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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Rooted in Christ

A Kingdom Curriculum

"Thy Kingdom Come" Session 1 - course introduction

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33, NKJV). 

When I was preparing for ordination to serve as a pastor, part of the process involved expressing alignment with certain theological documents as being faithful summaries of biblical teaching. If a man disagreed with something in those documents he had to state his position and explain how he believed it did not reflect the Bible’s teaching. 

One of my seminary classmates took issue with one of those theological declarations. As he read it, the statement was making the kingdom of God synonymous with the church. Kingdom and church could be used interchangeably. My friend strongly disagreed. 

It never occurred to me at the time to take issue, but my friend was right. The kingdom of God is broader than the church. The church is an agent of the kingdom and where the kingdom of God on earth is most visible. 

The kingdom of God is the redemptive rule of Jesus Christ. It reflects His victory over sin and death. That victory involves more than the salvation of individuals. It speaks to the resurrection power of Jesus Christ who is making all things new. The manifestations of the kingdom in the ministry of Jesus show that the kingdom had commenced and will one day be consummated. Right now that kingdom is growing to fill the earth. 

What does it look like for the church to be an agent of the kingdom? What does it mean for us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? What exactly are we praying for when we pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? How does the kingdom qualify our life and mission as disciples of the risen, reigning, returning Lord Jesus? 

That is what we will undertake to explore in a ten-lesson course offered by The Fellowship of Ailbe entitled, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We’ll examine three areas: kingdom vision, kingdom disciplines, and kingdom outcomes. 

Kingdom vision relates to perspective. How do we make sense of a disordered, dysfunctional, decaying world if an all-wise, all-good, all-powerful God is sovereign? Where can we find hope and promise? What do we need to navigate life as Christ’s disciples in what can be an inhospitable and adversarial world? 

Kingdom disciplines have to do with life under the rule of Jesus. How do we go about being agents of mercy and grace? Being delivered from the domain of darkness, how do we go about walking as children of light and growing in Christlikeness? If Jesus has delivered us from sin’s penalty and freed us from sin’s power, how can we know these things experientially and in greater measure? 

Kingdom outcomes look to what our Lord is accomplishing in this world, including through us as His instruments. What does it look like to be mature in Christ? What can we expect through our endeavors, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain? What will the hearing and doing of God’s Word bring about in us and through us? 

This course will involve self-paced study under the direction of a mentor. Each lesson will feature a video interview related to a book I have written and will include a study guide. Links to books and supporting materials will be provided. 

The course is free. Watch for an announcement about the availability of Thy Kingdom Come later this summer.

Why is the kingdom of God such a prominent theme in the Gospels?

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and ten grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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