As Jesus is the cornerstone upon which the Church is built, so are his teachings the unifying cornerstone of Christian doctrine.

God is now taking control

In Matthew 3:1-12 we read of John the baptizer’s announcement about the impending ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet, unlike former prophets, his announcement of repentance had a greater sense of urgency in that the “kingdom of heaven is near.” We moderns tend just to refer to “the kingdom” yet that is not how the apostles spoke. Whereas we tend to omit God or heaven from the phrase, the original language emphasized God or heaven. It was an announcement of the sovereignty of heaven or the kingship of God. In military terms, God was establishing a beachhead from which he would eventually take over. God’s kingdom is God’s rule. He rules in the lives of those who accept him. The words “the kingdom of heaven has come near” is the modern equivalent of saying that God is now taking control.1

1 The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary of the New Testament, R. T. France, 2007, Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, p. 102

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