Jean’s Gospel:Introducing the Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come – Part 1

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76 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean,
    Very good!
    “Therefore, the locus of the kingdom is in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – you are one of the few who get it.

    When I teach Jesus saying things such as ‘the kingdom is here’ – or – ‘the kingdom is in your midst’ – I pat my chest and say this is what Jesus must have been doing – patting his chest as if to signal “It is me!!!” —(or is it “It is I”?) 😉

  2. Jean says:

    Thanks MLD. I am enjoying the opportunity to get His Word out on the topics of this prayer.

  3. Steve Wright says:

    He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    ———————————————————
    This Colossians verse that Jean cites is one I quote often on this subject.

  4. Owen Wells says:

    Great word, Jean….. lotsa meat in the soup! 🙂

    So, I see somewhat of a dichotomy here…..(not picking, just a curious observation…)

    “Just what and where is this kingdom of God? The Scriptures point us to Jesus. The kingdom arrived through the incarnation of the eternal Word”
    —-the kingdom is here, with us, now, in the Person of Christ.

    “Christ has promised us something infinitely greater at His second coming: the resurrection of the body and everlasting life; a new heaven and a new earth; the removal of all evil; and the cessation of all mourning and suffering”
    — and yet, it seems there is more kingdom yet to come.

    Looking forward to part 2, “how His Kingdom comes.”

  5. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I may be jumping the gun here…but I have a much broader understanding of what we’re asking for when we pray that His kingdom comes.

    “Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. … They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.” ― N.T. Wright

    That “project” is ongoing and has been since the resurrection and it culminates in His physical rule and reign here.

    Thoughts?

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Owen – I don’t think there is ‘more’ kingdom to come – that would be like saying there is more Jesus to come.
    What we will have is a more full experience of what has already come.

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    If we harmonize Matthew and Mark, we see Jesus answering our questions about this Kingdom with parables.

    One of several rapid-fire examples: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it.”

    I think these are talking about God’s love for us. God is the merchant, we are the pearl. He gave his all to purchase our salvation.

    Perhaps the Kingdom of heaven is all about God’s sacrificial love for us, and not necessarily analogous of an earthly kingdom, so to speak.

  8. Jean says:

    Hello Owen,

    I was reading your comments at #4 and thinking about how best to respond with so many thoughts going through my mind. Let me offer this from Paul:

    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

    13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

    There’s an “already, not yet” dynamic to the kingdom. We have been given His kingdom of grace, in which we walk by faith, in the hope of the coming of His kingdom of glory. Yes, indeed, there is more to come!

    Out of faith, hope and love, “love” is the one thing that we have now and in the full realization of His kingdom. Having His love for us and through us gives great meaning to our lives here and now in His kingdom of grace.

  9. Jean says:

    Michael,
    This week, I have tried to define the kingdom. Next week I intent to focus on how it comes and what we pray for. I think your question at #5 goes towards the coming of the kingdom, but I will admit that N.T. Wright does confuse me somewhat when he talks about “building for God’s kingdom.”

    I’ve heard him use that language before. The problem is I can’t locate his argument in the Scriptures. The Church through the office of preaching and administration of the Sacraments holds the keys to the kingdom, but we are messengers. The Spirit sanctifies.

    In my book, I intend to provide more color on the Church’s place in all this.

    However, Wright seems see the return of Jesus and even the Christian life as a reformation of the old, rather than new creation. I understand the Bible to say new creation.

  10. Em ... again says:

    out of the 9th chapter of Isaiah we have a hint of why we pray continually, “Thy kingdom come…”
    Isa 9:6
    “For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Isa 9:7
    “Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
    on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
    with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
    …”

  11. Jean says:

    “Perhaps the Kingdom of heaven is all about God’s sacrificial love for us, and not necessarily analogous of an earthly kingdom, so to speak.”

    Excellent observation Josh!

  12. Jean says:

    Em #10,

    That’s a very relevant Scripture. We just need to make sure that we understand it through Jesus’ interpretation and not through the interpretation of the typical 1st Century Jew.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    This week, I have tried to define the kingdom.
    ——————————————
    You have done a good job. That said, I believe there are four different aspects to a definition of “The kingdom of God”

    I preach this often. Even the nondispensationalists will agree with 3 of the 4 (I assume)

  14. Michael says:

    “I understand the Bible to say new creation.”

    We are called “new creations in Christ” but retain the form of the old…

    I confess that I have imbibed deeply and often from Wright on this matter and I think he’s spot on…and that the teaching of the kingdom is critical,especially today.

