Is the kingdom of God limited to Word and Sacrament in this present age?

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VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I thought I´d start a new thread on the nature of God's kingdom in this present age. I know that the nature of millennium has been discussed in a previous thread... But I would like to hear your views on whether or not the Kingdom of God goes beyond Word and Sacrament in this present age? I believe that the Kingdom is only manifested on earth in this present age through Word and Sacrament.

Here's an interesting quote from the Lutheran church of Missouri Synod. http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=578

Scripture clearly teaches, and we teach accordingly, that the kingdom of Christ on earth will remain under the cross until the end of the world, Act 14:22; John 16:33; 18:36; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 17:20-37; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 12:28; Luke 18:8; that the second visible coming of the Lord will be His final advent, His coming to judge the quick and the dead.

Therefore I would conclude that the Kingdom of God should influence every area of life but it is not manifested in any other institution other than the church. Would you say that this is the amillennial view? And would a postmillennialist see God's Kingdom including other institutions such as the state, the arts, etc.?

VanVos





[Edited on 4-11-2004 by VanVos]
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The Word and sacraments are means of grace. And while I firmly agree that they are God's primary means of grace in this age, I frankly see it as bordering on unorthodox to speak of them as the only such means. If they are are absolute only means to grace in this era, what does that say about infants who die in the hospital before being baptized? Also, how can Providence be denied as a means of grace?
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
The Word and sacraments are means of grace. And while I firmly agree that they are God's primary means of grace in this age, I frankly see it as bordering on unorthodox to speak of them as the only such means. If they are are absolute only means to grace in this era, what does that say about infants who die in the hospital before being baptized? Also, how can Providence be denied as a means of grace?

Okay enough with the unorthodox suggestion. All I'm preposing is that the we only say that the Kingdom of God is the Church (which is essentially Word and Sacrament) in this present age to the preclusion of any other institution such as the state or goverment. And when I speak of God's Kingdom I'm speaking of the messianic redemptive Kingdom not God's providential Kingdom.

VanVos


[Edited on 4-11-2004 by VanVos]
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
OK I'm trying to understand what you mean, but it doesn't need to get personal. If a statement seems unorthodox to me upon thinking about it, I'll say that it seems that way so as to further clarify how I see it and make more progress in mutual understanding, and do not mean anything in a personal way. I'm just talking about the subject.

That being said, when you make the distinction between His providential kingdom and His redemptive kingdom, that makes more sense and clarifies the issue. I'm still dwelling on the consideration that the Spirit can sometimes work sanctification in us apart from our conscious meditation on the Word (even though most sanctification comes through conscious meditation on the Word) through providential experience. So I guess I'm not quite sure what to say with regard to that specific aspect of the issue, in light of the redemptive/providential clarification.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Paul manata
(1) what do you mean by the kingdom only being *manifested* in the word and sacraments but only influencing other areas?

man·i·fest adj.
Clearly apparent to the sight or understanding; obvious. See Synonyms at apparent.

tr.v. man·i·fest·ed, man·i·fest·ing, man·i·fests
To show or demonstrate plainly; reveal: "œMercedes... manifested the chaotic abandonment of hysteria" (Jack London).
To be evidence of; prove.

To record in a ship's manifest.
To display or present a manifest of (cargo).

n.
A list of cargo or passengers carried on a ship or plane.
An invoice of goods carried on a truck or train.
A list of railroad cars according to owner and location.

[Middle English manifeste, from Old French, from Latin manufestus, manifestus, caught in the act, blatant, obvious. See gwhedh- in Indo-European Roots.]

mani·festly adv.

manifested

Manifest \Man"i*fest\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Manifested; p. pr. & vb. n. Manifesting.] 1. To show plainly; to make to appear distinctly, -- usually to the mind; to put beyond question or doubt; to display; to exhibit.

Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not. --Shak.

2. To exhibit the manifests or prepared invoices of; to declare at the customhouse.

Syn: To reveal; declare; evince; make known; disclose; discover; display.


Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.



Mark 4 says that "There is nothing his which shall not be manifested." So, does that mean that the Word and the Sacraments were the only things hidden?

Also, since ALL facts MANIFESTLY speak of God and His existence then are ALL facts part of His kingdom?

Do you mean that God's Kingdom is ONLY clear/demonstrated plainly/revealed/etc in the word and the sacraments? What about when Christ says that the kingdom is in "you." What about when Christ says that when he drives out spirits the kingdom of God has come? The end comes when Christ "hands over the kingdom to the Father AFTER he has destroyed ALL his enemies. The kingdom of God is manifest by "working" for the cause of the Chrurch and Christ (Col. 4:11). Hebrews 1:8 says that "Righteousness" will be the scepter of Christ's kingdom" and therefore, the kingdom is made manifest through Christ's LAW. Which has implications for Christs kingdom covering the judicial/political spheres of man. Basically, I need a better explanation.
What I'm saying is that the manifestation of God's presense is (which is His kingdom) only found through or in the church. And yes the kingdom of God is within you through the Spirit, but I would say that that is heavenly reality not an earthly Eph 2:3-5. (Although I will concede if that is problematic to you, I just thought Word and Sacrament was the best way to summarize that reality) But I'm speaking of the God's Messanic Redemptive Kingdom being manifested (thanks for the definition) on the earth. Does that help? And maybe out to lunch on this one, if so I'm open to correction

VanVos
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
OK I'm trying to understand what you mean, but it doesn't need to get personal. If a statement seems unorthodox to me upon thinking about it, I'll say that it seems that way so as to further clarify how I see it and make more progress in mutual understanding, and do not mean anything in a personal way. I'm just talking about the subject.

