November 28 - LD 48, Day 3: Thy Kingdom Come . . . In Me
by Rev. Andrew Lanning

Read: Romans 10:13-17

The second petition is very brief, consisting of only three words: Thy kingdom come. However, in this brief petition we are asking God for many, many things. We are asking for the kingdom to come in us personally, for the kingdom to come ecclesiastically in the building up of the church, and for the kingdom to come in the way of the destruction of the enemies. The Heidelberg Catechism treats each of these aspects in turn. Today we are going to look at what it means for the kingdom to come in us personally.

The Catechism indicates that there is a personal coming of the kingdom when it says, ďRule us so by Thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee.Ē Submitting ourselves more and more to God is an aspect of our sanctification. Therefore, when we pray, ďThy kingdom come,Ē we are asking God to make us ever more holy as citizens of His kingdom.

This petition is necessary because we still must battle our old man of sin. It is true that God has given us a rich and full salvation. That salvation includes His sovereign choice of His people in His eternal decree of election, His regeneration of our hearts so that we now have spiritual life, His gift of faith so that we believe in Jesus Christ, and His gracious declaration in justification that all our sins are forgiven. None of these saving gifts can ever be lost. However, that salvation has not yet been completed in us. We still remain on this earth fighting against the weakness of our flesh and the corruption of our totally depraved nature. We do not obey Godís law perfectly from the heart as we are required. For that reason, we pray earnestly: Thy kingdom come . . . in me!

The Catechism indicates that the way Godís kingdom comes in us is by Godís Word and Spirit. Godís Word is a reference to the Scriptures, including the preaching of those Scriptures in the public worship services. That Word is powerful; so powerful that Paul calls it Godís power unto salvation (Rom 1:16). That Word reveals the Savior, Jesus Christ; that Word calls us to believe on Jesus Christ; that Word proclaims the will of God, and calls us to submit to His will. By faithful attendance to this Word, we more and more submit ourselves to God.

Faithful obedience to the Word, however, is impossible in our own strength. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must take that Word and apply it to our hearts so that we see the truth of it and believe it. By Godís Spirit and Word, we submit ourselves to God more and more.

And so we pray: Thy kingdom come . . . in me.