    Having said that, I’ll let you resume teaching what you believe…very well written, I might add.

  15. Steve Wright says:

    Em hit number 4. 🙂

  16. Jean says:

    Michael and Steve,

    I am am collecting comments and am not adverse to making significant revisions to any articles which are found incomplete or lacking in any respect.

    Steve, could you list the 4 aspects you had in mind?

    Michael, if anything Wright may have said that finds support in the Scriptures comes to mind, feel free to let if fly. 🙂

  17. Michael says:

    “From Matthew to John to Acts, from Colossians to Revelation, with a good deal else in between, Jesus is hailed as already the Lord of both heaven and earth, and in particular as the one through whom the Creator God will at last restore and unite all things in heaven and on earth. And this gives sharp focus to the present task of earthly rulers.

    Until the achievement of Jesus, a biblical view of pagan rulers might have been that they were charged with keeping God’s creation in order, preventing it from lapsing into chaos. Now, since Jesus’ death and resurrection (though this was of course anticipated in the Psalms and the prophets), their task is to be seen from the other end of the telescope. Instead of moving forward from creation, they are to look forward (however unwillingly or unwittingly) to the ultimate eschaton.

    In other words, God will one day right all wrongs through Jesus, and earthly rulers, whether or not they acknowledge this Jesus and this coming kingdom, are entrusted with the task of anticipating that final judgment and that final mercy. They are not merely to stop God’s good creation from going utterly to the bad. They are to enact in advance, in a measure, the time when God will make all things new and will once again declare that it is very good.”

  18. Michael says:

    “This witness comes into sharp focus in John 16:8-11. The Spirit, declares Jesus, will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness and judgment-about judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.

    How is the Spirit to do that?

    Clearly, within Johannine theology, through the witness of the church, in and through which the Spirit is at work.

    The church will do to the rulers of the world what Jesus did to Pilate in John 18 and 19, confronting him with the news of the kingdom and of truth, deeply unwelcome and indeed incomprehensible though both of them were.

    Part of the way in which the church will do this is by getting on with, and setting forward, those works of justice and mercy, of beauty and relationship, that the rulers know ought to be flourishing but which they seem powerless to bring about. “

  19. Michael says:

    The two posts give my view of the kingdom as written by Wright.

    Therefore, my view of the kingdom goes alongside Jean’s, not in opposition to it.

    Not either/or, but both/and.

  20. Owen Wells says:

    Jean,

    “There’s an “already, not yet” dynamic to the kingdom. We have been given His kingdom of grace, in which we walk by faith, in the hope of the coming of His kingdom of glory. Yes, indeed, there is more to come!”

    —This is what I was trying to speak of. And I am perfectly okay if some find that double-minded. One of the biggest things I come up against in discussions with non-Christians is the insistence on everything making sense to them. I’m more interested in a God who is actually bigger than me.

  21. Owen Wells says:

    MLD,

    “What we will have is a more full experience of what has already come”

    —- Actually, I think that marries quite well with Jean’s #8.

  22. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, to be clear, I am not saying there are 4 understandings besides each individual appearance (use) of the expression, kingdom of God (or its synonyms) – but rather there are 4 possible understandings one might evaluate each verse to find where that particular use resides.

    For example, you mentioned the well known expression “already,not yet” which is used today by progressive dispensationalists (and thus cringed at by traditional dispensationalists) – I don’t cringe at it though. I use it too, but in my usage I speak of 2 of the 4 kingdoms in doing so (like a traditional dispensationalist)

    Those who claim (and I read this often, even at places like Patheos that should know better) that dispensationalists ONLY see the kingdom as something future are just wrong. No less than Ryrie himself details these 4 aspects of Kingdom in Scripture context (and I agree with Ryrie on this point)

    So I don’t want to derail your study about this one use in this one passage.

    Carry on! 🙂

  23. Michael says:

    The “already/not yet” paradigm was written by George Ladd, a historic premillennialist and not a dispensationalist.
    Many traditions have adopted it and I affirm it as well.

  24. Steve Wright says:

    Michael…yes. One reason the traditional dispensationalist crowd cringe at Blaising and Bock’s use of it in their progressive dispensationalist explanations.

    My seminary dean, when he was getting his PhD at Dallas had one of those two on the committee and he kept refusing to approve his dissertation. He always insisted my dean read some new article or book and incorporate that material into his project.

