The Politeuma Metaphor

The Greek word politeuma appears only once in the entire Bible. Paul uses this word in Philippians 3:20. “For our citizenship (politeuma) is in heaven (present tense), from which also we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our status as believers in Christ grants to us all the rights and privileges of citizenship … the citizenship of Heaven. We as ‘Church Age’ believers belong to a spiritual dynasty founded by our King and Lord — Jesus Christ.

Our citizenship in Heaven gives us certain privileges right now! Believers in the Church Age belong to a politeuma, in that we are the nobility of heaven residing on earth. Two thousand plus years ago in Rome, Roman citizenship enjoyed special privileges, but they only begin to suggest the unfathomable riches we will enjoy as the royal family of God. We hold the rights and privileges of heaven right now, even as we live here on earth.    

Perhaps the most critical deficiency in Christianity today, is the fact that believer’s really do not know “all” that Christ earned for us as believers when He was victorious and suffered on the Cross. He endured OUR pain and OUR shame!

He suffered and died to save us from the wrath of the Father. This tells us three things: 1). We had a problem. 2). We needed a Savior.  3). Christ loved us that much. 

The Cross of Salvation, therefore, is the most important information man can learn. But, the Cross of Christ earned so much more than our salvation! God did not stop there! Believers are heirs of Christ (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7; James  2:5). This heirship includes our citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20), which also grants us privileges to enjoy during our mortal lives.

Christ earned spiritual blessings for believers that pay dividends right now. We are to utilize these blessings.

But that’s still not all! Christ earned “escrow” dividends reserved in heaven, ones that will bless us for all eternity. These blessings now and in eternity will glorify Christ and the Father, for ever and ever.  

Citizens of Philippi understood what it meant to be citizens in a Roman colony. The Philippians were just as much citizens of Rome, as if they lived in Rome. We as believers here in the United States are just as much citizens of Heaven as we are citizens of America. We Christians will one day experience the full meaning of this metaphor, because we are in Christ and all that Christ has, we will also enjoy. As stated, the politeuma metaphor Paul uses in Philippians 3:20, refers to our eternal citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Please turn to Ephesians 1:18-23. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (19) and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His  mighty strength, (20) which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His Right Hand in the Heavenly Realms, (21) far above  all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name (title) that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (22) And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything  for the church, (23) which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (NIV)

Please turn to Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” 

Read these verses again, and again. They give us a heavenly glimpse of our Savior and the inheritance we shall receive when we see Him as He is (1 Thessalonians 4).

Our position in Christ, in Heaven, is so fantastic that Scripture must hold back the superlatives or we would all yearn even more to depart and be with the Lord.

God has a Plan! When each of us fulfills our earthly service, God will complete our destiny in Christ and call us to come home. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 is suggested reading because Paul compares the “temporal and the eternal.” 

God is glorified by blessing us. God has provided untold eternal blessings for all those who believe in Christ.

God has a Plan, one designed for imperfect believers, to be executed by the Holy Spirit! Because the believer retains the sin nature after salvation and throughout his mortal life on earth (John 1:8-10), God’s Plan is designed especially for each of us, but the Holy Spirit executes Gods Plan by His indwelling presence. God has a Plan. 

Perfect God has provided everything for our lives after salvation and life after physical death. Perfect God has provided His Truths (Ephesians 4:21 b, 24-25, 29) and His own Power (Ephesians 4:30 a) in us for execution of His Plan. God has done all this for mankind, but only the individuals who have received Christ can enjoy the present and eternal benefits of FAITH IN CHRIST.

Only the believer has citizenship in heaven.  

We believers are aristocrats of heaven residing on earth, because of our relationship in Christ. We are royal priests. We are royal ambassadors. We are the royal family of God.

Our royal destiny is to become invisible heroes, now, during the intensified stages of spiritual warfare. Christ is our Commander-in-Chief. He must lead, we must follow.

“Without hope there is no peace! Without Christ there is no hope.” — C. S. Craig.

The hope of the believer in Jesus Christ is more than hope — it is confidence in God — standing on the promises of God.  

Each Church Age believer holds the rights and privileges of heaven, right now, while living here on earth. This study is simply an introduction to a Greek word that beautifully illustrates our position now as citizens of heaven: “politeuma.”

In closing, there are two Bible Studies on the website which I recommend as must-reads: “Forty Grace Gifts,” and Heaven.” 

Happy Studying in Fields of Grace.  


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