Citizens of a New Kingdom

KEY VERSE: God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” —Colossians 1:13,14

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Colossians 1:1-14

IF WE are to understand the scriptural testimony concerning the kingdom of God it is essential to keep in mind that in this kingdom there are both rulers and subjects. The work of God in the earth up until the present time has been the selection and preparation of those who are to share in the rulership of that kingdom. Jesus is the king or ruler supreme—the one who came in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning a Messiah who was to establish a worldwide government, through the agencies of which all the families of the earth are yet to be blessed as the subjects of the kingdom.

Those who are invited to joint-heirship with Christ, and who are inspired with the hope of living and reigning with him, must prove their worthiness of this high honor and great responsibility by laying down their earthly lives in service, even as Jesus laid down his life. This work of sacrifice is properly called kingdom work because it is in preparation for the glorious future work of the kingdom of Christ.

In our text the reference is to those seeking a position of rulership in the kingdom as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. All dedicated followers of the Master are to view this as the first, or all-important consideration of their consecrated lives.

It is wholly upon the basis of faith that we seek to be associated with Jesus in the ruling phase of his kingdom. We must have faith to believe that God is a rewarder of those who “diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) Our faith is in God whom we cannot see, and in his promises of rewards which are as yet invisible, except to the eye of faith.

If our faith is strong we will be able to consider as of secondary importance the material things of life, and take a firm hold of the promises of God while we forge ahead in the way of sacrifice which leads to the goal we seek. We cannot successfully seek the kingdom while clinging to the things of the earth, under the power of darkness—ignorant of God and his purposes.

James wrote, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) This instability manifests itself in various ways. There is indecision in taking steps of obedience, especially when sacrifice is involved. There is a disposition to temporize with the world and the flesh, and the Devil. There may be a desire to make progress along spiritual lines, yet material allurements may be permitted to lead away from the true course of obedience by which spiritual gains are made.

The remedy for this is singleness of purpose, or wholeheartedness in seeking the kingdom. James also wrote, “Purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” (James 4:8) He indicates that in this way we draw near to the Lord, and that he in turn will draw near to us; and with the Lord nearby to help, real progress toward the kingdom can be made.

The instructions of the Lord, his will, are as a light to our souls. Jesus said that “the light of the body is the eye.” To this he added, “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!—Matt. 6:22,23

Here the eye is used as a symbol of vision—our spiritual vision. If we become double-minded, our spiritual vision will not remain clear, or single. We will have double vision in the sense of seeing and doing things other than those outlined by the will of God. We will see too much value in material things, and begin to set out affection upon them. If this condition is permitted to develop it means that we are leaving the narrow way of light and sacrifice and entering again into the way of darkness.

Let us continue, then, to seek the kingdom, not only first, but also with a “whole heart,” and in faith, and with patience, giving all diligence to make our “calling and election sure.” (Ps. 119:2; II Pet. 1:10) Through the precious words of truth we know that we have been “called” and “chosen.” Now it remains for us to be faithful—faithful even unto death—in following the Lamb in that exacting course of sacrifice which he exemplified so faithfully for us.—Rev. 17:14

Let us be encouraged by the assurance of Jesus, who said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”—Luke 12:32

Dawn Bible Students Association
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