Kingdom Steps

The First Step -- Become One...

You don't enter into the Kingdom of God in church. Well, that might happen "geographically", maybe, but not spiritually.

No -- You enter the Kingdom of God in Christ. If that's not where you started, you've not even made it to first base with God! The "threshold" of the Kingdom of Heaven is the Cross.

How it "works" is easy. How to understand it is a little more complex, but not hard to understand.

How it "works" is that somehow, somewhere you become dissatisfied with your life, dissatisfied enough that you begin to look around for something better, more meaningful, more satisfying. This is the point at which many people begin "seeking the Kingdom of God", even when they're clueless as to what they're looking for.

Still, it works -- it works because at the same time a person is "seeking the Kingdom", the King is seeking that person. It's almost like the person who looks all over for their glasses, only to discover them on their nose... When someone begins to want to know God, they find God's already in the middle of their life, and they never even knew it.

But, here's how being in Christ works -- a person (having sought for God and being found by Him) hears that Jesus has died on the Cross, and by doing so, has removed all guilt for sin from them, making them "good enough" to be saved from death and Hell. When they hear that Jesus has "secured their salvation" and they trust in Jesus for that salvation, a supernatural miracle takes place and God makes that person (now known as a Believer) and Jesus Christ, One.

Literally -- the new Believer and Jesus are made One. The apostle Paul puts it like this. He says, "For me to live is Christ..." In Romans 6, Paul talks about being made one with Jesus Christ. He uses the word, "baptized" but he doesn't say a new Believer is "baptized in water". No, not in this se. Paul says that a new Believer is "baptized into Jesus Christ". This word, "baptized", back when Paul used it, meant to be made one with Jesus, immersed in the Person of Jesus Himself. He goes on to say that since we've been made One with Christ (we're in Christ) that when Jesus hung on the Cross and died for all sins, we hung there with Him and died to our sins; when Jesus was buried, we were buried with Him; and since Jesus has been raised into everlasting, Resurrection Life -- we are already eternally alive... in Christ!

Think about it. If you and the richest man in the world were handcuffed together with handcuffs that could never be removed, you realize that wherever he slept, you'd sleep. Wherever he ate, you'd eat. If he flew in a jet or flew in a plane, you'd be there.

But the union between you and Jesus is much more than being handcuffed together! When you trusted in Jesus for your salvation (if you did) God made you and Him One Person. This is what Jesus called being "born again". When you trust in Jesus, you and He together are a new, spiritually alive person within you. And from then on, you have the option of living your life under the direction and for the goals of the new person who's One with Jesus, or you can choose to live according to the dictates and desires of your old person -- your old, selfish life. But the apostle Paul says that everyone who chooses to live according to their old, sinful person will die... but whoever lives according to their new, spiritual person who is One with Jesus, is already alive and will never die.

Let's wrap this up:

So, how does a person enter into the Kingdom of God?

Not by being good. Not by going to church. not by doing charitable works for others.

No -- the First Step is to become One with Jesus Christ. You enter the Kingdom of God by entering into the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God, when you (by your faith in Him) are made One with Christ, you're in the Kingdom as well.

But entering the Kingdom of God, and staying in the Kingdom of God may be two, very different things...

...which we'll see in our next Step into the Kingdom: The Next Step is to be One with Christ.

Questions or comments? Email us at Emil & Shell Swift.