Thursday, April 11, 2013

Which Kingdom's Colors are you flying?

There are two kingdoms clearly defined in the Word of God. There is the Kingdom of God, ruled by the King of Kings and there is the Kingdom of Darkness, ruled by Satan.

We should belong to the Kingdom of God. Many assume that because we are Christians, we belong to the Kingdom of God. Let’s think back to when the world had kingdoms and kings, lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses and serfs. When the king would send messengers or ambassadors into a foreign land, they would carry the king’s flag and ride under the king’s colors. Everyone that saw the flag and the colors knew immediately whose kingdom the messengers or ambassadors belonged to. Whoever bore the flag and the colors of the king had the king’s protection. Without the flag and the colors of the kingdom, the messengers were unrecognizable as belonging to any affiliation and could be considered to be vandals or thieves, spies or enemies.

Satan is the ruler of this world and we have to live in this world without being a Citizen of the Kingdom of Darkness. The colors for the Kingdom of Darkness are:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 - nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God.

We all could have been considered to fall into any one of these categories prior to salvation.  When we were saved, these types of behaviors and characteristics should have died with our old man.  A new man, a new creation, was born.  If we still practice the above behaviors, then we are still living in the Kingdom of Darkness.  The best example I can think of in today's society is the school of thought says you should live with someone before entering into the covenant of marriage to see if you "fit."  Having sex with someone outside of the covenant of marriage is fornication.

HOWEVER: We serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We must represent our King in such a way that we are immediately identifiable as Citizens of the Kingdom of God. We must display as our colors at all times: the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the spirit, girded with truth and with the peace of the gospel on our feet. Not only do these identify us with the King we serve and the Kingdom we belong to but this suit of armor, these colors, also provides us with the protection of the King in a foreign land.

Kings had servants. They had people that dressed them, they had people that cooked for them, they had messengers, they had followers and they had people they were responsible for. Nothing occurred in the land without the king first saying it was okay. Well, the Kingdom of God has servants also. The servants of the Kingdom of God are believers that choose to dwell in the Kingdom of God. Servants also have character traits they must possess to be considered a servant of the King of Kings.

II Timothy 2:24-25 A Servant of the Lord:

  • Must not quarrel (free from strife)
  • Be gentle to all
  • Able to teach
  • Patient
  • Correcting those in opposition in humility
Titus 3:2 also discusses characteristics of a servant of the Lord:

  • To obey
  • To be ready for every good work
  • To be peaceable
  • Showing humility

All of these characteristics can also be representative of a Citizen of the Kingdom of God.
  2 Peter 1:5-7 for the characteristics of a Citizen of the Kingdom of God:
  • Faithful
  • Virtuous
  • Knowledgeable
  • Exhibit self-control
  • Perseverance
  • Godliness
  • Brotherly kindness
  • Love

Each of the characteristics above is a building block so that each characteristic requires the one before to develop. We are given a measure of faith at salvation, so God has provided us with the foundation we need to grow. We then must add each of the building blocks one at a time. Without faith, we cannot be virtuous. Without virtue, you cannot be knowledgeable. Knowledge gives us the ability to control ourselves in different situations, but self-control also allows us to persevere through any situation. Perseverance through situations, trials and tribulations brings us to a form of godliness, or righteousness. Once we learn righteousness, we can be kind to our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and ultimately, finally, we can add Love to our character traits.

We can see from the scriptures above that Love is the final trait that is put into place. This is not the love that a brother and a sister or husband and wife feel for each other. This is "agape" love. It is God’s love for others. It means we have God’s heart toward our fellow man and seek to bring peace, love and joy to all we encounter.  God’s love, Agape love, must be added to us as we grow in the knowledge of Him. It is not added to us because we repent from our sins and ask to be saved.
  A  measure of Faith is added at salvation.  We then grow in all other aspects of the fruits of the spirit and as a Citizen of the Kingdom of God.

2 Peter 1: 8-9 say this: "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

I do not want to be considered one that has forgotten the mess the Lord saved me from.  I want to always be thankful for the life He has given me instead of death…I want to be fruitful and share the gospel. I want to be an example of His love on this earth. I have a long way to go....but thank goodness He is not finished with me yet!

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