A Dictionary for the Kingdom - Radical

A Dictionary for the Kingdom

A lot of Christians talk about the kingdom. But unfortunately, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what the kingdom actually is. Given how important this theme is in Scripture, the following overview of basic kingdom terms from David Platt’s commentary titled Exalting Jesus in Matthew may be helpful.

A Dictionary for the Kingdom

Gospel: The message of the kingdom. The central message in the mouth of Jesus is clear. “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” (Matthew 4:17)

Disciples: The citizens of the kingdom. In Matthew 5-7, which we refer to as The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins by telling us what kingdom citizens are like.

Discipleship: The demands of the kingdom. Following this King is costly, for He says in Matthew 10, “Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of Me will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

Church: The outpost of the kingdom. Matthew is the only Gospel writer who actually uses the word for church–ekklesia. We’re going to see that Jesus has designed His people under His rule to be a demonstration, a living picture, of the kingdom of God at work. Do you want to see what people look like who live under the rule and reign of King Jesus? Look at the church, Matthew says.

Mission: The spread of the kingdom. The church proclaims the gospel of the kingdom, and not even the gates of hell will be able to stop it (Matthew 16:18).

Demons: The enemies of the kingdom. The Gospel of Matthew makes very clear that the Devil and all his minions are absolutely opposed to this King and everyone and everything in His kingdom, including you and me. But, Satan’s power is limited and his doom is assured.

Hope: The coming of the kingdom. In the Gospel of Matthew we get a dual picture of the coming of God’s kingdom. The kingdom is a present reality (the King is here!) and the kingdom is a future realization (the King is coming back).


David Platt, Exalting Jesus in Matthew, pp. 12-13;

See also David Platt’s sermon series on Matthew titled “Kingdom: A Journey through Matthew

David Burnette serves as the Chief Editor for Radical. He lives with his wife and three kids in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves as an elder at Philadelphia Baptist Church. He received his Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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