Kingdom in the New Covenant

November 3, 2019


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A New Covenant 2019

Kingdom

Let’s begin with a quote… “When Jesus came to this earth, he changed the way humans do religion.” -- Tim Stidham. Over the last two weeks, we have seen how this is true.

--Jesus introduced us to… God our father. We explored the family concept of the New Covenant. 

--Jesus, also, demonstrated we are to be servants. We observed how to view the New Covenant as Servants. 

This morning, I want to argue Jesus initiated something else when he came to this earth.

Jesus invaded our planet. Jesus brought the kingdom of God to this earth. This morning, we are going to follow the concept of Kingdom in the New Covenant. 

Let’s begin with the invasion… 

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Mark 1:14-15 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Jesus, in his ministry on earth, began an assault upon the stronghold of Satan. Satan, evil, sin, disease, misery, depression, hatred, prejudice, brutality and death are the enemies of humanity. Jesus, in his ministry on earth, attacked them all. 

--Remember Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days… Jesus and Satan went mono-e-mono. Jesus stepped out of the encounter, the victor. Jesus came to defeat Satan.

--All the demons, Jesus came into contact with, were cast out.

--Sickness, disease, leprosy, the crippled, the blind all those with disabilities were healed.

--Even the dead were raised, like Lazarus.

In the three-year ministry of Jesus, an assault began against the kingdom of Satan. Jesus attacked all that stood opposed to Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus began to answer his own prayer to the Father… “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!” Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth. Jesus began a long-term war with the kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 10:34 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Let’s follow some of the details of how this war will be won.

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God could have snapped his fingers and eradicated Satan, evil, sickness and death in an instant. But, for whatever reason, God does not, usually, operate like that. Through our disobedience we allowed Satan and his cohorts to take control of our world. Consequently, we are going to be involved in the retaking the world. That seems to be a God MO; modus operandi.  God wants us to be involved in the fight for his kingdom! 

But we could not fight this war on our own. We need a commander. We need one of us to pioneer the way to victory. We need someone to lead us.  We need a Messiah; a conqueror! We need a King of Kings. Jesus became one of us to lead us to victory. Jesus demonstrated the way to restore the world. Jesus is our Messiah! 

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan! We sign up to join the army of the Kingdom. We join Jesus to destroy the works of the devil. 

Let’s follow a major battle between Jesus and Satan.

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Jesus advanced the kingdom throughout his ministry, but it was the battle over his death that guaranteed the victory.

The death and resurrection of Jesus destroys the kingdom of darkness in three ways:

1) The power of sacrificial love is the power of the kingdom

The weapon of the kingdom of heaven is sacrificial love. We are able to win the hearts of those under the power of Satan. Jesus demonstrated that willingness to sacrifice for others is the unstoppable power of the kingdom. 

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

If we are to view the New Covenant as Kingdom, we commit to sacrificial love.

2) The fear of death no longer has power over us because we too will be resurrected.

Imagine an army whose soldiers can be brought back to life. They would be fearless.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus, himself, likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Jesus ransomed us from slavery, from the darkness, to be fearless, because death has no power over us! We know that we will be like our commander. We will be raised to eternal life. We are fearless soldiers. I wish I could really believe this. I would live a braver life if I, 100% believed I would live again on the restored earth! 

The army of the kingdom will be resurrected!

3) The blood of Jesus opens citizenship in the kingdom 

Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

The blood of Jesus cut a New Covenant. That has been the point of this year’s study. The blood of Jesus opens the kingdom of God. We are delivered from the darkness. We are transferred into the kingdom of his Son. Within that kingdom, as citizens of the New Kingdom we have redemption. We have been taken from Satan and turned back against him. Our commander doesn’t kill the other guy’s army. He redeems them to be in his army. Their past is forgotten, erased… Bam, they are new recruits in his army, with accident forgiveness! 

You could never beat an army…

--whose weapon is sacrificial love!

--whose soldiers fear death!

--that redeems the enemy’s soldiers to fight in his army! 

All that happened in the major battle of the cross! It’s all over but the crying for Satan.

But that’s not all… follow this…

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Jesus is ruling, now!

At his trial before the high priest, Jesus promised he would rule!

Mark 14:60-62 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again, the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am,  and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

Jesus promised the High Priest he would be vindicated. He would be victorious. He would sit at the right hand of Power! This is one of the major points made in Scripture. Along with the Gospels, most of the writers of the New Testament point to the victorious Jesus on the right hand of God! 

(Luke) Acts 5:29-31 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

(Paul) Ephesians 1:20-22 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet.

(The writer) Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Peter) 1 Peter 3:21-22 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Jesus ascended to the right hand of God until all enemies are defeated.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Hebrews 10:12-13 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

Jesus rules now. We fight in his army to defeat all his enemies!

Here is what this means for us. 

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Our purpose in the New Covenant is to advance the Kingdom! 

--In his ministry, Jesus demonstrated the importance of fighting… Satan, evil, sin, sickness. We resist evil. We offer redemption to those enslaved to sin. We advance medicine and science to find cures. We feed the hungry. We pray. We fight as Jesus did in his ministry.

--In his death, Jesus taught us how to fight… sacrificial love. All we do is done from love. Our power, our methods, our victories are advanced with sacrificial love! We fight as Jesus did.

--In his resurrection, we know death has no power, for we will live again. We are fearless. We don’t worry about legacy. We don’t care about accomplishments. We fight with the courage of our commander!

--In his ascension… we must continue the fight until all his enemies are defeated. I don’t know, but I suspect, the reason Jesus hasn’t returned yet, is we need to fight together to defeat all his enemies. 

--In his return, death will be destroyed, the last enemy! 

We are involved in the continuing advancement of the Kingdom! We are the Lord’s army! 

We view the New Covenant as the New Kingdom of God! 

Let’s take the kingdom test. Remember your family score and your servant score. Add to that this Kingdom score. If you missed the previous tests, they are on our website… losalamoschurchofchrist.com. (Take a look…)


(Take Test) 


Romans 8:34-37 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!



Tim Stidham

November 3, 2019

Los Alamos Church of Christ 

  

Kingdom Test

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being… NOT ME and 10 being… EXACTLY ME…

1) When I pray, I imagine Jesus ruling at the right hand of God.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

2) When I pray, I pray for the advancement of the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

3) When I have a choice to make, I think about how it helps the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

4) When I see others, who are Christians, I see soldiers.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

5) I view suffering as an opportunity to be a conqueror. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

6) Wrong is being a coward. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

7) I view medical and scientific discoveries as advancing the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

8) I think telling others about Jesus is all that matters.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

9) I view my service as conquering the enemies of Christ. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

10) This sermon has been meaningful to me.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

Total __________