Kingdom of God
1 Cor. 15:25
Eph. 1:3; 2:6
1 Peter 2:9
- 1 Peter 2:9
- "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood . . . "
- This verse is connected with Rev. 5:10: "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." It is then argued by the Church of Christ that since believers are a royal priesthood and are to be priests and kings in the kingdom, the kingdom must have been in existence at the time when Peter was writing.
- Peter alludes to Exod. 19:5-6: " . . . if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people . . . And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation . . . " But these words were spoken to Israel before they were established as a kingdom in the land of promise. Similarly, New Testament believers are spiritual priests (1 Pet. 2:5) offering up spiritual sacrifices before entering the land of promise.
- In Rev. 5:10 the kingdom must be established at the time the saints are said to sing the song. This time must be future to A.D. 96 since the events of the revelation were expressly stated to be "things which must shortly come to pass." (Rev. 1:1).
- Israelites under the Law were instructed that the "priest's lips should keep knowledge", and that the nation "should seek the law at his mouth" since he was "the messenger of the LORD of hosts". (Mal. 2:7). Similarly, a believer is born of incorruptible seed, by the word of God (1 Pet. 1:23), and is instructed to 'desire the sincere milk of the word" that he may "grow thereby". (1 Pet. 2:2). As a priest of the Lord, his responsibility is "to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5), and to "shew forth the praises of him" who called him out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet. 2:9). But this priestly function is part of training for entry into the kingdom. As Peter put it: " . . . for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 1:10,11).