Sunday, October 17, 2010

Inheriting the Kingdom

Inheriting the Kingdom and the Blessings of Redemption
Today and throughout Church history the people of God have dealt with the problem of being at ease in Zion (Amos 6:1). This concept can be stated as follows: God has given us the Kingdom and we no longer must war against evil or fight the good fight of faith (I Tim 6:12). The people of Israel were content in their inherited riches and did not see the need to fight and guard their hearts and lives from the evil around them. Today we hear people say, ‘Jesus has defeated every foe and now we can relax and rest in that completed work as we enjoy our inheritance in Christ.’

There are two key books in the Bible for the study of the Warfare that leads to our inheritance in God. The book of Joshua demonstrates how God defeated the enemies of Israel so that they might possess the land God promised and the letter to the Church in Ephesus teaches us about all that Christ has done for us in the face of the multitude of the dark powers which were present in Ephesus. He shows us how these early believers lived the life He has for us in a city and region completely dominated by the Powers of darkness. Joshua is about Inheriting the Kingdom and Ephesians is about the Blessings of Redemption.

After the death of Joshua Israel turns away from God and (Judges 3:1-4) gives us valuable insight into God’s purposes concerning His people and the inheritance of His promises in their lives.

(Judges 3:1-4)
1 NOW THESE are the nations which the Lord left to prove Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not previously experienced war in Canaan;
2 It was only that the generations of the Israelites might know and be taught war, at least those who previously knew nothing of it.
3 The remaining nations are: the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
4 They were for the testing and proving of Israel to know whether Israel would listen and obey the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by Moses.

When we become a Christian through the New Birth we begin a life of transformation. We are no longer in Darkness (Col 1:13-14) but have been transferred into the Kingdom of God’s Son. (Col 1:12) says, ‘Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light.’

Since the day of Jesus Ascension up to heaven in a cloud in (Acts 1:6-9) there has raged a struggle within the body of Christ, His people, as to what degree the Kingdom of God has come and how we should operate as a result. Jesus himself said the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matt 4:17). We are told in (Rom 8:17) that we are joint heirs with Christ and that we have every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3).

In this Acts passage we see the very beginning of this debate.
(Acts 1:6-8) So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." NASU.

In the days to come we will explore what the Inheriting of the Kingdom of God means and seek to discover how we align ourselves with God so that it can rule in and through us today, as we participate in the blessings of redemption.

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