God’s People

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people.
1 Peter 2:10

Lt. Philip Nolan was convicted of treason in the early 19th Century.

Nolan bitterly renounced his country – the United States of America – as he exclaimed, “I wish I may never hear of the United States again!”

(Hale, Edward Everett. “The Man Without a Country.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 3 July 2017, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1863/12/the-man-without-a-country/308751/?single_page=true.)

As is usually the case, one should be very careful what one asks for, you just might get it!

Nolan got his wish. He was to be exiled and live out his days on U.S. Navy ships. He was sentenced to never set foot on American soil again. He was also sentence to never hear news of the United States ever again!

This is the plot of the short story “The Man Without a Country” by Edward Everett Hale.

But it is also a parable of the sadness and despair of a person’s spiritual life.

Every person born in this world is conceived and born sinful (see Psalm 51). In effect, we are all “without a country,” that country being heaven.

Great despair fills Nolan’s life as he realizes just how awful it is to be without a country.

In the same way great despair fills a man or woman who are without God. Especially when we learn that we are made for another world, another country, another life!

We are truly born apart from God. “We would be lost forever unless delivered from sin, death, and everlasting condemnation. But the Father of all mercy and grace has set His Son Jesus Christ, who atoned for the sin of the whole world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Holy Baptism, The Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, p 268).

Jesus Christ came down from heaven and was conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death for us, and rose again by the power of the same Holy Spirit. Jesus bought us back from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

He once again made us citizens of heaven through his shed blood on the cross and glorious resurrection from the dead.

We are now “clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness that covers all” (ibid p 271) our sin!

In Holy Baptism, God the Father has made us members of his Son and an heir “of all the treasures of heaven in the one holy Christian and apostolic Church” (ibid).

We once were without a country. Now we are citizens of heaven. Once we were not a people. Now we are the people of God!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you that you graciously preserve and enlarge your family by making us citizens of heaven and your people through Holy Baptism and keep us as your people through the Means of Grace. We humbly implore you that, as we have now become your children, you would keep us in our baptismal grace, that according to your good pleasure we may faithfully grow to lead a godly life to the praise and honor of your holy name and finally, with all your saints, obtain the promised inheritance in heaven; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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