And what does this holy renewed heart mean? It means that we can belong to a holy nation. I don’t mean a nation on earth. I mean that we become citizens of heaven. We are different.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We become not Scots, or English, or Canadian, or Irish, or Spanish, or Latvian, we become God’s people, a holy nation.
Citizens, who are ruled by a different set of standards and laws. Nations are defined by the laws they create and follow. Canada has a constitution. A set of governing principles. Many times people try to change those rules in order to change the nation itself. That is why the interpretation of a constitution and set of laws is so important. When we interpret the laws a certain way that is different from before, we change the very society we live in. But God’s people live by God’s laws. Laws that are filled with grace. Laws that are life. They are laws that in the Old Testament were attested to by blood sacrifice. And to us they are attested to by the ultimate sacrifice of blood of God’s own son. And why was that necessary? It was because the people of the earth do not know that Yahweh is God. They have, we have, become distracted by other things. And in doing so give up our citizenship of heaven. We may backslide. If a person goes to another country and learns the language and speaks it as well as the people of that country. If he becomes used to the habits and the customs of that country, his own people would say he had changed so much that he had exchanged his citizenship. Regardless of whether he had the documents he would look and act like a new citizen. Paper is just paper, but what you do, and how you do it defines who you really are. And so if someone who changes from a life of selfishness to one of selflessness, if they change from bad to good we can fairly say that they are a new creation. And if they claim Christ as Saviour we may know that Christ is their new constitution. But this works both ways. Suppose that man decided that the old country wasn’t so bad after all. And he lapsed into old ways. He would regain his old citizenship and lose his rights. We must remain firm in our citizenship of heaven. And we can only do that by remaining in, and practising being a citizen of heaven.