    So then it turns out the guy went to Europe for several months on some study/research trip and so he was able to finally get it approved by the rest of the committee. 🙂

  25. Jean says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for posting the writings of Wright. I would like to respond to a few of his statements:

    “Jesus is hailed as already the Lord of both heaven and earth, and in particular as the one through whom the Creator God will at last restore and unite all things in heaven and on earth.” Agree, but I would use the word “renew” or “make new” rather than “restore.” Revelation talks about the old passing away and a new heaven and new earth.

    “And this gives sharp focus to the present task of earthly rulers.” Here, and in the remainder of what you posted from him, Wright goes way beyond what Paul and Peter teach regarding earthly rulers. Didn’t the Roman Catholic Church try Wright’s approach already?

    “Clearly, within Johannine theology, through the witness of the church, in and through which the Spirit is at work.” This is a little wishy-washy. John says, regarding the Spirit:

    “he will bear witness about me” and “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

    So, the Spirit works through the Word of God. If that’s what Wright meant by the “witness” of the church (i.e., proclamation of Law and Gospel), then fine. But if he meant that the Spirit works through political advocacy, then I would disagree with him.

    I would like to say in admiration for Wright, that when Christians walk by the Spirit (i.e., hallowing His name), bearing fruit of the Spirit, they do give their neighbors who receive their love a taste of the kingdom of heaven. There is no doubt that Jesus wants his disciples to be known by their love. We pray for that in the first three petitions: for his name; his kingdom and his will…on earth as it is in heaven.

  26. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I believe the witness of the church includes promoting the true marks of the kingdom such as righteousness and justice.
    I do not believe that any definition of what it means to be a kingdom person can exclude that advocacy.
    We are not grasping for earthly power, but as Wright said, we are confronting earthly powers with the truth about who is really King.

    “The church will do to the rulers of the world what Jesus did to Pilate in John 18 and 19, confronting him with the news of the kingdom and of truth, deeply unwelcome and indeed incomprehensible though both of them were.

    Part of the way in which the church will do this is by getting on with, and setting forward, those works of justice and mercy, of beauty and relationship, that the rulers know ought to be flourishing but which they seem powerless to bring about. “

  27. Jean says:

    Steve,

    If I’m reading you correctly, kingdom is also used places in the Bible to describe God’s sovereign providential rule of the entire earth. Job focuses on that rule. I considered but ultimately decided not to mention that rule, because that is his “hidden” reign and is not where he wants us to call on him. However, point taken.

  28. Owen Wells says:

    Michael,

    Not meaning to interject between you and Jean, just a question….

    “promoting the true marks of the kingdom such as righteousness and justice.”

    — Help me out here – define the “justice” the church would be promoting, because to me that begins to smell like political advocacy….

  29. Steve Wright says:

    Jean @27. Yes, that is certainly one usage. And it is very important to mention from time to time at least as a reminder that we do not have a Star Wars universe – good versus evil duking it out in some arena of neutral “force”. God sits as king of the universe and He allows Satan and people whatever measure of freedom but all under His sovereign Will. Yes, Job highlights this well, and there are many verses that speak to this aspect.

    However, given the passage you are teaching, there is no need to get into that aspect. For starters it already exists, and the passage is a prayer for the kingdom to come.

    I guess to finish off the idea, another aspect is the wheat/tares aspect of the kingdom. What we could label, Christendom.

    So the atheist, Muslim, Hindu is part of the kingdom of God – in the absolute, sovereign sense, though unsaved and not professing Christ.

    The tares who erroneously profess they too are Christians, but are unsaved as well, in the Christendom sense expressed in several parables and other teachings of Christ.

    Christians are presently, now, in the kingdom as described in Colossians and elsewhere – the “already” – The saved believers, indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit (i.e. The Church in the Body of Christ macro sense)

    And then the 4th is the “not yet” kingdom still to come. Some may want to see it as just a complementary (or supplementary if one prefers) aspect of the 3rd. Sort of a 3a and 3b. I see it as different enough to warrant it as the 4th.

  30. Jean says:

    Michael #26,

    I think where Wright sees these marks in the Church, I would see them primarily in the Christian serving in his/her various vocations. One such Christian vocation in a democracy or democratic republic is certainly voting and political advocacy.

  31. Jean says:

    Thanks for completing your thought Steve.

  32. Michael says:

    Owen,

    Sometimes pursuing justice will include political advocacy when rulers can bring about justice and righteousness in a given situation.

