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The Kingdom of God (3,4)

I already introduced to you the first and second concept of the kingdom of God. The third

concept of the kingdom of God is the Millennium after the rapture and the 7-year great

tribulation, according to the pre-millennial position of eschatology. The fourth concept of the

kingdom of God is New Heaven and New Earth with New Jerusalem as the capital city after the Millennium and the White Throne Judgment, according the pre-millennial position of

eschatology. What does George Elden’s teaching, the second concept of the kingdom of God, mean for Christians’ life journey? We find the answer in the quotations of Philip M. Bickel and Robert L. Nordlie’s book, “The Goal of the Gospel: God’s Purpose in Saving You”: “God’s grace does not stop at the point of declaring us righteous. He goes on to rehabilitate us sinners, to equip us for obedience by means of a heart transplant. In II Corinthians 1:20, Paul declares that no matter how many promises God has made, they are yes in Christ, meaning that Jesus fulfills them. Through Ezekiel, God promised us a new heart … This is the miracle that Paul explains in Roman 6-8. If you are not aware of this biblical doctrine, you are in for a wonderful surprise. (p.174) Paul describes the believer’s spiritual heart transplant in Romans 6:1-7 … Although we will never be morally perfect this side of heaven, Paul assures us that we need not remain slaves of sin, because even though we may not be aware of it, a death has occurred in our lives that liberates us from the power of sin and death. In mysterious words, Paul informs us that this death occurred by means of baptism. We were united with Christ in his death, baptized into his death. Similarly, just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we too may live a new life. (pp.174-175) Theologians call this concept the mystical union of Christ and the believer. The mystical union means that, when Christ died, our sinful nature was deposed, dethroned, ousted … Just as Jesus Christ arose from the dead, so there arises in our inner being a new nature, a holy and obedient nature

… With our baptism a revolution occurs. The Holy Spirit invades the heart, throwing the sinful nature out of office; and in its place creates a new nature that is capable and even desirous of obeying God … How does this transformation occur? It happens purely by the grace and power of our loving God who wishes not only to redeem us but also to rehabilitate us. (p.175) John 15:5, 8. The power to live for God must come from God himself … Praise God, in his mercy he has not torn us out nor cut us down as we deserve. Instead, he has opted to graft us and millions of other into the one fruitful vine, into Jesus, putting to death what is weak and diseased in us. As long as we remain in him by faith, his power to

produce acts of righteousness flows into us. This is the obedience that comes through faith in Jesus Christ … Joh 15 speaks of us as branches that bear fruit because we remain in Christ the vine. Romans 6 speaks of our union with Christ’s death and resurrection through baptism, so that the old sinful self is crucified … Having been grafted into Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been granted his power to live a new life of obedience rather than rebellion. (pp.175-177)”

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