Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Christ the King (Isaiah 9)

"He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness …" (Isa. 9:7b).

Although the kingdom of God has existed since the Fall, everything prior to Christ’s advent was preparatory. The kingdom of Israel functioned only as a type of that which would come. The eternal king was not David, but the Messiah who would gather subjects from all nations and rule all things. Numbers 24:17 says, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob; and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” 2 Samuel 7:16 describes the covenant God made with David: “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” Christ fulfilled this promise as Immanuel, the “Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.”

Christ’s dominion extends over the entire universe—this is known as His kingdom of power. But His kingdom of grace includes only those individuals whom He has brought from the kingdom of darkness into His eternal kingdom. Those who have faith in Him, who accept Him as Lord, are part of the kingdom of heaven, which is so called because it is spiritual (John 18:36) and will consummate in heaven. It is called the kingdom of Christ because He is the Ruler of it. All who believe in Him and who have repented of their sins live in this kingdom (John 3:3, 5). They are subject to the King and are expected to live in righteousness and obey the laws of the kingdom—to love God and one another (Gal. 5:19–21; 2 Cor. 8). All who are part of this kingdom also receive the protection and blessings of the King.

The kingdom of Christ will ultimately be consummated in the future when all the elect have been gathered into the fold. This will be the kingdom of glory. In this kingdom the tares will be separated from the wheat. All the redeemed will possess resurrected bodies and live forever, worshiping and delighting in the King of glory. No one knows when the kingdom of Christ will be consummated. Until that time, we are to obey Him and spread the Gospel, that all God’s people might bring glory and praise to Him.

Read Matthew 5:1–19; 25; Luke 9:62; John 3:1–21 and Acts 14:22. What characterizes one who belongs to the kingdom of Christ? What is necessary to enter this kingdom? Are you living according to the laws of the kingdom? Confess ways you are disobedient, and pray for grace to live as a member of the kingdom.