Bible Studies

The Kingdom of God

Ephesians 2:19 says,

“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…”

Not only are we members of the household of God sharing the same divine life, but we are also citizens of the kingdom of God! The “kingdom of heavens” came into being as the church, as we see in Matthew 16:18-19. After the Lord spoke concerning the building up of the church in Matthew 16:18, He speaks of “the keys of the kingdom of the heavens” in verse 19. Hence the church is the kingdom of the heavens on earth today.

The kingdom is a realm in which God can exercise His rule. As citizens of His kingdom, we are under the reign of the King, Jesus Christ, and we are learning to live and walk under His ruling in us. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 says,

“So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

This kingdom is also the realm of the Spirit. Romans 14:17 says,

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Hence to be in this kingdom in reality is to be in the Holy Spirit. The Lord desires that we would have a living and walk that is in the Spirit, which issues in a living of righteousness, peace, and joy. Such a living in the Holy Spirit is what we need for the practical church life, as we see from the context of Romans 14.

Our initial entrance into the kingdom of God is through our regeneration, by our being born of the divine life, and through baptism. John 3:5 says,

“Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Following the initial entrance, there is also the rich entrance. 2 Peter 1:5-10 describes the kind of living we need in order that “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (would) be richly and bountifully supplied” to us (v. 11). Since our initial entrance into the kingdom is by our receiving the divine life, the rich entrance is also one that is continual and brought forth by the growth and development of the divine life in us.

-NZ