Summary: A two-part series on the kingdom of God and what makes it so special and different from worldly kingdoms. It is a unique place ruled by a unique king with a unique purpose, salvation of its subjects!
A UNIQUE KINGDOM
Text: II Corinthians 6:16-18
1. In times past much meaning was placed on the word church
a. In the dark ages "the church" ran everything
b. All governments considered themselves theocracies, overseen by the pope in Rome
c. This was not to last long as political leaders would revolt from the tyranny of the Catholic church
d. And men got tired of the repression of the church and some of the false teachings
2. Before that the church was something special
a. In fact, before 325 AD you could die if influential people found out you were a member of the church
b. But that did not stop people from belonging to the church, they still wanted to be part of what Paul calls "the way"
3. The actual word church in the bible really has no theological significance
a. It literally means a group of people assembled for a reason or "the called out ones" (ecclesia)
b. It refers to the Lord’s church, Matthew 16:18 is the first time it is called that
c. It refers to large gatherings of those who are persecuting "the way" in Acts 19:33 it even refers to an illegal gathering of such people
4. So how does "the way", the Lord’s church, distinguish itself from other assemblies of people?
5. How do we become "the church" and not just some crowd that is gathered together?
6. We will need to notice the uniqueness of the Kingdom of Christ
7. Read text
8. It is unique in four ways that we can notice tonight. It has a:
a. Unique Emperor
b. Unique Edifice
c. Unique Exercises
d. Unique Entry
9. This will be part one of a two part series of lessons on the unique kingdom of God, what it is and how we become part of it
10. Today we will discuss our unique emperor and His unique edifice
TRANSITION: The Lord’s church is his kingdom. We have a:
I. Unique Emperor
A. In John 18:33 during the mockery of a trial Pilate asks Jesus if he is a king
1. Jesus answers that his kingdom is not of this world but in a higher realm than this world
2. Pilate understands correctly that Jesus is making the definite claim that he is a king
3. He says that this is the very reason he was born into the world
a. He tells Pilate that everyone who hears his voice hears the truth
b. Pilate asks, "What is truth?"
c. Jesus has already answered the question, his voice is truth
4. But he clearly and unmistakably makes the claim that he is king, but king of a kingdom that is in another realm
5. That realm is spiritual, and that makes it unique in and of itself
6. And the fact that the ruler of that kingdom speaks the truth is unique also is it not?
B. Jesus is king of a unique spiritual kingdom, but he is a unique emperor also
1. Look at what he did for us
a. Ephesians 2:5-8, "Have this attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
b. He was in the form that each of us aspire to be in one day, he was in heaven
c. But he did not think that he should hold on to that place in heaven so he gave it up
d. Not because he did anything wrong, but because you were going to
e. So he gave up his spot in heaven on your behalf
f. Then offered you the space beside him in heaven sharing it with you
g. How many kings would do that?
2. Look at the example he set for us
a. John 13:1-20 shows an interesting scene
b. Luke says that about this time the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom when it was established
c. Then the teacher, the king, takes off his outer garment and dons the towel of a slave
d. Only slaves would attire themselves in this fashion
e. Only slaves would wash the feet of the guests
f. This was a lowly job that these disciples were not about to do for one another
g. But the king of the spiritual world placed the towel of servitude around his waist and bowed down at his disciples’ feet to wash them
h. He set the example of love and service to one another