Jean’s Gospel: Introducing the Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come – Part 2

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16 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Jean,

    If the coming of the kingdom simply is another term for salvation, why would Christians continue to pray this part of the prayer?

  2. Jean says:

    Michael,

    “If the coming of the kingdom simply is another term for salvation, why would Christians continue to pray this part of the prayer?”

    Here are the reasons I continue to pray it:

    (1) I pray His kingdom will come to me in the form of the means of grace and the Holy Spirit.
    (2) That Christ’s reign over my life would spread and increase.
    (3) That His kingdom would come to certain friends and relatives who I care deeply about.
    (4) That He would defend and protect me from the devil, the world and my flesh, which would like to draw me back into the devil’s reign.
    (5) That he would deliver me from this evil age and welcome me in His kingdom of glory, which is still to come at his return. This last piece is a petition against evil and sin which desecrates God’s gook creation.

    As you know, Lutherans and Calvinists disagree about whether a Christian can reject the salvation he/she once had. As a Lutheran, I pray daily for the Holy Spirit and faith. He has promised them, and so I take him up on His promises. I do not want to have to meet Peter at the narrow gate and have to explain why the faith I once had 10 or 15 years ago, but which I later rejected as I took up a pagan lifestyle is sufficient. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Therefore, I am going to take his Word seriously and do what Christ says to abide in Him.

    But even if you are a Calvinist, surely you would want to pray that the kingdom would prevail in your life, which is another way of saying that the leaven of the kingdom would work its way throughout your whole person, so you hallow His name and live according to His will.

    Does that make sense?

  3. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Good answer. 🙂
    I would still suggest that there is a far broader application, but that can wait for another day.

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, I think you are all over it with this. In fact, I’m kind of shocked how much this resembles my very recent thoughts.

    I preached Sunday about Abraham leaving Ur and heading towards the Promised Land. I noted that this is a picture of repentance as we turn from the “Ur” of our lives and walk towards God’s promise. The Promise = the Kingdom…which is really in Jesus. If you are in Christ, you have reached the Kingdom.

    MLD said when Jesus said “The Kingdom of heaven is near” that he probably patted His chest as he spoke, as if to say “This is talking about me”. I agree. Jesus is the King. His Body is the Kingdom.

    Forgive me if my thoughts are unclear. This just kinda cleared up for me all at once on Sunday. Having a hard time communicating the idea. You did much better in your post!

  5. Em ... again says:

    Thy Kingdom come – …?… not “of” this world, but it has come, is coming and will come -overcoming, in God’s timing, in totality – so?
    so, keep praying …?… 🙂

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A couple of points that make a Lutheran view on this unique – so many others look at salvation as a ‘one and done’ event – where we look at the whole salvation experience as a continuum – repentance – justification – sanctification & glorification make up salvation – all works of God alone forever. – complete in eternity past – complete today and being completed tomorrow.

    As to the Kingdom and Jesus himself being that kingdom, Origen had a great word for it that I cannot remember at this time

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em and I agree – and she beat me to it. 🙂

  8. Jean says:

    Josh,

    Thank you for the comments. Have you noticed that in the Bible, a lot of the time God’s people are called “sojourners.” Peter even says that of Christians.

  9. Jean says:

    One thing I didn’t take up in this article due to space constraints is to compare the Church to the Kingdom of God.

    The Church is not the Kingdom of God. When I use the term “Church” I am speaking of the “visible Church” which as you can imagine is inhabited by both Christians and non-Christians. In addition, even the “invisible Church” which is only Christians (but none of us can identify this subset perfectly) is inhabited by redeemed sinners.

    Therefore, the “invisible Church” even though it is 100% Christians still needs to hear the Law, because Christians still sin. By contrast, in the kingdom of God there is no sin and therefore no Law; it is 100% ruled by grace.

    However, the Church as the body of Christ does administer the means of grace and Sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, as agents for bringing the kingdom to people on earth.

    Does that make sense?

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    “autobasileia”

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Thanks Josh – love that word. Couldn’t talk any of my kids into naming their first born “autobasilea” 🙂

    Who says those Catholics don’t have it right;
    “Pope Benedict says in his book Jesus of Nazareth (p. 49),

    ” Jesus himself is the Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a thing, it is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms. It is a person; it is he. On this interpretation, the term “Kingdom of God” is itself a veiled Christology. By the way in which he speaks of the Kingdom of God, Jesus leads men to realize the overwhelming fact that in him God himself is present among them, that he is God’s presence.”

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think Benedict nails it. I am going to have to read more on Origen’s autobasileia.

  13. Owen Wells says:

    Good word, Jean.

    I have always enjoyed the idea of the foolishness of God, in the eyes of human wisdom. I find it very child-like.
    Reminds me of the movie “The Matrix”, when the child is bending a spoon with his mind, and he sais “it helps to remember that there is no spoon”. The foolishness of believing that statement is what makes it possible.

    “The devil, the world and our flesh use human wisdom and reason to attack our faith in Christ (to make faith appear foolish)”.

    — Some people cannot let go of their need for everything to make sense, to have it all figured out. Yet I don’t think our minds were meant to understand everything.

    Thanks, Jean, well done.

  14. Jean says:

    Owen,

    I’m glad you connected with that portion of the article. No where is the foolishness of God more foolish than in the “Christian” nation of the U.S.A.

    You’re making a Michael Card fan out of me.

  15. Owen Wells says:

    Jean,

    I hear that, and Canada is quite similar, believe me.

    I’ve enjoyed Michael Card’s music and songwriting for years. If you’re looking for a good sample, track down his 2-record set “The Life’. (came out in 1988). He goes through the life of Jesus in song. Excellent album.

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