The Kingdom of God
Col.1:12-13 … giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.
At salvation, we did not just get access to heaven. We received entrance “into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” The word “kingdom” comes from two words: king and dominion. Anywhere the king has dominion, therein lies the kingdom. Dominion does not just refer to power. It refers to everything about the king being reflected in his kingdom. It is a mindset, a pattern of thinking, a culture.
Because Pharaoh valued Joseph, everyone in the kingdom of Pharaoh valued Joseph. All the dignitaries of Egypt accompanied Joseph when he returned to Canaan to bury his father Jacob. But in Ex.1:8 it says, “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” Because the king changed, the kingdom would also be changing. The result was four hundred years of slavery for Joseph’s people.
Defining the Kingdom
The change you experienced at salvation was not physical. It was not a new place we moved to, but a new level and way of thinking. The new king has a new pattern, and that pattern means a new dominion. Several Scriptures explain this idea. Eph.4:17 describes the “futility of the thinking” of unbelievers. Rom.12:2 tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Luke 17:21 says, “The kingdom of God is within you.” John 17 describes how, “We are in the world, but not of the world.” The culture you are in, is not the culture you are of. Scripture uses the word “ambassador.” Ambassadors are in a foreign country, but they are not of that country. An embassy thinks differently from the country it is in. This is what the church is- an embassy. Everything was meant to operate in a different culture.
Scripture describes how we have been rescued from the dominion of darkness, to the dominion of Christ. We have been rescued from all things that are contrary to the culture of Christ. We have been delivered from fear, weakness, poverty and despair- to the dominion of the power, purpose, strength and the glory of God. Righteousness, peace and joy- that’s the kingdom of God. Love, strength, power- that is the culture of the dominion we have come under. You may not be in it right now, but that is what you are of. Jesus taught them to pray, “You kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”