And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE KINGDOM OF GOD. A fourfold kingdom.
1. The kingdom of His power.
2. The kingdom of His gospel.
3. The kingdom of His grace.
4. The kingdom of His glory.Use
1. Submit yourselves contentedly to the disposals of Providence. If God be King over all, is there any fault in the administration; nay, is not all well done, yea, best done?
2. Submit yourselves to the good sceptre. Are ye subjects of the gospel-kingdom? Then it becomes you to be subject to the laws, to observe the ordinances, and to be submissive to the officers of the kingdom.
3. Let our royal Master have your hearts for His throne, and set up His kingdom of grace there.
4. Labour and be restless till ye get your interest in the kingdom of glory secured And this is done by closing with Christ for all the ends for which He is given of God. It is dangerous to delay this.
II. THE IMPORT OF THIS PETITION. The four kingdoms are sweetly linked together, and stand in a line of subordination, the end of which is the kingdom of glory, the kingdom of grace being subordinate to it, the gospel-kingdom to that of grace, and the kingdom of power to the kingdom of the gospel. Therefore I must begin with the kingdom of glory.
1. What is the import of this petition with reference to the kingdom of glory? It imports —
(1) That the kingdom of glory is not come yet "It doth not yet appear what we shall be" (1 John 3:2). The King has not yet erected that kingdom. The King's coronation-day for that kingdom (2 Thessalonians 1:10) is not yet come.
(2) That it will come. The King really designs it. From eternity He decreed it (John 17:24).
(3) That it is the duty and disposition of the saints and children of God, to desire the coming of this kingdom, and that themselves and others may be brought into it (2 Timothy 4:8).
2. What is the import of this petition with reference to the kingdom of grace? There is no getting into the kingdom of glory but by coming through that of grace. So that desiring the coming of the former is desiring the coming of the latter too. It imports —
(1) That all men naturally are without this kingdom, under the dominion of Satan (Ephesians 2:2, 3).
(2) That we cannot bring ourselves or others into it (John 6:44).
(3) That we cannot, where it is set up, maintain and advance it against the enemies of it (2 Corinthians 3:5).
(4) That it is the duty and disposition of the children of God to desire that the Lord Himself may bring forward His kingdom.
3. What is the import of this petition with reference to the kingdom of the gospel? By it one is brought into the kingdom of grace. So desiring the coming of the one, we desire also the coming of the other. It imports —
(1) That there are many impediments in the way of the propagation and efficacy of the gospel which we cannot remove.
(2) That the Lord Himself can remove all the impediments out of the way, and make the gospel triumph over them all, persons or things, sins or troubles, that are laid in the way to hinder it (Isaiah 57:14).
(3) That it is the duty and disposition of the children of God to desire the advancement of the kingdom of the gospel.
(4) That God would exert His power for all this.
4. What is the import of this petition with reference to the coming of God's kingdom of power? It is by the power of God that all these great things must be brought about. So the desiring of the coming of the gospel, is the desiring of the coming of this kingdom too. It imports —
(1) That these things will not be done unless Omnipotency interpose. The work is great, the hands employed in it are feeble, and there is great opposition. It will stick, if heaven put not to a helping hand.
(2) That it is the duty and disposition of the children of God, to desire that God would exercise the kingdom of His power in the world, as may best conduce to these ends (Isaiah 64:1, 2).
III. THE REASONS OF THE CONCERN OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD FOR THE COMING OF HIS KINGDOM.
1. The new nature in them moves that way (Isaiah 43:21).
2. It is their Father's kingdom. How can they help being concerned for it?
3. Their own interest lies in it.Use
1. Of information.
(1) The excellency, usefulness, and necessity of the glorious gospel. It is the kingdom of God.
(2) That the cry for the ruin of the kingdom of God can be no other but the cry of the family of hell.
(3) That the kingdom of our Lord will triumph over all its enemies, and drive over all opposition.
2. Of trial. Try by this whether ye be of the family of God or not. Have ye a kindly concern for the coming of His kingdom? Do your hearts say within you, "Thy kingdom come"? If it be not so, God is not your Father; but if so, He is.
(J. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.