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  • Ericca Dunn

True Citizenship

Guest Pastor Larry Borgelt

True Citizenship

Definition of Citizenship

The position or status of being a citizen of a particular country.

What defines citizenship?

A citizen is a participatory member of a political community. Citizenship is gained by meeting the legal requirements of a nation, state, or local government. A nation grants certain rights and privileges to its citizens. In return, citizens are expected to obey their country’s laws and defend it against its enemies.

Citizenship in our own words:

Citizenship is the status of being a citizen. If you have citizenship in a country, you have the right to live there, work, vote, AND pay taxes!!

Citizenship comes from the Latin word for “City,” because in the earlier days of human governments, people identified themselves as belonging to cities more than countries.


Natural Born - Citizenship obtained by birth.

Parents are U.S. Citizens.

Born on U.S. Soil (Even if parents are not U.S. citizens.)


Process in which non-citizens (immigrants) become citizens:

The process includes:

Declaration of intention.

Take classes.

Take a citizenship test.

Take an oath of allegiance.

To become a U.S. Citizen you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be 18 years of age or older.

  2. You must have authorization to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis (informally known as a green card) for at least five years (or three years, if married to a United States citizen.)

  3. You must have continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years (or three years, if married to a United States citizen) and be physically present in the U.S. at least half that time.

  4. Must be able to read, write and speak basic English. (There are some exceptions to this).

  5. Must have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government.

  6. You must be a person of “good moral character.”

  7. You must take a loyalty oath to the United States and support the Constitution and form of government of the United States.

[For more information about the path to citizenship, visit the

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.]

Paul was a Roman Citizen.

Acts 22:1 - 2; 22 - 29

1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”

23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

Three ways to obtain Roman Citizenship

  1. Receive it as a reward for some outstanding service in Rome;

  2. Buy it at a considerable price;

  3. Be born into a family of Roman Citizens, of which Paul’s father was.

Our True Citizenship is in Heaven!

Philippians 3:20

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

What prompted Paul to make this statement?

18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.


19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

What’s a stomach god?

Having a deep self-centeredness.

Their appetites and desires come first!

“Their glory is in their shame!”

What are you ashamed of?





Why glory in shame?

“Their mind is on earthly things!”

There are two mind sets:

Living by the sinful nature (flesh).

Living by the Spirit.

Romans 8:5

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

So what are the consequences?

6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Peace reminds me of the hymn, “Let peace like a river.”

Permit me to sing it to you.

In order to have that life and peace:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Our true citizenship is in heaven!

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:20

The requirements?

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31

It is an honor to be a citizen of the United States!

We shouldn’t take it for granted!!

But it is a greater honor to be a citizen of Heaven!

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