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Putting the Kingdom First

This world is passing; use God's good gifts for his kingdom.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "The King Takes His Throne: Solomon's Rise to Power". See series.


In an article entitled "A new kind of urban Christian," Tim Keller argues that "Christians should be a dynamic counterculture. It is not enough for Christians to simply live as individuals in the city. They must live as a particular kind of community. Christians are called to be an alternate city within every earthly city."

The kind of community Keller has in mind is one in which money, sex, and power are used for the glory of God—not selfishly, but sacrificially. Here is how he describes it:

Regarding sex, the alternate city … teaches its members to conform their bodily beings to the shape of the gospel—abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within. Regarding money, the Christian counterculture encourages a radically generous commitment of time, money, relationships, and living space to social justice and the needs of the poor, the immigrant, and the economically and physically weak. Regarding power, Christian community is visibly committed to power-sharing and relationship-building between races and classes that are alienated outside of the body of Christ.

The Bible has a name for this alternative community: it is called the kingdom of God. One day soon, we will see this kingdom in all its glory, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But in the meantime, the struggle to establish his kingdom is fought in every human heart, with each decision we make about our money, our sexuality, and the things in life we want to bring under our control.

The same battle was fought when Solomon established his kingdom in Israel, and if we look carefully at the choices people made either for or against his kingship, we may be able to see ourselves and our own need for a Savior.

Royal revenge

The prophecies ...

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Philip Ryken is president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Royal revenge

II. Adonijah’s folly: sex and power

III. Joab’s folly: power and violence

IV. Shimei’s folly: money

V. The kingdom of Christ