The Kingdom of God:

Part 3 – Spheres and Specifics

Session #5 The King and I : Self Government

58 minutes

1. Top Down or Inside Out? (Matthew 13:31-35)

1.1 Influence: Leaven and Loaf

a) The Analogy: “Leaven”

  • Godly men and women have changed the world by influence, not power.

b) The Action: Hid

c) The Amazement: Three Measures

d) The Accomplishment: “ALL”

1.2 Impact: Mandate and Mission

The dominion mandate is much broader than the presentation of a simple gospel message, but it must include the task of evangelism. The gospel must focus on making disciples rather than making decisions; but it will be the gospel, not political or social activism that will change the world. And while the gospel is addressed to individuals, it will touch the nations.

a) Don’t make the target too small (Rev 7:9)

  • The dimensions of the crowd
  • The diversity of the crowd

b) Don’t make the target too big

  • Not the vast socio-economic entities that we call nations today
  • Ethnic groups or distinct people groups. In that sense, four out of every five non-Christians still live in people groups that have not been effectively reached with the gospel.

c) Don’t make the target too narrow.

  • Discipling nations AND saving individuals.

2. Doing or Done To? (Isaiah 43:1-21)

26 minutes

The focus of the kingdom is not on doing but on being: what we do flows out of what we be. So, for example, we are not to do witnessing; we are to be witnesses – and that’s what happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8).

2.1 Jacob: God Created - Regeneration

2.2 Israel: God Formed - Sanctification

a) The allusion to an old story (Gen 32:24-32)

b) The application of the old story (Isaiah 43:1-3a)

2.3 Witnesses: God Made – Set free

a) The meaning of witnesses in context

b) The making of witnesses in Christians

  • Praise to be heard (Is 43:21)
    Thomas Brooks: “David’s heart was out of tune more often than his harp was.”
  • Praise to be seen (Is 43:7)

Praise (“hallel”) means both a sweet flute-like sound, and a clear shining light. Praise is something which people must both hear and see. Hence Mt 5:16.

Isaiah elaborates on how that will take place. The God who made a way through the sea (out of Egypt) will make a way through the desert (out of Babylon). The God who redeemed us in a new creation will save us in a marvelous transformation. He did an old thing: now he will do a new thing! He’ll make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert: he’ll provide a way out of captivity.

“Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.” The kingdom belongs to the Lord. The kingdom has to do with him doing all that he needs to do to get the glory. And in order to make that happen, the kingdom includes his power – we need power in order to become witnesses to his glory. His glory is possible because of his power. He has the power to make us to be to the praise of his glory!

In Jesus’ teaching concerning the kingdom, this element of his power was at the forefront. His primary focus was not on a kingdom that ruled political jurisdictions; it was on the power to set people free. Out of that, nations and cultures would ultimately be transformed. But the word of the kingdom came, as here in Isaiah, to people bound in captivity.

  • Mt 12:28. When Jesus casts out demons by the Holy Spirit, then the kingdom has come. His kingship is vindicated and authenticated by his power to set people free.
  • Lk 11:20. He does it with a finger – just as he transformed Jacob with a touch
  • Jer 23:7,8 – a testimony of salvation from Egypt brought up to date by a testimony of deliverance from Babylon. The Kingdom of God has to do with God’s people being set free so that they truly ARE (in the core of their being) to the praise of his glory.

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.
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