    I think it important to go back and read Jesus’s mission statement…

    ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.””
    (Luke 4:18–19 ESV)

    Poverty and oppression are at times greatly affected by the political realm, as is who is in captivity.
    I believe the church is called to speak truth to power about these issues.

    That does not mean we necessarily join a political party or even vote…it means that we are proclaiming that King Jesus demands that we all act in justice and righteousness and we proclaim those truths no matter who is in power.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Perhaps I am a simpleton, but I think we have gotten too deep into the weeds in trying to identify the kingdom.

    Prayer for the most part, and I know it is big in the Lutheran worship – is not so much asking for the unexpected but repeating back to God what he has promised and has delivered.

    Jesus is not telling up to plead with God for the items we petition, but to recognize that he being Father and hallowed has already promised and delivered.

    Whatever his kingdom is, Jesus already declared it deliver – on earth (because that is where he was standing) – just as it had been all along with him in heaven.

    A Kingdom and it’s definition is easy – what is a kingdom? That place where a king reigns. So, our prayer petition is really our acknowledgement of God’s delivery of the kingdom. The other side is how we receive it, experience it and or the fullness we have in it at any present time.

    When we petition for our daily bread – God has always provided our daily bread (man may make that deliver difficult, but God has provided) – and it goes on down the line.

  34. Michael says:

    I think a clearer description of our duty in the kingdom is that we are proponents of things and attitudes that will be fully realized when the kingdom comes in it’s fullness.

  35. Owen Wells says:

    Michael, I can agree with that. Good thoughts.

    MLD – simpletons unite! 😉

  36. Michael says:

    “Jesus is not telling up to plead with God for the items we petition, but to recognize that he being Father and hallowed has already promised and delivered.”

    I strongly disagree.

    If that were true the kingdom would be here in it’s fullness and there would be no need to pray.

    Righteousness and justice are not the norm, nor are the daily needs of all God’s kids met.

    When we pray this prayer we are asking that they will be…

  37. Michael says:

    “I think where Wright sees these marks in the Church, I would see them primarily in the Christian serving in his/her various vocations.”

    Is that not just another way of describing the church?

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – so when Jesus said that the kingdom is in your midst – he meant just part of the kingdom was here? The king was ruling over a partial kingdom?

  39. Jean says:

    Michael,
    It very well could be. I don’t know how Wright uses the term church. Whether he sees it as a corporate entity or as individual Christians living their faith when he talks about speaking truth to power.

    There are a lot of moral and ethical issues that individual Christians disagree on: refugees; just war; civil rights; access to health care; criminal justice system; capital punishment; access to education; gun control; etc. I would prefer the corporate Church to preach and teach God’s Word, so that as citizens, Christians can “make their own applications”. 🙂

  40. Jean says:

    MLD, Every petition has a supplication as well as a thanksgiving.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    We need to be careful not to be strictly caught up in our own time space continuum – but if Jesus says it is here, well I am not going to be the one who says it is not.

  42. Jean says:

    Absolutely MLD, but you see how the explanations to the Small Catechism distinguish between the Kingdom of Grace and the Kingdom of Glory, right? No one argues that the Kingdom of Glory has arrived, right?

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Off the top of my head, I don’t recall the difference in timing of the kingdom of grace / glory. But since you bring up the catechism – and this is where AI am a simpleton – this is exactly what I am saying

    “Your kingdom come.”
    To be sure, the kingdom of God comes of itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

    How is this done?
    When the heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit so that by his grace we may believe his holy Word and live a godly life, both in time and hereafter forever.

  44. Michael says:

    “Michael – so when Jesus said that the kingdom is in your midst – he meant just part of the kingdom was here? The king was ruling over a partial kingdom?”

    The kingdom is not here in it’s fullness.

    As Steve pointed out…already/not yet.

    When we pray this petition we are asking for it to break out where it hasn’t yet…

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I understand the already / not yet.
    So explain to me the already – the kingdom being here ‘already’ must mean something.

    I think, and I said so above @ #6 “What we will have is a more full experience of what has already come.”

    Right now we are not capable of experiencing the whole kingdom revelation – but I do think it is here.

    Perhaps that is the grab of being an amillennialist who believes Jesus is ruling in his kingdom right now – and I do believe as Christians we are under that rule – or should I say beneficiaries of that rule?

