5- The King in the Kingdom of God - Part 1-God the Father
I mentioned earlier that most of us growing up in a democracy are afraid of kingdoms. That's because we have seen too many become dictators in the hands of a family. But in the Kingdom of God that will never happen because The King is nothing like the world has seen with human kings. In this section of our study we will look at God the Father as the King and that should set our hearts at rest.
THE TRINITY GOD
In looking at God the King we must look to the God of the Bible. He is one God who manifests himself in three persons -- the Trinity -- which is a mystery for sure. Sometimes the analogy is given that water is one formula (H2O) but it manifests itself as liquid (symbolic of the Father), ice (symbolic of the Son) and steam (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) -- all the while still being water.
At the heart of our trinity God is love. There would have been no love without the Trinity for love must always have an object. Before the world was ever made, God - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- were complete in themselves with love at the center of their relationships. It was love that compelled God to share his life with man and to expand his kingdom to earth.
1. In this amazing passage John weaves a picture of the love our "three in one God" has with man. Read it completely first and then let's look at it more carefully.
1 John 4:7-17
NOTE: The word for love through out this passage is the Greek word AGAPE. Agape love denoted the unconditional love that Jesus could have for a leper who could give nothing back to him. Agape love is the true love of God. It is not the brotherly love we call friendship or the physical, sexual love (eros) that is most often referred to today. These forms of love are not unconditional in that we expect to receive something back in our friendships or romantic encounters.
Now let's look more carefully at 1 John 4:7-17.
Where does agape love come from?
Who among men have this agape love?
How did God show his love towards us?
When we have the true love of God within us, what is natural for us to do?
And when we love others the way God loves us, what is true?
Who has God living within them?
It's as we live in God and He in us that our love grows more perfect and we thus live like Jesus in the world. Because of this what do we NOT need to be afraid of?
Notice the circle of love in this passage. The Father loves you and I by sending his beloved Son to earth to atone for our sins and reestablish our relationship with Him. This compels us to love God and others. When we do so, God is able to give us His Holy Spirit to indwell our own spirit. This is the same Spirit that Jesus was full of when he came to earth and thus we are able to love as Jesus loved throughout our life.
Now let's look at the Father, Son and Holy Spirit separately so that we understand the King in the Kingdom of God.
GOD THE FATHER - WHO IS HE?
2. God is eternal
In this verse John is delivering to us a revelation that he received from God. What three tenses does God reveal to John as to his nature?
Since God is eternal He was in the beginning and the source of everything. He took nothing and made the universe.
But God chose to do all his creating through Jesus.
John 1:3 / Colossians 1:16 / 1 Corinthians 8:6
We see how this came about in this verse:
1 Corinthians 8:6
"But to us there is but one God, the Father of whom are all and we are in him...."
That little word "of" is from the Greek word "ek" and is a primary preposition denoting origin or the point from which action or motion proceeds.
Then in 1 Corinthians 8:6b Paul goes on to say: ".....and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
That little word "by" is from the Greek word "dia" and is a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.
The word "Lord" is the Greek word "kurios" meaning supreme in authority, controller, master.
Since God did the creating through Jesus, this puts Jesus back in eternity with God "in the beginning".
So we have the eternal Father as the master mind of His creation and implementing it through his eternal Son.
3. God is light.
It's from God alone that we receive natural, intellectual and spiritual life. Therefore the knowledge of God is what sheds light on all other subjects. When the sun comes up we don't need a flashlight to see, for by the radiance of the sun, everything becomes clear. So it is when God becomes the light in our life.
Most people are afraid of God's light shining in their life. Why?
But if we are citizens in the Kingdom of God, we should welcome it. What is true about God's light?
1 John 1:5
It's God's light that enables us to live in the Kingdom of God with the King and with each other.
1 John 1:7
Living in the light with God means that we walk by the truth of God. If we don't do this what is true about ourselves?
1 John 1:6
The King as light indwells his children so that they can be lights in this world.
And it's God's light - shining through us - that will enable salvation to come to many.
4. God is Love
This is the character of God in one word says the Apostle John.
1 John 4:8,16
John then goes on to share that the proof of God's love is in "giving".
John 3:16-17 / 1 John 4:9-10
And the proof that God's love is unconditional towards us is WHEN He did the giving. These verses tell us when:
Romans 5:8,10 / Ephesians 2:4-5
We shower our love on those who love us and are good to us. But here is God loving us when we were his enemies and dead in our trespasses and sins! And then to top it off what does he call us?
1 John 3:1
Never doubt the love that the Father has towards you. It started back in eternity and is what draws you to Him today.
5. God is good.
In a conversation with a rich man what does Jesus proclaim?
He was echoing what King David wrote before Him.
David was so certain of God's goodness that he confidently offered all of us an invitation.
Seldom do we think of all the good things that happen daily to us because we are usually focused on the bad things or the problems. But if you had a bed to sleep in, food to eat, a family that loves you, a job etc. etc. then you have had many good things. And where do all those good things come from?
I love how the New Living Translation puts James 1:18b. "And we, out of all creation, become his prized possession." Never doubt that God wants to be good to you -- because He is good.
6. God owns everything.
The Father is the mastermind of all creation. He is the King of his kingdom and therefore He owns it all. As you read these verses write down exactly what it is that God owns.
