Do You Think Like an Exile? Do You Act Like a Foreigner?
If you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God, then you live here as a foreigner
Peter writes his first letter to Christians scattered about in pagan cities. He first calls them exiles (1 Peter 1:1). He also refers to them as foreigners (1 Peter 2:11). I prefer the label of aliens. It has an otherworldly connotation.
The point is that they don’t fit in where they are. They are outsiders subsisting in a society that doesn’t understand their thinking and their way of life. They live in a culture that is opposed to Jesus.
Peter doesn’t tell them they need to adapt and settle down. Instead he tells them to live careful lives, hold onto their awe of God, and refrain from immorality. They are to persist as foreigners, as if they are just passing through—because they are.If you are a citizen of the kingdom of God, then you live here as a foreigner. Click To Tweet
They are citizens of the Kingdom of God, children of the King of kings. Their allegiance is to God. Their real domicile, their eternal home, is in heaven. Holding onto this perspective, they realize they are here for the short-term. With eyes fixed on Jesus, they maintain their earthly status as foreigners, as exiles, and as aliens—both in an actual physical sense and with a faith-filled, future-focused, spiritual expectation.
I wonder how well I do to live like that.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.