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    and Michael, I think you spoke of that culmination being when Jesus reigns in his kingdom on this earth @ #5 – which I cringe at a bit.:-)

  47. Michael says:

    MLD @ 46…I also concur with Wright that what happens is that heaven and earth become one place…

  48. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, May I ask what is the purpose of the 2nd Coming in your view? Why does God not just have life go on and on and on….Christians sharing the Gospel, living out vocations, the unsaved world killing each other, injustice, greed, running rampant.

  49. Michael says:

    @45…
    We do see the power of the Holy Spirit in salvation and places where kingdom rule is in evidence.
    We do not see justice and righteousness fully realized,nor do we see all God’s people healed and fed.

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    “May I ask what is the purpose of the 2nd Coming in your view?”

    Our ultimate promise – the resurrection of our bodies.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “We do see the power of the Holy Spirit in salvation and places where kingdom rule is in evidence.
    We do not see justice and righteousness fully realized,nor do we see all God’s people healed and fed.”

    I don’t understand – are you saying that Jesus is ruling only over a partial kingdom? Reading your words I would say that Jesus is not ruling at all.

  52. Em ... again says:

    it is interesting that so much of the talking past each other (as i read these comments) hinges on the stand one takes on the 2nd coming…
    didn’t Satan offer Christ all the kingdoms of the world? don’t we read that everything culminates in the kingdoms of this world becoming entirely the kingdoms of our Lord? the day when God’s will IS done on earth as it is in heaven – blessed hope
    can’t we just say the Church is the beachhead of what is yet to come?
    i guess i just don’t see the crying need to define the kingdom – pray for it and let God handle the logistics and other sundry details … just sayin

  53. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “can’t we just say the Church is the beachhead of what is yet to come?”

    I thought the Church escapes through rapture and that Israel was the beachhead of what is yet to come.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em,
    “i guess i just don’t see the crying need to define the kingdom .”

    That is what I said back at #33 – your pre millennial friends like to discuss it 😉

  55. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Do you really think that the only difference between now and when Jesus comes is that we will have resurrection bodies?
    Is this the kingdom in its fullness?
    I think not…

  56. Michael says:

    Em,

    It’s critical to define the kingdom properly so that we can understand how to live as citizens in it. I submit that we have been taught very poorly on this point.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    He asked the purpose of the 2nd coming – was I to give a detailed list?
    The biggest purpose is for us to receive our resurrected bodies – most folks think it is to receive heaven.

    Not my group or my gurus 😉

    You still have not described to me the “already” – you keep referring to the “not yet”
    Is it kind of like a paint by numbers – part of it is painted in and we can see it (the already) and then the rest is the numbered outlines to be painted in later – we have a view of the kingdom but it is not yet painted in? (the not yet)?

  58. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Michael in # 56 stated, “It’s critical to define the kingdom properly so that we can understand how to live as citizens in it.”

    Do you really think that we are to learn how to be a citizen in His Kingdom is by “defining” the Kingdom while we are here on Earth now? No one can be certain. We can certainly be as sure as gold is valuable that we are right, but as Alex properly points out, we realistically can not know for sure unless we are in fact one of God’s anointed ones, which I know of none in this time period. I have always thought that how to live as a citizen in His Kingdom will be instructed upon us by Jesus Himself during His 1,000 year reign.

  59. Steve Wright says:

    He asked the purpose of the 2nd coming – was I to give a detailed list?
    ————————————————————-
    Actually…yes.

  60. Jean says:

    I will try to reorganize the discussion:

    (1) This article describes the kingdom that Jesus brought. Next week, I will describe how it comes.

    (2) His kingdom today is his reign in the hearts of Christians by faith and the Word. It is not a temporal or geographical kingdom.

    (3) He promises to return to judge the living and the dead. At his return “every knee will bow”. At his return, the entire creation, which is groaning as in the pains of child birth, will be set free from its bondage to decay. Christians await the resurrection of the body. His return will unite a new heave and new earth. This is the complete fulfillment of His kingdom promises.

    (4) N. T. Wright talks about what kingdom people should be doing now. Lutherans say: Love your neighbor as your self in your vocations.

  61. Steve Wright says:

    He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
    ————————————————————–
    This sounds pretty good to me….and it sure ain’t happening now (nor will it until Jesus returns)

  62. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I have a hearty amen for your #2

    His kingdom today is his reign in the hearts of Christians by faith and the Word. It is not a temporal or geographical kingdom.

    This is actually something that dispensationalists (should) make a big deal about. Most of us do…..

  63. Michael says:

    “Do you really think that we are to learn how to be a citizen in His Kingdom is by “defining” the Kingdom while we are here on Earth now?”

