Sermon Notes: Kingdom 2022

Kingdom 2022

The purpose for this series every year: 1. Set our collective hearts on God’s big vision for his church. 2. Have our hearts captivated by the DNA/Values of TRC, which begin with the kingdom of God, and live in the stream of that supernatural rule and God-created cycle of the radical life. 

Vision: For God’s glory, disciple the nations.

Mission: Be and produce Radical followers of Jesus. 

Strategy: Radical Life – UP/IN/OUT

Tactics: Corporate Worship / Children / Youth / RL Groups / Glocal Engagement 

Values: 9 Marks of a NT Church: Biblical preaching / Biblical Theology / The Gospel / Transformation / Mission-Evangelism / Membership / Discipline / Discipleship / Leadership

What fuels this big vision of the Great Commission?

  1. Our DNA: KDSC

KDSC sequence is vital

The gospel of the kingdom of Jesus makes disciples (Romans 1:16). 

  1. It can’t be the gospel of salvation alone that makes disciples because Jesus does not simply save to take people to heaven. 
  2. Jesus saves to restore us to the mission of his kingdom that he gave Adam and Eve before sin entered created order. 
    1. When talking about KDSC make sure to see the framework of the gospels. That’s where it’s sequence comes from. It’s in the Manual!
      1. Mark 1:14-15 and Matthew 4:23 come before the command to go to the nations for the church. 
      2. Matthew 1 and the genealogy of Jesus from Adam as how God propagates his kingdom people (there are Gentiles in that list) sets the stage for the Sermon on the Mount and parables of the kingdom BEFORE Jesus tells us he is building his church (Matthew 16:18)
    2. Therefore: it is K – D – S – C
      1. All together and in sequence. It’s not just the content of the gospels it is the inspired sequence of events in the gospels. 
  3. With the kingdom of God, disciple-making is deeper and more glorious than escaping wrath over our sin. 
    1. It is also about being put on God’s mission, growing into maturity as disciples who hear and obey God’s word (Matthew 7:24-27), and then leveraging vocations and systems in God’s designed domains of society as evangelistic ambassadors, and from there multiplying the local church. 
  4. The church is who the kingdom of God is creating as new creation order in the earth while God simultaneously subdues creation through the co-regency of disciples who make up the church. 
    1. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Kingdom: Let’s ask two questions.

Why the kingdom of God? What is the kingdom of God?

Why the kingdom of God?

The kingdom is what Jesus preached, and what he told us to preach…because it is in fact the very storyline of the universe. The Bible is this storyline. 

A fancy way to say this is that the kingdom of God is the metanarrative of reality. 

The kingdom is the entire message of the gospel. The whole story of God, who he is, what the problem with the world is, what God’s plan is, and how God works his plan to save and restore through the person and work of Jesus Christ. 

Mark 1:14-15 (ESV) 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

Matthew 4:23 (ESV) 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

This whole gospel message is what will transform people and the whole of creation. 

I have a hunch that much of the western church has not been preaching the gospel of the kingdom and has been preaching a truncated/shortened message that has left us empty and the culture we live in not transformed. 

We went to see SpiderMan NWH the night after Christmas, and there is a line in the movie where Spiderman is not in his Spiderman outfit, and he is asked, “Are you going into battle dressed like a cool youth pastor?”

It was funny and yet a little bothersome. Why did that bother me?

The generation that wrote and produced that movie is one of the most non-religious generations in our world. Yet, they are aware of the culture of “cool youth pastors” produced by Christianity and yet there seems to be no cultural and personal transformation. 

What it indicates to me is that we have a form of godliness that has taken on trends of “cool” that has wormed its way into pop culture, and has not been the least bit transformative. In fact our high point may be a funny line in a Spider-Man movie and perhaps churches full of untransformed people. 

It’s not that the gospel of the kingdom is powerless. It is that we have been preaching a truncated/shortened gospel message. A gospel “lite” that gets laughs in a movie but does little to impact eternity and even less so, daily life. 

Gospel lite can attract crowds and generate spiritual entertainment, but it is woefully inadequate at transforming hearts and growing people into maturity in Christ. 

Where do we start to get a grasp on the full and powerful and transforming message of the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, who is God?

