19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
As someone who has spent many years outside my home country, I know how it feels to be a foreigner. Overcoming the language or cultural barriers doesn’t change the fact that certain things are only reserved for citizens, such as the right to vote. Paul just spent the last few verses detailing how Christ reconciled Jews and Gentiles to God and each other. The result is that the non-Jewish believers have changed citizenship, so to speak – they now have all the rights and privileges of God’s people.
Using the word “therefore,” Paul signals the conclusion of the entire passage starting in verse 11. Gentiles and Jews are equal citizens of God’s kingdom and members of God’s family. What does this mean? First, let’s talk about God’s kingdom for a second; what is it exactly? To put it simply, it’s where God reigns, which at present is in the spiritual realm, and we enter it when we trust Jesus and allow God to rule in our hearts. But the time will come when it will be a physical kingdom when Christ returns to earth.
But God wasn’t satisfied to make us citizens of his kingdom. He ensured that people from every nation and tongue could have a relationship with him as a child with their father. We can approach our Creator and call him “daddy,” enjoying all the benefits of being in his family. God desires to have such an intimate bond with us and has made it possible through Christ. Isn’t that amazing?
I know several people who’ve become American citizens. I’ve never had the privilege of being at the ceremony, but I’ve seen the pictures. Everyone’s faces radiate joy, which is so strong it jumps off the screen and can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Similarly, how can what God has done for us not cause us to rejoice and fill us with gratitude?