A Biblical Exposition of the Gospel: The Good News About God’s Kingdom

Steve —  October 22, 2021 — Leave a comment

Good News: A Biblical Exposition of the Gospel
Pt 3
The Good News About God’s Kingdom

The bible teaches that the gospel is not only good news about God’s mission to redeem and restore fallen creation and humanity. It’s also good news about God’s kingdom coming to earth in three amazing ways.

Learn what the Scriptures teach about a 3-fold vision (past, present, and future) of the good news of God’s kingdom coming to earth.

In the Applied Theology Series, “Good News: A Biblical Exposition of the Gospel, Part 3” by Drs. John Frame and Steve Childers, you’ll also learn what Jesus meant when he taught that we will do “greater works” than he did.


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Chapter 2: The Good News About God’s Kingdom

A Biblical Exposition of the Gospel
Drs. John M. Frame and Steven L. Childers

We learned earlier that we are living in a unique time in history between the resurrection of Christ and the restoration of all things in him when God will bring the fullness of his kingdom on the earth forever.

The Scriptures give us a three-fold vision of this good news about God’s kingdom. The good news is that God’s kingdom has come in the past, is coming today, and one day will come at the end of time. This understanding of the gospel gives a deep purpose to followers of Christ in both their private and public lives. So, let’s begin by taking a closer look at how God’s kingdom has already come into the world in the first century.

God’s Kingdom Has Come
God’s kingdom came into the world in a new way in the first century through the person and work of Jesus Christ, specifically in the historic events of his humiliation and exaltation. Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension were both historic events and saving events with rich, spiritual meaning.

The good news is that Jesus, as the eternal Son of God, took on humanity in order to live the life we should have lived and die the death we deserve to die in our place, thereby completely satisfying God’s just wrath against us so we might be reconciled to God. Then Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to God’s throne in heaven where he poured out his promised Holy Spirit on his church as evidence of his kingly rule.

Jesus’ death and resurrection demonstrate his victory over all the powers of evil, including his and our archenemies of the world, the flesh, the devil, and death. Because of God’s rich mercy and great love for us, he saved us from his just wrath we deserve and delivered us from all the evil powers that held us in spiritual death.

Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension demonstrate God’s inauguration of the promised new age to come. It’s the good news of a whole new world being born on the earth. God’s original intent for creation was for it to be a paradise where “heaven is on earth,” where heaven and earth are essentially one and God dwells with his people.

Because of sin, God banished humanity from his gracious presence. “He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:24) So, we live our lives “east of Eden” (Gen. 4:16), away from God’s loving presence and his many blessings that were originally ours in the garden paradise.

The original unity of God’s creation became divided, heaven and earth were separated. There is a separation between God and his fallen creation. Now we see God not only as our Father, but also as our Judge. God is pictured as up in heaven, no longer dwelling with sinful humanity on earth below.[1]

So, in the first century, when Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming the good news that God’s kingdom is “at hand” (Mk. 1:15), his Jewish listeners understood this to mean that God’s kingdom in heaven was finally returning to earth in a new way through him. Jesus’ miraculous signs and wonders were magnificent displays of how God’s kingdom had already come to earth through him. This caused his followers to long for the time when God would fulfill his promise to return the fullness of his kingdom on earth forever.[2]

God’s Kingdom Is Coming
But the good news about God’s kingdom is not only that it has come in the past through the person and work of Jesus, but that God’s kingdom is still coming today. The ascended King Jesus continues his ministry on earth today by his Holy Spirit and through his visible body–the Church.

Jesus’ ministry on earth did not end when he ascended back to heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Instead, that was just the beginning. Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Jesus does not mean that his disciples, as individuals, then or now would do greater miracles than he did. No individual will ever come close to doing greater works than Jesus did in the first century. Instead, Jesus is referring to the greater impact that his ministry on earth will have after his ascension to the throne of God through his people, the Church, by the power of his Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul teaches that the highest blessing of the gospel for believers is being united to God “in Christ.” From this mystical union with God flows all the riches of Christ’s redemption including a new status with God as forgiven and adopted, a new heart from God by his Spirit, and a new world from God in the age to come.

When the Holy Spirit unites us to God “in Christ” he also mysteriously unites us to God’s new community of his people on earth–the church. The church is the embodiment of the present rule of King Jesus on the earth today. It’s the visible body of Christ set apart and anointed by God’s Spirit to be a blessing to all nations on earth now as a foretaste and hope of God’s kingdom that is not yet. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)

After giving his disciples the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations,” the resurrected Jesus promises them, “I am with you always to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20) And just prior to his ascension back to heaven, Jesus said to them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Because the ascended King Jesus continues his ministry on earth today by his Spirit and through his church, this includes all his followers. Therefore, our individual purpose in life is linked directly to God’s corporate purpose for his church. Jesus’ union with his church is so strong that we, as his followers, share in his ongoing ministry as prophet, priest, and king in the world today.

In our prophetic roles we proclaim and uphold God’s truth in a world filled with lies. In our priestly roles we pray and intercede for others to experience God’s mercy and blessing. And in our kingly roles we use all our resources to help make God’s invisible kingdom more visible, not only in human hearts, but in every sphere of our lives until it reflects the order of heaven.[3]

God’s Kingdom Will Come
But the good news about God’s kingdom is not only that it has come in the past through the person and work of Jesus, and it is still coming today by his Spirit and through his church, but also that it will come in all its fullness at the end of time.

God promises us in Scripture that one day Jesus will return and bring the fullness of God’s kingdom on earth by restoring all things that were lost because of sin. On that day we will be made new in soul and body and delivered not only from sin’s penalty and power, but also its influence and presence forever. Then Jesus will bring an end to all suffering and restore all things to God’s original design.


[1] Although God is never absent from the world he made, because of sin there is a barrier between God and his people, later symbolized by the veil in Israel’s temple, which barred worshipers from the most intense form of God’s presence.

[2] So, “heaven” is glorious but it is not the Christian’s ultimate destination. Instead, it’s a temporary, “intermediate state” after death that awaits God’s renewed cosmos where we’ll have renewed bodies on a renewed earth forever.

[3] Richard Lovelace, Renewal as a Way of Life, IVP


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