Wednesday, January 23, 2013

a different kind of kingdom

Ray Ortlund posts:

“They asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, . . . ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’” Acts 1:6, 8

The disciples could have made a biblical case for their kingdom scenario. But their question “must have filled Jesus with dismay” (Stott, Acts, page 41). They wanted to regain something they had lost (note “restore”), probably a projection of their own self-idealization. But God’s purpose was to give them something better. His true kingdom had always been spiritual, and the Holy Spirit was about to come down upon them in unprecedented power.

We long for our kingdoms. We see them in the Bible and enthuse over them as God’s kingdom. But he has a better way — the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s plan for you is not to restore a lost ideal you of your own imagining. God’s plan is the real you clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:48).

The you that you are by creation and redemption is not fundamentally a problem you have to work around, but fundamentally a strategy God can work through.

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