The Church and the Kingdom
Prepared by Robert J. Young
Page may be copied and used for teaching purposes with appropriate credit noted
IntroductionGod made his OT people a kingdom, Ex. 19:5-6. Are the OT kingdom and the NT kingdom the same or different? Why?
A kingdom is description of the rule and reign of a kingdom, a description of sovereignty, the area or place or people over which a king rules. In both the OT and NT, the description of the kingdom signifies a place where God (Christ) rules.
Abraham and other OT personalities are described as in the kingdom, Matt. 8:12. What kingdom
were they in?
The Relationship Between the Church and the Kingdom
- 1. Ownership of the church and kingdom are in the same hands, Col. 1:13; Matt. 16:18
- 2. The church and kingdom have the same head and were established by the same authority, Col. 1:18; Lk. 22:29
- 3. Christian are added to the church and also appointed to inherit the kingdom. As such they are members of both and the requirements for admissions are the same, Acts. 2:47; Lk. 22:29
- 4. In some passages, the terms seem to be used interchangeably, Mt. 16:18.
- 5. The kingdom of the Son of Man came within the generation of those alive at the time referred there, Matt. 18:28. The church was established within this time and thus would fulfill the requirement in Matt. 16:28 if the church and kingdom are interchangeable. Certainly kingdom
here does not refer to the kingdom to come since those people living have already died.
- 6. The relationship between the kingdom and the church is this. Not everyone in history who has been in the rule and reign of God is in the church, but everyone is the church is in the rule and eign of God. The church is a subset of the kingdom. This does not open the way for
contemporary persons outside the church to be in the kingdom. This only opens the way for those in the OT to be kingdom people.
1. The word church is used in a universal sense.
2. The nature of the government of God's people is emphasized by the word kingdom.
- A. Passages demonstrating this usage. Mt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23ff; Col. 1:18.
[Note: Learn scripture for each of the four uses of church: (1) universal, (2) in reference to a church in a particular geographic area as in Acts. 9:31, (3) to refer to a local unit--church in a certain city as
in 1 Cor. 1:1, (4) to refer to the assembly as in 1 Cor. 14. Note also Acts 7:38 and 19:32.]
- B. Passages equating the kingdom on earth with the church. Mt. 16:18; Rev. 1:4-6,9; Heb.
12:23,28; Eph. 4:4; Lk. 22:29-30; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18-20; 1 Peter. 2:5 (see also 1 tim. 3:15;
Heb. 3:6; 1 Pet 2:9, 1:23); Jn. 3:3-5; Mk. 9:1, Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4.
3. The local unit of the church has no national organization by state or county or city. No
organization any bigger and none any smaller than the local church is read about in scripture.
This means that the local church is autonomous--self-governing, although still under the monarchy
of Christ, the church as the body of which Christ is the head. Every Christian should be a member
of a local church, activity working through the local organization.
- A. Government is by monarchy, all authority in one head. Christ is king, the absolute head, Eph. 1:22.
- B. Government is not by democracy, despite the popularity of this governmental form in the
United States. Some denominations try to use this form of government, with doctrinal changes
having come by a vote of the members.
The Work of the Church
1. A traditional approach to the subject
- A. Self-edification, Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2; Eph. 4:11-12
- B. Caring for the needy, Acts. 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9. Also see 1 Tim. 5:9-16; Jas.
1:27; 2 Cor. 9:13; Gal. 6:10.
- C. Preaching the gospel. In 1 Tim. 3:15, the church upholds and supports the truth.
2. A simple summary
- A. Save people
- B. Keep people saved