The fifth and final principle to consider when studying the Beatitudes grows out of the fourth as we now reach deeper to define the differences between the Christian and the non-Christian. The fifth principle is predicated upon the Christian having a different citizenship (Philippians 3:20), a different membership, as in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12), or lives in a different realm (Ephesians 1:3; 1:20; 2:26; 3:10; 6:12; Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:16; James 4:4; and Colossians 2:8) than the non-Christian. Notice how each phrase shows the separation of the Christian from the world system, i.e. the Christian is now governed by a heavenly mindset, the mindset of the Beatitudes.
The reward of the first and last Beatitude is stated as: the “kingdom of heaven.” If the life of the Beatitudes is lived through you by the Holy Spirit your reward is the kingdom of heaven. Consider the kingdom of heaven as contrary to the kingdom of the world – you cannot possess them both. We will study the “kingdom of heaven” passages of Christ in the future because they will highlight distinctions of belonging to this kingdom and not belonging to it. The kingdom is where the character of Christ is being manifested, where you see the character of Christ lived out in the life of the believer. James makes a similar distinction in his epistle,
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:15-18; NASB, emphasis added)
Paul frequently uses the phrase “in Christ” and a study of these passages will also be fruitful in seeing the differences between the Christian and the non-Christian. Paul also states, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us to the kingdom of The Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:13; NKJV, emphasis added) Paul also said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20; NKJV, emphasis added) The Christian’s completed state is that of being a citizen of heaven.
To conclude our fifth principle: the Christian’s citizenship is in heaven and he should live as a citizen should.
Pray about allowing the Holy Spirit shape you into becoming more heavenly minded so you can live like a citizen of heaven.