“One of the biblical metaphors for thinking through our relationship with the present age and the (eternal) age to come is citizenship. Citizenship is a publicly recognized legal status that authorizes someone to be a citizen - that is, a full and functioning member of a civitas, a social and political community, along with the rights and duties that come along with it. Unlike someone who is merely a subject in a kingdom, a citizen participates in the community to help maintain civic order.” Justin Taylor, "Living as Dual Citizens," Table Talk Magazine, September 2018
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," Philippians 3:20
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9
We have a grave, fearsome, joyful, and anticipatory responsibility to represent the standards of the living God to our culture (Matthew 5:14-16).
HOW TO LIVE AS A DUAL CITIZEN:
Lessons from the life of Daniel
Daniel lived up to his name which means: “God is my judge.”
He understood that Jehovah God was a mighty king who ruled the affairs of men and nations (1:2; 2:24, 37; 5:18).
Q: What do you understand by the providence of God?
A: God's providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
Heidelberg Catechism, Question 27
3. He pursued excellence which led to “exceptional living” that was displayed in everyday faithfulness.
“A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in little things is a great thing.” Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), founder of China Inland Mission
"Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him." Daniel 6:3-4
"Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, 'You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.'" Daniel 5:13-14
He had a definitive confession regarding the character of God as compared to ambiguity.
"but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…". Daniel 2:28a
"I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,
for he is the living God,
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion shall be to the end.
He delivers and rescues;
he works signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has saved Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
5. Daniel developed habits which led to strength (as compared to “mere routines”) which built him into a man of God.
"When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God." Daniel 6:10-11
1. How does belief in a God who graciously governs our days build hope in the life of a believer?
How does faithful, daily living feed into an “excellent” life (James 5:12)?
3. How do we display a “non-ambiguous” attitude in defining the triune God?
4. What is the difference between “habits of grace” that build strength versus mere routines?