Sermon Notes & References

“Thy Kingdom Come”

Matthew 6:9-13

July 1, 2018

A. Observations on the Kingdom

    1. The King 1

    2. Man’s Preoccupation 2

B. The Visible Kingdom

    1. The Church 3

    2. The Coming Christ 4

    3. The Consummation 5

C. The Invisible Kingdom

    1. The Kingdom Within 6

    2. “Thy Kingdom Come” – May God Rule in Me!


1 Matthew 6:9-13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Thy Kingdom Come”

 

A. Observations on the Kingdom

    1. The King

        a. “Thy Kingdom Come”

            (A)    this is addressed to the God as our Father

            (B)    but that does not mean that each Person of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – does not equally participate in it as God the King – for we believe in one indivisible God, not three

            (C)   indeed that is the implication of the fact that the incarnated Son of God, “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) – that is, He took His rightful throne of kingship

        b. Christ the King

            (A)    Christ, which means “anointed”, is simply the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Messiah”

            (B)    there were three positions, or offices, in the OT which were marked by the holder when taking them being anointed with oil though this was not always recorded

                 (1)    these were Prophets, Priest & King

                 (2)    the NT shows that Jesus, Messiah, held all three offices

            (C)   but the primary, or most emphasized office is that of King

        c. “Thy Kingdom Come”

            (A)    what is it that defines a kingdom?

            (B)    this part of the prayer could be rendered “Thy Kingship Come” or “Thy Reigning Come”

            (C)   so, that while we do not deny that God is in fact the One who rules over the entire universe, both animate and inanimate, for it is His laws that have set it into motion and continue its existence

            (D)   nevertheless, God’s Kingdom is especially defined as the people over whom He is the King; the people over whom He reigns

        d. A Source of Possible Confusion

            (A)    you will find in the NT both the phrases, “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” ... what is the difference, if any?

            (B)    a bit of background will help answer this question

                 (1)    by the words used, and the explanations given, in them, each of the four gospels seems to be addressed to a different group

                     (a)    Matthew to Jews

                     (b)    Mark to Romans

                     (c)    Luke to Greeks

                     (d)    John to the world at large

                 (2)    now, the Jews would not only not pronounce God’s sacred name (YHWH), but even avoided using the word “God” lest they should transgress in the third commandment

                     (a)    so it is not surprising that the phrase “kingdom of heaven” is only found in Matthew’s gospel

                     (b)    whereas, in the same event, the other gospels use the phrase, “kingdom of God”

            (C)   as an example, you will remember how the rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what he had to do to inherit eternal life, and went away sad when told that he needed to give up his riches (his idol)

                 (1)    In Matthew 19:23, “And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

                 (2)    In Mark 10:23, “And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”“

                 (3)    In Luke 18:24, “And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

                 (4)    same occasion, different words, identical meaning

            (D)   and, likewise, there are other terms also having the same meaning, such as, “the kingdom of His Son” that you will encounter

 

    2. Man’s Preoccupation

        a. people love pomp

            (A)    on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to celebrate the 200th anniversary of a certain order at St. Paul’s cathedral

            (B)    instead her place was taken by a cousin, the Duke of Kent

            (C)   the Queen had to cancel because she was feeling “under the weather”, which is certainly excusable at age 92

            (D)   as a result there were many disappointed people, and the news filled the British, and other, newspapers

            (E)    because they didn’t get to see the spectacle they wanted

        b. the Jews’ preoccupation

            (A)    was to see the restoration of the Jewish kingdom as it had been under David and then Solomon – let me oversimplify this a bit:

            (B)    they understood the promise to David to be of an eternal earthly kingdom ruled by his descendants, and especially as it would be re-established by the one pre-eminent descendant, the Messiah

                 (1)    that was in their mind as recorded in Luke 17:20-21, “20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”“ (Luke 17:20-21)

                 (2)    they were looking for something visible, but Jesus said that the kingdom was already invisibly present

                     (a)    that word, the renders “midst” has a double meaning

                     (b)    first, the kingdom is “among you” – in their presence at that very time; and indeed that was so: the King was there!

