“Unlocking Dual Citizenship: The Hidden Privileges and Global Opportunities”

by | Jun 21, 2024 | God's Quill | 0 comments

Every story has a starting point, a beginning where the divine threads start to weave the narrative of a life. For Saul, later to be named Paul, this beginning is rooted just north of the Mediterranean Sea, in the ancient city of Tarsus of Cilicia, located in what is now modern-day Turkey.

Tarsus was a city rich in culture and history, a hub of commerce and learning in the ancient world. It was here, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant marketplaces, that Saul’s early life unfolded. His upbringing was steeped in both the Jewish traditions of his family and the Hellenistic influences of his surroundings. This unique blend of cultures and philosophies would later play a significant role in shaping his approach to spreading the gospel.

Though retaining his Jewish birthright, Paul was a Roman citizen from birth. As a Roman citizen, this afforded him significant rights and privileges. These included the right to a fair trial, protection against certain forms of punishment such as scourging, and the right to appeal directly to the Emperor in Rome. These legal protections provided Paul with opportunities to further his missionary work and defend himself against accusations, regardless of where he was in the Roman Empire.

Caesar Augustus had permitted Jews in Tarsus to become Roman citizens, an uncommon privilege for a Jew. This citizenship would grant Paul unique opportunities and protections that would prove crucial in his later missions. When arrested in Jerusalem and sentenced to be whipped and scourged by the Romans soldiers, Paul asked the centurion:

“Is it lawful for you to whip a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned … The centurion said to Paul, ‘With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.’ Paul replied, ‘But I was born a citizen’.” (Acts 22:25,28).

When arrested in Phillipi, a Roman colony, Paul and Silas were whipped and thrown into jail overnight. We find them worshipping God at midnight and bringing a jailor and his family to saving faith in Christ. In the morning, the jailers wished to release these two men quietly and ordered them to leave the city, but Paul refused.

“They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans and thrown us into prison … The officers and magistrates were afraid when they heard they were Romans” (Acts 16:37-38).

The Bible is clear that we have dual citizenship and with it all the rights and privilages afforded to its citizens.

First of all is our heavenly citizenship

“For our citizenship is in heaven and from it we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16).

Secondly is our earthly citizenship

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God … Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs are due, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:1-7).

Until the day of our homecoming, we continue to exercise our rights as citizens in our respective countries. As with Paul, we use our rights to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Blessings!

USA privilages: https://bit.ly/45ktnU7

Canadian privilages: https://bit.ly/3Xmt6Oh

Further study: http://estherstable.com

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Please know that I love to speak with my Father and to bring others before Him in prayer. I have this unfailing belief that He both hears and answers the prayers of His children.
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Dave Griggs, MDiv

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