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.
The king’s goal is the whole of humanity healed from divisions, restored from the power fights that decimated us and drove us apart. The good news of King Jesus frees us from the political conniving, the propaganda, the lies that have driven us to war against each other and demean each other for gain.
King Jesus is creating a society where people speak truthfully to each other, without mixed motives or hidden agendas. Not truth that’s used to hurt. Authenticity that flows from genuine care for the well-being of the other — truth from a heart of love. His goal is a society where people value each other the way he valued us: he didn’t condemn us; he gave his life for us.
His goal is a global community brought to maturity in the character of our king:
Ephesians 4 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV)
How can the church model this kingdom hope?
- Unity of life (4:1-6). Sacrificial love (4:7-10). Equipping and empowering each other for “works of service” for the king in his world (4:11-13).
- Developing the character of the king in our lives, internally and relationally (4:17 – 5:20).
- Modelling what it looks like to live for the benefit of the other (submission instead of power-seeking) in home and business life (5:21 – 6:9).
- Engaging with the wider spheres of power where we can get hurt, wearing only the armour God wore when he came to deal with the powers (6:10-23).
The church has a role: to model that goal.