Two questions at the heart to what is the kingdom of God?
“And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Acts 11:26b NASB
Believers in Jesus were recognized as such. The term Christian is rare in scripture. Perhaps the use of disciple or follower of Jesus as Lord would be more practical to answer what this looks like? The church, body of Christ, or the Christians were noticed for their love of one another, devotion to live for Jesus’ commands and steadfast belief in the resurrection of believers. So on a practical level their way of being each day was their testimony to their belief.
We recognize the kingdom of God as being filled with the body of Christ, of which, Jesus is the head. In regard to the saying as you mentioned, “but who they are”.Your hunger to serve Jesus as your Lord will verify for you His presence in your life. He is bigger than the universe and calls all of yourself, as a person, to follow Him. He does this because of His love for you, since being fully submitted keeps us out of getting into trouble. And our Father will discipline us in love, so it’s better to stay on course.
And we are a works in progress with a purpose. So receiving Jesus as your Lord and Saviour for the forgiveness of your sins begins the major transformation of you. We are called to obedience as a result of having been bought by Jesus blood. Saved by faith, real faith, produces works. James spoke lots on this. It’s our faith we are known for, our works prove our faith. Like being branded by the Holy Spirit. As soon as you have called on Jesus name for salvation before God you are grafted in, you become His child.
“For we are His workmanship , created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NASB
The verification is the knowing in your heart of hearts to whom you belong, the god of this world or the God of heaven and earth. That defines who you are, His child. Every believer was made a believer for good works. That is our, the church of Jesus’, purpose. God does much of His works in and through the church. It means where ever we are and what ever influence we have under any circumstances, we are to do as our King commands. I have learned the term repentance well because of this calling. It is no wonder why our God is a God of grace.
Since I got saved Jesus has been anointing me with spiritual polysporin daily with how many times I’ve fallen. The last 20 years have proven to be a steady up hill hike with many prayerful rest stops on route. Nourishment of God’s Word and prayer will prove essential in knowing and doing our Maker’s will.
“We are a soul in a body”, Ravi spoke of this and it’s true. If we know to whom our soul belongs then our longing will follow our Master and on every practical level our faith in Him will identify us as His.
“What does it look like to meet the person of Christ and be completely changed as a person?”
Like walking in a particular direction and suddenly realizing it’s the wrong way.
How can I keep walking in a direction that for what ever reason and all my mind and soul- I know this direction will never lead me to where I am sure my heart’s desire wants to go? And the point of change is the intersection with Christ Jesus.
I walk a lot. I also go hiking and cycling in mountains and off-roading in remote places. If I am on a back country trail and realize the way I’m heading is not right, something inside me says stop! In a practical sense I’ll get stuck in a cold stormy night on a bike or run out of fuel in my truck. At that point everything inside me is standing up against what ever else in me that is silly enough to keep going.
When I met Christ Jesus back in 1997 at age 27, the last thing on my to-do list was to get saved. It was so far down the list that I didn’t even think it was on my list. But God did. My life journey become His path. Where I thought I was in charge of doing what I wanted, Jesus demonstrated grace to change my wants.
I remember a big christian guy up the block from my place at the time. I say big cause he was 240 lbs and lean and I always seen him and thought, “Darrell is big.” And what’s with the quoting Bible verses every time I see him? I kept a New Testament and Pslams Bible he gave me on my Landcruiser dash board for 16 years to remind me of being a daily witness for Jesus. One day when I was in battle with personal life style changes of being saved, brother Darrell kindly gave his new convert friend some advice. He said, “If the Lord has His calling on you, you can either go the easy way or the hard way, but you are going. I suggest the easy way”
Suffice to say I understood the calling of Jesus was transformation of me.
Unique people have unique stories and no two stories are alike. Meeting Jesus is being introduced to Authority and Love and Grace and everything that mankind was designed and intended to be. We were made in His image. As for the change part, you will know because Jesus will restore you from the inside into His likeness. And one part at a time our sinful desires, habits, thoughts and words, will drop by the wayside of God’s path, the narrow road that leads to eternal life.
I hope this is helpful David. Have an excellent day.