â€œFor our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.â€ (Philippians 3:20)
by Henry Morris III, Min. of Div.
he translators of the King James Bible used the English word â€œconversationâ€ in 18 passages, among which are five different Greek terms. Most of the words would be understood by our modern idea â€œmanner of lifeâ€ or behavior. However, in todayâ€™s verse, the word is politeuoma, derived from another Greek word, polites. Our English word â€œpoliticsâ€ comes from that, especially in the sense of citizenship as it relates to governmental oversight.
The apostle Paul is the only New Testament writer to use the â€œpoliticsâ€ word, and he does so only two other times. On one occasion, â€œall Jerusalem was in an uproarâ€ (Acts 21:31) over Paulâ€™s supposed violation of the Temple. After giving testimony of his conversion and subsequent ministry to the unruly crowd, Paul said, â€œMen and brethren, I have lived [politeuomai] in all good conscience before God until this dayâ€ (Acts 23:1), simply and boldy declaring that he now lived as a citizen of heaven.
Earlier in his epistle to the Philippian church, Paul had challenged them, â€œLet your conversation [politeuoma] be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospelâ€ (Philippians 1:27). Paulâ€™s challenge is just as clear to us: Live and think like our citizenship is in heaven.
Heavenâ€™s rule may be best understood by our English word â€œcommonwealth,â€ a political community founded for the common good. We are â€œjoint-heirsâ€ with Christ (Romans 8:17), and we should look â€œfor a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is Godâ€ (Hebrews 11:10). HMM III