The Gospel of the Kingdom – The Purpose & Plan of God Pointing Towards Fulfillment
What is the gospel (good news)? We stated last week that what we normally hear presented as the gospel is but a shell of the good news Christ and the apostles taught. We have an event scheduled tonight to deliver and discuss the pure, unfiltered gospel as taught by Christ which you can sign up for here. But let’s take a quick stab at it here.
The gospel of the Kingdom is centered around the Spirit of Christ, or Sonship, and what the Father will accomplish in and through His Son, as we, His people, born of and endowed by His Spirit, are included in this glorious work and its end, even the fullness of His love and Glory.
In the beginning…
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
God created Man in His own image! If you read the verse prior to this, you can see that His intention was to raise Man into His likeness so that Man would come to be like Him. If you read the next few verses you see that God gave Man all of the world and everything in it to rule. He wanted Adam & Eve to come together and make many children (multiply) and rule (subdue) all of His Creation. Life in the garden would be one where the sons of Man grew in ever increasing numbers as the family of God.
He would know them, and they would increasingly know Him. As they grew to know Him, they would increasingly take on His likeness and represent His Glory, Name, & Likeness to all the world so that the entire world could see Him through Man. He walked with and taught Adam & Eve so that they would take on His character and nature. He didn’t need a family, but He desired a family who would choose Him. This was God’s plan.
He did it all while giving Man the free will to choose His plan or another path. We chose a different way. Adam fell. Because all of Mankind is of his seed, we were born into a broken, flesh obsessed world incapable of knowing God or His ways.
It was not that Adam & Eve didn’t love God. They did. He was their only family and their Father and Creator. But they didn’t love Him above all else. They wanted a little bit of their own way too!
All this, God understood from the beginning and He maintained a remnant people through various covenants throughout history with those such as Noah and Abraham. He often dealt severely with Man so that the ones He held His covenant with would remain purely His. God is not in a hurry, and He has not changed His mind about what He wants. It is difficult to understand the eternal plans of God because we are stuck in time and space, but God is working out His plan in us throughout history so that His plan will come to pass perfectly in Man as He has always intended. He will have His family.
He gave us a picture of this when He invited all of Israel up the mountain to make them a Nation of Priests.
“Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you [a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
But again, the people disobeyed Him (this time scared of God), and chose not to come up the mountain as He told them to. Thus Moses was made an intermediary to God for the people Israel.
As He had planned from the beginning, God sent His only begotten Son to be the last Adam. He tasted our suffering and was made perfect through it (Hebrews 2:10). Unlike Adam, Jesus chose to forsake every desire of His own and only choose what the Father gave Him. Thus He was able to show perfect obedience to the Father and break Satan’s universal control over this world and Man. He took all Sin upon Himself at the cross and died our death instead .
After descending to the deep and taking back the keys to power over death and Hades, He ascended to God’s presence & sat down at His right hand where He could grant all power & authority given Him by the Father to those who are His Body & Bride. God’s plan is still in effect for Man (as His body on earth) to subdue everything, even while being opposed by the evil one and his agents, as His sons live this earthly life with this power and authority He gives His Body.
Whoever believes in Him becomes members of God’s family. For those willing to lay down their own lives (their own desires, plans, and ways) to take up Christ’s, they are granted citizenship in His Kingdom and the power and authority to conduct His family business. This is a process whereby God matures His sons to bring about His character, likeness, and Nature in them. They become more and more aware of a Kingdom reality that is present, but not visible, in this world that they had previously known as one dimensional.
His Kingdom is greater than and has power over this broken world. Through His Church, His Body, His Bride, His Family, He will subdue everything under His feet and when this is done hand it over to our Father who will fill Himself all in all…just as He has always said He would.
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:20-28 [NIV])
If you’d like to hear more about the gospel, you can tonight – sign up for here.
This is Part 3 in the series Kingdom of God. To continue with this series, click on Pt 4. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading Part 1 and Pt 2.
Photo credit: I, Puzzled