A few weeks ago, we saw that redemption is the way in which God, in the person of Jesus, stepped into his creation to gain the victory over the punishment for and consequences of the fall. However, at present we still live in the ‘in-between’, knowing that we are forgiven now, but that the full revelation of God’s kingdom is yet to come. We are taught to pray ‘your kingdom come’. But how do we live in the light of this coming kingdom?
It could be argued that our primary calling in this world is to call people to repentance and faith in Christ. And of course this is important. One reason why we find ourselves working in a university might well be to shine the light of the gospel in the dark places of the academy and into the lives of the academy’s people. But there is more.
Besides the ‘not yet’ of the kingdom, there is the ‘now’ of the kingdom. Christ is seated on the throne, and he must reign until ‘the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power’ (1 Cor. 15:24). Like Abraham, we live as strangers in the land which we will inherit. So besides praying for the kingdom to come, we can also assert that ‘the kingdom of God is amongst [us]’ (Luke 17:21). Christ is Lord over all of his creation, and we as his people are called to take captive every thought that still rebels against his rule (2 Cor. 10:5), to follow in Christ’s footsteps in proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty to those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18). As scholars and intellectuals, we have a particular calling to bring our understanding of the world and our place in it, and the ways of thinking of our society to obedience to Christ. We are well-placed to influence the powers of this world to bring about justice and we have the capacities to invent technologies that improve people’s lives and our environment.
Will we first seek the kingdom of God? Will the building we construct on the foundation of God’s work in our lives last (1 Cor. 3: 12-15)? Will it be saved through the fire, and will we bring ‘the glory and honour of the nations’ into the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:26)?
How do you seek God’s kingdom in the university? How do you live as subject of Christ the king in your research? If you have any stories or examples to encourage us, we would love you to tell us about them in the comments section!