"But you are a chosen people...a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" 1 Peter 2:9 (see also Colossians 1:13).We have been snatched from Satan's rulership and are now under a whole new authority - that of the Lord Jesus. The keystone of living in God's kingdom is being in relationship with Jesus, the King (Ephesians 1:17; Philippians 3:10). This relationship takes two distinct forms:
"...he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" Hebrews 5:8-9 (see also 2:10).
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" Colossians 2:6-7.Knowing Jesus as Saviour brings us into God's kingdom, but that is not where our relationship with Him ends. Once we are inside His kingdom, that relationship takes on dramatic new changes. Now we know Him not merely as Saviour, but as Lord - our Lord!
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen" 2 Peter 3:18 (see also John 13:13; Romans 1:4; 1 Cor.8:6; 2 Cor.4:5).
"...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves" Colossians 1:12-13.When we enter the Kingdom of Light, we enter a relationship for which we were created - a relationship between the Lord and His creation. When Jesus becomes Lord of our individual lives, we find that our lives begin falling into place (Col.2:9-10; 1 Cor. 8:6). The Lordship of Christ in our lives changes our whole lifestyle into that of a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
"Let your attitude to life be that of Christ Jesus himself..." Philippians 2:5 (Phillips).Jesus, though King of the Kingdom, became the servant of all. He is the example for us of the true citizen of His kingdom.
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord', and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" John 13:13-15 (read also John 13:5-17; Matthew 20:26-28; Luke 22:26-27).As members of God's kingdom, we have entered into a master-servant relationship with the Lord (Matthew 6:24). Jesus came specifically to do God's will (Hebrews 10:5-9). Every day He displayed what the lifestyle of the kingdom is all about: living to please God (Ephesians 5:8-10). We are to have a servant's heart, just as He had a servant's heart (Matthew 20:26-28).
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more...It is God's will that you should be holy..." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 (see also Matthew 12:50; Ephesians 6:6; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 2:17).We submit ourselves to God's will not reluctantly - because of fear or duty - but rather we seek to please Him:
"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory" 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (see also 2 Thess.1:5).In Matthew 21:43, Jesus said that the kingdom would belong to those who "produce its fruit". The fruit of the kingdom is summed up in a number of scriptures:
"We also pray that your outward lives, which men see, may bring credit to your master's name, and that you may bring joy to his heart..." Colossians 1:10 (Phillips) (see 2:6-7; Eph.4:1; 6:7-10).Since we were created by God, we were also made for His kingdom and its lifestyle. The fruit of that kingdom is simply the natural outworking of rebirth that the Holy Spirit has performed in us (Galatians 5:22). Our responsibility as citizens of God's kingdom is to live like the people we now are!
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us" 1 Peter 2:11-12.
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Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these studies are from the New International Version of the Bible, & copy; New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.
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