Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
PART 1: WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
The first place where the phrase “The Kingdom of God” appears is in Matthew 6, and the subject is, basically, single-minded, unselfish devotion to the things of God in seeking His Kingdom: this is where the Lord’s Prayer appears and this is where it says “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
So, God’s Kingdom involves our selfless service to His reign and righteousness, to serve the poor and needy, without seeking self-gain or recognition, and it involves a deep commitment. The phrase “hallowed be thy name” is “Kiddush Hashem.” This literally means “Sanctify the Name” and it meant then what it means now in Judaism: a commitment to act in a manner that brings glory to the Name of God with sacrifice of one’s very life being the ultimate form of bringing honor.
One did not say “Kiddush Hashem” lightly, it signified a willingness to sacrifice your life, and even an expectation that you will sacrifice your life.
In Luke 13 Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as a mustard seed, which is very small, that grows into a tree, and leaven which, though tiny in amount, spreads through the whole loaf. He is describing a Kingdom that grows from WITHIN, not from the top down, not from the outside in. It begins in the human heart, it extends to relationships, homes, households, communities, and nations and it impacts our spiritual life, our social life, our civic life, and our national vision and identity.
Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 say of Jesus’ ministry, and therefore of our ministry, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
The “good tidings” are the “evangelon”, and this meant the announcing of a new ruler. When a new ruler was in power, whether a King or Governor, a messenger, evangelist, would proclaim the “good news”, often with some declaration like “all hail the new King, let all those who are oppressed or who are in debt or who have suffered injustice come and be delivered.”
To preach the KINGDOM is to preach the reign of Jesus Christ but the work of the Kingdom, for the Kingdom is “not in words but in power” (I Corinthians 4:20), is not merely to say “be fed and satisfied, go in peace” (James 2:16) but to DO the work, for faith without works is dead (James 2:20), such as binding the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to free those who are bound. Whatever we proclaim, we DO.
The Kingdom of God is not just an idea, it does not exist in the same way that God exists, for instance, it can be “taken” from nations or Peoples and it is given to nations that manifest its fruits. This is what Luke 21:43 says, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
Think of it this way, the Kingdom of God is within us, and by “us” I mean those who serve God and believe on Him.
See ALL five parts of this series
Part 1 WHAT IS THE KINGDOM
Part 2 HOW IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD MANIFESTED
Part 3 WHAT DO WE DO IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Part 4 WHAT WAS THE APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE
Part 5 THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE HOUSEHOLDS OF FAITH