God has commissioned us as Ambassadors of His Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
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v. 18 “all things are of God.”
(1) He pursued us, chose us, called us, and drew us by His Holy Spirit. He gave us a spiritual birth by His Holy Spirit and put His Holy Spirit within us.
(2) He transforms our mind, bringing us to a state of willingness to self-denying labors, in the purpose of making the Savior known under His direction and control.
(3) He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
(4) It is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” “We are His workmanship.” “He began a good work in us and will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
v. 18 “Who has reconciled us to himself.”
(1) Ephesians 2:12 What was our condition? “We were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” As He works in us we are progressively brought into a state of agreement, harmony, and fellowship and united in feeling and in aim with Him.
v. 18 “by Jesus Christ” How did Jesus do this? “He is the mediator bringing about this reconciliation.”
(1) Ephesians 2:13-16 “In Christ Jesus, we who were far off are made nigh by His blood, for He is our peace and He has reconciled us unto God by the cross.”
v. 18 “and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation” What has He given to us?
(1) Jesus said, “As My Father has sent Me, even so send I you.” My Father sent me as His ambassador with the mission and ministry of reconciliation and I am sending you as My ambassador with the mission and ministry of reconciliation.
(2) Now God is in us (the Holy Spirit) reconciling the world unto Himself. We are responsible to tell the world of God’s ministry of reconciliation in Christ.
v. 19 “that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” How was the reconciling plan of God done? God was in Christ doing it.
(1) John 10:30, 17:22 “I and my Father are one”.
(2) Reconcile—to remove that which separates (sin) and to bring into a peaceful and harmonious relationship; having the same feelings, ideas, and interests. God was the offended one and He is the conciliator, winning over by acts of love and friendship.
v. 19 “not imputing their trespasses” What does God, by His grace not do?
(1) Because, by the death and resurrection of Jesus the penalty of our sins has been paid in full and based on that and our belief in it He offers us forgiveness and release from the penalty of sin.
(2) John 3:17-18 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (reconciled). He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
v. 19 “And hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” What has God committed unto us?
(1) He entrusted us with the message of His plan of reconciliation and with the responsibility of proclaiming it as we go into the world.
v. 20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ” What is our position in the Kingdom of God?
(1) He has sent us into the world as representatives of His Kingdom to spread the good news of God’s reconciling plan and the terms on which God is willing to bring them into a relationship with Him. There are no other terms of reconciliation with God. Jesus is the only way to Him.
(2) Acts 1:8 He has given us power to be witnesses of God’s reconciliation offer to mankind.
v. 20 “as though God did beseech you by us” By what authority do we share the word of reconciliation?
(1) Because He has entrusted us with the message and sent us out in His name our message is to be regarded as the message of God and as it is God who speaks. We speak in His name and on His authority and it is God speaking to men through us.
v. 20 “we pray you in Christs stead be reconciled to God” What is our invitation to the lost?
Here we have the invitation following the presentation of the message of reconciliation.
(1) Are you ready to accept God’s invitation to be reconciled with Him?
(2) Will you turn from your ways to follow God in His ways?
(3) Will you believe in Jesus and His reconciling ministry and receive God’s offer to remove the sin that separates you from Him and brings you into a relationship with Him?
(4) Pray to God: God, I turn from my ways that have separated me from You and will seek to live according to your ways. I believe in Jesus and His reconciling ministry. I want You to forgive my sin and remove it from me and bring me into a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Kingdom of God is A Kingdom of Ambassadors

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The Kingdom of God is A Kingdom of Ambassadors
(1) We serve God and others as Ambassadors for Christ.
(2) What is an ambassador? The highest-ranking representative of one country to another. We are Christ’s highest-ranking representatives to this world. We are His official messengers on a special mission with a special word. He has entrusted us with power and authority to carry out our responsibilities.
(3) John 20:21 What did Jesus say? He has sent us just as the Father sent Him.
(4) Matthew 28:18-20 “Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holly Spirit: teaching them to do all things that I have commanded you. I am with you always even unto the end of the world and all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”

TomorrowGod has commissioned us as Ambassadors of His Kingdom.

Do ALL to the Glory of God

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Are you a servant to sin, and self, or to God and righteousness?
Is your priority to seek the things of this world or to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Matthew 6:33 “See first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD

Citizens of the Kingdom of God 5 of 5

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Kingdom Citizens are servants both to God and to others. Yesterday we looked at them being servants to God. Today we will look at them being servants to others
Kingdom Citizens are “servants to others”.
Galatians 5:13-14 “Servants to one another.”
How are we to use our freedom in Christ? We are to use our freedom from sin to “by love serve one another.” How much of the law in fulfilled in one word? All. How is this fulfilled? “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (loving service to one another).
Matthew 20:26-28 “Jesus taught about our position in the Kingdom of God.”
v. 26 What are the requirements of being great in the Kingdom of God? They must through humility, be a willing servant. It is an act of free will. God will not force us. It is done in love and not out of duty.
v. 27 What is the requirement of being the chief (first, leader) in the kingdom of God? They must through humility be a willing slave. Not just a servant, but a slave.
v. 28 What did Jesus say about Himself? He came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.
Who was Jesus a servant to? To the Father and to others.
What does it mean to serve? To do the duties of a position or office. To help or give aid.
“Jesus set the example for us” John 13:4-7
v. 4-5 Jesus was doing the duties of whom? A servant.
v. 7 Jesus said to Peter, “What I’m doing, you don’t understand now, but afterward you will know.”
v. 12 Jesus said to the disciples, “Do you know what I have done for you?”
v. 15 I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.
v. 16-17 A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. We are blessed if what? If we know them and do them.  Knowing is not enough, we must be doers.

