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The Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God.

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Published by glennpease
BY DANIEL STEELE, D. D.,

*" For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."— Rom. xiv. 17.
BY DANIEL STEELE, D. D.,

*" For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."— Rom. xiv. 17.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 05, 2013
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12/05/2013

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THE KINGDOM OF GOD.BY DANIEL STEELE, D. D.,It is not my purpose to amplify the negative part of this scripture, which denies that the kingdom of God consists in external ordinances, in eating and drinking in scrupulous conformity to ceremonial requirements. I shall dwell wholly on the positive statement of the con-tents of genuine Christianity. There is a sense in which God has three kingdoms. The first two constitute the platform or pedestal on which the third is erected. First, God reigns over the material world by the mechanical necessity of physical laws. In this kingdom there is no freedom. The subjects, whether floating atoms or blaz-ing suns, bow to the law of necessity. To this kingdom our bodies belong. The laws of gravitation and of vital chemistry are ceaselessly at work in them, whether we will or not, whether we wake or sleep. In the second place, God presides over a moral government requiring obedience to the universal law of moral obligation. God did not give us the privilege of choosing whether or not we would be in this kingdom. We are in it by no vote or consent of ours. The moral law is imbedded in our very constitution. We can escape it only by escaping
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two beings, God and ourselves. We may disobey and suffer penalty; we may obey and enjoy the reward. But on the basis of these two kingdoms stands another. No *" For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."— Rom. xiv. 17. THE KINGDOM OF GOB. 119 one is in it of necessity, but everyone enters freely. The law of this kingdom is love of righteousness. All who love righteousness love God, its perfect embodiment, and belong to this kingdom. Hence it is purely spiritual with an ethical basis. It was founded by the Father. When some method of making the wicked righteous was needed, he devised the scheme of the atonement. Hence he is no impersonation of mercilessness holding an iron sceptre, as some falsely assert, but a tender Father devising the ransom of his banished ones. "God so loved the world," says the divine record. The atone-ment is a river of love rising in the heart of the Father, flowing through the self-sacrifice of the Son and empty-
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ing itself on the earth in the gift of the Holy Ghost to restore to human souls the lost image of God, righteous-ness and true holiness. The Son of God is the adminis-trator of this kingdom. He is head over all things to his church. "My kingdom is not of this world." From the residence of a majority of its subjects it is called the kingdom of heaven. The census of that kingdom would be so great that the number on the earth are to the num-ber in heaven as a handful of sand is to a continent, or as the planets of our system are to the milky way powdered with stars. We have said that the fundamental quali-fication for this kingdom is righteousness. This may exist with little peace and less joy. A righteous man may be disturbed by fears and distressed by doubts. Many a righteous soul has inward unrest because of the constant warfare with hereditary proneness to sin. "But," says one, "is not peace always attendant upon righteousness as its natural fruit?" It is the natural fruit of perfect 120
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