Kingdom and Church 1

My beloved friend DJP asked the readers of this blog, as a result of Friday's link to Ray Ortlund, "I agree with his point. But: Anyone have a verse equating the church with the Kingdom?"

Well, yes. Yes: in fact I have 3.

From Rev 1:
    John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

    To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

John says here that "we" (that is: "us" -- John and the Seven Churches in this context; I think that's a transferable "us" to "us faithful believers") are made by Christ into a "kingdom [of] priests".

And I say this because again in Rev 5 we see this scene in heaven:
    And they sang a new song, saying,

    "Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
    and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth."

So it's not just a manner of speaking: this is the eschatological vision. This is what the church is for or is meant to be: the kingdom.

And the reference I would find most interesting in Heb 12:
    At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Here the writer is telling us that because we are receiving the Kingdom (present active participle), it should cause us to be grateful or "have grace" as the ol' KJV says. That is: since we are now receiving the kingdom, there are consequences.

That doesn’t abolish any already/not-yets we might want to discuss, but it does sort of limit the distance one can got o say that somehow the Kingdom is not already in or among the church.