By Ryan Shaw
We are considering the nature and message of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Today, we will look in detail at phase four.
As a review, phases one, two and three are following. Each phase includes many sub-truths necessary to rightly see Gospel transformation in a human life and community.
Phase One of the Gospel of the Kingdom – The Kingdom has come near through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made King.
Phase Two – Human beings enter that ‘brought near’ Kingdom by being born again from above.
Phase Three – Those who enter the Kingdom receive all the benefits, blessings and privileges of their new inheritance.
Let us proceed with phase four of the Gospel of the Kingdom – Citizens of the Kingdom are responsible to live according to its ways, principles and operations, spreading it among all ethnic peoples throughout the whole world.
It is common for believers to understand their salvation as referring primarily to what happens when they die. Though we are grateful for the truth of eternal fellowship with God, there is so much more we are meant to cooperate with throughout this life.
Phase four focuses on our responsibilities as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It answers the question of how being sons and daughters of the Kingdom impacts our daily living.
As unreached people come to saving faith in Jesus we disciple them according to Jesus’ Kingdom standards. What does this look like? Consider the following sub-truths.
Kingdom citizens live according to the constitution of that Kingdom – the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). We walk according to Jesus’ standards of discipleship, laid out in these three chapters, and elsewhere in the Gospels and New Testament.
Kingdom citizens obey the written Word of God (applying its truth into their situations and circumstances) and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We discern the Word of God, grasping its meaning and intent in clearer ways and teaching others what we ourselves are being taught.
Disciples cultivate the abiding lifestyle intended by the Father, learning to sit at Jesus’ feet, drink of Him, waiting in His presence, walking in the Spirit, experiencing His guidance and leading, hearing His voice in its diverse manifestations and responding to Him in love and active obedience.
We grow in wholehearted love for our King, surrendering ourselves and being possessed by His life filling our own, abandoning all in exchange for all He is – submitting to His leadership in our lives and ministry’s.
Kingdom disciples are being educated, inspired and activated in Jesus’ Great Commission, identifying and functioning in our particular role(s) in the Great Commission. Are we a giver, a goer (message bearer), an intercessor, a mobilizer, an advocate or a welcomer?
We recognize that we, as members of the body of Christ, as Kingdom citizens, as the Church, are the channel God has purposed to bring forth His plan and purposes in the earth. As a result, we willingly choose to offer ourselves as His servants in whatever capacity He chooses.
We become true witnesses, wherever we are scattered, because we have experienced the life transforming power of His death and resurrection. We embrace the “crucified life” and “resurrected life.”
We demonstrate the power of the Gospel through our lives and words, growing in New Covenant power and glory in and through our lives. The move of the Spirit, including signs and wonders testifying of Jesus’ authority over all, are increasing.
We understand and operate in Jesus’ delegated authority, enforcing Satan’s defeat and Jesus’ victory over situations and circumstances in our midst and in the world. Kingdom citizens release the works of God while hindering the works of evil and spiritual darkness.
Every believer is called to grow in understanding and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit – experiencing supernatural ministry in the three areas of emphasis Jesus walked in (speaking with authority, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed).
We are a voice against injustice in all its forms in every arena of society, serving the broken, abused, desperate and marginalized of society and seeing them restored to dignity, value and honor.
Kingdom citizens partner with Jesus to see thriving and spiritually vibrant, culturally relevant church planting movements among all the ethnic families of the earth, producing a global harvest of billions thrust into the Kingdom. To accomplish this multitudes relocate their families and jobs to the spiritually neediest places on earth.
We embrace persecution and opposition in the world, expecting this as Jesus foretold it would be the norm. We receive supernatural enabling to embrace suffering for the gospel’s sake as we recognize suffering produces spiritual victory in the world.
We teach disciples to be faithful and perseverant, overcoming Satan’s unceasing attempts to get them to give up on their faith and serving Jesus with abandonment.