their citizenship – old or just gained
I saw a picture of a man recently on FB, Henk, sitting in a comfy chair, visited by granddaughters… prominently displayed was a DUTCH flag! He so greatly valued his Dutch citizenship he never gave it up He loved to listen to a program: ‘Nederland Sings’ Quite emotional over seeing church full of people all ages and men too, praising God in song
CITIZENSHIP is a BIG DEAL It is today and so it was in Paul’s day when he wrote to the Philippians
- IT’S A BIG DEAL!
- THE FOCUS OF OUR HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP
- THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Acts 21:27–40 (NIV84)
27When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,
28shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.”
29(They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)
30The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.
31While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.
32He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.
34Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.
35When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers.
36The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Away with him!”
37As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied.
38“Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert some time ago?”
39Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”
40Having received the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic:
Acts 22:22–29 (NIV84)
22The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”
23As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,
24the commander ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and questioned in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this.
25As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”
26When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
27The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered.
28Then the commander said, “I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
29Those who were about to question him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
Philippians 3:17–21 (NIV84)
17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.