Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Kingdom of Smiths

Mr. Smith was born into the Kingdom of Smiths. He did not do anything to become a Smith. His father was a Smith and thus he was a Smith from conception. This aspect of the Kingdom of Smiths was passively conferred upon him apart from anything he ever did or any action he ever took. It is the result of his father's actions, not his own. He can never lose this aspect of the Kingdom.

However, being a Smith brings with it certain familial obligations and responsibilities. His father taught him that, “We Smiths are honest and hardworking people whose word is their bond.” Now it is certain that it will require effort to enter into this aspect of the Kingdom of Smiths – namely the effort of being truthful, working hard, and keeping his commitments. This aspect of the Kingdom of Smiths is entered by acting in a manner consistent with the responsibilities established within the Kingdom of Smiths. Those who act accordingly are "Smiths indeed” (Literally "in deed”). Such a Smith as this is not only a Smith by birth, but also a Smith as evidenced by their actions. If, on the other hand, Mr. Smith chooses to be lazy and deal dishonestly with others in a fashion that is inconsistent with the precepts of the Kingdom, one might say, “Well, he’s a Smith, but he doesn’t act like a Smith!”

The Kingdom of God works precisely the same way. There are aspects of the Kingdom that are conferred upon us via covenant by the new birth through no actions of our own (Titus 3:5), and aspects that we must press into to be revealed as citizens of the Kingdom “in deed" (John 8:31). The former is eternal salvation by monergistic grace; the latter, temporal salvation from this untoward generation that we may experience to the extent that we are obedient to the commands of God and avail ourselves of his ever-present promise of enabling strength to those who seek it (I Corinthians 10:13).

May all of God's people press into the Kingdom of God in the coming year.