“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, your real citizenship is in heaven! Once you were not 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 and 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! This Sunday on live.wc.org we will offer our first ever online LIFE class at 1pm to share with you the benefits of belonging and how you can connect with a Life Group to experience a real community of faith doing life together. I hope you’ll log in. You can register now. We will provide you with everything you’ll need.