Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)
As always, the grammar is interesting when considering the statements and petitions of our Lord’s model prayer to His disciples, and so to us (John 17:20; 2 Timothy 2:2); that is, although this is instruction directly to the apostles, we see that it follows in the apostolic tradition that it is propagated from our Lord to them, from them to those they set as elders over the various churches, from those to faithful men duly appointed according to the criterion set forth in Scripture, and in all these, to we who are instructed by such men to be edified and growing in the maturity, godliness, and knowledge which are modeled for us in the words and lives of those who so instruct and disciple us, according to the grace we are found to be in of God, in our Lord Jesus Christ, by dint of our position in the many divine promises set for forth for us in our God’s Holy Writ.
“Your kingdom come” is a statement and a command; it is presently going on, and is given us of our Lord in the language of Imperial Command, yet it is linked to God as the Subject, so we know that our performance of those things which are in accord with this mandate have their root, focus and performance in God, to whom we look for the operation of these things. He has willed to use us to bring this about more and more, and unlike many would think, this is not a Dominion mandate: here, many err most grievously, by supposing that we will do that which was commanded of Adam, and after the fall, again, Noah (Genesis 1:28; 9:1 and etc.), bringing the world under the rule of God’s grace in Christ Jesus our Lord through such a Dominion mandate.
Yes, we are to go to all nations with the message of the gospel, but since even our Lord did not see His kingdom as of this world, and therefore His disciples did not fight (John 18:36), so we are not to engage in such warfare that seeks to transform this world through mundane means; our battle in this war, which has as its certain outcome the victory of our God, is fought against those things which attack us as we model and shine forth He who is our life and the Light of the World, sent from the Father of lights (Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12; 9:5; 2 Corinthians 4:5-7; Ephesians 6:12; James 1:17).
We must realize that having God’s will done in this world is in and of Him, in our Lord Jesus – our efforts at doing all that is of God are only realized as His working of Himself in and through these vessels of earth; though we have a real responsibility to work, neither the power or the results of anything good we do are of ourselves, but of He who is our righteousness, sanctification, present shrouded glory, and ultimate perfect glory.
It can be – so often, we think of that which we do, because we are responsible to do it, as being of our own power. The problem with this is that we do not recognize that every part in the body of Christ functions solely by the power given them from the Head.
In Ephesians 4:15-16 we read: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
The interesting thing that does not necessarily come out in the English is that joined and held together are passive – that is, this is an action being done to the joints, or parts, and that action is from the supply of God’s grace which flows to each part by the Head, our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the continual coming of the already present Kingdom of God is being presently and progressively realized by the power of God Himself effectually working in each part of that body of Christ to show forth His Excellencies, not those of us, who offer nothing good in our flesh, and show and shine forth only good things by abiding in Christ. We do not gain standing with God by performing the tasks of His servants, for all our standing is in Christ Jesus our Lord; nevertheless, we are held responsible to faithfully, as good stewards, perform those tasks, while all the time realizing it is not our power that makes us desire to do the tasks, or makes the tasks either possible or realized, but being in union with Jesus Christ.
This may seem like a roundabout way to get to the plain statement of Your kingdom come, but it is necessary to realize that the verb refers back to God; therefore, when we obey kingdom commands, it is God who is willing and working within us to perform of His good pleasure that brings about the continuing progress of His kingdom. It is an imperative, so a command, but the command realizes the power and authority of the Author to equip us with that which is of Him to carry out this command.
The majority of this post speaks of our God’s kingdom coming, and has been purposely kept to that aspect of the verse under consideration; the doing of His will, by Him, through we whom He has chosen of the merit that is entirely of Christ, will be considered further in a future post.
Rather than being proud or thinking ourselves privileged that we have so been chosen, such must breed humility as we understand that it was, and remains, nothing of ourselves that caused God to choose us, but rather, it was only of His free, sovereign grace in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the understanding of His loving us so greatly: His immeasurable grace shows forth His glory now, and will do so in the age to come, through Christ (Ephesians 2:4-7).
This seems enough for one post; we dealt primarily only with the first part of the verse – Your kingdom come – so we will seek to draw out in more detail in a future post regarding Your will be done.