Psalm 24:1 / 50:10/ 102:25 / Isaiah 40:28/ 45:11-12 / 48:12-13 / 66:2 / Ezekiel 18:4 / Haggai 2:8 / Acts 7:49-50
In this verse God clearly states his role in the land the Israelites farmed. Then he stated their role.
Every Kingdom of God citizen must get clearly in his mind and heart that we are not owners of anything. In a kingdom the king owns it all. Since God is the King of his kingdom, He owns it and gives it to whomever he pleases.
Since God loves us, he shows it by giving to each of us from his wealth. But whatever the Father gives us it's so that we'll manage and use it for His purposes which is to help others.
2 Corinthians 9:10-12
What God gives us does not mean that we own it. We are stewards or managers of whatever God chooses to give us.
The fact that God owns everything by right of creation, is opposite thinking to the world we live in. Man grasps his possessions for his own needs and then keeps trying to get more. That's why Jesus gave us this warning:
7. God lives in Heaven.
Like an earthly king, God has a throne. Where is it?
Isaiah 66: 1
Heaven was the first realm that God created and it's from here that He rules and reigns over His universe.
Because God is love and He loves to give, He wanted to expand his kingdom and his family. He made the earth first before making man because in a kingdom a king must have territory. What was his will for men?
The plan was that all Kingdom of God citizens would be kings and queens over "the works of God's hands." What did that include?
We weren't to lord it over each other but to manage our part of the earth where we live.
But here is a curious a fact about a king. Wherever a king goes his entire government, power and authority go with Him. If God should come to earth then man would cease to have dominion over the earth. For as the "King of kings" God would now be king. So although God is the sovereign ruler of the universe, He has chosen to work through men and women as his kings and queens on the earth. As kings and queens we communicate with our sovereign God who hears us from Heaven.
1 Kings 8:30 / 2 Chronicles 30:27
Jesus confirms this fact when asked by his disciples how to pray.
God respects our place as kings of His earth and thus He waits for us to ask him to get involved with us. And this is one of the most important reasons why we pray to "Our Father who art in Heaven."
WHAT THE KING FATHER DOES
8. He is all powerful and does what He pleases.
King David in this psalm proclaims what he knows about God and some of the things He has done.
Psalm 135:5-12 (especially verse 6)
Through Isaiah what does God say can't be done when he decides to act?
God even has a way to direct leaders here on earth without interfering with their free will.
For example, He worked through the pagan King of Persia, Cyrus, to do good to his chosen people, the Israelites. Isaiah records it in this amazing chapter.
And here we see King Jehosaphet of Judah standing up before all of Judah and proclaiming four things.
2 Chronicles 20:6
God has a will for his universe and he can accomplish that will through his own people or through pagans without overriding their own free will. Our all powerful God does as He pleases and does not conform to our way of thinking.
9. God keeps His promises.
God has made man many promises. Sometimes it has been to just one individual, sometimes to a whole nation and sometimes to all of us. No matter who he has given them to what do these verses tells us is true?
1 Kings 8:56 / Ezekiel 12:25 / Psalm 145:13
It is up to every citizen to read and study the constitution of their country so as to know their rights. The words of God as recorded in the Bible are like the constitution for the Kingdom of God. They contain a treasure for everyone. But unless you diligently read and study what it says, you'll be an ignorant citizen unable to claim what God has said is yours. What do we know about God's word in the Bible?
Psalm 119:89 / Isaiah 40:8 / 1 Peter 1:25
So from very early days, what does Moses strongly encourage God's people to do?
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 / Deuteronomy 11:18-22
He did this because without knowing God's word they wouldn't know what God required of them and they wouldn't know what God had promised to them. It's the same for us today. When we seek to love God by obeying his word to us, then we are able to come before our King Father and ask for what he has promised to us. And what can we be absolutely confident of?
Because God keeps his promises we'll be able to walk as citizens in his Kingdom without fear. Why?
Isaiah 41:10 / 46:4
So the fact that we have a loving King Father who always keeps his word to us should remove all fear to be a citizen in his Kingdom or a member of his family.
10. He sends His Son Jesus to earth as God in His place.
God made us as an extension of his trinity family --- to expand his universe. He wanted a big family of sons and daughters like his Son Jesus. So when Adam and Eve rejected God's partnership with them through disobedience, something had to be done. God could have wiped man out then and there, but that would also have wiped out God's will and plan for a large family in an ever expanding universe. Instead of allowing the fall of man to be the end of us, He decided to come to earth. How did he do this and why?
Don't miss God's motive for this in verse 16a.
When an ambassador comes into the country he is being sent to, he carries with him some credentials so the people will believe he is being sent officially. God did the same with Jesus. What three credentials did Jesus come by?
1 John 5:6-8
A. Jesus entered his public ministry through a baptism in water -- a symbol of purity. It is to be the way that all believers can enter their own ministry in Christ's body.
B. During the baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as a dove. John the Baptist saw this and therefore what did he now know for sure?
C. While John the Baptist came by water only -- to baptize and prepare people for the Messiah, Jesus had been born to die as the final sacrifice for sin and therefore his third credential was his blood -- the means by which any and all of us can be restored to how the Father originally planned for us to be.
The fact that the Father loved us so much to send his own Son to earth to put everything right should relieve any worries that we are beyond help. The Father wants each of us to be restored and right with Him so we can be back on track to fulfill our purpose. He goes to any length to reach us as shown in this parable.