You won’t find the phrase in the Bible, so allow me to tell you what I mean when I use it: A Kingdom Disciple is, quite simply, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, Kingdom Discipleship is shorthand for my understanding of what it means to live as a faithful follower of King Jesus in his Kingdom. This distinctive is certainly not new. Instead of anything resembling originality my hope is that I’m merely bearing a faithful witness to what God has revealed in and through his Word. It is also my desire to stand squarely in the tradition of our blessed Christian heritage, most especially in my particular lineage of John Wesley.
One key component of Kingdom Discipleship is the notion that we are called to faithfully and obediently follow Christ in every sphere of life. I believe this is imperative because Jesus Christ is Lord over every sphere of life. It was God who granted Jesus authority over all of heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18) and gave him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9). It would, therefore, run counter to the biblical witness of our Lord to live compartmentalized lives. We are not permitted to submit to him for only 70 percent or even 95 percent of our lives. He wants all of us. To paraphrase Abraham Kuyper, there is not a square inch in all the universe that Christ has not claimed for himself.
Therefore, our call as his followers is to intentionally, faithfully, and obediently extend his Kingdom – his rule, reign, will, and influence –into every sphere of life (in every area of responsibility, interest, relationship, and authority). Everything – what some might call the common and the uncommon, the sacred and the secular – is to be done for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The influence of the Kingdom of God and of his Christ must come through gracious, loving, and truthful persuasion, modeling, and witness – never through coercion or manipulation. The kind of transformed individual, family, church, state, society, and world that God desires will not and must not come through violent or political revolution or rebellion but by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit in and through the lives of God’s people.
I believe that the primary means (humanly speaking) by which God’s Kingdom is extended in this way is through local assemblies of God’s people – i.e., local churches. It is in and through the local church that the life-giving, life-transforming Gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed, taught, and lived out. It is only as men, women, boys, and girls are reborn by the Spirit of God that they are able to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-8). Then, as they continue to grow in their faith – having their minds renewed and lives transformed – they become better educated, equipped, and encouraged to take this good news of the Kingdom into every sphere of their lives. And just as the woman’s yeast is mixed into the dough and is worked until it permeates all of it (Luke 13:20-21), so too is the Kingdom of God extended into every sphere of life by his disciples.
I’ve said all of that to share with you that I’ve started a new page on the blog (see list of pages at top, right under picture of my journal). The links at the bottom of the Kingdom Discipleship page will consist of devotions and articles that I have written and will hopefully articulate my understanding of Kingdom Discipleship as it relates to various spheres of life. I pray that something there may bless and encourage you in your pilgrimage with Christ.
Grace and Truth,