What really is the kingdom of God?
We have heard Matt. 6:33 many times over which says, and I am amazed that people still misquote it more often than not! They simply say as Jesus saying “Seek first the kingdom of God … and ALL these things (food, shelter and clothing) shall be added unto you. What! They left out the central theme of “His righteousness”. Seek first the kingdom of God AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things shall be added to you. But still, that really does not answer our first question – what really is the kingdom of God? The answer is Rom. 14:17: The kingdom of God itself is not in meat and drink, but RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE and JOY in the Holy Spirit.
Put these verses together and you know that the central theme is His righteousness.
Now it is important for me to say that this righteousness is not result of cultivating social graces and display of fine upbringing, neither is it attained by doing the right things (works of law). It is simply received as a GIFT (Ron. 3:22 and Rom. 5:17) from God. Once we have believed in Jesus, we have the right to receive this free gift as children of God.
Why? Because Jesus is our High Priest at the right hand of God.
Beloved, this is the foundation of New Covenant living. Heb. 8:1 says that this is the Main point of whatever has been said in the previous 7 chapters: Jesus – our High priest forever. He who is the Son of God and is better than all angels, better than Moses, better than any of the high-priests from the Levitical priesthood; Jesus became sin and died, rose again the third day and is now ascended to the heavens and seated at the right hand of the Father-God. When He ascended on high-he gave gifts to men! (Eph. 4:8).
As we reach out to receive what our High Priest offers-the gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS, we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
God has Sworn and will not relent… Jesus is our high priest FOREVER according to the order of Melchizedek (and not Levi). The author of Hebrews says that this is like double confirmation: one, it is impossible for God to lie; and two, He has sworn with an oath. Therefore, Jesus is our surety for righteousness (Heb. 7:20-22 and 1 Cor. 1:30,31).
Remember, when Jesus spoke of His ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8-11? In this passage is mentioned three different group category – 1. the world that does not believe: 2. Believers and 3. Ruler of this (unbelieving) world-renowned devil. And the work of the Holy Spirit is different for these categories or groups: 1. to convict the world of sin (of unbelief) 2. to convince the believers of their righteousness in Christ and 3. Judge the ruler of this world.
Jesus is our righteousness. That is His name – ‘THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6) – unchanging and sure, undefiled and harmless and holy. That is why the New Covenant is SO MUCH better than the Old one, which was based on our works. Now, the old is made obsolete and is passing away, the NEW has come!
Hold on to His righteousness… That is the kingdom of God for you. And I have not even come to peace and joy part of the kingdom.
But let me tell you this in closing. If the swearing of God is double confirmation, go ahead and find out for yourself what and where are all the times God has sworn for us in the New Covenant (Hint: Not many swearing in the entire Bible, but each one is important!). See Isaiah 54:9,10 for instance.
Stay blessed in Jesus. Amen.