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.”


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.”


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.


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 obey the first commandment and love God. Tomorrow we will look at how to obey the second commandment and love our neighbor.

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? By yielding our-self to 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.

The Kingdom of God is about an Eternal Relationship With God


John 17:3 What is eternal life? Jesus, in talking with the Father said, “this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” It is not knowing about God and Jesus but knowing them personally.
Ephesians 2:10 What does this verse tell us about relationship? God initiates and creates this relationship. We are His workmanship created with a spiritual oneness with Him, and Christ Jesus through His Spirit. His Spirit teaches us and guides us into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13), thereby renewing our mind and transforming our life to be in accord with His will (Romans 12:2). Our awareness and knowledge of this relationship comes through experience and includes impressions and His working in our mind and life.
1 John 1:3 What does this verse tell us about relationship? It is a fellowship. It is a sharing of spiritual life with the Father, with His Son Jesus Christ and with each other through His Spirit.
Matthew 6:9 What does this verse tell us about relationship when we pray? Jesus said, when you pray say, “Our Father which is in heaven.” “Our” tells us that we are in relationship with each and with the Father. “We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:15-16).

The Kingdom of God is Spiritual in Nature


Luke 17:20-21 “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”


1.  It is not physical in nature.  You can’t see it with your eyes, for the Kingdom of God is within you.
2.  Earthly kingdoms have physical territory over which they rule with power and authority.  The whole earth is under the rule and authority of God for “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1).
3.  The Kingdom of God exists in and during every earthly kingdom and knows no boundary. It extends to all His creation. 
4.  Romans 14:17: The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink (physical things); but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (spiritual things).
5.  It is living right in the sight of God therefore experiencing a peace and joy, all of which is the work of the Holy Spirit.
6.  1 Corinthians 4:20: The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
7.  1 Corinthians 15:50: Flesh and blood (that which is physical) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
8.  John 3:3-6: One enters the Kingdom of God by being born of the Spirit of God.It is about living rightly in the sight of God therefore experiencing a peace and joy. All of which is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Conflict Within



This Conflict exists only within the Christian. The non-Christian has no spiritual nature—they are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

Galatians 5:16-17 The physical nature and the spiritual nature are in conflict. From moment by moment we are living according to the physical nature or the spiritual nature. It is either, or, not both. We live by the flesh and by sight or we live by the Spirit and by faith.

Romans 7:15-25 “I don’t understand—I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. The desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. With my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.”

Where does My help come from? “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”




1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when Jesus shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

The Armor of God–Part 2 of 2


Ephesians 6:13-18 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”


Continued from yesterday. This armor is not something we put on occasionally, but we are to wear it all the time.

The helmet of salvation. Satan would attack us at our understanding and experience of our salvation.
(1) 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 Satan will attack our mind with imaginations, and everything that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God and our obedience.
(2) Hebrews 5:9 It is eternal. Satan would try to convince us that we can lose our salvation.
(3) Ephesians 2:8 We are saved by grace through faith—it is a gift of God. Satan would deceive us into thinking that we are saved by our works.
(4) Romans 8:2 We live in freedom from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus as, we live not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
The Sword of the Spirit (the word of God).
(1) Luke 4:1-13 We resist the devil with the word of God, just as Jesus did when He was led away into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
(2) John 14:26; Luke 12:12, 21:14-15; Matthew 10:20 We will know what scripture to use because the Holy Spirit will bring it to our remembrance for it is His sword.
Prayer. Prayer is the key to remaining clothed in the armor of God.
(1) We are to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (not in the flesh). We are to be watchful for opportunities to pray, for the spirit of prayer, and against all those things which would hinder prayer.
(2) Satan will do everything he can to keep us from maintaining a consistent line of communication with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when Jesus shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

The Armor of God–Part 1 of 2


Ephesians 6:13-18 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”


Continued from yesterday. This armor is not something we put on occasionally, but we are to wear it all the time.

The truth. Our life is to be an embodiment of the truth.
(1) Everything is to be gathered up and held together by the truth.
(2) John 8:31-32 “Continue in My word and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” As we continue in God’s word, He reveals the truth to us.
(3) The truth is our protection from lies, false doctrine, cults, and Satan, who is the father of lies. Satan will do everything he can to keep us from continuing in God’s word and abiding in the truth.
The Righteousness of God.
(1) Matthew 6:33 Seek it.
(2) Ephesians 5:9 It is the fruit of the Spirit.
(3) Romans 6:13 We are to yield our-self unto God, and the parts of our body as instruments of righteousness unto God. This is the righteousness of God dwelling in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will bring forth and produce this in our lives.
(4) Satan attacks our character and our way of living. He will attack us to lead us away from the paths of righteousness.
The preparation of the gospel of peace. We are to proclaim the gospel of peace to others.
(1) Romans 5:1; Romans 12:18 We are to abide in the peace of God and live in peace with others.
(2) Satan will attack us to take away our peace by instilling anxiety, worry, and fear. He will seek to cause envy, strife, and division among God’s people. He seeks to cause us to violate the commandments to love God and to love others.
The shield of faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 We are to walk by faith and fight the good fight of faith.
(1) Faith protects us from the things the devil would send our way to create fear and unbelief.
(2) His desire is for us to walk by sight and in the flesh instead of by faith and in the Spirit.
(3) If we are firm and steadfast in our faith we will be able to overcome the things Satan sends our way.

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There is a spiritual conflict


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 The battle for the mind.

“The weapons of our warfare” refers to the spiritual conflict.
(1) The weapons referred to here are only available to those who have been born of the Spirit of God (Christians).
(2) These weapons are not of the flesh, nor such as men of the world use. They are mighty through God.
(3) They pull down various obstacles that are designed and adapted to oppose the truth of God.
(3) They cast down thoughts and reasoning’s.
(4) They cast down the pride in one’s own understanding and knowledge and self-confidence which are all opposed to the knowledge of God.
(5) They bring every thought to the obedience of Christ.
(6) They are effective in helping others who are disobedient. This is reference to Christian discipline. It is to be done in love and with understanding, forgiveness, and with the purpose of redemption and restoration. It is not to be done legalistically, dogmatically, judgmentally, nor in an attitude of holier-than- thou.
The spiritual enemies. Ephesians 6:12
(1) The enemies are not flesh and blood, but are spiritual rulers, authorities and powers of darkness. They are spiritual forces of evil.
(2) They oppose God’s working in the lives of people in this world.

The Christian’s strength and power for this conflict. Ephesians 6:10-11
(1) Our strength and power is from the Lord Jesus Christ (the Spirit that dwells in us). It is the power of His might. You are of God and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
(2) We are to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

We will look at this armor in tomorrow’s post.

Biblical Repentance


True repentance involves a sorrow that results in change. Worldly sorrow usually doesn’t result in a change of behaviors and life. Godly sorrow will always result in a change of behaviors and a life style.

Pertaining to the Christian life:
(1) Mark 1:15 Godly sorrow and repentance will result in a person believing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and being born of the Spirit of God into an eternal spiritual existence and in relationship with God.
(2) Acts 2:38 Godly sorrow and repentance will result in the person seeking to be baptized thus declaring publicly their resurrection from spiritual death and their resolve to walk in newness of life.
(3) Acts 26:20 Godly sorrow and repentance will result in the person turning to God. As they get into the word of God it will result in a renewing of the mind and a transformation of their life. It will result in them turning more and more from a self-centered life to a life that is God-centered and others-centered.

Bring forth works that are representative of repentance (Matthew 3:8)