Tuesday, August 23, 2005

On Being Citizens of God's Kingdom

"For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."
-- Hebrews 13:14

Christians are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are "in" the world but not "of" the world and we live "between the times." We are citizens of the kingdom of God sojourning in a foreign land.

Christians should be conspicuous and peculiar in their manner of life. They neither think nor act like the men who are at home in this world. Men of the world think by a logic of equivalence. At best, men of the world live by rules, regulations and laws. Laws help us treat each other equally and fairly, but laws do not permit us to respect individual differences.

Christians think by a logic of superabundance. They live by faith. That faith is expressed by a pattern of life that allows us to respond to each other as individuals and persons. Christians live according to a standard that is higher than justice. We measure ourselves by Christ's love. That's why we can turn the other cheek, walk the second mile, give both our coat and our cloak, and forgive one another seventy times seven.

3 comments:

SmallGlimpses said...

Bruce,

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this concept of a heavenly kingdom here and now. I never really gave it much thought until I read "The Devine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard and considered many of Streak's observations. Although it turns my linear thinking on it's head, I find it both confronting, challenging, and inviting to consider that Christianity is also about the here and now.

Focusing too much on the afterlife has many unintended consequences (like calling for the assassination of another country's president. Give me a break!!!!). It doesn't require that we critique how we live today.

I've been studying Jesus' Sermon on the Mount via Frederick Dale Bruners commentary on Matthew. My heart's desire is not only to know jesus, but that my life would evidence his ethics.

You words give me more to chew on. Have a great time in Hawaii. Soak in the abundance of beauty.

Marty said...

Ah, Bruce. You're making me miss those sermons you preached at Easthaven on Sundays and those insights of yours at Bible studies on Wednesdays.

MsPenni said...

At least you got a map.
Give our love to C and J.
I agree with smallglimpses.
I always say, if you know the talk, and you can talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. Otherwise, it's all for not.