Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
We Live In Two Kingdoms
Where do you live? Where are you a citizen? It’s important to know your citizenship. There is a certain pride in being a citizen of your country. There are often benefits to being a citizen, but did you know that a person can also be a “dual citizen,” having citizenship in two different countries at the same time?
That’s a good picture of the spiritual reality for Christians. They are “dual citizens” of God’s kingdom of grace and his kingdom of power. They live in two kingdoms, both overseen by our gracious God.
On the one hand, all who believe in Jesus as their Savior live in God’s kingdom of grace. God uses the liberating grace of the good news of Jesus to release us from sin and its condemnation. We get to enjoy all of the blessings that come with being citizens of this kingdom—forgiveness, joy, peace, and eternal life through Christ our Savior. Yet we also have responsibilities. God sends us out into the world to share his saving gospel with others and to serve others in Christlike love.
Yet we are also citizens of God’s kingdom of power. God’s kingdom of power focuses on how we behave and live with the people in our communities and countries. We live under governments that seek to establish order through laws while punishing those who disobey those laws. As citizens of that kingdom, we enjoy the blessings that God provides through government.
In a sense, God has made us dual citizens—citizens of God’s kingdom of grace and his kingdom of power. With God’s help, we live with feet firmly planted in both, living as recipients of God’s freeing grace while serving him and our neighbor in our homes, congregations, communities, and countries.
O Lord of nations, in your wisdom, you have made me a citizen of your kingdoms of grace and power. In all things wherever I live, help me to live in service to you and my neighbor, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.