Mark 1:14-15, we read these powerful words:
“… Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”
From the moment Jesus shows up on the scene in Israel, he begins to proclaim the reality of what he called the “Kingdom of God.” Through stories and metaphors, miracles and healings, Jesus sends out one important declaration to anyone who will listen:
The Kingdom of God is breaking into this world – and it changes everything.
In the Vineyard, we look to the Scriptures – the Old and New Testaments – to guide our theology, and to teach us about the nature and purposes of God. We believe that God has self-revealed his character in the Scriptures, and nowhere more do we see him more self-revealed than in the life and teaching of Jesus (Hebrews 1:3).
Learning to know Jesus, and to become like him, is the goal of the Christian life. And if we truly want to be like Jesus, we must understand his most important, overarching, and integrating message about the world – his message of the Kingdom of God.
For thousands of years Christians have studied the Bible to discover more about the God who is the central figure in its magnificent plot. What we think about God, and what we believe he is doing in the world, affects our everyday lives. In fact, what we understand to be God’s plan for the world, and his plan for each one of us, is a matter of ultimate importance to every human being who has ever lived.
Knowing about God, and his purposes for the world, is what theology is really all about. Theology is the “study of God,” or as one writer said, “Faith seeking understanding.” We want to know who God is, but we also want to know God in a vital relationship.
Understanding the Kingdom will help to understand Jesus’ ministry and how we live out our lives.