8th April 2012

Kingdom Of God

“But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour….”
Titus 3:4-6 (NIV UK)

As children, many of us played a game called 20 Questions, and usually the first question would be, “Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?” That was because, in days long ago, the natural world was classified as animal, vegetable, or mineral. As research and microscopic technology advanced, of course, this simple classification changed.

In the 1960s a five-kingdom classification was proposed for living organisms alone. This classification placed most single celled organisms into two kingdoms, either the prokaryotic Monera or the eukaryotic Protista. The third kingdom was Fungi, the fourth, Plantae. The fifth kingdom was Animalia. These are the classifications of biological kingdoms on planet earth.

But there is also another kingdom, not of this world. It is the kingdom of God. It is not a kingdom that can be studied with microscopes and callipers. The only way to know about this kingdom is by God’s own revelation.

Jesus, who is the perfect revelation of the Father, is the king of this kingdom. And he is like no king of this world. He freely gave himself for the salvation of the world. He was the Creator of all, and he is the Redeemer of all he created. Through the humiliation of suffering and death, he conquered not mere territories and lands, which all belong to him anyway, but he conquered all sin and death.

His kingdom is not defined by lands and laws; it is defined by a relationship—union with Jesus Christ. In Jesus, humanity has been drawn into Jesus’ own relationship with the Father.

The apostle Paul tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Galatians 6:15 he wrote, “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”

In Jesus, all things have been made new. All the pain and sorrow of life: dashed hopes, wrecked relationships, sudden tragedy, injustice, missed opportunities, ruined lives: everything will be made right in the fullness of his kingdom, in the new creation rooted in God’s love—a new creation that is waiting for every one of us.

The kingdom of God is about a new you, a new me, and a new world—remade in Jesus Christ by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. Salvation is not about us finding a way to enter this kingdom, but about trusting the One who has already done everything necessary to secure a place for us in it.

Holy Father, the old me perished in the waters of baptism, and the new me, in Jesus Christ, was born. Help us not just to understand that, but to live it. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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