Accepting the Rule of the Kingdom

Once we understand the difference between types of justice and how God commands His Kingdom to operate in a restorative manner, we see there are great implications for the Body of Christ as well.

I would like to speak about how we accept the rule of the kingdom, especially since in our day, we see an incoherency between how we judge one another relationally and corporately. We have used the wrong plumbline and set of principles. And it takes the Holy Spirit and much humility to return to divine patterns of the Kingdom.

Public Conception of Justice

There is a legal concept called the public conception of justice by John Rawls. In it he dissects that there are two parts of a public conception of justice that include

  1. The acceptance of the principles of justice that a community or kingdom promotes and enforces
  2. An acceptance and satisfaction in how the kingdom and institution implements and enforces the principles of justice.

Hence John Rawls says that " a society is well ordered... when it is also effectively regulated by a public conception of justice." There is something important being said here that relates back to the social contract. It's the concept that the people in the community are accepting the rule of an institution or kingdom and hence approve the rules and justice being enforced. If it isn't, it is an authoritarian rule without consent of the people.

This isn't different from what we see in Scripture. God isn't looking for obedience out of obligation rather out of love and acceptance of the Kingdom. This isn't humanly possibly when we speak of God's Kingdom because it is against the flesh and our natural inclinations.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments." John 14:15

Accepting God's Rule

We have to learn to love the way the Kingdom was established. A public conception of justice in God's Kingdom has to be uniform and come straight out of the Word and God's perspective, not our own. What we have seen is the public conception of justice is fragmented in the Kingdom when we want to implement our own ways of establishing God's justice and not His own.

Rawls accounts for this is in human societies by saying: 'Existing societies are of course seldom well-ordered in this sense, for what is just and unjust is usually in dispute....'. The reality is that this shouldn't be the case in the Kingdom of God. The greatest form of the good and justice (in Plato's words) have been displayed on the Cross. We have seen how in earthly societies some compromise must be made for there to be any kingdom or justice. Rawls also notes that.


I believe the apostolic mindset and grace also sees the Kingdom this way. There are different "first truths" or principles that define our denominational or networking associations in church. One of them being doctrinal symmetry amongst others I hope to speak about soon. What we must remember is that we are One Body and we must preserve the unity with the bond of peace to fulfill Jesus' prayer.

"The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one." John 17:22