God’s Kingdom and Glory

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Scriptures say that we have been called unto God’s kingdom and unto His glory, yet sometimes these words (kingdom and glory) can appear so huge or distant that they can seem unbelievable, and so we may have a difficult time allowing these truths to filter down into our conscious minds and understanding. However, and thankfully, God’s wonderful Word so lovingly expresses divine truths so that that we may genuinely and honestly comprehend in the depths of our hearts what God says He has freely given to us in His grace, we really do have in His grace.

I Thessalonians 2:11 – As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

This verse is talking about how a father would instruct his child in learning, not in a reproof type of way, but rather in a way that first exhorts and builds up one’s confidence, with a fatherly comfort that makes one feel good and safe. The word “charged” means to testify and bear witness; this is done by one’s personal example in living life. The Apostle Paul was saying that just as a father helps his own children, Paul as their father in the Word did his best to help his spiritual children walk with God equally proportionate to how Paul himself walked with God.

I Thessalonians 2:12 – That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

The reason Paul exhorted and comforted by setting an example was so that the believers could learn how to walk worthy of God as Paul had learned since God had also called them (as well as us) into his very own Kingdom and glory. The more we walk worthy of our calling (by believing), the more God’s true Kingdom will make sense to us.  Through our believing, God can reveal His Eternal Kingdom to our understanding. The more we walk worthy of God’s calling, the more we can recognize the glory of God that He has placed in our hearts. This walk with God is not a rigorous, structured walk, but rather it is a journey through life with God’s love on our side.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of thus, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Paul’s example was one of thankfulness to God. This is a wonderful example for us as well, to be humbly thankful for the privilege of being called into God’s Kingdom and glory. Paul was also thankful that believers had received God’s Word. Receiving God’s Word was never considered as something thought up by the intellectual minds of the Apostles, rather, the Word came from the actual heart of God. Although the Apostles and disciples (believers) spoke the Word of God, it was God’s divine Word that was given to men and women of heart, and when they believed the Word it worked effectually! When we believe the Word of God (which is called truth), the Word begins to work effectually, producing the positive result that the Word itself promises.

In context: these positive results were that the believers began to experience for themselves the reality of being called into God’s Kingdom, for they were also enjoying the glory that accompanies this wonderful calling.

In God’s Kingdom and glory where we have been called, we may also exhort and comfort one another with the Word, which works effectually in all of us.

The Furtherance of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Philippians 1:12 – But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

Here in Philippians the Apostle Paul wanted his brethren, the believers, to understand that the things that had happened to him, his being incarcerated and bound with chains, had actually helped the furthering of the Gospel. We may think that because Paul, the leader of the Christian movement was imprisoned, that many people would refute whatever his teachings were. However, the opposite happened. The Gospel, the good news became even more saturated in the societies where they were preaching Christ.

Philippians 1:13-14:
-13:  So that my bonds in {for} Christ are manifest {made clear} in all the palace, and in all other places;
-14:  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing {growing, working} confident by my bonds {to witness the Gospel}, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul’s “bonds in {for} Christ” had very little to do with his imprisonment, but rather related to the truth that Paul was bound in love for his Savior. “The palace” refers to the palace guards who watch over Paul. The truth that Paul taught, believed, and lived began blessing the guards who were in charge of watching over him. The Gospel also became manifested and clearly understood in many other places, although Paul was out of the way, because “wherein I {Paul} suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). The Word of God can make people free regardless of any circumstance. Other believers were also beginning to preach Christ without any fear as Paul had taught them.

However:

Philippians 1:15-17:
-15:  Some indeed preach Christ even of envy {of Paul’s following} and strife; and some also of good will:
-16:  The one {ones who preach in envy and strife} preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
-17:  But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

This kind of sounds like today, for some are preaching Christ insincerely for money, and there are others who preach out of good will, who preach for the love of God and His healing Word.

Philippians 1:18 – What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Because God’s Word cannot be bound, one person or even one group of people cannot solely own it. That Christ is preached around the world is worthy of our rejoicing – it does not matter so much who is preaching it or exactly how they preach it – because God can then work in our hearts once the seeds of truth of His Word are planted (I Corinthians 3:5-9). When Christ is preached, then God’s Word can take root in our hearts and bring men and women, young and old into the salvation of God producing the furtherance of the Gospel.