The Kingdom of God is the rule of a eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). The Kingdom of God is also the designation for the sphere of salvation entered into at the new birth (John 3:5-7), and is synonymous with the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God embraces all created intelligence, both in heaven and earth that are willingly subject to the Lord and are in fellowship with Him. The Kingdom of God is, therefore, universal in that it includes created angels and men. It is eternal, as God is eternal, and it is spiritual—found within all born-again believers. We enter the Kingdom of God when we are born again, and we are then part of that Kingdom for eternity. It is a relationship “born of the spirit” (John 3:5), and we have confident assurance that it is so because the Spirit bears witness with our spirits (Romans 8:16). God is sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient and the ruler over all of His creation. However, the designation “the Kingdom of God” encompasses that realm which is subject to God and will be for eternity. The rest of creation will be destroyed. Only that which is part of the “Kingdom of God” will remain. Today God mediates His Kingdom through believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit and obedient to the Word of God (1st Peter 2:9).
In the helpful new book in the Theology in Community series The Kingdom of God edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, the contributors seeks to set forth what the Kingdom of God is from the Old and New Testament, and apply the teaching of the Kingdom of God to miracles, Satan, demons, the Church, end times, as well as what it means today.
While all of the chapters are helpful, I particularly thought Dr. Anthony Bradley’s chapters “The Kingdom today” was helpful. In this chapter Dr. Bradley argues for the connection between orthodoxy (what Christians believe) and orthopraxis (how Christians live). He notes that, “The Bible is clear that we are to be people of faith and practice” (229). He explains that “Even with the best intentions and commitments we do not always know what is best, and, if we are honest, we must recognize that what is best is not always clear. Our orthopraxis and pursuit of justice means that, in our frailty ad imperfections, the best we can do is rely on prudential judgments guided by clear principles. Is there a framework to help us get started? This chapter suggests that “God has provided such a framework in His Word and creation so that the scaffolding of the kingdom of God presented in the previous chapters can move God’s people into mission” (229-230).
The focus of Dr. Bradley’s chapter is on the question, “What are God’s people to do in the kingdom to press the claims of Christ everywhere in creation? The answer has much to do with how we understand the nature of love, human dignity, our neighbors, and civil society as well as what we believe about what humans deserve, how we are to live in equality, how we reciprocate with others, and what people need” (230). The goal of Christians in the Kingdom is to respond to God’s grace by putting His glory on display so that we may invite others to taste and see how good it is to be in covenant with God.
The Kingdom of God in the Theology in Community series is a very helpful exploration on what the Kingdom of God means from Scripture, as well as what the Church has taught on the Kingdom. Throughout the book various scholars tackle thorny issues related to the meaning of the Kingdom of God. I recommend this book to Pastors, seminary, Bible college students, and serious Bible students interested in exploring the Kingdom of God from Scripture, church history and its meaning for Christians today.
Authors: Edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson
Publisher: Crossway (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.