It seems many religious folks are bent upon discrediting Christian teachers who teach the Kingdom of God and the Grace of God. Many blog posts are written to minimize the revelation emanating from these teaching. Now, I hate to be a party to an “us-versus-them” debate but, sadly, this is what it’s come to.
Here is an essential truth expressed as a fact: the central figure in Scripture is Jesus Christ. He was present in the past, He is present in the present, and He will be present in the future.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4, ESV)
All things were created by Jesus and for Jesus:
For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together). He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone” in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent]. For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. (Colossians 1:16-19, AMP)
Since Jesus is the centrality of all Scripture, it behooves us to study and to teach what He taught. The Kingdom of God is what Jesus taught. Thanks to modern technology, it is easy to do a word-count of text. Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God more than anything else. Indeed, the first thing Jesus said upon the commencement of His earthly ministry was “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). “Repent,” meaning, “change your mind” and “at hand,” meaning, “here and now.”
Simply put, we have to adjust our mindset for the present reality of the Kingdom. It is not simply “pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-by-and-by!”
The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the canonized New Testament. The Grace of God is what Jesus revealed to Paul. He wrote that it is by grace (God’s unmerited favor) through faith (absolute confidence in God and His Word) that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus was the embodiment of grace and the fulfillment of the law. Paul laid this out with bold simplicity in his epistle to the Galatians – particularly chapters 3 and 4, which drilled the point home with laser-like accuracy.
So why, then, does mainstream Christianity insist upon returning not only to beggarly elements (Galatians 4:9) but to flat-out teaching of the law as a means of discipling the saints? For some, it is an error of omission – that is, they do this because they, themselves, were not taught better. Sadly, for others, it is an error of commission – they know better but legalistic flagellation is a means of exerting control over others.
In both cases, though, it is time for a change.
It is important that we study the Old Testament carefully to understand what we have been delivered from. It is also important to study the Old Testament to understand what prophecy has been fulfilled and what is yet to come. Moreover, it is important to study the Old Testament to understand God’s mission statement (Genesis), His wisdom (Proverbs), and the paradigm of praise (Psalms). It is not to be used, as some would say, as a “guide for holy living” because, if it is, it is holiness attained by works – which is as filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6).
So what does true Kingdom and Grace teaching look like? That God’s government trumps all governments, that right standing with Him through Jesus is essential, that His love abounds toward you, and that His unmerited favor not only saves you and keeps you, but empowers you to be His loving child. It is not legalistic, traditional religion with the right buzzwords.
It is this “buzzword crowd” that strives to discredit those who are teaching the truth. Because Kingdom and Grace teaching is liberating (2 Corinthians 3:17), and it takes away power from institutions and puts it in the hands of whom God intended – his children. The “buzzword crowd” is not only content to persist in mere religion but is determined to drag as many along with them as they can. Kingdom and Grace teaching is light to a dark world, and additional illumination upon the sphere of religion.
The teaching by those operating in the revelation of the Grace of God and the Kingdom of God are maligned by those who insist upon adhering to mere religion. Hang in there, Grace teacher, be strong Kingdom teacher: truth is winning!
© 2012 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)