Kingdom Steps

The Second Step -- Be One...

The First Step to entering into the Kingdom of God is to become One with Jesus Christ. When you trust Jesus Christ's plan of salvation (His death for you on the Cross) , a supernatural event takes place: God makes you One with Jesus Christ.

Becoming One with Jesus means you've become One with His death on the Cross (and One with His dying for all people's sin); you become One with His burial in the tomb and (above all) you become One with His Resurrection. As the apostle Paul writes in Ephesians that in Christ, you are presently seated in Heaven. Jesus is there, you're in Him and so you are also there. (Right now.)

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. If you have trusted in Jesus for salvation, you now have all the "advantages" of sharing in everything that belongs to Jesus -- Eternal Life, a place in Heaven, righteousness, peace with God, power over the tyranny of darkness, the Mind of Christ and so many other realities. In Christ, they're yours!

But you can effectively lose all that you have gained, in Christ.

Just as you enter His Kingdom by faith in Christ, you must live in the Kingdom by faith in Christ.

The apostle Paul says (Romans 8) that everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ has a choice: They can "live in the Spirit" or they can "live in their flesh".

Isn't it easy to understand? Since by faith (trusting Christ for your salvation) you've been made One with Him, then every day you live, you'll live according to the Living Presence of Jesus Christ within you. Do you think that Jesus Himself can "take up residence" inside you, and you'll live like He's not in you? Jesus doesn't get impatient at people around Him; He forgives even those who have hated Him and attacked Him; He loves the people who hate Him, and does good for both friend and enemy. This is how Jesus lives.

Do you thing He'll take up residence inside you, then be satisfied with you living a life of impatience, bitter unforgiveness, retaliation against those who offend you? When He lives inside you, will He be satisfied to retreat to some little corner closet under the stairs, and stay out of your way so you can live a life of selfishness?

He isn't that accommodating. When Jesus lives within you, He expects to be allowed to live through you as well. You're supposed to say, just like the apostle Paul, "For me to live is Christ..."

Again, like Paul, you're supposed to say, "I've been executed [crucified] along with Christ and yet I'm still alive... but the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God!"

Step Two into the Kingdom of God is to not only trust Jesus for the "moment of your salvation", but trust Him for every moment of every day of your life. Jesus has given His life for you -- can you do any less than give your life for Him?

Step One is to become One with Jesus Christ, Step Two is to remain united to Jesus Christ through every moment of every day. This is what Paul is referring to when he said, "To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."

The Bible teaches that Jesus is in you through His Spirit. It's the job of the Holy Spirit to bring the Person and the Presence of Jesus into your daily life. But it's your job to make a choice to "walk" in the leading of the Spirit of Christ within you, and to "stop walking" according to the dictates of your sinful, selfish flesh.

In Ephesians 4, Paul writes that the transition between living according to the dictates of our sinful flesh and living according to the leading of the Holy Spirit within, is just like someone taking off some very, very dirty clothes and dressing in a brand new suit of perfectly clean clothes. This images your deliberately putting off the old, sinful life, and putting on the Life of Jesus Christ as your daily life.

If Step One is to become One with Jesus Christ, and Step Two is to remain united to Jesus Christ through every moment of every day, what is the Third Step into the Kingdom?

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

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