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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Kingdom Civics

Power from on High

Power from on HighThe Kingdom of God is a realm of true spiritual power, which works to transform the world according to the purposes and plans of the divine economy.

Power from on HighThe Character of the Kingdom (2)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14.17

The Kingdom of God is a realm of true spiritual power, which works to transform the world according to the purposes and plans of the divine economy. As King Jesus rules at the right hand of God, He is advancing His Kingdom, causing His power to confront, persuade, and transform those on whom He has determined to set His favor, and using them, increasingly to advance His rule on earth as it is in heaven.

This Kingdom power is, as Jesus said, “not from this world” (Jn. 18.36); rather, it comes from God, Who inaugurated the “day of His power” (Ps. 110.1-3) at the exaltation of Christ and with the pouring out of His Spirit in the world (Acts 2). Since that first Pentecost of the new era, the power of God, in the Person of His Spirit, has been at work in the world. And, in the first place, He has been working to achieve a righteous rule of King Jesus.

At work in the world
The power of God is at work in the world by His Holy Spirit, Who has been poured out into the Church and is thus “at large” in the world.

In the world the Spirit works with the Word of God, particularly His Law (Ezek. 36.26, 27), striving with men in their consciences in order to convict them of their sin and create in their hearts a desire for deliverance from guilt, shame, and judgment (Gen. 6.63; Rom. 2.14, 15; Jn. 16.8-11). The Spirit restrains the wickedness of men by the strong but subtle influence He works upon them, so that, even though they may wish to break free of all restraints, they know it is in their best interest, at least to some extent, to abide by the standards of the Law of God, written on their hearts (2 Thess. 2.7; Ps. 81.15, esp. in NASB).

In the elect of God, the Spirit works with convincing power and transforming grace to bring them to repentance and faith, begetting them into the Kingdom of God’s own Son by bringing a new heart to those who have been dead in their trespasses and sins (Ezek. 36.26, 27; Gal. 4.4-6; Eph. 2.1-9).

The power of the Spirit, thus established in the world, and in the lives of those whom God has adopted as His own sons daughters (Jn. 1.12), pursues an agenda designed to advance the work of righteousness on earth as it is in heaven.

Individual transformation
The character of the Kingdom of God comes to expression in the form of righteousness; this is the work of God’s Holy Spirit in the world, a work He does both in individuals and in the community of Christ’s followers.

Paul explained that the power of God is at work within us, in those who have come to saving faith, enabling us to will and do according to the good purposes of God (Phil. 2.12, 13). We understand that we have no power of our own to increase in righteousness before the Lord. However, the power of God at work within us is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3.20). So, although we despair of having any desire or strength to lay aside our sinful ways and be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus (Eph. 4.17-24), we know that this is what God intends for us. Thus, seeking the Kingdom of God begins with seeking the Spirit of God, earnestly pleading for Him, to be filled with Him (Lk. 11.1-13; Eph. 5.15-21) so that He might work by His mighty power to accomplish the purposes of righteousness in us.

The particular form of that righteousness is that we might be conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior and King, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.12-18). Thus, in order to “make room” for the Spirit to transform us so, we must strive daily to know the Lord Jesus, both in His earthly manifestation as well as in His exaltation and glory. Study, meditation, and prayer can sharpen our vision of Christ, enlarge our understanding of what His righteousness must look like in us, and strengthen our desire to be thus transformed into His image.

Corporate transformation
However, the transforming power of the Spirit does not work merely in individual believers. Rather, He works within the community of the faithful in order to build them into the Body of Christ, a holy temple unto the Lord (Eph. 2.22). The Spirit strives within the Church to make her a beautiful community, the joy of the whole earth, a city set on a hill whose righteous ways enlighten and attract people from all over the world (Ps. 48.1-3; Matt. 5.13-16; Mic. 4.1-5).

To this end, the Spirit endows believers and their churches with spiritual gifts, abilities and powers beyond their natural endowments which are given for the purpose of building-up the community of faith into a healthy, growing Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12.7-11; Eph. 4.11-16). As pastors and teachers equip the saints with the Law of God, and all His beneficial Word (2 Tim. 3.15-17), the members begin to desire those works of service that reflect the inward work of Christ (Jn. 13.1-15); they take up the pursuit of holiness according to the Law of God and in the fear of God (1 Jn. 2.1-6; 2 Cor. 7.1); and they begin to grow together as living stones to build up the Church as the very embodiment of the Lord on earth (1 Pet. 2.1-10; Ps.48.12-14).

He also empowers them to bear witness to Christ – both individually and as communities – by their lives and words, giving astonishing and uncompromising testimony to the reality of Christ and His love (Acts 1.8); cf. Acts 4-6).

Thus, in the individual members of the Church, in particular churches scattered throughout the communities of the world, as well as the Church on earth at any given time, the Lord works to bring the righteousness of Christ increasingly to light on earth as it is in heaven. We are faithful to our calling in seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to the extent that, personally and corporately, we are earnestly involved in seeking the righteousness of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, in every aspect of our lives (1 Cor. 10.31).

Seeking the Kingdom begins in the pursuit of righteousness for all those who have known the healing which the Sun of Righteousness has brought to their souls (Mal. 4.2).

For more insight to the Spirit’s work of righteousness in us, and in our communities, get the book, The Ground of Christian Ethics, from our Book Store. Click the tab on the home page.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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