Saturday 6 March 2010

Mark L. Bailey on the Kingdom in Matthew 13

Mark L. Bailey, The Doctrine of the Kingdom in Matthew 13’, Bibliotheca Sacra 156 (1999), 443-51.

Mark Bailey concludes his last article in a series of eight on Matthew 13 with a series of helpful ‘applicational principles’ (though not all of them to be given equal weight, in my opinion):

1. Not everyone will respond to the message of the kingdom, and not all who do respond are equally fruitful.

2. Satan is personally active in seeking to prevent people from receiving the message of God’s kingdom.

3. Both external pressures and internal distractions hinder the proper appropriation of the Word of God.

4. God desires that people hear, understand, and apply the truth of His Word in order to be fruitful for Him.

5. The hearers of the Word are at least partially responsible for the level of productivity in their lives.

6. Jesus’ followers should realize that Satan sends his representatives into the world to masquerade as sons of the kingdom to disrupt and hinder the work of Christ.

7. Believers need to be realistic about the presence of hypocrites, but believers should not assume the role reserved for Jesus by seeking to judge others.

8. Servants of the Lord need to wait patiently for Jesus to judge and separate the wicked from the righteous.

9. People should decide to be followers of Christ in light of the impending judgment which will determine their eternal destiny.

10. God has promised the righteous a glorious future in the shared reign of the Son and the Father in the next phase of the kingdom, Jesus’ rule on earth.

11. The success of God’s work cannot be fully evaluated until the time of the judgment.

12. Messiah has come in humility and will one day reign in sovereignty.

13. The work of the Spirit authenticates the ministry of Jesus Christ.

14. Jesus’ disciples need to depend on the invisible yet powerfully transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

15. The kingdom of heaven should be the highest priority of anyone who finds it.

16. No sacrifice is too great in light of the value of the kingdom.

17. The joy of participating in the kingdom should motivate Jesus’ followers to make whatever sacrifice is necessary.

18. Discipleship calls for wholehearted dedication to God’s kingdom purposes.

19. Participation in God’s kingdom is not restricted to any single race.

20. Jesus places a high priority on evangelism to all classes and cultures.

21. The need to evangelize the world is motivated by the reality of future judgment.

22. God’s judgment will be based on inner character rather than cultural backgrounds.

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