The Laws of the Kingdom of God
Many of us would like to be part of His Kingdom, we would like to be saved and avoid the wrath that is to come; few, however, are willing to understand that this place they seek is governed by God’s laws, which are eternal and unchanging. (… but the word of the Lord remains forever. 1 Peter 1:25) The Scriptures tell us that God sent us these laws so that we shall avoid eternal death by keeping them. (I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word, he will never see death. John 8:51; For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2)
On a closer inspection it can be observed that God’s laws express His way of thinking and His way of being, they are His reflection, an image of Him. (For who has got to know the mind of the Lord? 1 Corinthians 2:16) Thus, we can consider without mistake that the Lord is putting His laws in our hearts to rewrite and imprint His image in us. (I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I shall write them. Hebrews 10:16; But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16)
We can see by ourselves that some of the laws of the secular world do not contradict God’s laws. We will take the tax law as an example. It is the Lord who has ordained the “State” as His servant for the collection of taxes. (That is also why you pay your taxes, for the authorities… are God’s servants. Romans 13:6)
Thus, the laws that are given by these God-ordained governments which do not contradict God’s laws, we will have to regard them as subordinate to the laws from above. (Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. Romans 13:1)
However, if a law of the land comes into conflict with a law of the Kingdom, we will have to put into practice the law of the Kingdom. (You judge for yourselves whether it is right before God to listen to you rather than God. Acts 4:19)
We will take an example from the field of human rights. In the law of the land/ in the world, if it ever so occurs that you are wronged by someone, the legislation gives you the right to defend yourself. Thus, you are given the opportunity of appealing to law enforcement/police and to the courts in order to make justice for yourself. However, in the upper/heavenly country, the law works the other way around. It forces you to live in peace with all people. If someone wants to sue you for your coat, in order to keep the peace, the heavenly law tells you to also leave him your shirt. (Matthew 5:40)
The Purpose of the Laws of the Kingdom — The Perfection of Man
In the world, humanity lies in the darkness of sin. There is no man to do good. Because man has a tendency towards evil, the secular world has laws which make it possible for us to coexist. They condemn and punish bad deeds, but they have no power to work towards the perfection of man. The Scriptures also tell us about the law of Moses, which was “added” due to transgressions/breaking of the laws. (Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions. Galatians 3:19) In the Heavenly Kingdom however, things are not the same as in the world.
Those belonging to the eternal Kingdom of God live in the light, they are perfect and sinless. To live together with God in eternity, man must be born again and reach the standard of perfection required by the Kingdom/the Image of God. (Be therefore perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48)
The law of the Kingdom or the law of Christ was brought to us to reach the perfection required by the Heavenly Kingdom; it speaks to the inner man, with the purpose of changing our hearts, for this law is far superior to the law of Moses. (…not being without Law of God, but under the law of Christ. 1 Corinthians 9:21)
We shall be careful not to confuse the law of the Kingdom, which is also called the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, with the Law of Moses (Romans 8:2). The Law (of Moses) is holy and just (Romans 7:12), but it could not make man perfect. (… for the Law made nothing perfect. Hebrews 7:19; for the Law was only a shadow of the good things to come… it can never… make perfect those who draw near. Hebrews 10:1) The law of the Kingdom or the law of Christ, in which the moral law of Moses is included, aims to transform us into being like Him, in other words to assimilate His features into us. (He who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8; Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2) As such, he who fulfills the law of Christ will not abolish the law of Moses, but will strengthen it. (Do we then make void the law through faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Romans 3:31; So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who… who walk according to the Spirit. Romans 8:4)
The teachings of Christ are a School of integrity, peace, and love. They will come to life in our hearts as we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of the Lord and obey them. (Therefore, as elect ones of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering… Colossians 3:12)
Thus, not only the external works, but also our thoughts will have to be subordinated to the law of Christ. (And teach them to follow everything that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:20; We bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5)
Within the person that is guided by Him, the Holy Spirit uses these teachings to form an image like that of Christ. (And we all are being transformed into the same image… through the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18)
One of these teachings tells us not to resist the one who hurts us. By putting this teaching into practice, it will work by bearing fruit in us: peace, abounding patience; a fruit of the Spirit – a part of the image of God. (Do not resist… Matthew 5:39)
Those who will enter or be born into the upper Kingdom are taught and guided by the Holy Spirit, after which they go through the testing of the faith in order to be strengthened and finally reach perfection. (The testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3)
The tests we will go through will be no greater than human power and are aimed to help us overcome darkness, so that we can be worthy of living together with the saints. (Those who are considered worthy of attaining… Luke 20:35)
Questions for personal reflection:
- Which Kingdom do I belong to? The one above or below? Which laws do I give priority to? Have I changed the values of the world for the values of the Kingdom of God?
- When I find myself in a difficulty/a clash with someone, the laws of which kingdom do I apply?