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We Are the Church

• Hank Johnson
Guest Panelists: Greg Boyd, Lisa Goetze

The Kingdom of God is the present realization of God’s fully redeemed future, and the coming of the Spirit upon the church is the primary means for seeing the present Kingdom come.

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This is the first of a three-part series done in collaboration with The Meeting House and The Jesus Collective called “On Earth as in Heaven” where we look at what it means to be God’s Kingdom people now, as God’s Kingdom is carried out in heaven. In this sermon, Hank Johnson launches this series by asking, “What if Jesus was serious when he told us to pray ‘thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven’”? What if we are to embrace this as a real possibility?

The Kingdom of God, Jesus’ most addressed topic in his teaching, is a reality that has already come but is yet to come. We then are to live as if what is coming in the future has already been made a reality today. The church is the community that lives the life of the future in the present. This is part of the DNA of the church, as it carries the essence of who we are.

In addition, it is self-replicating. This is what we live to reproduce as the church, which occurs as we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, the story found in the focus scripture, is the ultimate example of this reality of the Kingdom DNA being infused into the early church and what we are called to receive as the church now. The essence of church is grounded in the

experience of Jesus going up and thereafter sending the Spirit down so that God’s people can be empowered to live out the Kingdom in the midst of the world, so that the church could experience “as it is in heaven.”

This is a multi-cultural Kingdom where the church hears the message in their own language and is given gifts to likewise share it. The Spirit meets us where we are and then leads us into a new reality. We are transformed from our current reality into a new way of being and then we are able to share this with others. We are transformed by the Spirit because the Holy Spirit lives within us. The one who rose Jesus from the dead, Paul tells us that this same Spirit lives in us (Romans 8:11). This life in the Spirit is not merely something that will occur at some point one of these days. It is a current reality that is made ready for us now.

There are four ways that we can live into this reality of the Kingdom by the Spirit:

  1. Live your life to go and tell, to be a witness to those in your everyday lives.
  2. Be committed to prayer.
  3. Learn your faith and pass it down.
  4.  Join the local work.

As we surrender to the Spirit, we will be formed to live in love as Christ loved us, so that we might be the multi-cultural Kingdom people who embody the future of God’s completed Kingdom now.

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Topics: Holy Spirit, Kingdom of God

Sermon Series: On Earth As In Heaven

Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide
Group Study Guide
The After Party
The MuseCast: June 8

Focus Scripture:

  • Acts 2:1:13

    When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

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