Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household…
Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)
Most of us remember the waves of xenophobic attacks in South Africa over these recent years. Xenophobia is the fear of strangers, which tends to lead to prejudice and violence against them. But the word stranger was once strange. As Christians, we know that mankind has common ancestors, Adam and Eve. We are one blood from the beginning.
Nevertheless, the sad fact about sin is that it scatters. After the first act of rebellion, there is discord between husband and wife (Gen. 3:12). Adam and Eve are then dispersed and estranged from their habitat (Gen. 3:23). Not long after, Cain murders his brother Abel, and his sin alienates him from both his land and brethren (Gen. 4:1-16). Since then, humankind has acted as fearful strangers to one another, with regrettable results.
Yet, God has always planned for humanity to be a united family, as it was at the start. As sin scatters, the Gospel gathers (Matt. 12:30, Eph. 1:10). In Christ, God’s Spirit unites estranged humanity. Thus, we are ‘no longer strangers (Xenoi) and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God’ (Eph. 2:19).
God has seized each one of us to be a household member. The unity of the body of Christ is possible because Christ dealt with the sin that estranged us from the start. And now that God has healed us, we are to live gratefully by extravagantly loving others.
Will you determine to live as an agent of Christ’s unity sacrificially? Do you act on your household membership responsibilities?
Jesus has seized you to be a household member!
This is the third in the “Seized to Be A Citizen of Heaven” series of blog posts and is a special submission from Joseph Byamukama, the Founder and Team Leader at Veracity Fount Uganda, a ministry that exists to participate in building Africa’s Theological Foundations within the context of the local Church. Joseph also serves with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries-Uganda as a Christian Apologist, helping thinkers believe, and believers think.