That being said, when you make the distinction between His providential kingdom and His redemptive kingdom, that makes more sense and clarifies the issue. I'm still dwelling on the consideration that the Spirit can sometimes work sanctification in us apart from our conscious meditation on the Word (even though most sanctification comes through conscious meditation on the Word) through providential experience. So I guess I'm not quite sure what to say with regard to that specific aspect of the issue, in light of the redemptive/providential clarification.

Thanks for your reply. And by the way I apologize if my opening comment was a bit off. Actually I wrote it to fast and made a couple of errors so it might have came across more harsh then I intended. (I edited the post corrected the grammatical and spelling errors)...tip never write at 2:00am in the morning. So do you see the point I'm getting at, which is, is there any institution other than the church that should be ever considered as the Kingdom of God?

VanVos
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Wow - this thread's moving fast! I'm also sorry for the confusion that may have been created by my use of "unorthodox" - I thought then that you were suggesting that perhaps there were no other means of grace at all other than the church, which was sounding Romish to me - but since that was not what you meant, we're understood now.

I would be inclined to suggest the family as another redemptive institution, if for no other reason then because Christ's very metaphor for His relation to the Church is based on the family. Furthermore, the sacrament of baptism, which is an ordinance of the Church, would have no basis for application to infants without the institution of the family, since it is on account of the familial institution that an infant is presumed to have covenant status. I still hold that the family is not as important a redemptive institution as is the church, but I'm very hesitant to deny that it's a redemptive institution.

[Edited on 4-11-2004 by Me Died Blue]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Interesting..so if one believes that these institutions are the Redemptive Kingdom of God how does one reconcile that with such scriptures as John 18:36, Luke 17:21? Where the redemptive Kingdom is said not to be of this world, and it does not come with obsevation?

VanVos
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by VanVos
Interesting..so if one believes that these institutions are the Redemptive Kingdom of God how does one reconcile that with such scriptures as John 18:36, Luke 17:21? Where the redemptive Kingdom is said not to be of this world, and it does not come with obsevation?

VanVos

Jonathan, see this thread where I asked essentially the same question. I would also note that in those passages it does not specifically say "the redemptive kingdom," but only "the kingdom."
 

openairboy

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by VanVos
Interesting..so if one believes that these institutions are the Redemptive Kingdom of God how does one reconcile that with such scriptures as John 18:36, Luke 17:21? Where the redemptive Kingdom is said not to be of this world, and it does not come with obsevation?

VanVos

Hey VanVos,

For John 18:36, I would look at the different ways in which John uses the word "world". For example, John 3:16 teaches us that "God so loved the world", but John also teaches "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Uh oh, the love of the Father is not in himself. So, I would see Jesus addressing the nature of our warfare is different: love, prayer, hospitality, etc. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. If they were carnal, then his followers would pick up weapons to fight.

In Luke 17, I would see something similar. The kingdom of God isn't the carnal smashing of the Roman armies, but it is the presence of God through His people by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed...
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man sowing...
The Kingdom of Heaven is like...

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood..."

openairboy

[Edited on 4-11-2004 by openairboy]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VanVos
Interesting..so if one believes that these institutions are the Redemptive Kingdom of God how does one reconcile that with such scriptures as John 18:36, Luke 17:21? Where the redemptive Kingdom is said not to be of this world, and it does not come with obsevation?

VanVos


Did you read Bahnsen's paper? Also... the sacrements and the word are visible, so....?

Yes I did, actually I believe I listened to a 3 part teaching on it http://www.cmfnow.com/product.asp?0=204&1=215&3=499. I like his comments at the end of the paper on John 18:36 and I would agree. I think that the kingdom is from above and not of this fallen world system. I believe as Bahnsen said that The Kingdom does not find it's source from this world. Through the church The Kingdom influences the institutions but I am hesitant to say that those other institutions is the Kingdom of God.

VanVos

[Edited on 4-11-2004 by VanVos]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
Originally posted by VanVos
Interesting..so if one believes that these institutions are the Redemptive Kingdom of God how does one reconcile that with such scriptures as John 18:36, Luke 17:21? Where the redemptive Kingdom is said not to be of this world, and it does not come with obsevation?

VanVos

Jonathan, see this thread where I asked essentially the same question. I would also note that in those passages it does not specifically say "the redemptive kingdom," but only "the kingdom."

Thanks for the thread..it's interesting that you asked about the same verse. Oh and a great quote from Calvin.

Jonathan
 
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