Jesus declared; The Kingdom of God is at hand! (Matthew 3:2; 4:17) What Jesus was telling his disciples was that they were citizens of a heavenly kingdom; that this is a present reality and that it is available here and now to all who enter. A kingdom presupposes personalities, authorities, laws, responsibilities, rights and privileges. This is true of every country and it is certainly true of the spiritual kingdom.
Every country offers its citizens all the due rights and privileges of that country. Each country seeks to protect its members and their rights by imposing a code of ethics, protocol, laws and responsibilities. Living within the framework of these precepts guarantees successful living. This is also true of the kingdom of God. A graphic illustration of this is found in Deuteronomy 28:1-68. Here God establishes the conditions of blessings and cursing in the new land.
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. – Deut. 28:1-2
The list of blessings which follows is a strong incentive for obedience. It is for this reason that James declares; But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22) A litany of curses follows the list of blessings in this warning on disobedience;
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: – Deut. 28:15
Jesus said I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) In one brief statement He sets forth two profound truths:
2: He came to give us life.
Eternal life in this new kingdom is gained by faith. Faith alone is the door which gives entrance into the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9). This is why His followers fervently preached … Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved … (Acts 16:31)
2: He came to give us abundant living.
Once a person receives citizenship in this new kingdom, every right and privilege of that kingdom becomes his. At the very instant we declare Jesus the Christ to be our Lord and Saviour; our Messiah, we are made partakers of the divine nature. – 2 Peter 1:4
Each Christian possesses every right and privilege that this Kingdom offers. Exploring its full potential however, is a discovery! It is an ever growing, continually expanding experience. Abundant living in this new Kingdom does not become a reality by faith. It become ours through obedience.
Obedience is the evidence of faith
Make this prayer with me;
“Dear Lord, show me where I violate your precepts. Give me the desire to comply with your laws, and by your Spirit help me to submit my will to Yours. Lead me in your paths of righteousness. I ask this in the name of Jesus – Amen!”
Knowledge that is not applied is irrelevant, superfluous information.
How do we apply what we learn in a practical way?
We must be obedient to the Truth. That requires a “teachable spirit”.
We must be willing to change.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:3-4)