In this post, we consider some other views of what kingdom work could be.
In our last post, we defined kingdom work as “implementing communal life under the king.” In this post, we’ll consider other views on what kingdom work could be.
Since we have limited time and resources, the king’s tasks are our priority. We don’t want to be tangled in tasks that are tangents.
So, let’s evaluate some common proposals. (Skip to Proposal 5 if you wish.)
Continue reading “Alternative views of our role in his kingdom”
What constitutes kingdom work?
Kingdom work is a catchphrase for everything from social justice to church fund raising. But does it mean to work for the kingdom?
At the simplest level, kingdom work is doing what the king wants done.
We just need to be clear about what the king wants us to do. Is it individual piety, or getting people saved? Is it doing church work, or exposing injustice in society? Or is there no such thing as kingdom work, because the kingdom comes from God’s work, not ours? You’ll find people advocating all those positions.
How do we find out what the king wants done? The New Testament could provide some insight: Continue reading “What is our role in his kingdom?”
There’s one person who liberates us from oppression, into God’s reign.
Everyone in Jesus’ world knew what the kingdom of God was. It was the story they were living in. It started with Eden. Its restoration was promised to Abraham. It became a thing under Moses. Earthly kings like David represented God’s kingship. But it fell apart when Assyria and Babylon destroyed Israel as a nation.
So how would it be restored? They all knew what it was, but there were differing views on of how the kingdom of God would be restored. Continue reading “How does the kingdom come?”
When you hear the word “gospel”, do you think of God’s kingship being restored on the earth? Jesus did.
Jesus’ gospel was different to ours. Here’s how the Gospels summarize his message and mission:
Matthew 9 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Luke 4 43 He said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
What is the gospel of the kingdom? How is it different to a gospel of personal forgiveness? Jesus’ gospel is on a different scale — the difference between liberating a prisoner and liberating a planet. Continue reading “What is the gospel of the kingdom?”
All our fuzziness about the kingdom becomes clear when we ask, “Who is the king?”
Here’s a single question to clarify Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom: Who is the king?
That question has two answers:
- God is king. It’s the kingdom of God.
- Christ is king. God entrusted his kingship on earth to his anointed (Christ).
Our heavenly sovereign doesn’t impose his rule on us; he exercises his reign through us. He designed us to be images of his dominion, for the benefit of all the creatures on earth (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8).
That’s why God promised to restore his reign through humans, through Abraham’s family. When Israel asked for a king, God agreed to have a son of David representing his reign on earth (2 Samuel 7:11-16). God’s reign is through “the Lord and his anointed” (Psalm 2:2).
So Jesus is God’s Anointed (the Christ). But Jesus rarely promoted himself. If we don’t realize that he’s talking about his own kingship, his kingdom teaching can sound cryptic.
Continue reading “Who is the king?”
Here’s a single-sentence definition.
In the next five posts, we’ll cover the basics:
- What is the kingdom?
- Who is the king?
- What is the gospel of the kingdom?
- How does the kingdom come?
- What is our role in his kingdom?
Each post will conclude with a one-sentence answer.
The church has an important role in restoring the earth as God’s kingdom, but the church isn’t the goal. The church points to something bigger than itself: life under Jesus’ kingship.
Continue reading “The kingdom goal (Ephesians 4:14-16)”