MCA Church is studying God’s instruction to cooperate with the character, nature, personality and culture of our citizenship in heaven.
We make personal choices, all day and every day, that are cooperative or uncooperative with this life.
Creating a Cooperative Thinking Environment (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is one of the major themes of the Bible and therefore of the Christian life.
The Christian’s Cooperative Thinking Environment is anchored, in the New Testament, in the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus in John 17:15-18.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world…So I have sent them into the world”
Those people who have received the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as God’s means of salvation have been totally transformed (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our makeup is now so radically different as to be from another place and created from other things.
“They do not think (exist, live, relate, have the same goals) like the world.”
Paul illustrates this beautifully in Philippians 3:17-21.
- There are two groups of people, according to this passage.
- Those with minds set on earthly things (19) who are enemies of the cross of Christ (18) whose end is destruction (19) whose god is their belly (19) and who glory in their shame (19).
- Those with citizenship in heaven. (20)
The word translated “citizenship” is a complex Greek word that cannot be adequately reflected with one English word. Three English words help understand the larger meaning; community, citizenship, and conversation.
Because we are not of this world (born from above in John 3:3) we are part of the community of people whose citizenship is in heaven and who think and speak in the language of our Home Country. Christians are expatriates (persons living outside their native country).
Accordingly, I am either a citizen of the world or a citizen of heaven.
As a citizen of heaven, my thinking and speaking is either cooperative or uncooperative with the thinking and speaking of my native country (heaven).
- Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
- But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
- But be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Romans 12:2
MCA Church LIFE Group Homework
Listen – My Story
- Have you ever been out of your home country or state for an extended time? What did you miss most?
- Is there a food, experience, aroma, sound or event that most reminds you of your home country? In what experience are you most patriotic?
Learn – Digging Deeper
- Re-read the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Would such an oath be helpful for those who are transferring allegiance from the world to Heaven? What parts of the oath could be meaningful for a Christian’s pledge to Christ?
- Tell your story of transferring allegiance from the world to Heaven. What was happening in your life at the time. What part of the Gospel made sense to you at that moment? Did you have any specific emotions at that time?
- Read Romans 1:21-32 and list some of the behaviors and attitudes of people who are citizens of the world. Do you see any of these characteristics in your friends, relatives, associates and neighbors?
- As you read Matthew 5:1-11 consider how the thinking in Heaven is different from the world’s thinking.
- Since we have the mind of Christ, what can we do to ensure that our thinking is cooperative with His mind? Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:9, Isaiah 26:3
Life – Taking it Home
- What is God saying to you through this lesson?
- What could you do this week to ensure that you are thinking and speaking the language of Heaven?
- What is your next step in response to this teaching?
Lift – Prayer
- Please pray for, and plan to attend, the Tali Bowl. 2:30 PM Sunday, February 7. This gathering is designed to cheer, encourage and bless Pastor Moe. Bring your favorite football snack and funds for the cause.
- Please pray for those in your group who are seeking God’s strength to think and speak as a citizen of Heaven.
- Please pray for all of the people still planning to join a Life Group.