Jul 07

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The workings of the kingdom of Christ are central to understanding the kingdom of Christ. Understooding that the kingdom is spiritual and not physical, and having briefly looked at the nature of, the authority and the organization of the kingdom of Christ, it is time to examine how this great kingdom works, as it is found around the earth!
A few questions might be helpful; with one king who is in heaven; how can a spiritual kingdom possibly work? How can this spiritual kingdom work without any worldly organization as in no hierarchy to direct it? Here is another question to help our thoughts: “Where is the headquarters for the kingdom of Christ?” It is freely admitted that most all denominational churches have state and national organizations, and a national headquarters, and this is how they work. The kingdom of Christ, has but one headquarters and it is in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. However, just what are the works and how do they work in this spiritual kingdom of which we write? If you should have time, you might try and answer each of the questions in written form! Just write down the questions and answer them; then, move on to the next one!
Take just a moment to answer this question: What is the first “work” of the kingdom of Christ? It is somewhat hard to think of it as a “work” but we are hard pressed to find another word; therefore, we will use the word “work!” As you enter the kingdom of Christ, having trusted the word of God, and having obeyed the gospel of Christ; thus, you were added, translated into the kingdom; other than rejoicing over being saved; just what was upon your mind? Did it ever occur to you that God should be worshipped, as your first act as a child of God; as you express your gladness in being saved? If not, you have missed a primary joy, which can only be expressed in worship of God! Some may be asking, “Why is this so natural?”
It is understood that you may not have given much, if any, thought to this question, but now you are called upon to think! What is the most natural thing for a saved person to do? It will help our study, if we approach our question with what Paul wrote: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). We have read and heard these words many, many times before, but did we get the fulness of the words? I think it very important that we look more closely at some of the words in this text, which are somewhat over looked by some. First, the word “for,” noticing that the verse starts with this word; as it stands before the words “by grace.” This little Greek word is very powerful. It is the Greek “gar” which is: “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification” (Strong). Well, just what is the reason, that explains, which intensifies, what Paul wrote, “by grace are ye saved through faith?” The answer is found in verse seven: “That in the ages to come he (God, frw) might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. The reason being, by grace are ye saved through faith; …” Did you get that? The reason for God’s salvation “by grace through faith” is that he is showing “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” When we are saved “by grace through faith,” we are experiencing God’s “grace in his kindness to us through Christ Jesus.” It is necessary that we keep in mind and in our thoughts, it is “to us through Christ Jesus!”
But, this is not all that we need to notice in Paul’s words. In the King James Version, we have “through faith.” The Greek Majority text has, “through the faith,” and this changes the general view of this text. The general view of this verse is that we have two parts related to our being saved: 1) God’s part, “grace” and 2) our part, our personal faith. However, if we use the diffiant article “the” before the word “faith,” it makes the words “and that not of yourselves” even more meaningful to us! As neither “grace” nor “the faith” is of man but of God! Therefore, being saved, “it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast!” Our salvation is not of ourselves! We had nothing to do with it; that is the means of our salvation! This does not negate, that man is responsible for “obeying the gospel” for all who do not “obey the gospel” are going to suffer what is beyond our comprehension! When Paul wrote of the coming of the Lord, he wrote: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8). The person who would tell you, that there is nothing that you must do to be saved is misleading themselves and you! Before leaving this text, it is also necessary that we notice another little word, this time, is the Greek word “ou” which is also a very powerful word. Strong says it is: “A primary word; the absolutely negative adverb.” A little more from Strong about this word: “objectively negates a statement,” “ruling it out as fact.” Just what is Paul “ruling out as fact” as an “objective negative,” in his use of the Greek word “ou”? Paul wrote: “Not, absolutely not of works, objectively not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9). Wherein is man able to “boast” in his salvation, when it is “by grace and the faith,” which are both of God and not of man? Not one man had anything to do with it! All boasting is out!!
Does anyone think that he has really done some great thing of his own, when he obeys the gospel? Or should he immediately worship God? He should fall upon his face before the great “I am!” And this is the first act that a saved person should do! Did you or do you understand that part of our worship is expressing our gratitude for our salvation which came by God through Christ?

Frank R. Williams

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