Kingdom of God Part 8

January 8, 2010

Here on A Jesus Moment we have a series of short (20 – 30 minute) teaching videos, audios, and notes that we feel help to explain what being a Christian is all about. We call this collection Preaching in Shorts. This part of the Preaching in Shorts collection is about the Kingdom of God which is central to the message and ministry of Jesus.

To listen to the message click here

or watch the message below:

Kingdom of God Part 8 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Understanding the teaching on the Kingdom of God will help us to go and do the stuff.

In Scripture, there is power in the words and the works of Jesus. Typically, the Westerner spends more times musing over the words without balancing out doing the works of Jesus. When Jesus sent out his disciples to minister

Luke 9:1 (NIV)
1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, he gave them power and authority over demons and to cure diseases. These are two important words in Kingdom theology. Let’s take a closer look:

The root word from which power (dunamis) comes can be defined as to have capacity. It can mean to have the ability to carry out something; to bring something, or to conclude something. It can denote spontaneity. In the classical period of the Greek language, dunamis meant the ability to achieve in the area of physical, military, or political power. Dunamis is used to translate two Hebrew words in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew words generally mean military power or force. The overwhelming proof of the power of God in the Old Testament was the miraculous deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea.

Exodus 15:4-6 (NIV)
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 “Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.

The most comprehensive demonstration of the power of God certainly is demonstrated in the creation of the world (Gen. 1-2).

Jeremiah describes this awesome power to create in Jeremiah 27.5.

Jeremiah 27:5 (NIV)
5 With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.

Micah talked about the power of God working in him (Micah 3.8).

Micah 3:8 (NIV)
8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin.

In this passage, the Hebrew parallelism suggests that to be filled with power is to have the presence of the Holy Spirit. Micah is not saying that he is filled with power and the Holy Spirit but rather he is filled with the Spirit which is the same thing as being filled with the power of God.

Gospels and Acts. In the Gospels and Acts dunamis signifies the power of God. Two ways the word is used are: First, the power of God

Luke 1:49 (NIV)
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.

Second, dunamis is used to describe the works of Jesus. The works of Jesus are called mighty works (miracles Matt. 11.20 NIV).

Matthew 11:20 (NIV)
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.

Here is the good news. The servants of Jesus have the same power of the Spirit. It is given to us to perform the mighty acts of the Kingdom of God. The Spirit of God brings the power of Jesus to the Church. In Acts 1.8 the Church is promised power.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 2:4 (NIV)
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

In Acts 2.4 the promise was fulfilled. The rest of Acts demonstrates the powerful works of the Spirit through the disciples. When the Spirit comes to us at conversion we, too, are given the same power to do the works of Jesus.

The Writings of Paul. Paul deposits a great emphasis on the present experience of the power of God. The central proof of God’s power in Paul is the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the source of the power of God in the Church (1 Cor. 1.24).

1 Corinthians 1:24 (NIV)
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The readers of Philippians are told that Jesus continually provides power for his own (Phil. 4.13).

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

This verse could be translated, “I can continually do all things everywhere I go in Jesus who is continually empowering me.”

The power of God comes in words and works according to 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NIV)
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

It is the Holy Spirit’s power which works signs and wonders which are the works of the Kingdom of God in this Present Evil Age (Rom. 15.19).

Romans 15:19 (NIV)
19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

The word in Greek for authority is exousia. It can be defined as unrestrained right or freedom of action. The verbal form of the word means to exercise one’s right. The right of a king to rule is because of his authority (exousia). The word can also mean the authorization of an officer or a messenger to carry out a specific task. Exousia is used only of people never used of things. To understand the New Testament use of the word we are indebted to the Old Testament book of Daniel. God delegates authority to world rulers. God installs and removes kings (Dan. 2.21).

Daniel 2:21 (NIV)
21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

In Daniel we discover that the authority invested in the “son of man” is endowed by God. This authority would be given to the church (Dan. 7.14&27).

Daniel 7:14 (NIV)
14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel 7:27 (NIV)
27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

The New Testament uses the word exousia frequently, most frequently in Revelation.

Luke’s version of the sending of the disciples is a key passage to understand how authority and power apply to us. Power (dunamis) has its foundation in the idea of being anointed, while authority (exousia) has its foundation in the concept of being sent out. Jesus expelled demons by his authority. He deprived Satan and his demonic host of their power, that is their ability to do evil, thus destroying the works of Satan by snatching men from his rule. Jesus passed the same authority to his disciples

Luke 10:19 (NIV)
19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Luke teaches us through the words of Jesus that we have been given authority (exousia), which is the right to use God’s power (the ability to accomplish a task) to tread on serpents and scorpions. Think of it this way. A police officer who directs traffic does not have the power to stop a car because it is much bigger and more powerful than he or she is. However, a police officer does have the authority to stop a car by merely raising his hand. The government has delegated his authority to him.

The Centurion of Matthew 8.5-13 demonstrates this very fact.

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV)
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

He knew what authority was. He had been delegated his authority by his superior. Those under him had to follow his command. His authority to command was granted because he was also under the authority of his senior officer and finally Caesar himself. Ultimate authority came from Caesar, but the Centurion issued the orders. This was a one time gift of authority to the Centurion. He did not have to run to Caesar each time he needed to give an order to his followers.

The same idea is true for believers. God has passed on his authority to us through Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit to continue his ministry through us. We have been empowered (Acts1.8) to do his work. We have the responsibility to exercise the power and authority he has given us.

Doin’ the Stuff is only a matter of using the authority which has been given us as members of the family of God to be about the work of Jesus in this Present Evil Age. We have the authority to use his power to bring the Rule of God into this Age on a daily basis.

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