What observations can you make about the Kingdom of God and how do they relate to Christ’s disciples being the salt of earth and the light of the world?
THE KINGDOM OF GOD was Jesus’ chief concern. It was mentioned over 120 times in the Gospels and was the subject of Jesus’ first sermon (Mk 1:14-15) and final teachings (Acts 1:3) during His earthly ministry. The Kingdom is not a physical territory, but the rule of God as King and the rightful response of His subjects. R. T. France insightfully describes the Kingdom thus: “As God the King exercises his authority in his world, and people respond to it, there the ‘Kingdom of God’ will be experienced in many ways. There can be no one place, time, event or community which is the ‘Kingdom of God’, any more than ‘the will of God’ can be tied down to any specific situation or event. ‘The Kingdom of God’ is God in saving action, God taking control in his world.”6 The eight beatitudes (vv.3-10) are much more than an ideal set of virtues. They define for us the radical righteousness of God’s Kingdom. As God’s redeemed people, we are to manifest God’s rule in at least three ways. First, by reflecting God’s attributes of humility, gentleness, righteousness, compassion, purity and peace in the way we live and work in whatever role and wherever He has placed us in the marketplace or at home (vv.3-12). Second, by serving as “salt” to preserve and accentuate goodness and godliness in our society, and as “light” to illuminate the ultimate reality of life according to God’s Word and point people to God and His Son Jesus Christ. Third, by carrying the Gospel of Christ and His Kingdom to all who have yet to hear it.
In what ways have I been a “closet” Christian, not manifesting God’s rule where He has placed me in the marketplace?
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
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What characterises the triumph of God’s people in tribulations under tyrants?
How can I triumph in tribulations?
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