Tim Keller | March 6, 1994
A Christian is someone whose primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. Being a Christian is a legal status. One is either a Christian or one is not a Christian; there is no in between. Yet, this does not mean that Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good. The very fact that Christians’ greatest love is for the world to come means that they are not enslaved to the ordinary things in this world. This freedom from worldly goods is the very thing that allows Christians to sacrificially serve others.
As Christians, we might feel like outsiders in today’s world, living in places that sometimes don’t understand or accept us. It’s important that we stay away from wrong choices, live good lives, and be ready for tough times, all while acting in a way that shows God’s glory. This idea of who we are as Christians, and how important it is to live a godly life, affects how we behave with people in charge, the government, at work, and at home.
1. Doctrine is the foundation
Doctrine, or the teachings of our faith, is really important in our Christian life. It intertwines with how we live and guides us. Some people talk about a “Christianity without religion,” but this idea challenges that, saying that doctrine is necessary for knowing what’s true and finding the strength to serve others, even when it’s hard. In the end, God’s Word is shown to be more important than the sky above and the earth below, reminding us who we are and who God is.
2. We are foreigners and outsiders
Being seen as outsiders in the world reminds us that our real citizenship is in heaven, much like Roman citizens had certain rights and privileges. Being a Christian means changing your status, making a firm decision, and acknowledging the moment you decided to follow Jesus. This goes beyond just being good or moral. It tells us to seek spiritual joy and purpose, comfort in God, and to be willing to give up earthly security, not giving into worldly desires.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer