The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Inner and Outer Kingdom of God, #14

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

The Divine judgment of Satan begins at the house of God, with those who are living righteous lives in Christ.

Notice that the context of I Peter 4:17 (above) concerns the fiery sufferings that fall on God's people. These sufferings are the Divine judgment of Satan so he may be driven from our personality. When we suffer we cease our sinning. Satan is driven from us provided our suffering causes us to turn to the Lord in prayer, confession of sin, and repentance.

. . . for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)

Even the righteous are delivered from Satan with difficulty, so deeply have worldliness, lust, idolatry, and self-will become ingrained in human nature.

And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)

Our sinful personality now is shielded from God's sight by the blood of the cross. But the day must come when the wicked factors are judged and cast from us.

The Christian redemption includes both the forgiving and also the removing of our lawless behavior. It is not enough for God to forgive us, He also must remove the forces that urge us to sin, and teach us so we know how to cooperate with His Spirit and are willing to follow His Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit of God we overcome sin (Galatians 5:16).

If God only forgives us, but does not remove the forces of sin that dwell in us, and does not teach us and make us willing to obey His Holy Spirit, then our glorification is an impossibility.

God never will clothe spiritual lawlessness with a body fashioned from incorruptible resurrection life. We expect to be crowned with life and power as members of the royal priesthood. We will be crowned, but not until we learn righteousness, holiness, obedience, humility, faith, patience, and majesty.

It is not possible for God to issue eternal life to our physical body until all His enemies have been overcome in our moral, spiritual nature. First, the victory in our inner, spiritual nature. After that, the victory in our outer, physical nature. Victory in the outer nature must come after the redemption of our inner nature. Victory over death in the physical body is the last enemy that will be overcome.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:25,26)

The Kingdom of God does not consist of sinful, self-centered, spiritually bound and ignorant people whose personality and conduct are hidden from God's eyes by the blood of His Son. This condition of spiritual bondage exists at the time of the initial receiving of the Lord Jesus but the Spirit of God sets about immediately to remedy it. The normal Christian discipleship is a lifelong battle against the forces of darkness that strive unceasingly to turn us away from the guidance of the Spirit of God who is in us. The Christian life is a warfare.

To be continued.