What We Must Do (10)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation…Romans 1.16
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God has come to the field of the world, and it is increasing daily, as Lord works in and through His redeemed people to sow good Kingdom seed in Personal Mission Fields of every sort and extend. With the coming of the Kingdom of God a new era broke into human history. A new King is on the throne, and He is advancing a new economy – a spiritual economy in which grace fuses with Law, issuing, by the power of God’s Spirit, in widespread, ever-increasing love and truth among men.
A new agenda governs the affairs of men: King Jesus is building His Church and calling out a people for Himself. That people is constituted as a holy nation, and together they pursue an altogether new priority – seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness for all of life. And they are infused with new hope, the hope of knowing God’s glory and showing His glory to the world. A new and overriding passion governs all they do, that God, Who has saved and richly blessed them, might receive glory and honor and praise from every sector of the world field.
All this has come about because of the glorious saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News of His Kingdom! His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension – and the promise of His imminent return – have ushered out the old era, overcome the old tyrant that ruled men’s souls, shackled our spiritual foes, canceled the old economy of sin and death, replaced the old agenda and priority of mere self-seeking, and the set aside the old, unreliable hope in fleeting things and circumstances.
The world may seem like a tapestry of secularism, narcissism, materialism, and sensuality, but this is only the ragged and confused underside. Turn that tapestry rightside-up, and you will see that the Kingdom of light is advancing in power everywhere (1 Jn. 2.8).
The Kingdom of God is thus good news – Gospel.
If we could summarize in one word just what that good news consists of, surely it would be the word, power. The Kingdom of God is power, as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 4.20. The active presence and ready availability of that power – the power of God’s Word and Spirit – is Good News for the world because it makes possible a life that is new and transforming in all its aspects.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is the power of God for transformation, a transformation so complete and thorough that it makes all things new, ultimately, even the whole vast cosmos. Those who know this power are changed by the glory of God so that, increasingly, their lives refract the living reality of the risen Christ, their King into all their relationships, roles, and responsibilities (2 Cor. 3.7-18; Eph. 4.17-24). The fruits and virtues that flow from their lives, like rivers of living water, are precisely those most to be desired and least in supply in a fallen world (Jn. 7.37-39; Gal. 5.16-23). Together, those who know this power form communities of grace and truth whose ability to transform relationships, cultures, and whole societies has been demonstrated over and over throughout the course of Church history (Acts 6.1-7; 17.1-9; 19.18-20).
The transforming power of the Gospel
This transforming power of the Gospel of the Kingdom is the experience and testimony of every person who, coming to salvation in Jesus Christ, has taken up the calling to seek the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit as his guiding orientation in life (Matt. 6.33; Rom. 14.17).
Righteousness is truth abounding in love – spiritual knowledge and true discernment, leading to excellence and purity in life, after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 1.9-11). Righteousness defines the character of the Kingdom of God.
Peace is that “beyond understanding” state of soul that nothing can terrify and nothing can shake (Phil. 4.6, 7). Peace is the condition which settles in as the Kingdom advances. Those who know the power of the Gospel know peace because they are settled on Christ, hidden in the palm of God’s hand, sheltered by His Word, and filled and protected by His Spirit.
The joy that issues from such peace represents the consequence of the Kingdom, and conveys a hope that is lodged in transcendent and unchangeable realities, a hope so infectious that, observed, it leads others to seek a reason for it (1 Pet. 3.15).
Where the power of the Kingdom is at work in the field of the world, the salvation of God brings transformation, so that the fruit of righteousness, peace, and joy begin to be increasingly in evidence among the tares of unbelief and sin.
This is the Good News of the day of salvation, the Good News that men and women in every age have delighted to know, the Good News that power is available for making all things new and bountiful, for all who believe, in all areas of their lives, throughout the field of the world.
1. How do you experience the Gospel as Good News? Be specific, and be convincing.
2. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit. Four ideas: Righteousness, peace, joy, and the Holy Spirit. What does each of these contribute to the “Good News” of the Kingdom?
3. How does the “transforming power” of the Kingdom work? What gets changed? How?
Next steps – Preparation: Prepare an outline of a presentation of the Gospel based on the Good News of the Kingdom as outlined in this article. Try sharing your presentation with another Christian. Ask for comments, feedback, and suggestions. Then begin to commit this presentation of the Gospel to memory, so that you will have it ready to share whenever a door of opportunity presents in your Personal Mission Field.
T. M. Moore
Our Mission Partners Outreach can help you begin sharing the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom with the people in your Personal Mission Field. The training and materials are free, and the program is available in two formats, and can be used in your Bible study group or Sunday school class. Watch this brief video (click here), and download the Lesson Plans to learn more.
Are you living as fully as you might the presence, promise, and power of Christ’s Kingdom? Our book, The Kingdom Turn, can help to enlarge your vision and experience of living under the Kingship of Jesus in this day of salvation. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.