16 characteristics of a foreigner/stranger

“Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud” Proverbs 25:16

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26

This is part of a continuing series on what it means for the Church to be a community of exiles and foreigners. The study this week is on Hebrews 11 and 13. I was short on time this week though, so instead of a full blog post I will just offer a list.

  1. They know that they are, indeed, foreigners and strangers on earth (11:13)
  2. They are grounded by faith in the eternal and unseen God (11:1)
  3. They are pulled forward into hope and obedience by the promise of God (11:10)
  4. They accept temporary living conditions (uncertainty) now for permanent living conditions later (11:9-10)
  5. They take the warnings of God seriously (11:6)
  6. They step out of a comfortable life in order to follow where God leads (11:8)
  7. They refuse to return to where they came from, because they know God has something better in store (11:15-16)
  8. They fear God more than they fear unjust rulers (11:23)
  9. They consider it better to identify with the oppressed people of God than to enjoy position and pleasure in the halls of power (11:24-26; also Proverbs 25:16)
  10. They trust in the salvation of God, through the sacrifice he provides (11:28)
  11. Despite their state of vulnerability, they experience God’s protection, either here on earth, or in the resurrection (11:32-37)
  12. They are willing to identify with the persecuted Church (13:3)
  13. They make holiness a priority (13:4-5)
  14. They identify with Jesus who suffered disgrace “outside the gate”, bearing the same disgrace that he did (13:12-13)…
  15. … knowing that God will vindicate them in the end (13:14)
  16. Therefore, their lives are marked by worship and good deeds (13:15-16)

See also: