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Training for Reigning

• Cedrick Baker

The people of God are a kingdom and priests who will reign on earth. This is our identity. What does this mean and what are the implications for us? Cedrick Baker explores how we are being formed to be people of character who are trained to reign on earth, reflecting the character of God.

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This sermon by Cedrick Baker seeks to answer the question: What does it mean for us to be a kingdom and priests who are reigning on earth? First, let us notice the location of where this occurs. In the vision of John, we read that God’s beloved people will be permitted to reign with him on earth. This is a transformed earth, one filled with God’s righteousness and love. This takes us back to Genesis when God called humans to be his stewards (Genesis 1:26). We are made in God’s image to reflect his nature, to govern and steward over this earth and the animal kingdom. That is the original intent.

The new heaven and new earth are not a replacement of an old heaven and old earth, but the transformation of creation. A replacement interpretation leads to escapist theology: the concept of leaving this world behind. The escapist perspective determines that it doesn’t matter what happens to the earth, and we are not responsible for taking care of it. However, there is a difference between trying to escape our care-taking responsibility on this earth and desiring to leave the corrupt elements of this fallen world.

It is helpful to understand the three tenses of salvation: we have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, we read about the present tense of salvation as we are “being saved” by undergoing sanctification. Progressive salvation is at work where we are daily aligning ourselves a little closer with the character of Christ.

God is preparing us to serve him at an even higher level of responsibility as a “kingdom and priests.” We should be practicing our stewardship, prayer and character development to reign. We are in training for reigning. We are in training to prepare us for our future state. We are not only saved from something (an existence away from God’s presence), but also saved to something (demonstrating the nature, character, and image of God). There are three things to consider in our preparation.

First, appreciate creation care. This was a part of our first instructions as humankind and an expression of our worship to God. We are made in God’s image and likeness as we are creative, resourceful and innovative. We also have the help of the Holy Spirit. We must do what we can, collectively and individually, to take care of this planet. This isn’t a political stance, it is a biblical stance.

Second, we must train to become people whose character is prepared to reign. It is all about character development. No one runs a race well without any preparation. Likewise, no one will just show up in the end to reign without any preparation (Revelation 5:10). Through this process of “being saved” we develop the character and attitude that gives us the ability to reign.

Third, acknowledge the relationship. God is constantly trying to be in relationship with his people. This is a key theme running throughout the entire Bible. In Exodus 19:6, we read “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation [set apart for My purpose].’ These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” The creator of the universe wants to be in fellowship with us. This is the ultimate goal as we are made for this relationship, and we are being formed to be a people who are trained to live in this relationship forever.

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Topics: Creation Care, Discipleship, End Times

Sermon Series: Good Heavens!


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Focus Scripture:

  • Revelation 5:9-10

    They sing a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.’

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3 thoughts on “Training for Reigning

  1. J Grace says:

    Cedrick, powerful! Thank you so much!

    Accept the vocation Eph. 4: 22-24 [train – being continually renewed] WOW!

    You then said it’s NEVER political.

    I agree with you however at the moment there are a whole lot of folks that would differ.

    To our defense, another person thought this – M. Scott Peck.

    I am rereading his book “The Road Less Traveled” and just yesterday came across this in section IV: Grace

    Subtitle: The Problem with Evil

    “I define evil, then, as the exercise of political power- that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion- to avoid extending one’s self for the purpose of nurturing spiritual growth”. Matthew 20:25–28

    Subtitle: The Nature of Power

    “There are two kinds of power political and spiritual……

    Political power is the capacity to coerce others, overtly or covertly, to do one’s will. This capacity resides in a position, such as a kingship or presidency, or else in money. It does not reside in the person who occupies the position or possesses the money. Consequently, political power is unrelated to goodness or wisdom. Very stupid and very evil people have walked as kings upon the earth.

    Spiritual power, however, resides entirely within the individual and has nothing to do with the capacity to coerce others. People of great spiritual power may be wealthy and may occasionally occupy political positions of leadership, but they are as likely to be poor and lacking in political authority.

    Then, what is the capacity of spiritual power if not the capacity to coerce? It is the capacity to make decisions with maximum awareness. It is consciousness”. [Our part – a vocation of creativity]

    Thanks again!

  2. Jerry says:

    Cedrick, powerful! Thank you so much!

    Accept the vocation Eph. 4: 22-24 [train being continually renewed] WOW!

    You then said it’s NEVER political.

    I agree with you however at the moment there are a whole lot of folks that would differ.

    To our defense there is another person who thought this – M. Scott Peck.

    I am rereading his book “The Road Less Traveled” and just yesterday came across this in section IV: Grace

    Sub title: The Problem with Evil

    “I define evil, then, as the exercise of political power-that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion-in order to avoid extending one’s self for the purpose of nurturing spiritual growth”. Matthew 20:25–28

    Sub title: The Nature of Power

    “There are two kinds of power political and spiritual……

    Political power is the capacity to coerce others, overtly or covertly, to do one’s will. This capacity resides in a position, such as a kingship or presidency, or else in money. It does not reside in the person who occupies the position or possesses the money. Consequently political power is unrelated to goodness or wisdom. Very stupid and very evil people have walked as kings upon the earth.

    Spiritual power, however, resides entirely within the individual and has nothing to do with the capacity to coerce others. People of great spiritual power may be wealthy and may upon occasion occupy political positions of leadership, but they are as likely to be poor and lacking in political authority.

    Then, what is the capacity of spiritual power if not the capacity to coerce? It is the capacity to make decisions with maximum awareness. It is consciousness”. [Our part – a creativity vocation]

    Thanks again!

  3. Glenn says:

    Cedric,
    thank you so much for your teaching.
    “Training for Reigning” is a wonderful sermon. Super helpful and deeply inspiring.
    Glenn
    Australia

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