The Keys Of The Kingdom
In order for us to fulfill His purpose in the world, Jesus has given us the "Keys of His Kingdom" (Matthew 16:13-20).
The keys of the kingdom are very simple but powerful tools which bring people in through "the door" of Jesus' sacrifice. They are the Name of Jesus, the Power of God, the Holy Spirit, Prayer, Faith, the Word of God and Love. All of these are "mighty in God, to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Corinthians 10:4). With these "keys" we can "loose and bind" things in both heaven and on earth (Matthew 16:19). Using them properly we can bring many into the Kingdom of God.
THE NAME OF JESUSAs Christians we have not come in our own name, but in the "name of Jesus" (Mark 16:17:18). We are "sent" out into the world to glorify His precious name and make His Kingdom known in the earth.
"There is no other name under heaven by which a man can be saved" (Acts 4:12). This is a simple statement of fact. Jesus is the only salvation God has provided. "He who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13).
For this reason the name of Jesus is more precious than any other name in all the earth. "At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father" (Philippians 2:10). There is no other way to escape from sin, and God's righteous judgment of it, than by calling on Jesus for mercy.
Therefore the name of Jesus separates those who are being saved from those who are perishing. It is only by calling on His name that we enter into His Kingdom.
THE POWER OF GOD“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes” (Romans 1:16). Our faith must be based on the true and clear knowledge that God is the creator and sustainor of all we see around us. To believe in anything less is to deny the nature of God and to form a breeding ground in our mind for all mannor of doubts and fears about our salvation. In fact we are assured that “the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).
"From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4)
It has always been and always will be God's purpose that we know Him and trust Him because he has the power to fulfill any and every promise He may care to make for us, “for the gospel came not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Even Paul declares “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
We also trust in the power of God as demonstrated by the resurrection of His Son, Jesus, that in due time He will also raise us up from death (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18) and make us “joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:28 - 31)
There is no doubt that God is well able to vindicate his chosen ones. The Bible is full of accounts of how God's people who trusted in Him rather than their own strength "through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight." (Hebrews 11:33 - 34). A systematic study of both the old and new testaments will reveal a clear record of God's omnipotent power demonstrated to, and on behalf of, His chosen people.
We must understand that "God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?" (Numbers 23:19)
In these last days God has made his power available to His people by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus told his disciples to “wait in jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). This was fulfilled on the day of pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon all believers (Acts 2:1-41).
THE HOLY SPIRIT“No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 8:32). He tells us the truth about sin by convicting our conscience when we hear the Word of God (John 16:8). He tells us the truth about righteousness and faith and assures us when we are in a right relationship with God (Romans 8:16). He tells us the truth about judgment of unbelief or rebellion (Mark 16:16). He tells us the truth about God through revelation (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). The Spirit leads us into all truth and the truth can set us free.
Therefore the Spirit can unlock the truth of the Kingdom to us.
PRAYERWhen Elijah called upon the Lord at Mt Carmel, God answered his call with fire (1 Kings 18:17-40). This is the power of prayer. It "calls" upon God to act.
Prayer is active, requiring a response from God. It is by prayer that we enter the Kingdom of God. We must ask God to bring us in, we can not enter in our own power. It takes a sovereign act of God for us to be "born again" into His eternal Kingdom.
Prayer is calling upon the Lord to intervene in our lives. To enter the Kingdom of God we must confess our sins and ask God to forgive us. We must ask Jesus to be our saviour. We must ask for the Holy Spirit baptism. It is all "calling upon the Lord" to act. Prayer depends on God responding to a request.
FAITHBut prayer demands faith "for without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Now if God rewards those who seek him then we know that our prayers will be answered (1 John 5:14-15). Therefore we should watch for his answers (Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2).
THE WORD OF GODGod said that His word would accomplish everything He sent it to do (Isaiah 55:10-11). Many believe that the Word was sent to "convert the world". If we consider that some what less than 10% of the world's population is "nominally Christian" , then the Word has miserably failed at "converting the whole world".
But we know the Word is powerful. We understand that the worlds were framed by the Word so that the things we see around us were made from nothing (Hebrews 11:3). By the power of the Word, God also sustains all things until the final judgment (2 Peter 3:7). So the Word must have been sent for some other reason than to "convert the whole world".
"The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword ... discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). The word of God was sent to "discern the intent" of our heart. It exposes the real nature of a person. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17). If we believe the Word or if we do not it has "tested our heart" and revealed our true nature.
Therefore the Word divides and separates those who are for God from those who are not. The Word has been sent out into the world as a "test" for entry into the Body of Christ which God is preparing in this Age. To those who respond to the Word which is preached, God opens the doors of heaven. This is the great mystery of His Word.
LOVE“We have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he that dwells is love dwells in God and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment ... There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear ... We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:16-19).
Equally as important as any of the other keys of the kingdom is the love of God. This is the very foundation of our knowledge of God and His purpose for us. “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The love of God, revealed to us through the Holy Spirit in the person of Jesus gives us boldness to approach God and cast ourselves upon His mercy.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.