Series : The Kingdom of God; Sonship
Sunday 2 April 2017 – Kobus Swart
Rom. 14:17; (Heb. 1:3); John 17:20-21; Matt. 5:1-9, 24-48; (Phil. 4:7); Matt. 10:34; (Luke 2:14); Col. 3:15; Isa. 9:7; Hag. 2:9; (Isa. 2:4); Col. 1:20; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; (Luke 17:20-21); Matt. 16:19
The God who is spirit, the God who is love, was manifested in the person of Jesus. He was the exact representation of God (Heb. 1:3). We are seeing Jesus demonstrating an interpenetration of God and man. He became man in order to save man after the fall. God is invisible, but we are to put God on display in the world, like Jesus the pattern Son did. That is why He keeps on praying: I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:20-21). He is praying for that kind of oneness – an interpenetration of God and man.
The Sermon on the Mount is more than a sermon. Jesus took a seat on the side of a mountain in the most low-key way with no professionalism, and He gave us the Constitution of the kingdom of heaven. He set forth the laws and the principles by which the holy nation, the Church, the kingdom of God will be governed. The Old Testament people under Moses had a Constitution which was the Law of Moses. When Jesus came and people quoted Moses He said, “But I say unto you…” (Matt. 5:24-48). He brought a whole new Constitution to the earth, the principles of the kingdom of God. These are the principles by which the kingdom of God functions. We have been exposed to an expression of Church in the past and have certain concepts and views, and it often stands between us and what God wants to do at this time. Something has to change in our thinking and the renewal of our mind has to be a constant on-going experience. In this new order – the kingdom of God – all earthly and man-made institutions cease to exist. Our lives are not governed by external rules, regulations, laws, traditions, systems, organizations or hierarchies, but wholly by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and truth. We are first and foremost citizens of heaven, the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not physical, not organizational, it is not political, but always the doing of God’s will. Jesus broke very tradition and violated all accepted standards, procedures, norms, methods and systems. He demonstrated the ways of the kingdom of heaven. Read the New Testament with new eyes. Read the four gospels, read the ways, the style, the life of Jesus and you will find somebody who was not bound by earthly rules and organizational thinking. He flowed in the Spirit. He touched the lives of individuals. Today we have learned so many religious rules and regulations. He came to change the world, transform the world and to rule the world by the power of the Spirit of God. While on earth He seemed to have no program, no method, no system, no organization; no instrument; no structure to accompany His task. It is amazing how we in the Church have been invaded by Babylonian systems and methods and thinking. Yet He is the one we should follow; He is the pattern. (Eby)
Let us look at peace. How many of you love peace? True peace first and foremost starts with you and me having peace with God. We talk about Christ within, but that Christ is also called the Prince of Peace. That means the Prince of Peace dwells within me. There are a few acid tests to determine if the Prince of Peace is within us. It is talking about uncovering something that already is. If we talk about the Christ within, a certain unveiling needs to take place. We need to break through a certain veil to put God on display in this world. The kingdom of God is peace; peace of heart, peace of soul, peace with God, peace between men, peace between nations, peace everywhere, under all conditions and at all times. What does peace look like? You cannot see peace, but you can see its effect on circumstances and people. Peace is spirit, you cannot see it. There is such a thing as soulish peace. That is when you can experience peace in a psychological way; generated out of conditioning or influencing of the mind, will, emotions and desires. That peace comes after a holiday, after going on a hiking trail, or by transcendental meditation; that is peace of the soul. None of these have anything to do with the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is real peace in the Holy Spirit. True peace surpasses all understanding, you cannot comprehend it but the effect is powerful. It will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9). The seventh beatitude is about peace. Jesus said, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you (John 14:27). This is like His last will and testament; it is like leaving a legacy. He had no material possessions or wealth to divide amongst the ones He loved, so He gave them one thing, He gave them His peace – the peace of the kingdom of God.
Some may ask, “If He is the Prince of Peace, why did the first coming of Jesus not bring peace on earth?” He did everything but that (Matt. 10:34). He brought peace among men with whom He is well-pleased (Luke 2:14 – Amplified). Jesus had to dismantle what paraded as peace in the religious order of His day. Jesus did not like mixture. There cannot be peace on earth in the sense of no wars, no oppression and no exploitation until there is peace among the men chosen by God. The first fruits of true peace are called the sons of God. Sonship has become a shallow phrase. The first fruits of peace in the earth will be the manifested sons of God who are the sons of peace. God is willing to invest and to equip people who have broken through into what we refer to as sonship. The Holy Spirit will help us to understand that fully. They will become the peacemakers. The word “sons” in Greek is “huios”, referring to maturity. They have grown from “teknon” (a child) into being a fully grown son.
Where there is no peace we get all sorts of emotional and psychological problems, including anger, rage and depression. It is a lack of peace and joy. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body (Col. 3:15). It calls peace an “umpire”; when something goes wrong, the umpire is the one who blows the whistle. Let peace be the umpire in you decision-making and choices in this life. Sometimes there are decisions to make, actions to take, doors that open and opportunities but you do not know which way to go. Make the decision that brings peace to your heart and innermost being. Examine your heart and listen to true peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace (Isa. 9:7). The kingdom of God is an ever expanding kingdom and it brings with it true peace.
The ministry of the sons of God will ultimately bring universal peace. God is looking for sons of peace. We want this house to be a household of peace (Hag. 2:9). We want to see in this house an atmosphere of creativity, of joy, of righteousness and peace, which makes us a kingdom house filled with the Spirit of God. The enemy will do everything possible to sow conflict and discord, to be divisive. We have been called to be a house of peace and to be peacemakers in this world.
Ultimately when God speaks peace to the nations, they will beat their swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isa. 2:4). No more wars! Only peace! My heart is yearning to see the sons of peace become active in the world.
Before becoming agitated where the enemy is sowing seeds that are not of God, become quiet; listen to the spirit of God and say, “I am a peacemaker, a son of God.” Speak peace! It will be the test of your sonship. God in Christ reconciled all of humanity to Himself. The fall brought a breach, a divide between that which belonged together, but Christ provisionally reconciled humanity with Himself. Having made peace through the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20). He made peace while on the cross and is now calling us to be ministries of reconciliation (2Cor. 5:18-19); ambassadors, mature sons who are called to be peacemakers, who will minister reconciliation in the earth, not further divide. The ministry of the Church today is not to be the ministry of condemnation. We cannot keep ministering sin-consciousness, otherwise we are keeping it alive. We are called to be ministries of reconciliation; tell people the truth – the price has been paid! The door is open! Awaken the truth on the inside. Let us find out what there is within and unveil it. Even to the Pharisees Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). Discover it. Break out of that mind-set that keeps you captive in sin-consciousness. Jesus made peace by the blood of His cross. The Holy Spirit will break this open and you will see the mandate, the role that is to be played by the sons of God; peacemakers! Work with God; we are to participate and be co-workers.
What are the keys of the kingdom? When Peter had the revelation of who Jesus was, Jesus said to him, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19). It has been done, humanity has been reconciled. You and I have the keys of the kingdom! Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.