                     (c)    second, the kingdom is “within you” – that it is not to be observed externally but found within a person

        c. even the disciples did not escape this error

            (A)    despite the many times that Jesus had used parables to describe the nature of the kingdom, “the kingdom of heaven is like …”

                 (1)    a mustard seed

                 (2)    a man finding a great pearl

                 (3)    yeast working silently in a lump of dough

            (B)    so that as Jesus was about to ascend into heaven

                 (1)    they asked “6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;” (Acts 1:6-7)

                 (2)    but in a few days at Pentecost, they would know the reality of the kingdom within, even as Jesus went on to say

                 (3)    “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”“ (Acts 1:8) – that is how God’s kingdom comes.

 

B. The Visible Kingdom

    1. The Church

        a. on the day of Pentecost, through the work of the Holy Spirit

            (A)    there came into being a nation – kingdom – born in a day

            (B)    a kingdom within, where God reigns,

                 (1)    through the completed work of God the Son on the cross

                 (2)    and the indwelling Presence of God the Holy Spirit

            (C)   Peter, preaching in the Holy Spirit, stated, “”Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”“ (Acts 2:36)

            (D)   “Lord and Christ” – Ruler, Sovereign, King!

            (E)    and from that audience, they came, accepting Peter’s word, and there were 3,000 saved that day; added to the church; added to the kingdom of God – the first of millions to do so

        b. even as described by Paul, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,” (Colossians 1:13) – an immediate change of spiritual citizenship

        c. which is the experience of every member of the true church of Jesus Christ – a church identified not by a denomination, a location, a building but rather a people permeating the entire world, consisting of those through faith in Jesus Christ whom the Spirit has regenerated to eternal life

        d. “Thy Kingdom Come” – may you, O God, add to the church such as should be saved until its number has been fulfilled

 

    2. The Coming Christ

        a. this is probably the first thought that comes to our minds when we think of the phrase “Thy Kingdom Come” – Christ’s return

        b. in his second letter, Peter urges his readers to persevere in their faith:

            (A)    “10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2 Peter 1:10-11)

            (B)    we read about this in our communion service this morning: “for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”“ (Luke 22:16)

            (C)   as it is in the parable that begins, “11 And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.” (Luke 19:11-12) which is clearly a reference to His departure and ultimate return; as also in many other places

        c. the sometimes bitter conflict of opinions on this subject can be very distressing – a hope of joy to the Christian made a cause of dissent

            (A)    post-millennialism, a-millennialism, pre-millennialism

            (B)    pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib return of Christ

            (C)   reform or historical view; dispensational view; and so on

            (D)   and, each of these, it seems to me, have to ignore or to twist some Scripture or another (mostly “another-s”) in their argument

            (E)    so that they are like the man who is feverishly packing a suitcase in order to get to a plane on time for a journey – he slams down the lid, locks it, and then notices a sleeve, sock or two hanging out – and so takes a pair of scissors and cuts them off!

            (F)    the truth of the matter being, that God’s plans are so wonderful, that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

        d. so, God will accomplish what He purposes when Christ returns

            (A)    whether we pray for that return or not

            (B)    but, to pray for it – “Thy Kingdom Come” is most appropriate

            (C)   as the book of Revelation 22:17, 20 does, “And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; … Amen, Come, Lord Jesus”

 

    3. The Consummation

        a. God’s Kingdom is coming – of that we are assured

        b. but the millennial kingdom, however that is to be understood, is but a blink in time, a passing event, itself to pass away

        c. in it will be carried out God’s righteous purposes in Christ Jesus

        d. “24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)

        e. for this ultimate victory: when all injustice will be righted, and all evil overcome, even death and the devil, we pray “Thy Kingdom Come”

 

C. The Invisible Kingdom

    1. The Kingdom Within

        a. in preparing His disciples for His coming death, Jesus said, “15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)

        b. in reading these words, we tend to focus on “keep my commandments” as though that was a condition of what follows.

            (A)    actually the condition is “If you love Me” and the result is “you will keep my commandments

            (B)    but that is only the first part of the result; there is more

            (C)   And I will ask the Father and He will give

            (D)   His Gift? the Holy Spirit – and therein resides the secret of the kingdom within

            (E)    it is the Residence of God’s Holy Spirit in the innermost being of every believer – an innate part of being born again, from above by the Holy Spirit – that result in God’s ruling in us

        c. we have called this an invisible kingdom

            (A)    there is no pomp, nor crown, nor ceremony, nor spectacle

            (B)    but there is evidence:

            (C)   in our priorities: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

            (D)   and in our lives: “17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.” (Romans 14:17-18)

 

    2. “Thy Kingdom Come” – May God Rule in Me!


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.