It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world, however.
NOVEMBER 24, 2020
It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world, however. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author seminary professor in our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching, that’s honest, straightforward and street smart. Keep listening to hear truth, that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve got your Bible, open it to the book of Galatians, we’re talking about a kingdom mentality, Galatians 3:25-29. And yesterday, if you were listening, I took some time to give you a very shallow, but accurate overview of the theology of the kingdom, past, present and future. But the point is that when you became a Christian, a lot of things happen to you. You were forgiven. I mean, really forgiven, yeah, even that, given eternal life. And it starts right now. You were given meaning you have a flag to follow and you didn’t before. But one of the places where the church has been lacking in recent times is in its teaching on the kingdom of Christ. You became a part of that kingdom and I’m not throwing rocks at other teachers. I mean, we’ve all kind of ignored the subject and it’s a very important subject. Especially in our time when things seem to be changing and in flux and difficult for all of us. When you became a Christian, you became a citizen in the present kingdom of Christ, that citizenship should supersede every other organization in which you hold membership or citizenship, Colossians 1:13.
He has delivered revert us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son.
Is that cool? Or what? In a letter, and I probably quoted this cause it’s one of my favorite quotes, but it’s a good quote and it bears repeating. It’s from a letter written by Cyprian. And you say who’s that? Well, he was the Bishop of the church at Carthage in the third century. And he had a young friend by the name of Donatus. And this is what he wrote.
This is a cheerful world, as I see it from my garden under the shadow of my vines. But if I were to ascend some high mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I should see, brigands on the highways, pirates on the sea, armies fighting, cities burning and the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds, selfishness and cruelty and misery and despair under all roofs. It’s a bad world Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people, who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy, which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of arts and full life. They are despised and persecuted, but they don’t care. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus are the Christians and I am one of them.
Oh, that’s good. That’s something you ought to remember, man. What I ought to do is put somebody who writes fancy and make a little poster out of that and sell it to you and make a fortune. And you could read it every day of your life and feel better about the world that we’re a part of, but be that as it may, we are citizens of a kingdom. Larry Poland said it this way.
There is Royal blood in your veins, nobility in your lineage, political power in your family and you are destined to rule the world.
I love Larry Poland and he’s a good friend. And he said the lot of good things, but that’s maybe the best thing he ever said. It’s so good. I’m going to repeat it.
There is royal blood in your veins, nobility in your lineage, political power in your family and you are destined to rule the world.
How about that sports fans? Well, enough. We need to do you get into the text. That is what I do after all. I want to show you seven things that mark your citizenship in the kingdom. Now, as I said, this list that Paul gives us here is not exhaustive. There’s a lot more that you could add, but it is definitive. And it’s important to look at what Paul said about our citizenship in the kingdom. And the first thing you ought to note is that the kingdom is an ethical and moral kingdom, Galatians 3:25.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian.
Now, if you were listening and you never listen to me, last week, we looked at Galatians and we saw that Paul says that before Christ the law, the rules, that was our teacher or our custodian. We saw then that the Greek word for custodian means school master or tutor. In Greek or Roman households there was a tutor who watched over and trained the children of the household so that when the child reached adulthood, that child would no longer need a tutor, but would be responsible for himself or herself. That’s what the law has done for us. It kind of taught us, it was a school master. It was a message to the citizens of the kingdom who would step into that position. This is the way the world works. This is what it’s all about. This is right, and that is wrong. This is love. And this is hate. This is good. And this is bad. And then Paul says, we don’t need that anymore. And why is that? Because it’s irrelevant. No, the laws, one of the best things God ever gave us, I mean, how horrible it would be to live in a world that was an existentialist, meaningless world, where the only option was suicide, because there was no meaning anywhere, any place, any time. The law says there’s a God. And he’s a good God. And let me define what I mean by good. God says. And that’s a gift, a wonderful gift, but all of a sudden, and it’s still moral and it’s still ethical, nothing has changed. A part of the truth that the citizens of the kingdom of God bring to the world is the truth about what is good and what is evil. There is a lot of doubt about that, and there’s a lot of change in that and the rock on which we stand allows us to say, you’re a fruit cake. You’re missing the most important thing of life. You’re missing the God who created a moral world with moral people who must refer to the standards. That’s a part of our witness, but everything has changed. You know, if you don’t want, let that change. If you just let the truth of moral and ethical values be the standard of your religion, you miss everything. In the sense that the law was only a custodian and then the good news, the law says, be moral, then you will live. And then we try and try and can’t be moral. Christ says be alive in me and you will be more moral than you are. The law says to know God, be Godly. Christ says to be Godly is to know God and to have him know you. The law says be moral and you will be loved. Christ says be loved and you will be moral or at least more than you were. The law says be good and you will be saved. Christ says, be saved and you will be better. The law says, be pure. Christ says, be forgiven. The law says, you have failed. Christ says, but I have succeeded and it’s yours. The law says, be moral because you have to, and Christ says be moral because you want to, nothing is measured by that in terms of salvation or even our relationship with Christ. When a church worker urged this small boy to go to Sunday school, the church worker said that he ought to go, that he might learn to be a good boy. You know what he said? He said, it’s no use, my going to Sunday school. I already know how to be a better boy than I am. And the Gospel says, of course you do. That’s what the law, it tells you what to do to be better than you are and you can’t do it. And when you give it up, I mean, really give it up, decide I can’t do this anymore. You either run away or you run to Jesus. And he says, I’ll take care of it. You think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, teaching us about the kingdom of God and what marks us as citizens in that kingdom. And if you didn’t catch it earlier, our text was Galatians 3:25-29. More tomorrow, do join us then. Well, in two days we will celebrate one of my all time favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. And as you well know, it’s easy to give thanks when things are going well. But when things are bad, when life just keeps kicking you in the gut, it’s a bit harder. Steve has addressed that very situation and a sermon called The Principle of Praise. If you’re facing hard times, if you’re struggling to give thanks, then you’re the person I’m talking to right now. Please call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, that’s 1-800-539-5433. And we’ll send you that sermon on a CD for free. You can also email your request to Steve@keylife.org. If you’d like to reach us by mail, write us at
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