now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.—1 Peter 2:10-12 (NLT)
Before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were just one in a mass of people. Now that we have accepted Him and because of God’s great mercy, we have been adopted into a family, the family of God. We now bear the name of Christ and our conduct should reflect our new identity. Just as a newborn baby is automatically a citizen of the country into which they are born, so are we citizens of heaven the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. The baby has all the rights and privileges afforded by that citizenship even though he/she is unable to take advantage of them at that moment. The same is true of a newborn babe in Christ Jesus. We have all the rights and privileges afforded the citizens of heaven. We are “citizens with the saints” .
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.–Eph. 2:19 (NLT)
There is no waiting! We have all the rights of a citizen of heaven now! We need to walk carefully and be alert at all times because we do not want to embarrass our new family. We must be careful of the things we do and say so that outsiders will have no reason to speak negatively about our Lord and Savior. Our honorable behavior brings glory to God and his body, the Church.