The Way of the Kingdom – Here are some resources from our sermon series:
Notes from Sermon 1 – January 7th – Pastor Steph
The Good News of the Kingdom of God
1.What does Jesus mean by the Kingdom of God?
“The sovereign reign and rule of God which is breaking into our world.”
God is loving, gracious, compassionate, patient and good. But God’s beautiful and powerful creation is being torn apart by evil, brokenness and chaos and God longs to set it right.
So King Jesus, the prince of peace, inaugurates the Kingdom of God to begin to bring back order, peace and fruitfulness.
The Kingdom establishes God’s wisdom and reign over all of creation – it’s the greatest act of rescue and healing began as Jesus became a human who was also God (as we see in the transfiguration) but also as Jesus conquered death on the cross through his resurrection.
The inauguration set in motion a kingdom that is still coming in our midst and will come fully when Jesus returns to restore all things.
2. What does is look like for us to give our lives for the Kingdom of God?
We let go of trying to live our own independent story, or defining our stories by the little kingdom’s narratives – and we let the Kingdom of God be the story we participate in and orient our lives around.
It is the greatest story we could ever participate in!
Evil has been and is being defeated by love,
God’s creation is being healed from brokenness and will be restored to it’s original glory and even enhanced from it’s original glory as we see in Revelation. As Jesus’ followers we are commissioned and equipped to put the victory over evil and the restoration project into practice now.
We are rescued by Jesus from the powers that hold us back and we are forgiven and free because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross and then we are given a chance to join the rescue team! We have spiritual authority in the name of Jesus.
The work of Jesus and the power of the Spirit equip us to join in the redemption mission of God until Jesus returns to restore all things.
3. Why does the Kingdom of God matter today?
Quote from theologian N.T. Wright:
“Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of God’s creation; every minute spent teaching a child to read or walk, every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow non-human creatures; and of course, every prayer, all spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world – all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will make.
That is the logic of the mission of God. God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and the power of His Spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted. It will last all the way into God’s new world. In fact, it will be enhanced there.”
When we live the way of Jesus, and join in the way of the Kingdom – what we do matters forever.
NT Wright has this illustration of God like an architect who has blueprint plans for the grandest cathedral ever to be built and he has invited stone masons and artisans, jewelers and carpenters to craft every piece according to the plan.
They get their assignment and they are vaguely aware that others are getting along with their tasks – they know there are entire departments busy with their work ask well.
When they are finished with their stones, their window, their carvings, they hand them over without having seen the architect’s grand plan.
But they trust the architect that the work they have done will not be wasted. That every part matters, and every small work comes together to create the masterpiece!
They are not creating the cathedral – they are creating for the cathedral.
We are not the ones building the Kingdom, but we are building for the future kingdom that we can trust Jesus will one day bring fully to this earth.
Seek – Look for the kingdom breaking in – when what you see around you seems like Jesus move towards that.
Ask – Pray that God’s kingdom, God’s reign, would come in every situation personally, locally, and globally.
Join – Participate in what God is doing, knowing that every action of love, justice and faithfulness lasts forever.