  1. Genesis 1-2 – Father, Son, Holy Spirit is God and king and creates all things for his glory and creates mankind in his image as his co-regents in creation. 
    1. God establishes the family unit as the smallest manifestation of his Trinitarian being and order in the world as ambassadors of his kingdom rule and sends them on his mission of multiplying, filling and subduing all creation. 
  1. Genesis 3 – Adam and Eve reject God as their king and set the pattern for the rest of their descendants. 
    1. God never stops being king, yet a small and dark and vindictive counter kingdom is introduced into creation that is built on deceit and lies and the opposites of God’s good and results in death. 
      1. These deadly opposites become “normal” to the new followers of this dark kingdom and what is good and right seems backward and awkward.
  1. God, however, has an eternal plan. He promises Adam and Eve that from Eve will come One who will do away with this dark kingdom and its serpent lord through death and resurrection. 
  1. In the fullness of time, God the Father sends God the Son, the Lord Jesus, to pay the penalty for this seditious rebellion and WITH his Christmas invasion establishes the first foothold of his reign on fallen earth as it is in heaven.
  2. He dies in the place of sinners, is buried and rises on the third day, and ascends to the Father to present himself as the sacrifice for the sin of his people, and thus establishes his church as new creation in the earth as the manifestation of his kingdom reign.
  3. In doing this, God establishes the rule of his kingdom in a government that will have no end and will increase until he returns to judge the living and the dead and reign forever in the renewed heaven and earth. 
  1. Mark 1:14-15 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”
  1. The gospel of the kingdom is like a finely cut diamond that has a multitude of facets that make it shine. 
    1. God’s rule and mankind’s rejection of that rule
    2. Justice
    3. Mercy
    4. Discipline
    5. Salvation through Jesus’ justifying work on the cross
    6. All nations brought into the church through this gospel
      1. Galatians 3:8 (ESV) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
    7. The restoration of all things

Matthew 4:23

“And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”

Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

Matthew 6:10

“…Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 13:31-32

“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:33

“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’”

Matthew 13:44 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

What is the kingdom of God?

The kingdom is the whole gospel message of the bible that reveals who God is through Jesus Christ, witnessed to by the Holy Spirit, and it has invaded God’s creation in power bringing salvation and restoration to people and all of creation. 

– Mitchell Jolly

“The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through the entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” – Tim Keller

God’s kingdom is his universal rule, his sovereignty over all the earth…The kingdom is his reign more than his realm. – George Eldon Ladd

“The kingdom of God is the reign of God. It is Jesus’ Christ, the Lord over all things in action. Wherever the will of God is being done, that’s where the kingdom is being manifested.” – Bob Roberts

How do we make application of the truth of the gospel of the kingdom?

1. Make sure you have believed the gospel of the kingdom not just a gospel of an emergency parachute in case your main chute of human effort fails. 

  1. The good news of the kingdom is so much more than rescue from God’s wrath. 
  2. The good news is that God has made salvation available to us for his mission to the nations as priests and ambassadors in the world as members of his local church. 

2. Become a student of the Bible and scour every page for the good news of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

  1. Become an expert witness to the kingdom of God. 
  2. The way to not be duped by the philosophies of the world system is NOT by becoming an expert on the magic of the dark kingdom and it’s philosphies. 
    1. By all means, be aware of the philosophies of the world and look for what is true and what is not true, but don’t become obsessed with them or debunking them. 
    2. Don’t get sidetracked with the distractions of the philosophies of a dark world system. 
  3. Know the kingdom of God like the back of your hand, and when we know that we will be fully equipped for every good work. 
  4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

3. Obey what you learn as the first step of really knowing. The kingdom is epitomized in the obedience of it’s citizens not simply by what it’s citizens know. 

  1. Knowledge is only really learned as it is integrated into practice. 
    1. We’ll look at this next week from Matthew 7:24ff.
  2. I’ve watched people with superior Bible knowledge wreck their lives over my years in ministry. 
  3. I’ve watched people with little more than a simple faith and robust obedience to what they know from the bible change the world. 
  4. How about we become a peole who know our bibles and do what it says?

4. Become an astute evangelist. 

  1. There are, no doubt, Spirit gifted evangelists.  
  2. Yet all of us are called to make disciples. 
  3. Disciple making is an issue of obedience. 
  4. Disciple-making begins by entering the kingdom of God through repentance and faith in Jesus. 
  5. Disciple-making continues on through life by learning to obey everything Jesus taught. 
    1. The challenge of where we live is that Christianity has become cultural and intertwined with so many cultural icons that it’s hard to tease out what is Christian and what is not. 
    2. I recommend “The Unsaved Christian” by Dean Inserra to you as a study. 
    3. Most everyone you talk to in Rome will tell you they are a Christian, yet have little to no meaningful membership with a local church and don’t walk in disobedience to God’s word. 
    4. Some churches have full buildings yet a city that sees them as irrelevant to the challenges of the city. 

 5. Be a worshiper. 

  1. Nothing is more evangelistic than a disciple’s real and powerful enjoyment of Jesus. 
    1. Worship has to manifest itself…give expression from the heart. 
    2. Worship is the outward manifestation of an inward delight in something.
      1. Everyone worships, and the question is what is the object of worship?
    3. The gospel of the kingdom so transforms people that it brings people to display their love for Jesus through worship, and this, among a host of reasons, is why corporate worship is so vital for our spiritual vitality. 
    4. The corporate gathering is where we get a little foretaste of the fullness of the kingdom of God in the robust worship of God’s people. 
      1. And that worship is manifested in service, fellowship, hospitality, remembering the gospel in the elements, singing, hearing God’s word, and being sent back out on mission to keep worshiping in the public square in lives of sacrifice for the fame of Jesus. 

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