Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian. Ephesians 2:19 (TLB) 

Experiencing the Christ-filled life begins with faith. Faith is simply believing God and acting upon what you believe. You do that the moment you respond in faith to the invitation to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior from sin. The moment you do, your life is never the same! You’ve exchanged death for life! Sin for salvation! Guilt for grace! What a bargain! Old things pass away as all things become new! You are a new creation in Christ! That’s the first step of faith followed by many smaller steps of obedience. Soon, you discover that real faith involves not only believing but belonging as well! You belong to God’s family, His household, the church of the risen Christ! Your citizenship has been upgraded! You share a dual citizenship with this world and heaven! Here’s how the Bible describes what happens that moment you put your trust in Jesus:

Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian. Ephesians 2:19 (TLB)

Notice the first word: Now! Not later when you die; but, right now, you are no longer a stranger to God! He may have seemed distant and estranged from you before, but not now nor ever again! Once you were a foreigner to heaven, but not now! Even though you’re living on earth, you’re real citizenship is in heaven! Once you weren’t a member of God’s very own family, but not now! Now, you are a member of God’s family, a citizen of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian! How awesome is that! This is your birthright! Why?  Because, by faith, you have been born again!

Real salvation involves both believing and belonging! In fact, believing plus belonging equals blessing! First, you come to a place of believing all that God said about His Son, who died for your sins. That’s the simplicity of the Gospel! The Bible says,

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…. Acts 16:31 (NIV)

Have you done that? If not, do it now. Simply say, “Yes, Lord Jesus, I believe in you! I receive you in my heart. I ask you to forgive me of my sins and save me! I need you Lord to take control of my life.”

Then, we come to the place of belonging. We are not alone! God sets us in His family as an equal member to all that He is and has! Here’s how the Bible describes our relationship with other Christ followers. 

Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others. Romans 12:4-5 (TLB) 

This is the blessing of faith! Believing + Belonging = Blessing!

Have you experienced the blessing of belonging? God never intended you and me to live a Lone Ranger Christian life. You are a part of a forever family! If you haven’t taken that step, I invite you to check out Woodlands Church Membership Class this Sunday at any of our campuses following the final Sunday morning service. Listen to the voice of your Father saying, “… you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” If you’re not a part of a local church that loves Jesus, I encourage you to find and join one!