We recently did an exercise with a group of saints learning to live by the indwelling Life of Christ that helps to illustrate the inseparable link between Christ and His Church. What is true of the King is true of the Kingdom. What is true of the Vine is true of the branches. What is true of the Head is true of the Body. The nature of the King is the same for the Kingdom. The Kingdom lives and operates by the same life and nature that the King does.
God is Love
What is the nature of this Kingdom, or this King? That’s a long answer, but for the purpose of this blog post, we took a look at 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. If God is love, then the King is love. If the King is love, then the Kingdom is love. So, we rewrote, or reread, that particular passage substituting “love” with “the King.” It’s beautiful. Check it out:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have the King, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have the King, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have the King, it profits me nothing.
The King is patient, the King is kind and is not jealous; the King does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; He does not seek His own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The King never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we reread it with “the Kingdom” in place of “love”.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not the Kingdom, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not the Kingdom, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not the Kingdom, I gain nothing.
The Kingdom is patient and kind; the Kingdom does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. The Kingdom bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The Kingdom never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.