    Yes.
    We know that the kingdom is founded on justice, righteousness, and love of God and neighbor.
    I believe the Sermon on the Mount is the kingdom directive for kingdom citizens.

  64. passin throgh says:

    Seems to me that Lutherans and dispensational types are very alike, in that both severely minimize the transformational aspects of the gospel…to not see any continuity between how we live and act in this life and the next…wowee. I think that can only come from not reading the NT very closely. I believe Michael’s #63 is the Jesus norm.

  65. Steve Wright says:

    in that both severely minimize the transformational aspects of the gospel…to not see any continuity between how we live and act in this life and the next…wowee.
    —————————————————————
    Not sure how you possibly get that out of any dispensational theology. Certainly nothing I have ever read…have you read anything I wrote just in this thread about the kingdom being now for the believer?

    Or for that matter, the constant emphasis I have placed in years of posts here about the power of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the believer…the victory over the temptations of the flesh that is available NOW, in this life, to the child of God….

    I feel like Michael must feel when someone throws a broadside against Calvinism from out of right field….

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    passing throgh,
    So are you taking kingdom living classes?
    Have you got your sin life down to zero yet? If not how are you going to get into heaven – they don’t allow sin there and if you haven’t transformed from being a sinner and can’t show that you have given up sin, why would God let you in his heaven?

    Actually your idea sounds more like Scientology – following dianetics, going through auditing to get to clear.

    Can you point out what you read on this thread that would warrant your claim?

  67. Jean says:

    “in that both severely minimize the transformational aspects of the gospel”

    The Gospel transformed my frown into a smile.

  68. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean – your # 60 is dead-on, and a good amendment.

  69. Jean says:

    Hi Josh. 🙂

  70. Michael says:

    “(4) N. T. Wright talks about what kingdom people should be doing now. Lutherans say: Love your neighbor as your self in your vocations.”

    Semantics.

    If I’m not pursuing justice and righteousness for my neighbor,I’m not truly loving him at all.

  71. Jean says:

    Michael,

    I agree. We agree.

    So, actually, what I would love to hear and read from influential theologians is the application of Christian, biblical principles of justice and civil righteousness to contemporary problems facing our citizens and the world.

  72. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I would love to have those kind of reflections here, but in this political climate it’s utterly impossible.

  73. Owen says:

    Michael, not sure if this is to what you were referring or not, but the political climate on this blog sometimes would definitely render those kind of reflections entirely unproductive.

  74. Michael says:

    Owen,

    I had no idea that there was a political climate here…

  75. Babylon's Dread says:

    I see a healthy discussion of kingdom has ensued. This is a community that by now is capable of these. No longer like rutting bulls we are able to share, engage, debate, inquire, challenge and sharpen one another.

    There are so many questions about the kingdom. The Lord’s Prayer is without question a failsafe way to ‘work’ toward the kingdom. The prayer cannot fail whether said with rote dullness or earnest meditation and vigorous entreaty.

    But what is this kingdom pursuit? What does the kingdom do to us as citizens of a body politic? What does it mean for our nationalist pursuits? How does my ethos come to match my prayer? How indeed does the kingdom for which we pray come? Does it break in apocalyptically? I see hints of such thoughts. What does the so-called millennial kingdom have to do with this prayer and with the kingdom preaching of Jesus? Is the kingdom come, coming and yet coming? Do we have a ‘spiritual’ kingdom or a kingdom in the Spirit? How do we relate to politics as kingdom citizens? You could all add hundreds of caveats.

    Interestingly we would likely have more bloviation than illumination and we are the experts. Praying for the kingdom to come is the surest safest route. However, Jesus did not call us to safety.

    Thanks for healthy discussion. I have plenty of thoughts, opinions and convictions but they would ruin the prayer meeting.

    Thanks for a goo

  76. Jean says:

    “But what is this kingdom pursuit?”

    In the third petition, we pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    If we are going to ask “what is the kingdom pursuit”?, then we should first be asking: What is the King’s pursuit. What is His will for His kingdom? Then we can pray that our will be conformed to His will, and that His will might be accomplished through us.

    In John’s Gospel, Jesus calls us His “friends”, because He makes known to us what our Master is doing. It is very easy for us humans to want to hijack the kingdom for our own pursuits and self interest. Therefore, we have to be very careful about discerning what His will is.

    BD, thank you for your good observations.

    Does that make sense?

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