“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6)
God intended a kingdom of priests. He intended Man to be His Sons who would grow to take on His likeness and know Him, loving Him above all else. To have relationship with Him so that each son (no gender implied) could be directly taught by Him. In this way, each son would take on the nature and wisdom of God and bring this to all of Creation which they rule for Him as a priest and king of the God Most High. This is the Kingdom!
So what does this look like?
“In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3)
We mentioned the baby in the womb earlier. Think of it like this: to receive salvation is like a baby who’s been conceived. There is a life in the womb, but it is really just a preparation for the life to come in the “real world”. To truly live life, the baby must come out of the womb and be born into this world.
The Kingdom life comes when we are born again.
But what happens when a baby is born? Do you send him to take care of business for you? No, of course not. You must raise the baby and take care of every need. The baby has a lot of maturing to do. As the baby grows older, its parents are able to teach it new things. At first they teach him basic things. As he matures, they teach him more advanced things. Eventually, if he has been brought up well, he can be trusted to represent the family in all things.
This is God’s Kingdom plan. The Kingdom is first birthed in us as the smallest of seeds and through this new birth, we are a new creation. Jesus said it like this…
“31He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
33He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount[b] of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (13:31-33)
The Kingdom starts as something in us, but if we submit to God’s work in us, then it eventually permeates our life. This is the process by which we grow from a newborn son to a mature son which God can and will trust His business to.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Eph. 1:3-14)
Knowing the mystery of God’s will is a mighty thing! His mature sons are to be given all wisdom and understanding! This is the plan that He has for us! This is the Kingdom.
As we grow in His likeness He opens our mind to His own Heavenly understanding of things which is so vastly different from Man’s best wisdom. Sometimes it can seem only slightly different and yet the significance is worlds away! Fallen Man is not capable of this understanding, but the Spirit of God within can awaken this knowledge.
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)
Without God’s opening of the mind, it is a tool bound by a broken world. But it has the capacity to accept His seed and thus be renewed into the mind of Christ.
Paul teaches about this Kingdom reality amidst this broken world wonderfully in 2 Corinthians 3-5. You’re encouraged to go read these three chapters again in this light as they are incomplete as we’ll present them here. Even so, we’ll pick and choose a few verses to highlight:
“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant…And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit….For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake….For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you….Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day…So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal…We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 3-5 excerpts)
By fixing our eyes on His Kingdom and this unseen reality, it increasingly becomes the reality that we reside in even while living in this world still governed by our enemy. As death to our former life works in us, a new life of Christ opens up to us. We submit ourselves more and more to our Father’s will, and He more and more makes that will known to us as we more and more take on His likeness.
The more we grow up into His family, abiding in Him, the more He will position us to handle His business with all power and authority to do so. We will say,
“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
This is Part 6 in the series Kingdom of God. To continue with this series, click on Pt 7. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading Part 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4 and Pt 5.
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