May 18

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Just what do you know about the “kingdom of Christ?” Now, as I like to say, “Put on your thinking cap,” and think! It seems like a small enough request! If we think in physical terms, a kingdom requires a “King,” a law, a mass of land, citizens, and an army to keep the kingdom intact! Let us now take these same kingdom requirements and apply them to a “spiritual” kingdom. For Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world:” (John 18:36) and “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).
First, who is the king of this spiritual kingdom? Paul answers: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13). Looking at the point in this text, Paul’s first word is “Who,” which refers back to verse twelve and the words, “the Father,” as in God the Father. The word “Father” reveals a relationship and is seen in the last words of the text: “of his dear Son.” The King of the spiritual kingdom is God’s “dear Son,” who, of course, is Christ Jesus!
Second, the King has authority and this authority is exercised in law! Only hours before God’s “dear Son” was “taken up into heaven,” he told the eleven: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). Therefore, the King was given “all authority” by God the Father, and this authority is over everything save one, as Paul wrote: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28). Therefore, the one being who is not under the authority of Christ is God the Father who gave “all authority” to Christ. Please notice just how all embracing this authority is; as Jesus: “in heaven and in earth!”
Third, the “all authority” is located the law of Christ. There are some who “like” to believe that there is no “law of Christ,” but the inspirited apostle Paul wrote: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). It is true that Paul is addressing the obligations of bearing the burdens of one another, but this does not remove the fact that Christ does have a law by which the citizens of “the kingdom of God’s dear Son” are subject! Here is a definition of the word “law” is as given by John Austin: “A law, in the most general and comprehensive acceptation in which the term, in its literal meaning, is employed, may be said to be a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being, by an intelligent being having power over him.” According to Austin, “A law,… is employed, may be said to be a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being, by an intelligent being having power over him.” Christ being one intelligent being and the citizens of his kingdom are the “intelligent beings” and the rules through which Christ is said to be rule over them is “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9) to which all subjects are guided as they serve King Christ Jesus! John would also write: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). Please notice the words “commandments” is plural both times it is used by John. This would refer to the individual “rule” in the set of “rules.” These laws, rules are set on all four sides and serve as limitations in which one must abide; as John wrote: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). The person who does not “abide” within “the teaching of Christ” has removed himself from fellowship with both the Father and the Son! Thus, it might truly be said that the Constitution of “the kingdom of God’s dear Son” is “the teaching of Christ!”
Fourth, the mass of “land” which is under the “Constitution” of the kingdom of Christ is the heart of each citizen! Each citizen has freely yielded himself to the law of the kingdom, as Paul wrote: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). This “yielding” is done in “repentance,” which is the surrendering of the heart/mind to the law of the kingdom and the putting to death the old manner of life. Here Paul also has introduced us to a new word in this study, it is the word “righteousness,” which is another word for “rule” as yielding to it brings one into “the teaching of Christ!”
Fifth, and finally in this first article on the subject, “The Kingdom of Christ,” is the citizen army. Paul reveals both the purpose and the armor also; first the purpose: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13) and second, identifies each part of the armour: 1) the loin are to be girtted with truth, 2) the breastplate of righteousness, 3) feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, 4) the shield of faith, by which we are to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” 5) the helmet of salvation, and 6) the sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:14-17).
Therefore, “the dear Son of God” does have a kingdom and has all authority within it!

Frank R. Williams

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