Paul, the Kingdom of God and the Messianic Community

In line with Yeshua’s teaching on the Kingdom being tied to seeing God’s will be done by living under God’s authority and obeying His commands, it can be seen that much of Paul’s teaching on the Kingdom of God are exhortations to avoid sin and to live lives of holiness for example,

““For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17, ESV).

Other verses that speak of those excluded from the Kingdom of God for their sinful lives including 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:21 and Eph. 5:5.  According to Paul, the Kingdom of God is a reality that is coming for those who live lives that honor God and are not marred by sin as a way of life.

Paul saw the Messianic Community as the Body of Messiah united by faith in Yeshua as the Messiah and as Lord as we read:

“And he is the head of the body, the Messianic Community. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:18–20, ESV).

The Messianic Community is the body, the community that is built up around Yeshua and those who have been brought near to God by His death and resurrection.  As Yeshua is the firstborn among the dead to Paul the Messianic Community is the community of the firstborn that should be seeking the coming Kingdom of God.

The Messianic Community and the individuals congregations are gathering places for the redeemed to worship God and also to be a source through their outreach to extend the work of the Kingdom and to add members to the Messianic Community, the Kingdom community.

This work of the Messianic Community in the world will involve at times persecution of which Paul commended the Messianic Community at Thessalonica for standing firm and showing their worthiness for the Kingdom of God by standing strong for Messiah and their faith under suffering (2 Thess. 1:4-5).

Paul not only taught that the Messianic Community and the members of the Messianic Community should proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, he demonstrated throughout his life following Messiah, even to the end of his life:

“Paul remained two whole years in a place he rented for himself; and he continued receiving all who came to see him, openly and without hindrance proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.” (Acts 28:30–31, CJB).

“From the above closing words of the Acts of the Apostles we can see that the Kingdom of God was the message that Paul and the other Apostles preached, a message of God’s Kingship in the person and work of Yeshua Messiah.  The Messianic Community to Paul, is the body of believers who had accepted the message of the Kingdom of God and were to be the proclaimers of the coming of the Kingdom of God” (Emslie, 2014, p. 8).


References

Emslie, R. (2014). The kingdom of God and the Messianic Hope (Unpublished paper).  Grand Canyon University, Phoenix.

McKnight, S. (1992). Matthew, Gospel of. In (J. B. Green & S. McKnight, Eds.) Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Young, B. H. (2011). Jesus the Jewish theologian. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s