>A note for Sunday Morning, 11/21/10


>God is concerned with righteousness, judgment, and justice.  Being right, dealing right, living right, being in right relationship with Him and with fellow men and women.

Kingdom Righteousness is important.  Consider the following scriptures:

Isaiah 9:6-7: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

God’s kingdom is order with judgment and justice.  Judgment (mishpat) is known as performing or executing justice, fairness, rectitude, proper actions or decisions.  Justice (tsedaqah) is more commonly translated “righteousness” and refers to God’s attribute of righteousness as well as truthfulness, ethical behavior, vindication, justification, or salvation.

Romans 14:17-18: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ [is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Righteousness- broadly, the state of being as one ought to be; narrowly, justice or the virtue that gives each what he is due.

Peace- state of national or individual tranquility, harmony between individuals, security, safety, or prosperity.

Joy- gladness, given by one person to another, or speaking of the people that provide one with joy.

Serving Christ in these three areas is mentioned by Paul as what makes us acceptable to God and approved of by men.

Matthew 6:10: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.

The first two scriptures define the kingdom in the terms of what Christ’s spiritual kingdom is now and what it is to be at His return.  Thus they shed light on what the prayer means when it asks that the kingdom of Christ come, and that the will of Christ be done.

Christ communicated in 2 ways: he preached explicitly and he demonstrated with His life implicitly.

What is the church to preach explicitly? The Gospel and the plan of salvation, and those things that tend to peace and holiness,  “without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

What is the church to live out implicitly?  The doing of righteousness judgment, and justice that is concerned with appropriateness in our relationships to the people, institutions, laws, needs, and problems of our world and our time.

(scriptures are from the KJV; word defintions are from Strong’s Concordance Hebrew and Greek Dictionary)

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