The God Who Is At Work In Our World
Text: Luke/Acts
by Robert J. Young

The kingdom is a place where the king acts, where God is at work. The sovereign will of God is in operation. Where God is king, his will is done. His desire is to bring the kingdom to reality in our lives.
Luke 17:20-21, Pharisees had wrong idea of what kingdom of God was like--looking for something very different. Kingdom does not come with observation, i.e. in such a way that its rise can be observed, not to appear after they saw this or that sign.

I. God has acted in Christ
In a Christian understanding of life, death, resurrection, ascension, we must see nothing less than the action of God. God is active through the ministry of Jesus. Tell what God has done for you (Luke 8:39) It is God at work in Christ, because God was with him (Acts 10:38). Jesus is Son of God, Christ of God, Holy One of God. God acted in him (Acts 2:22) Luke's account of the infant church makes clear that the first believers were gripped with fact/wonder of resurrection. Bottom fell from world with death of Jesus (Luke 24). Whole outlook changed when they learned of his resurrection. Thrill of resurrection runs through early days of the church. All Jesus did he did because God was acting in and through him. This is not mere human movement. What God has done in Christ is firmly set in history of this world.

II. God acts in believers
God continues to act, Acts 1:1ff. Acts 19:11 tells what God kept doing. This is of God. God ordains to eternal life. God sends on missionary journeys. God testifies through preaching. God calls to Macedonia. God is active in the day-to-day work of his people. This is a compelling, divine necessity which arises not from circumstances, but from will of God. There is divine necessity even in service ordinary Christians are to render. We thus pray and do not faint (Luke 18:1). We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We must be saved (Acts 4:12). God's purpose does not stop with the ascension of Christ but carries right on in life of church. The action of God in Christ demands a response. Christianity is a whole way of life, not a way but the way. Here is a deep conviction of the rightness of Christianity and the impossibility of any other way of coming to God. Thus we are willing to be leaving everything, Luke 5:11; Luke 9:61-62. And this is a daily experience, Luke 9:23.

III. God acts in disciples
Some of Jesus' teaching about discipleship is preserved only in Luke (14:25-33). Luke is not Paul, but tells us about Paul. Paul's response to Christ can show us what our response should be (Acts 26:19, obedient), Acts 9:18,20, baptized/proclaiming Christ. Zealous Acts 22:3-4; serving God (Acts 23:1; 24:16). Filled with hope, believing, depending upon God. Only possible response from those who would call themselves followers of Christ.

This is the way of joy. While Christianity is serious, solemn, it is not gloomy. The joys of earth are harbinger of the joys of heaven. Christianity fills life with joy. People sing in Luke's writings. Joy permeates, hard to read Acts without seeing the early church was a joyful group of people, joyful in sharing, serving, worship, praying, living.
Thus, all people are accountable to God. This is consistent with the grace of God. The gracious God gives the gift of repentance and admits to life those who otherwise would know only death. His is a demand for radical repentance, a complete change of life, which arises from fact that the Christian way is a way of grace. In salvation by grace, it is not enough to have a certain number of good deeds. One must turn away, not from some evil, but from every evil. Grace is the motivation for repentance, drives repentance. Repentance is whole-hearted. One must not be committed to some good, but to every good. Wholehearted repentance springs from wholehearted salv Christ has obtained for his people. Luke writes of the struggle between good and evil. God is at work, Satan is at work. Whose side are we on?

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Last updated February 26, 2001.