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

Real – and Powerful

The Realm of GodThe Kingdom of God is a concept familiar to most Christians, but only as a concept, something to talk about, merely. But, as Paul reminds us, the Kingdom of God is not merely something to talk about. If we want to experience all that Christ has for us in His Kingdom – full and abundant life (Jn. 10:10) – then we shall have to become more familiar with this new reality that He has launched into the world.

The Realm of GodThe Character of the Kingdom (1)

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
-1 Corinthians 4.20

A realm rather than a place
Thus far in this series we have considered what it means to practice the Kingship of Jesus, and we have examined the business of our King as He rules at the right hand of God from His throne on high.

The Kingdom of God is a concept familiar to most Christians, but only as a concept, something to talk about, merely. But, as Paul reminds us, the Kingdom of God is not merely something to talk about. If we want to experience all that Christ has for us in His Kingdom – full and abundant life (Jn. 10:10) – then we shall have to become more familiar with this new reality that He has launched into the world.

And the Kingdom of God is real, very real. However, it is not real in the same way that you might imagine or visit some earthly kingdom or political entity. The Kingdom of God is not a place you visit or occupy. It is rather a realm of spiritual life and activity that operates in every place, with increasing presence, power, and fruit.

The Kingdom of God is a realm of spiritual power that exerts influence and has effects on every aspect of human life. But we must understand that power – what it is for, and how we may access it – if we are to know more of the reality of the Kingdom in our own daily walk, as we practice the Kingship of Jesus and join Him in His Kingdom business.

A realm of spiritual power
The operative power of the Kingdom of God is twofold: God’s Word and His Spirit. The Word of God is alive and powerful; it is able to exert influence on the souls of men and, hence, on their lives as well (Heb. 4.12). God has given us His Word to equip us for every good work as we embody and express the reality of the Kingdom of His own dear Son, into which He has translated us by grace through faith (2 tim. 3.15-17; Col. 1.13).

The power of God’s Word and Spirit works to overcome the power and effects of sin and to make all things new in the lives of God’s Kingdom citizens. This power works through a kind of spiritual persuasion to turn our hearts and lives away from wickedness and to the righteousness and glory of God for every aspect of life (Jn. 16.8-11). They who have embraced the Gospel of the Kingdom and have been born again into the Kingdom of God will naturally desire to know that power increasingly in every aspect of their lives (2 Pet. 3.18). Indifference to the power of the Kingdom, or unwillingness to seek, know, experience, and express that power probably indicates a merely intellectual acceptance of Jesus Christ, rather than genuine conversion and salvation (cf. Heb. 6.1-9). By contrast, those who seek a full and flourishing realization of the Kingdom of God daily seek to know and embody the Kingdom’s power as they strive to improve their lives according to the teaching of God’s Word and the promise of His Spirit (2 Pet. 1.5-11; Eph. 5.15-21).

Thus, it is incumbent on all those who claim to have been born again to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in all they do, for every aspect of their lives, every waking moment, every day. Since the power of the Kingdom is available to us, they who have been born again into that true spiritual realm will hungrily seek to know and express the power that is now theirs by God’s Word and Spirit. Unless we press on like this we shall have no real reason to hope that the upward prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus will be ours at the end of the day (Phil. 3.8-15).

This means developing good disciplines of Scripture reading and study, coupled with prayer and other spiritual disciplines, and learning those spiritual practices characteristic of the indwelling Spirit and the glory of God (Eph. 4.17-24; 2 Cor. 3.12-18). We shall deal with these topics more fully later on in this series, when we explore the question of what it means to seek the Kingdom of God.

Real transforming power
The power of the Kingdom that is at work within us intends to transform our lives increasingly into the very image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.18). Thus, we can know that this power is at work wherever we see people laying aside the life of sin and devoting themselves increasing to practicing the Kingship of Jesus (Eph. 4.17-24; 1 Jn. 2.1-6).

The power of the Kingdom of God has transformed countless men and women, in every age and place, from hopeless sinners to shining examples of grace and truth. We have every reason to believe that this power, at work in us by God’s Word and Spirit, can do the same in our lives.

As the power of God’s Kingdom works within us, it engenders a new hope – the hope of glory (Rom. 5.1, 2) – which works visible effects in our lives – how we treat others, the manner of our conversation, our priorities, character, and fruitfulness. So palpable is this hope, as the power of the Kingdom leavens every aspect of our lives, that even those who do not know the Lord can see it. Indeed, so remarkable is the hope of glory, lived out in our lives, that many will feel compelled to ask us the reason why our lives are so different from those of others (1 Pet. 3.15).

As this begins to happen we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have entered and engaged a power from beyond this world which is nevertheless at work in this world, making all things new to the glory of Christ and God.

And this is the essence of life in the Kingdom – Kingdom Civics.

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 Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No items in cart