Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Kingdom-Focused Church

New Testament scholar James D. G. Dunn wrote that the kingdom of God is found wherever the end-time Spirit dwells. God anointed Jesus with the Spirit at his baptism; thus the kingdom was located in and through Jesus. He said, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt 12:28).

After his ascension, Jesus poured out the Spirit upon the church. Hence, the church has now become the locus of the kingdom. Since the church is located throughout the world, the kingdom reaches far beyond bounds of Palestine.

The eschatological Spirit empowers the church to preach the gospel of the kingdom and call upon all hearers to pledge their allegiance to King Jesus, who reigns from on high. The Spirit also endows the church with kingdom ministry gifts to meet people’s physical, emotional, economic, and spiritual needs. The kingdom-focused church operates according to kingdom ethics and serves as an alternative society in contrast to the world.

Whereas the kingdom of God was manifested only in and through Jesus, the first man possessed by the eschatological Spirit, so now, it is found wherever the church is located. Every time another person comes under the rule of Christ, God’s kingdom expands and Satan’s diminishes. 

[To learn more about the kingdom of God, read “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now.” You won’t be disappointed! Available in paperback and Kindle on}

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