Posted by: dhkrause | August 4, 2019

The Kingdom of God

Matthew 6_33 (2)

The phrases, “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” are used synonymously in the New Testament, occurring about 100 times.  In some passages the phrase refers to Christ’s millennial reign on the earth, or His eternal reign in the new heaven and new earth.  In other passages it refers to God’s reigning in our lives here and now through the Holy Spirit.  Jesus taught that above all else we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

Matthew 6 (NKJV)
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6_10

In the prayer Jesus taught to the disciples, the phrase “Your kingdom come” is looking forward to the God’s coming kingdom here on earth, as well as  praying for God’s complete rulership in the believer’s life.

Matthew 6 (NKJV)
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Jesus taught that one must be born of the Spirit to see kingdom of God.

John 3 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

John 3_3

The Knowing-Jesus.com website comments on this passage:

Nicodemus could only relate to our physical birth – our natural birth where when a human baby is born through the action, will and work of man. But the new birth is not something that can be implemented by the action, will or work of man. The new birth is a supernatural, spiritual act, that is performed by the Holy Spirit, within the heart of a man or woman, the moment that they put their trust in Jesus Christ.(https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/john-3-3)

Teacher Mary Fairchild writes:

The Kingdom of God is the realm where Jesus Christ reigns as King and God’s authority is supreme. This Kingdom exists here and now (in part) in the lives and hearts of the redeemed, as well as in perfection and fullness in the future.(https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-701988)

At every moment, we have the choice to be abiding in His kingdom or outside of it.  That is why Paul enjoins, “Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5 (NKJV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

John 15_4 (2)

Jesus teaches that if we abide in Him, we will be fruitful for God’s kingdom.

John 15 (NKJV)
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Abiding with Christ means walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.  Paul contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

Galatians 5 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5_25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Francis L. Harris comments on this verse:

Let God speak to you through His Word, The Holy Bible. After being born of the Spirit, we must walk in the Spirit, that is, yield ourselves to God to be led of the Spirit. If you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, you will avoid the old ways of the flesh, and pursue holiness in the fear of God, “speaking to yourselves in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the LORD”, Ephesians 5:19. “Rejoice in the LORD always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. This is walking in the Spirit.
(https://versaday.com/Months/12/1214.aspx)

Walking in the Spirit means daily becoming more like Jesus.  As we abide in the hope of His coming, we will purify ourselves, just as He is pure.

1 John 3 (NKJV)
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 8/4/2019

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.bibleversesof.faith/2019/03/matthew-6-33.html
(2) https://twitter.com/sprec61551/status/970149469055430656
(3) https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/john-3-3
(4) https://www.yhwh.today/2018/08/john-154.html
(5) https://versaday.com/Months/12/1214.aspx


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