Living in the Reign?

What do I mean by living in the Reign?  What is the Reign?  How on earth do we live in it?  I’m glad you asked!

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Let’s begin by looking at 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 in the gospel.”

Jesus came proclaiming good news.  What was the good news He announced?  Our sins could now be forgiven?

No.

We could now go to Heaven when we die?

No.

He announced, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”But what does that mean?

A Time of Promises Fulfilled

Every Jew that heard this announcement would have known what Jesus was referring to.  Over and over again in the Old Testament there were promises that God would one day rule the world as King.  Look at a couple of these passages with me,

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
  Isaiah 2:1 – 4

Here God is reigning out of Zion.  All the nations are coming to Him to receive instruction.  The Lord is judging between nations and putting an end to conflicts.  It would be a glorious time for sure.  Let’s look at another one.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.  Isaiah 11:1 – 9

One anointed by the Spirit will rule in righteousness and faithfulness.  The result of His reign will be that all creatures will dwell together in harmony, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.  Wow!

There are many more passages we could look at, but these will give you a taste of the hope the Jews had of a coming King.  Now Jesus was announcing that the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies was breaking in upon them.

The Kingdom

Notice again in Mark 1 that Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was at hand.  Pay special attention to the word Kingdom.  What did He mean by using that term?  Most of us think of a kingdom in terms of real estate, like the kingdom of Great Britain.  This is not what Jesus was talking about, however.

The Greek word forkingdom is baseleia.  It means royal power, kingship, dominion, or reign.  You could say that it refers to a king exercising his dominion.  In short, Jesus was saying, “The time has come and God is beginning to reign as King!”  That can only be a good thing!  And if Jesus was proclaiming it, you could bet your life it was the truth.

Our Response

How should we respond to the news that God is taking charge as King?  Jesus said we should repent and believe this good news.  This means we should turn away from however we thought about life previously and fully embrace this announcement as a fact.  If we truly believe what Jesus said, we will seek to bring every area of our lives under God’s dominion.  This, then, is what it means to live in the Reign.

M

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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