Citizens of the Kingdom 4 of 5

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Kingdom Citizens are servants both to God and to others. Today we will look at them being servants to God and tomorrow we will look at them being servants to others.
Kingdom Citizens are “servants to God”.
Romans 6:16-22
They were once the servants of sin yielding their body to uncleanness and lived in disobedience to the word of God. Ephesians 2:2-3 They followed the course of this world under the influence of Satan, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. They lived in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by their nature headed for destruction.  Having repented and turned from the former way of living they have turned to God and now live in accordance to His will as revealed by His word and His Holy Spirit unto holiness.
v. 17 What is to be characteristic of the Christian?
(1) They yield a cheerful and hearty obedience to God’s word that has been taught to them. Yield is an act of the will that is then followed up by the action of the body. You are driving down the road and come to a yield sign. You first exercise you will to obey or to disobey. Then your body acts in accordance with your will.
(2) They are to carry out the will of God as revealed to them by the word of God and by the Holy Spirit. This obedience comes from the heart in love and not in duty. “If you love Me you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15, 21).
v. 18 What are we to be servants to?
(1) Having repented and turned from the former way of living they have turned to God and now live in accordance to His will as revealed by His word and His Holy Spirit unto holiness.
v. 22 Being made free from sin what have we become?
(1) They have been set free from sin and now are free to be servants to God.
(2) What does our service to God produce? Fruit unto holiness, whereby the Father is glorified (John 15:8), and which is the evidence of their having received eternal life in Christ Jesus, which will be fully experienced when they get to heaven.

Citizens of the Kingdom of God 3 of 5

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Kingdom Citizens live in relationship God
John 17:3 Having a new, spiritual, and eternal life, citizens of the Kingdom of God are to live in relationship with God in such a way that we know Him and not just know about Him. This relationship is a oneness of life. To really know Him we must spend time with Him. How well do you know Him? When we really know someone, we can recognize their voice even when we can’t see them. Do you know God well enough to recognize His voice? Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Are you living close enough to Him that you can hear His voice?
John 15:4-5 We are to abide in Him and Him, in us. We are to be properly connected spiritually with Him in a oneness, that we receive of the essence of His life. In this spiritual Kingdom and spiritual relationship, we are to be spiritually productive citizens as we are yielded to Him and His life flows through us.
1 John 4:16 “God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” 1 John 2:5 “Whosoever keeps His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.” 1 Corinthians 8:3 “If any man love God, the same is known of Him.”

Kingdom Citizens live in relationship with each other
Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:15-16 “Our Father.” We live in relationship with God and with all the other citizens of the Kingdom of God. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:15-16).
1 John 4:12 “If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.”

Two primary commandments rule over these two relationships
Matthew 22:37-40 The first and greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The second commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(1) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. All the New Testament hangs on these two commandments as well.
(2) The New Testament tells us how to keep these two commandments and thus love God and our neighbor.
(3) What is the key word in both commandments? Love

 

Citizens of the Kingdom of God 2 of 5

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The characteristics of the Kingdom are the same as the characteristics of God and Kingdom citizens are to take on the same characteristics.
The Kingdom of God is Spiritual in Nature
Luke 17:20-21 “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation: for the Kingdom of God is within you.” It is like the
wind: you can’t see it, but you can see the effects of it. It manifests its power in varying degrees and produces varying results.
Being a citizen of the spiritual Kingdom of God, how are we to conduct our lives?
(1) We are to be filled with the Spirit and our lives are to be conducted under the influence of the Spirit.
(2) The Kingdom of God is within us therefore, we are to look inward and to the Spirit, not outward, for direction in our lives.
(3) Colossians 3:1-2 We are to seek those things which are above and to set our affections on things above, not on things of the earth.
(4) Mathew 6:33 Seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness first is to be our priority. Then all things needful will be added unto us.
Being a citizen of the Kingdom of God, what is our relationship to the world to be?
John 18:36-37 Jesus said, My Kingdom is not of this world therefore, we are not to love the world neither the things that are in the world.
Colossians 3:1-2 We are to be focused on the things of God and not on the things of the earth.
1 Corinthians 4:20 “The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”  We are to be citizens in power and not in word only.

