How can we grow in kingdom character?
When Christ came into the world, he preached the kingdom of heaven (Matt 4:17). He taught that not only was the kingdom something future but a present reality, as the kingdom of heaven was in their midst (Lk 17:21). The kingdom consists of all those who profess Christ as Lord—though all who profess are not truly saved (cf. Matt 7:21-23, 13:36-43). In Matthew 5:3-10, Christ introduces the character of those who are truly part of his kingdom. They are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. They are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness. These character traits are affectionately called the Beatitudes, as each one begins with “Blessed” and finishes with a promise of God. If these characteristics are not in our lives, at least imperfectly, we are not truly part of Christ’s kingdom.
However, the Beatitudes not only represent the nature of kingdom citizens, they also represent the aspirations of them. Only Christ perfectly modeled these characteristics, but each kingdom citizen should constantly aim to grow in them. As we consider the Beatitudes, they will both affirm if we have truly entered God’s kingdom and also challenge us to grow in these kingdom characteristics. Let’s study them together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
reg Brown earned his MA in religion and MA in teaching from Trinity International University, a MRE from Liberty University, and a PhD in theology from Louisiana Baptist University. He has served over twelve years in pastoral ministry, and currently serves as chaplain and visiting professor at Handong Global University, lead pastor at Handong International Congregation, and as a Navy Reserve chaplain. He is also the author of the Bible Teacher’s Guide series, an Amazon Best Seller.
Greg married his lovely wife, Tara Jayne, in 2006, and they have one daughter, Saiyah Grace. He enjoys going on dates with his wife, playing with his daughter, reading, writing, studying in coffee shops, working out, and following the NBA and UFC. His pursuit in life simply put is “to know God and to be found faithful by Him.”