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E. S. Isaiah, PhD; President of BIU; Training Director at APM | 2011

Many church members today, but very few Kingdom people! Let’s do a missiological examination of Ephesians 4:17-32. In 1 Peter 2:9, we have a very succinct definition of what characterizes Kingdom people. Peter calls the followers of Jesus Christ by 4 specific terms: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God ; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” The Kingdom people have a ‘culture’ of their own “Kingdom Culture” and can be easily identifiable by the world in the way they conduct their daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.

As though Paul is amplifying such a Kingdom culture, he gives instruction and teaching to the believers in Ephesus in the context of the Kingdom teachings to spur the believers into Kingdom living. Such a lifestyle was possible with the help of the Spiritual Gifts given to every believer for the “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.” (4:7-12), that they may live stable, consistent and Spirit-filled lives for the glory of God, and for the extension of His Kingdom. After all, the Kingdom agenda of the Kingdom people is to point to the Kingdom so that those outside the fold may have the opportunity to come in.

As we continue the discussion of the Kingdom People, it may be helpful to consider Paul’s Kingdom teaching and instruction to the Ephesian believers as found in chapter 4. Paul begins this chapter with instruction to the church to live in unity and to appropriate and use the Gifts given to the Body of Christ. After this Paul goes on to give a description of the Kingdom people as follows:

Firstly, who were we in the past? (v.17-19)

Paul says that we must not walk as “We walked in the futility of our minds” in the past as the Gentiles did and we ourselves were once worldly, un-regenerate, living in darkness. This is a good description that fits well those of us who were Gentiles in the past, before we saw the light of the gospel of salvation.

In verses 17-19, we find the six traits of futility of those who were in the past:

  1. Darkened understanding
  2. Alienated from God
  3. Ignorant of God’s ways
  4. Hardened heart
  5. Insensitive and given to sensuality
  6. Greedy in practicing every kind of impurity

Peter also equally well describes our past as those who were living in darkness, and were not a people once. We were also like those that had not received any mercy either. Such was our spiritual condition in the past, and because of such a condition we were eternally last people.

Secondly, who we are now? (v.20-24)

Paul goes on to say who we are NOW. After we met Jesus, and having received the forgiveness of our sins through repentance of our sins, we now have come to know the truth and our spiritual eyes have been opened. As a result we have come to know the ultimate truth in Christ Jesus:

  • We became renewed in the spirit of our minds
  • We learned to put off the old man
  • We learned to put on the new man in Christ Jesus
  • We now live in the pattern of true holiness & righteousness

This was a miracle that was performed on us by God in Christ Jesus. At one time when we were still in darkness, we were transformed by Jesus and brought into the light. And we are now brand new people in Christ, who are now no more condemned.

What we must be doing now ? (v.25-32)

After discussing who we were in the past and who we are now, Paul moves on to state what we must NOW do in the light of the new life we have received in Jesus. This means that we now ought to live Kingdom lifestyle by living out the Truth on a daily basis and practicing the Servant model as given to us by our Lord. The Kingdom people display Kingdom traits. In this passage Paul identifies some Kingdom traits such
as:

  1. No lying
  2. No anger
  3. No stealing but must work
  4. No corrupt speech
  5. Not grieve the Holy Spirit
  6. No malice
  7. Being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another

There is no doubt of the fact that we should be living as good disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of the Lordship of Christ, a good disciple is also a good disciple maker. Jesus said that there are still those that are outside the fold and they must be brought in. Jesus’ words before He ascended to the Father were, “Go and make disciples of all nations.…”

The Kingdom people lead a Kingdom lifestyle to fulfill a Kingdom Destiny of making disciples of all nations.

What destiny are you fulfilling?