Citizens of the Kingdom of God 1- of 5

Philippians 3:20 “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
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Entrance into the Kingdom of God
John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
(1) A person must be born again. John 1:12-13 “As many as received him by believing in Him, He gave them right to become the sons of God, who were then born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a human will, but born of God. Without being born again a person can’t comprehend the Kingdom of God in their midst.
(2) John 3:5-6 A person must be born of the Spirit. This is being born again. Without being born again a person can’t enter and become a part of the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh has a physical existence, and is a part of this earthly world but that which is born of the Spirit has a spiritual existence and is a part of the heavenly world.
Citizens of the Kingdom of God owe their allegiance to God and His Kingdom
(1) Allegiance is being loyal, faithful and devoted to God. It is to give one’s time, energy, etc. to live in a right relationship with God wherein we live according to His will and the leading of His Spirit. It is to spend time with Him and walk through life with Him.
(2) Allegiance is applying one’s time, energy etc. to living according to the standards of conduct God has laid out in his word and to be laborers with Him in reaching others and teaching them to do the same.
Citizens of the Kingdom of God are entitled to full rights and privileges
(1) We have the privilege of being indwelt by God and hence, have become partakers of His divine nature.
(2) We have free and full access to God, whereby we can go to Him in prayer and worship.
(3) We can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Citizens of the Kingdom of God have responsibilities and duties
(1) We have responsibilities to God.
(2) We have responsibilities to others.
(3) Our service to God and to others is based on love and all is to be an expression of love and not of duty.
(4) God has placed us in the spiritual body of Christ where it pleased Him and He has gifted us through His Spirit to perform ministry to others as He chooses.

The Kingdom of God is all about two commandments–Part 2

Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hand all the law and the prophets.
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B. Obedience to the second commandment of loving our neighbor.
This commandment is all about our relationship with others. It is all about our response to others. We must not allow anything to come between us and others.

Matthew 5:23-24 How important does God consider our relationship with others?  Does God imply here that our relationship with others will affect our worship of Him? God says that if we come to His house to worship and remember that there is no peace between us and another believer then we are to first go away and make peace with that person.  Then come back to worship Him.  If we are at odds with others it will interfere with our worship of God.

Romans 12:17-21 How are we to relate to those who do evil toward us?  Do not return evil for evil.  As much as lies within you, live at peace with all men.  If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goo.  Returning evil for evil is of the flesh and is common behavior for the lost.  These instructions are reference to living in the Spirit.  This is the law of love.

Matthew 5:44-45 How are we to relate to those who do evil toward us?  Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those which despite-fully use you, and persecute you.  In so doing you will reveal that you are a child of the Father which is in heaven; for this is how He deals with mankind.  This is the law of love.

Matthew 7:1-5 How are we to respond to the faults of others?  Do not judge others but examine your own self.  Deal with your own faults and then you will be able to help others instead of judging them.  This is the law of love.

Matthew 7:12 How are we to relate to others?  Whatever you would that others should do to you, do the same to them.  In so doing you will walk in obedience to My word, which I gave through Moses and the prophets.  This is the law of love.

1 John 4:12 How is the love of God perfected in us?  If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

These two commandments are interrelated.  To fail in on affects our obedience to the other.  To be at odds with God will affect our relationship with others and to be at odds with others will affect our relationship with God.

 

The Kingdom of God is all about two commandments–Part 1

Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hand all the law and the prophets.
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The Kingdom of God is all about two commandments
Jesus said, “on these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” All the New Testament hangs on these two commandments as well. The New Testament reveals how we are to love God and our neighbor.
Today we will look at how to keep the first commandment and love God. Tomorrow we will look at how to keep the second commandment and love our neighbor. In each case, we will look at just a few verses that tell us how to obey these two commandments.
A. Obedience to the first commandment of loving God.
This commandment is all about our relationship with God. It is all about our response to God. We must not allow anything or anybody to come between us and God.
James 4:8,10 What is God’s desire in these two verses? God desires for us to be near. He says, “draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you. Humble yourself in My sight and I shall lift you up.”
Ephesians 5:18 What is God’s desire in this verse? How does this relate to our relationship with Him? He desires to fill us with His Holy Spirit and thus enhance our relationship with Him.
John 14:15 What does this verse say about how we show our love to God? Our love for God is expressed by our obedience to Him and His commandments
John 14:21, 23 How does God respond to us as we obey Him? Those that have His commandments and obey them, are those that love Him, and they will be loved by the Father and the Son. They will come and abide with them and make their presence known to them. Obedience to God enhances our relationship with Him.
Hebrews 12:1 How do we show our love to God? In this relationship with God we are to present our body to Him as a living sacrifice. He who inhabits us will work through us, manifesting His presence, power, wisdom, and knowledge to name a few ways He will do this. This makes us laborers together with God. He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Romans 6:13 How do we show our love to God? We also are to yield our-self unto God and the members of our body unto Him as instruments of righteousness. This makes us laborers together with God. He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
John 15:4-5 What do these verses tell us about His desire? How close is our relationship with Him to be? He not only wants to abide in us but wants us to abide in Him, that there will be a oneness with Him. This can be a oneness of spirit, mind, will, and emotions. It is a relationship of oneness like Jesus had with the Father. Jesus’ oneness with the Father was such that He could say, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

Let others see Him in you.

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