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Last week, we covered how a new believer, through faith in Jesus and by the grace of God, has joined in a covenant with God, and according to Hebrews chapter 8, the believer has received better promises. When God blesses the believer through these promises it gives Him glory and pleasure (Eph chapter 1, Rev. chapter 4), and it blesses Him, which leads us up to today’s topic; that God has given believers all things that pertain unto life and godliness, (2Peter 1:3), by His divine power, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.
How has God done this? The answer comes through the word of God.
The Apostle Peter goes on to write in chapter one saying, that the believer is to add (I paraphrase for editing purposes only, and encourage the full reading of scripture) to their faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and brotherly love. And that ……Those who do these things will be (verse 11) ministered abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ.
It is useful for the believer to know what the Bible says, so they know the promises and benefits of being a child of God, otherwise the things that God has provided will go sadly unused, and they are there for your benefit and God’s glory and pleasure.
One of the benefits that is largely unknown and underused is the believer’s use of their heavenly citizenship. Believers are citizens of Heaven (Phil 3). If you or I were traveling in a foreign land we could go to our United States Embassy the law of the United States would apply to us as citizens. Similarly, God, through His grace has made the believer accepted in the “beloved”(Eph 1), and this includes having rights as a citizen of heaven, though we now live here on earth. The laws of heaven apply to believers here on earth. We have what is known as a dual citizenship, we choose which laws to follow to our blessing or to our cursing. The laws of heaven apply equally to each believer, and God does not have favorites, and the Bible says He is no respector of persons, but provides grace for each one, because of who He is.
When we look at the portion all things that pertain to life and godliness, if taken by itself, it would be a logical step to think that this verse means that the basics of life are provided, and to say that as long as there is sufficient food, clothing, shelter and love of God, then the things of life and godliness are covered, but, there is much more to this verse than just the essentials, because in verse 11, the Bible says that that person who does those things well will be ministered abundantly into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
How does God give the believer all of these things? And what does being a citizen of heaven have to do with it?
You may recall what Jesus said in John 10, that he has come so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly? Jesus also says in Matt 6 and Luke 12 to those who were concerned about what they would eat and wear to seek first the kingdom of heaven and God’s righteousness and all of those things shall be added unto them. We are going to learn that having the basics of life like food and clothing and shelter are just a wonderful by product of applying the laws of the kingdom of heaven. That is why Jesus said to seek the kingdom first and His righteousness and the things would be added unto them.
Seeking the kingdom of heaven can be a puzzle for those who do not realize that they are citizens of heaven now, and the laws that govern heaven apply to believers now on earth. The good news is that the mystery of the kingdom is hiding in plain sight for those who diligently seek it. God says that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and the mystery of the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16) and the kingdom of heaven can be found by getting into the scripture and studying what God says.
The mystery of the kingdom of heaven is not that we must wait until we get to heaven before these things are added to our lives, but that we must now apply kingdom principals (the law of heaven) to our lives and Jesus explains this in several places in the Gospels through parables.
We begin with Matt 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 which all have the Parable of the Sower, who goes out to sow seed, and in Mark’s account, the Lord stresses the importance of knowing this parable and understanding it, before any of the other parables can be understood. So, the homework for this week, should you choose to accept it, is to read, study and meditate on the Parable of the Sower, and with the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance, we will begin to learn and apply the laws of the kingdom of Heaven.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.