What difference does the kingdom make?

Ever notice how the answers you receive in life depend on the questions you ask? On this blog, the questions we’re asking are not the typical ones you find in systematic theology. We’re asking why the kingdom of God was the centre of Jesus’ thought and practice. We’re asking what difference it would make if we made the kingdom of God the centre of our thought and practice too.

This year, I want to start addressing the “So what?” question. What difference does this perspective make? The difference is huge: the kingdom reframes everything!

God, humanity, Christ, sin and evil, atonement, the world, the church, salvation and restoration, evangelism, partnering with Holy Spirit, and the ultimate goal (end times) — everything looks different when viewed through the lens of the kingdom of God.

Worth exploring? Buckle up and hang on: this is where it gets interesting!

Here’s a quick summary of how some of the most common theological questions appear from the kingdom perspective:

  1. Who is God? He is king of heaven and earth.
  2. What is the world? It’s his earthly kingdom.
  3. What is sin? It’s the rebellion against God’s kingship, grasping power that belongs in God’s hands.
  4. Who is Christ? He is the human (son of man) anointed by God (Christ) to restore his reign in his earthly realm (Lord), and he’s the eternal son of the heavenly sovereign.
  5. What is the atonement? It’s how our heavenly sovereign reconciles his earthly realm back under his kingship, confronting evil rule in the most astounding way (his cross), defeating the powers of evil and death (his resurrection), receiving the throne (his ascension), reconciling heaven and earth under his kingship.
  6. Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the one who cleanses the defiled world, regenerating, sanctifying, and empowering the servants of the king.
  7. What is the church? It’s the people who give allegiance to King Jesus, living as his community so the world can see what life under his kingship could be.
  8. What about human governments? They are temporary servants of the heavenly king, commissioned to limit violence and evil in his earthly realm until everyone gives allegiance to our true king.
  9. How will it end? It will end with every power surrendering to the ruler God anointed (the Christ), who then gives the kingship back to God where it always belonged (1 Corinthians 15:27–28).

Want more detail? Stay tuned!

Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia

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