kingdom of God: Definition, Meaning and characteristics

kingdom of God: Definition, Meaning and characteristics

 The Old Testament looked forward to the coming of the King (Psa. 2:6-9):

In the Old Testament, there are various prophecies and passages that anticipate the arrival of a special figure who would be a King and Messiah. One of these prophecies is found in Psalm 2:6-9. This psalm is a royal psalm, meaning it refers to the kingship of a future ruler. The passage speaks of God's chosen King, who will rule with authority and power over the nations. The imagery portrays this King as God's Son, who will be given authority to govern and establish God's righteous rule on earth. In the New Testament, Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prophecy as the awaited King and Messiah.

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Jesus claimed to be the promised King (Jn. 18:33-37):

In the Gospel of John, chapter 18, verses 33-37, there is an account of Jesus standing before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, during His trial before His crucifixion. During this trial, Pilate questions Jesus about His kingship. Jesus, in response, affirms that He is indeed a King, but His kingdom is not of this world. He explains that His authority and kingship are rooted in divine origins, not limited to earthly political power. By claiming to be a King, Jesus affirms His identity as the long-awaited Messiah and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming King.

King of kings (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14):

The phrase "King of kings" is a title used in the New Testament to describe the supreme authority and rulership of Jesus Christ. In 1 Timothy 6:15, Paul refers to Jesus as the "King of kings and Lord of lords," emphasizing His unmatched sovereignty over all other kings and rulers in the world. Similarly, in the Book of Revelation 17:14, Jesus is portrayed as the Lamb who overcomes the forces of evil and is recognized as the King of kings and Lord of lords. This title highlights Jesus' supremacy and divine authority over all earthly and heavenly powers.

Kingdom on the throne (Acts 2:30; Heb. 1:3):

In Acts 2:30, the Apostle Peter refers to the promise made by God to King David in the Old Testament, that one of his descendants would sit on his throne forever. Peter explains that this promise was fulfilled through the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ, who now reigns as King on David's throne in the heavenly realm. This means that Jesus' kingdom is not a physical earthly kingdom but a spiritual one with universal authority.

In Hebrews 1:3, it is stated that Jesus is the exact representation of God's nature and the One who upholds all things by His powerful word. This verse emphasizes Jesus' position as the King ruling over all creation, sitting at the right hand of God's throne. His authority and dominion extend over the entire universe, and He holds the highest position of honor and power.

Head over all things (Eph. 1:20-23):

In Ephesians 1:20-23, the Apostle Paul describes the great power of God, which raised Jesus Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms. Paul emphasizes that God has placed all things under Jesus' feet and appointed Him as the head over all things for the benefit of the Church. As the head of the Church, Jesus exercises authority, guidance, and care over His followers, and His reign extends over all aspects of creation. This passage underscores Jesus' role as the ultimate ruler, guiding and overseeing all things in the universe.

Overall, these topics highlight Jesus Christ's identity as the promised King, His authority as the King of kings, His kingdom, and His role as the head over all creation and the Church. They draw from various passages in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, to present a comprehensive understanding of Jesus' divine kingship and sovereignty.

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Kingdom with All Authority {Power} (Matthew 28:18):

In Matthew 28:18, after His resurrection, Jesus declares to His disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. This statement highlights the supreme power and sovereignty of Jesus Christ as the resurrected and exalted King. It signifies that Jesus has complete control and dominion over all things, both in the spiritual realm (heaven) and the earthly realm.

Reign Forever (Luke 1:33):

In Luke 1:33, the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that her son Jesus will be given the throne of David and will reign over the house of Jacob forever. This verse emphasizes the eternal nature of Jesus' kingship. It connects Jesus to the prophetic promise given to King David in the Old Testament, where it was foretold that one of his descendants would have an everlasting kingdom. The reign of Jesus is not temporary but eternal, demonstrating His unending authority and rule.

The Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15; Colossians 1:13):

In Mark 1:14-15, it is mentioned that Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." This passage emphasizes that the central message of Jesus' ministry is the good news of the kingdom of God. The term "kingdom of God" refers to God's reign and rule over His people and creation.

