Jesus’ recipe was quite clear. First King. Without a recognition of His Kingship our trajectory is off. He alone can explain His Kingdom to us, and His Good Spirit is the One Who reveals our Kingdom paths to us. The church then comes out of this growth paradigm. The word for church (ecclesia) means to be called out. This happens as Jesus’ disciples follow Him. Church is mentioned by Jesus in the gospels a few times. The Kingdom is mentioned over 100 times. Can you see the implications?
Kingdom is interior. Our King is supreme over all. Church is the outworking of His Kingdom in our hearts.
Inside-out: The Spiritual Process
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5.1-5
Here are some great Kingdom questions for discussion with those you care about!
What part has conflict played in deepening your Kingdom soul? Why does difficulty often produce the deepest and best result?
How has the challenge of perseverance caused you to grow? How do you respond to the long haul?
How has proven character been tested and developed within you? What has this looked like? Do you have an instance which defines this?
Why is hope an outcome in this chain? What are the implications of hope being preceded by the other qualities of testing?
How do you see God active in your interior world? In your external world? Where do they overlap? Where are they distinct?
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” – John 18:36-37
And here our group wrestles with Kingdom implications. Enjoy!