Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kingdom of Self or Kingdom of God

Paul Tripp 4 Two Lifestyles

Kingdom of self versus kingdom of God. Manipulation versus ministry. Indulge sinful nature versus serve in love. If my self interest drives me I will manipulate or attempt to manipulate my spouse into serving my self kingdom project. Life becomes one spouse trying to manipulate the other one into what he or she wants.

It's only those who love God above all else who will love their neighbor as themselves. My problem is not that I don't love my spouse as I should. My problem starts with not loving God as he deserves and as I owe him. We don't first fix marriages horizontally. You first fix them vertically. All horizontal problems are the result of the big vertical one.

All relational problems are that we don't love God as we ought. We must start with God, not our marriage. Or any other relationship. Christ-centered relationships are the only relationships Christians have. Every other relationship is me with me, using someone else to gratify me. This is not God honoring relationship.

I John 4:7-11 Cruciform definition of love: this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved me. "Love is willing self sacrifice for the good of another that does not demand reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving." Willing, as Jesus gave his life without anyone taking it from him. Love loves because of love, it loves to love. For many love is a hassle, it gets in the way of what we really love. Self sacrifice, no such thing as love that does not require self sacrifice. Love is willing to sacrifice. Love is not a mutual contract, it is a sacrifice. Jesus does not say in the gospel, I'll go this far, but you must go the rest of the way. We would all be damned if he did. Jesus died for us while we were yet his enemies, no deserving, no reciprocation from us. Love works when the other person does not deserve it.

Love moves toward another even when they move away, as Jesus did and does for us. Ought is a word of obligation, but more importantly, ought is a word that indicates design, the way things are meant to operate. Not just ought as in duty, but John is saying that this is what we were designed to do and be, ought to love. Because we were designed to love and be loved. Life does not work without love' surely marriage never will. Many live in functionally loveless marriages.

Galatians 5:16ff sin in its multifarious selfish forms does not fit in the kingdom of God. Fruit of the Spirit does fit! These Spirit enabled qualities are what God by his grace is working in me. I make Gods purpose for me, my purpose in my marriage. Hence, in marriage I am moving in the same direction as Gods kingdom.

No joy in complaining. How can I celebrate joy, express gratitude for this person I live with. Every human being does lots of stupid things every day. Order look these. Make a commitment to peace. Seeking Gods kingdom purpose is making his purpose my purpose every day in my marriage. Uses his beefeological illustration to show the divergent paths of the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God.

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