In Colossians 1:13, Paul talks about how God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. This verse indicates that through Jesus' work, believers are brought into the kingdom of God, experiencing freedom from sin and entering a new realm of spiritual existence under Christ's lordship.

Kingdom is at Hand (Matthew 4:17; Luke 4:43):

Both Matthew 4:17 and Luke 4:43 record Jesus' proclamation that the kingdom of God is at hand. This means that the kingdom of God is near and accessible to those who hear and respond to Jesus' message. Jesus' arrival marks the ushering in of God's kingdom on earth, and He invites people to repent and turn to God in faith to become partakers in His kingdom.

"Not Far From" (Mark 12:34):

In Mark 12:34, Jesus engages in a conversation with a scribe who asked Him about the greatest commandment. After the scribe responds wisely, Jesus tells him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." This statement implies that the scribe's understanding of the importance of love for God and others brings him close to grasping the essence of the kingdom of God. However, it also suggests that he needs to take a step further in accepting Jesus as the King and embracing His teachings fully.

A Different Kingdom (John 18:36; Romans 14:17):

In John 18:36, during His trial before Pilate, Jesus states, "My kingdom is not of this world." Here, Jesus clarifies that His kingdom does not operate according to the standards and systems of the world. While earthly kingdoms often rely on military power and political influence, Jesus' kingdom is rooted in spiritual principles, righteousness, and divine authority.

Romans 14:17 affirms that the kingdom of God is characterized by "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." This verse further highlights the contrast between the values of God's kingdom and the values of the world. It emphasizes the spiritual and transformative nature of Christ's kingdom, where believers find true righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Spirit's work.

The kingdom of Christ has to do with obedience to Him (Matthew 4:17):

In Matthew 4:17, Jesus begins His ministry by proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The phrase "kingdom of heaven" refers to the rule and reign of God in the hearts and lives of people. To enter this kingdom, one must repent, which means turning away from sin and selfishness and turning toward God in obedience. The kingdom of Christ, therefore, is intimately connected with submitting to Jesus as King and following His teachings and commandments.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33):

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus instructs His followers to prioritize seeking the kingdom of God above all else. This means placing God's rule and righteousness as the primary focus and goal in their lives. Seeking the kingdom of God involves aligning one's thoughts, actions, and desires with God's will and purpose. By doing so, believers acknowledge Jesus as their King and submit to His authority in every aspect of their lives.

Kingdom law is indestructible (Matthew 24:35):

In Matthew 24:35, Jesus affirms the enduring nature of His kingdom's law. He says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." This statement underscores the eternal and unchanging nature of Jesus' teachings and principles. The laws and truths of His kingdom are not subject to decay or destruction, remaining relevant and applicable throughout time.

Kingdom law is unalterable (Galatians 1:6-10):

In Galatians 1:6-10, the Apostle Paul warns the Galatian believers about false teachings that were being introduced to distort the gospel of Christ. He emphasizes that the true gospel is unalterable and does not change with passing trends or human opinions. The kingdom law, as revealed through the gospel of Christ, remains constant and must not be tampered with or compromised.

Kingdom law will be the standard for judgment (John 12:48):

In John 12:48, Jesus declares that the words He has spoken will serve as the standard for judgment on the last day. This means that the teachings and commandments of Jesus will be the basis on which people will be judged in the future. Those who obey His words and follow Him will experience eternal life, while those who reject Him will face the consequences of their disobedience.

The King has set the entrance requirements (John 3:3-5):

In John 3:3-5, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom of God, one must be "born again" or "born of water and the Spirit." This spiritual rebirth signifies a transformation that occurs when a person places their faith in Jesus Christ and becomes a new creation in Him. The King, Jesus, has set the entrance requirements for His kingdom, and it involves a genuine faith in Him as the Savior and Lord.

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The King expects us to unswervingly continue (Luke 9:62):

In Luke 9:62, Jesus speaks about the commitment required to follow Him. He says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." This statement illustrates that the King expects unwavering devotion and perseverance from His followers. Once someone decides to follow Jesus, they are expected to remain steadfast, focused, and committed to the kingdom's principles and mission without turning back or looking to their old ways.

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John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NVI)