Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kingdom of God - A kingdom that yields fruits! (Part #2) - "a nation" that produces fruits.


This is the second part of "A kingdom that yields fruits". It is suggested that you read the first part before reading this one.

"a nation" that produces fruits.
Mat 21:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its (the Kingdom's) fruits.
In Jesus' warning to his contemporary Jews (Mat 21:43), it was specifically mentioned that the Kingdom will be taken from them and given to a nation that produces the fruits thereof. Though the Greek word (G1484, ἔθνος, ethnos) translated as nation in this verse essentially means gentiles or nations (as in countries), the Kingdom is not given to gentiles alone, a fact understood by almost all the well known scholars. The kingdom was given to the faithful remnant of Israel and the faithful from gentiles. Many translators and scholars have realized this and that's why almost all the known translations render the word as 'nation' or 'people' in this verse.

The transfer of the Kingdom from Jews to the above-mentioned nation is not something that happened on a specific date. Nonetheless, it took place in the first century.
Col 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [the gentile reader in Colossae] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [the remnant of Israel]
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Though the expression 'the saints in light' is not used elsewhere in the scriptures, it is obvious that the party referred to is different from the party addressed to as "you". Though Paul uses the word "saints" in the salutations of almost all his epistles, elsewhere he uses it to indicate the saints in Jerusalem, primarily, the Jewish people who accepted Christ, who is the light of the world. (Rom 15:25, 26, 31; 1Co 16:1, 15; 2Co 8:4; 9:1, 12 - all these in the context of collecting relief material for the saints in Jerusalem.) 

[Though there were nearly 2,000 Jewish families in Colossae, the church there was made up of gentiles who accepted Christ.]

The passage tells us that non-Jewish believers were transferred (translated - KJV) into the Kingdom of Christ, where they become joint heirs with the saints of Jewish origin. Please note that Col 1:13 is in present perfect tense or past tense, giving no option for a future fulfillment.

Another proof for the transfer of the Kingdom.
Mat 8:11 I tell you, many will come from east and west (faithful of Christ, both Jews and gentiles) and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,
Mat 8:12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The thought of  reclining or sitting at table is for sharing meals, especially a festive family dinner. In the Greek Old Testament, the same Greek word translated here as 'recline' is used in the context of Samuel inviting Jesse's (David's father) family for a sacrificial feast. (1Sa 16:5) In other words, sitting with the patriarchs for a family dinner is indicative of acceptance as children.

Is there a way to prove that a believer in Christ isn't accepted as the child of Abraham?
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Whenever this acceptance happens/happened, the children of the kingdom would be rejected, and they would be thrown into outer darkness. Obviously, those who recline at the table are not the same party as those who are thrown into outer darkness. If this has to happen in the future, we are not yet Abraham's offspring! But, as a matter of fact, we are accepted and those who were formerly the children of the Kingdom were cast out, as manifested by the rejection of Jews and their religion and economy in 70 AD.

Now, you are the children of the kingdom, offspring of Abraham and the nation to which the Kingdom is handed over. You may call yourself "the church", "the body of Christ" or "the assembly of saints". The church is to produce the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22, 23). There is no due date is set by which the church has to produce fruits. It has to continue for all the eternity, because, the church is the Kingdom of God which has no end. (Dan 2:44; Isa 9:7; Luk 1:33 and many more scriptures).
... to be continued in Part #3
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal


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