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The Church is the Kingdom of God on Earth.


Because she is a reflection of the ideal Kingdom of Heaven, Christ's Church on earth is called the Kingdom of God in the Holy Scriptures. In its regular usage, "kingdom" means a high degree of a society's development, a state with its law-making, legal, executive and all other authorities. A state consists of citizens, government, administration; it has laws, customs, language, army and so on. The Church is also a Kingdom, and a peculiar one as she is filled with grace. She consists of people in the process of moral regeneration. Being a Kingdom, she has her Head, the Heavenly King, Lord Jesus Christ and also her own laws, internal structure, ministers (hierarchy), and citizens faithful Christians. Without these features she would not be a kingdom, but something shapeless and vague. Christians enjoy all privileges of the spiritual Kingdom that they belong, but not merely as consumers but as active "citizens," co-working for the common good.

The Holy Scripture speaks about the Church as a Kingdom of God in a number of places: Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 6:10, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 9:35, Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14-15, Luke 12:32, Luke 17:21, John 3:5, John 18:36, Romans 14:17, 1 Corinthians 4:20, Colossians 1:12-22.

The Savior often began teaching with the words, "The Kingdom of Heaven is likened..." "Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom," which is the good news that the Kingdom of God is coming (Matthew 9:35). It shows that people shall not be saved individually and solitarily, but jointly, as one family, making use of the graceful means that He lodged His Kingdom.

The conditions for entry to the Kingdom: "Repent (literally, change the way of thinking): for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). This entry is possible only through the Sacrament of Baptism, in which man becomes reborn for spiritual life: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:5-6).

The Church has in her foundation the atoning sacrifice of Christ that allows us, by faith and through new birth, become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). That is why the life of the Church is supernatural in essence, although it flows in quite ordinary circumstances and visible forms. It is also explanatory of the Savior's words (so confusing for non-believers) about the position of the faithful in worldly life: "... and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14). "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). These words of the Savior demonstrate the incompatibility of righteous life with sinful and out-of-Church customs of the secular world. "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Thus, the Church is a graceful, supernatural, unity of born-again people who form the mystical Body of Christ, founded by Christ on Calvary, filled with the Holy Ghost, and headed by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

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