Living As Kingdom People
“There are people who claim to be followers of Christ, but their lives look nothing like his” Francis chan. A Christian is a person who transitions from death into life and from darkness into light. How should we then live now that we have chosen to follow Christ? We are to live as kingdom people. We have learned that a kingdom person is characterized by humility, forgiveness and a kingdom mindset. Paul writes a letter to a church to remind Christians how they are to live in the world.
A Kingdom person is distinct from a secular. Paul makes a distinction between those who are in Christ and those who are not, whom he called “Gentiles” (secular, worldly). Paul reminds the believers not to live like the secular. This is how the Gentiles or Secular live: (v.18-19)
-Their thinking reasoning is empty (vain, empty minds)
-Their understanding is darkened
-alienated from God because of their ignorance due to their hardness of heart.
-They are callous, desensitized (they deliberately engage in sensuality (outrageous conduct), with a lust for more.
A Christian or kingdom person lives according to God’s standard. (v.20) you didn’t come to know Jesus this way. This is not from God.
Here is the teaching from God that we must learn.
A kingdom person renounces the old life. self (which is being corrupted by lust and deceit. (24)
A Christian made the transition from the old life to a life with Christ, therefore, renounce the old self; your old identity because you have a new identity in Christ. You are a new creation in Jesus, therefore, you must live as such.
A kingdom person continues to renew their minds (renewed in the spirit of your mind). Continue to renew your mind, the way you think. Rom.12:2 Transformation happens when you change the way you think, when you adopt Christ’s perspective.
Kingdom people continue to be clothed with Christ. Our new self is Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Rom.13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.(NIV) Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. NLT Keep on putting on Christ, being clothed with Christ. He is our new identity. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Here is the application of what it means to live as kingdom people. Paul goes on to list some examples of what it means to renounce the old self and to be clothed with Christ. (V.25-32)
Therefore, so then…. Because of what I told you…..
Kingdom people are clothed with truth rather than falsehood (25). If Christ is your new identity, then truth reigns and not falsehood. The truth is what sets us free. Truth is even one of the spiritual weapons we have to wage war against the enemy. Eph.6: 14. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around our waist.
Kingdom people are not mastered by anger. (v.26)Be angry but do not sin. You will become angry at times, this is why he said, do not sin in your anger. Deal with your anger quickly or you will give the Devil a foothold to tempt you to sin. Kingdom people keep their anger in check!
kingdom people don’t steal, but work hard and show generosity with what they have (v.28)
He who has been stealing must steal no longer. There were people in Ephesus, who were thieves, and Paul encouraged them to stop that attitude of the old self and to portray a kingdom attitude by working hard and sharing with those in need.
-kingdom people honor God with their speech. (v.29)No unwholesome talk (rotten, worthless, nasty). Use your words to build others up and not to destroy them.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person Col.4:6 ESV
Kingdom people try their best not to grieve God. The Holy Spirit lives in those considered children of light, He is the down payment of what is to come. We grieve God when we don’t behave as his children, when we ignore his directions and follow the pattern of the world. 9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them Isa.63:9-10 ESV
We grieve God when we sin or rebel against his authority.
Kingdom people renounce or lay aside: (v31) bitterness, rage, anger, brawling (outcry against each other) and slander (blasphemy: speak evil of) and malice (wickedness)
Kingdom people are kind, compassionate and forgiving people.
We who have chosen to follow Christ as called children of light, we have made the transition from death to life and from darkness into light. We are kingdom people and must act in accordance to the standard given to us by our Creator. Here we learned how to distinguish a kingdom person from those who are not. God is grieved when his people don’t behave as his children.
Jesus had said on the sermon on the mount: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” Matt.5:16
When the apostles were brought before the ruling authority, they could not help but recognize or admit that these men had been with Jesus. It was that obvious. Acts.4:13
Will it be obvious to people around you that you are a kingdom person?