The Kingdom of God:
Part 3 Spheres and Specifics
1. Top Down or Inside Out? (Matthew 13:31-35)
1.1 Influence: Leaven and Loaf
a) The Analogy: “Leaven”
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)
b) Don’t make the target too big
c) Don’t make the target too narrow.
2. Doing or Done To? (Isaiah 43:1-21)
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 (“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.
|Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.|
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