Week #12 What We Believe About The Kingdom of God
Article 9 of the Baptist Faith & Message: The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
- The Theology of the Kingdom of God.
- First, it speaks of the Kingdom of God within the context of the general sovereignty or rule that God has over the entire universe.
- This means that God is the absolute ruler of all that is.
Exodus 15:18 Psalm 24:10, Isaiah 6, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 19:6
- Second, “the Kingdom of God,” is used to describe the rule and reign that Jesus has in the hearts and lives of those who have come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
- Third, the scripture also presents the Kingdom of God both as being a present reality and also a future reality when Christ returns.
Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 2, Ephesians 6, Romans 8:20-23
- The Principles of the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 10:34-45, Matthew 20:18-19, Matthew 19:28
- The Kingdom of God is about glorifying God, not advancing the ambitions of men.
- Jesus evaluated the motivation of the request made by the mother of James and John, and He evaluates the requests we make of Him today.
- He is looking past the words and into our hearts to see who we are trying to glorify and whose kingdom we are seeking to advance.
- Life within the Kingdom of God is life lived under God’s authority.
Questions: How often do we go wrong at this point? How often do we want to accomplish our own agenda rather than truly being open to the leadership and influence of God’s direction in our lives?
- Living under authority means the choices in our lives are all laid at His feet and left to His discretion.
- It means we go where He tells us, when He tells us and stay as long as He tells us to stay.
- It means we give no thought about any glory for ourselves, whether or not we get the credit, or whether or not we ever get what we want.
- Our only goal is to do the will of the Father.
- Living under authority, means that we walk in obedience to what He has told us to do.
- Life in the Kingdom of God is the opposite from life in the kingdom of men.
- Our problem is that we want to inherit the kingdom of God but we don’t want to have to suffer in order to do it and unfortunately the way to greatness in the kingdom of God is through humility in the eyes of man.
- Life in God’s eternal kingdom is the complete opposite from life in the temporal and passing kingdoms of men.
- Greatness in God’s kingdom belongs to the servants, not to those who want to be served.
- Jesus came to serve and not to be served, how much more should we as His servants desire to serve instead of desiring to be served.
Isaiah 55:8, Matthew 7:21
- Greatness in God’s kingdom is measured by serving, not by being served.
UNGODLY MAN SPIRITUAL MAN
- Man’s ambitions 1. Glorify God
- Man’s authority 2. God’s authority
- Man’s way – anything goes 3. God’s way- opposite
III. The Reality of the Kingdom of God
Questions: How does the Kingdom of God affect you? What difference should this make in your life?
- The late preacher, A.W. Tozer, in his book, That Incredible Christian, has a chapter entitled, Marks of the Spiritual Man.
- Tozer gives 7 marks that characterized the spiritual life.
- I believe these 7 Marks of the Spiritual Man are good benchmarks for what it means to be Kingdom Minded:
- He has a desire to be holy rather than happy.
- He wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life, even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss.
- Tozer says, Such a man prays, ‘Hallowed be Thy name,’ and silently adds, “at any cost to me.”
- He wants to carry his cross.
- Carrying a cross means to be attached to the Person of Christ, committed to His Lordship and obedient to His commands.
- He is one who sees everything in this life and the life to come from God’s point of view.
- Tozer says, God looks at and through at the same time. His gaze does not rest on the surface but penetrates to the true meaning of things. The carnal Christian looks at an object or situation, but because he does not see through it he is elated or cast down by what he sees. The spiritual man is able to look through things as God looks and think of them as God thinks.
- He would rather die right than live wrong.
- He desires to see others advance at his own expense.
- He makes decisions based on eternity, instead of basing them on the temporary reality we know as earthly life.
- 7 marks of a Spiritual Man:
EARTHLY MAN SPIRITUAL MAN
- Happy 1. Holy
- Dishonor 2. Honor
- Your Cross 3. God’s Cross
- Your View 4. God’s View
- Wrong Living 5. Right Living
- You at Others Expense 6. Others at Your Expense
- Temporary 7. Eternal