The Incoming Kingdom

The other day I read Colossians 1:15, 18: Christ is “the firstborn of all creation” and “the firstborn from the dead”. I considered this; that He is the new Adam, the first member of God’s new creation. When He rose from the dead, He started something entirely new to replace the old fallen order. God does not improve the world by moral laws or even example, but He will scrap it altogether, and in Christ he has initiated the new world already.

Jesus told us to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, and He embodied it1, He announced it2, He described it3 and He said it was coming4.

Paul proclaimed the kingdom5 and said we belong to it now6, but we must inherit it in the future life7; it is demonstrated now by the power of the Holy Spirit8.

All this brought back to me the reality and thrill of belonging to the incoming kingdom9. The powers of the age to come10 have invaded earth, and we can now live as colonies of heaven, ex-patriots living in the embassy grounds of the heavenly kingdom. The church is the body of Christ, because Christ in us is the kingdom manifest11. And because we know Him in our hearts and among us, we have a glorious hope of the fullness of the kingdom that we taste here.

In the light of this vision, the world’s glory fades, and prides of our old ways of life turn sour. Self-seeking and materialism become dry dust, because we have found something much, much better. Old loves are paper thin compared to the agape love that embraces all we now count precious.

So what does this kingdom people look like? And how is their love expressed? The keynote is the Holy Spirit, and given lives, big hearts. If we have lost any of that, we have lost sight of the incoming kingdom. If we see it, we will live it, truly and generously loving, truly shaking off sin and selfishness, truly walking by faith in the light of heavenly grace.

There is a lot to share, a lot to live out, a lot to celebrate!

 

Scripture Refs

  1. Luke 17:21
  2. Matthew 3:2
  3. Matthew 5-8
  4. Matthew 13
  5. Acts 28:31
  6. Colossians 1:13
  7. 1 Corinthians 6:9
  8. 1 Corinthians 4:20
  9. Matthew 12:28
  10. Hebrews 6:5
  11. Colossians 1:27