Thoughts on the In-Breaking Kingdom of God

“The central theme in the ministry and teaching of Jesus is the kingdom of God, or as Matthew calls it, the kingdom of Heaven. This key idea ties his entire message together. The “kingdom of God” permeates Jesus’ ministry, giving it coherence and clarity. It is the undisputed core, the very essence, of his life and teaching.” ~ Donald Kraybill, The Upside Down Kingdom, p. 16.

“In broad strokes, most biblical scholars agree that the “kingdom of God” means the dynamic rule or reign of God. The reign involves God’s intentions, authority, and ruling power. It doesn’t refer to a territory or a particular place. Nor is it static. It’s dynamic – always becoming, spreading, and growing. The kingdom points us not to the place of God but to God’s ruling activities. It is not a kingdom in heaven, but from heaven – one that thrives here and now. The kingdom appears whenever women and men submit their lives to God’s will. ~ Kraybill, p. 18.

Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington talk about the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their book, The Great Exchange. To introduce this study, they talked about the different facets of the gospel and they declared that the whole gospel must be preached and believed for us to really know God.  One of the facets of the gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom:

                                  

“In the gospel, our worldview is radically changed. We refer to this facet [of the gospel] as the gospel of the kingdom. It means that our definitions of health, wealth, security, comfort, and prosperity are turned upside down compared to the world’s view. It means we embrace the paradoxes of Christ’s teaching – to live is to die, to be great is to be a servant of all, and to be rich is to give sacrificially. All our values change, as do our views on community, poverty, gender, racism, orphans and widows, and the sick and the weak. But none of this can happen authentically apart from the cross, where our sin was exchanged for his righteousness.”

~ Bridges and Bevington, The Great Exchange, p. 16.

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