According to the Bible, the Kingdom of God is supposed to be righteousness (being rightly related to God, and always doing what is right in God's eyes), peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (ref: Romans 14:17) On the other hand, the "world", which consists of all the people who are not living the way God wants us to live, is marked by pride, selfishness, control/manipulation and independence from God (which is really rebellion from God's rightful rule of our lives).
Although my life changed dramatically on May 15, 1976 at 3:30 p.m. when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and make any changes He could make, I was not experiencing the fullness of righteousness, peace and joy which the Bible describes as possible for believers in Christ.
Even when I asked Jesus to baptize me in the Holy Spirit, and I received further wonderful changes in my life, something was still lacking.
So I asked Jesus to help me enter into the fullness of righteousness, peace and joy of His kingdom, and this is what happened:
Shortly thereafter I was reading in the Letter to the Galatians (in the New Testament), and I came across the passage where the apostle Paul writes:
Gal. 6:14 (NKJV) 14But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
As I meditated on that verse I realized two things: 1) when Jesus died for us on the cross He enabled us to be set free from worldliness, and 2) the sentence indicates that boasting in the cross results in the crucifying power of the cross being released in the believer's life.
So I started saying, "Father, thank You for sending Jesus to not only pay for all of our sins, but also to set us free from the pride, selfishness, manipulation and independence of the world so that we can live lives of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! Now, by faith I boast in Your cross, Lord Jesus, so that I might be crucified to the world and the world might be crucified to me!"
That was several years ago, and I have found that my life has improved in many ways as worldliness is gradually being removed from my life and I experience more and more of the right living, peace and joy of God's kingdom in the Holy Spirit.
I am writing this letter to you, dear
friend, to share this Good
with you in the hope that you also will start boasting in the cross
with the intent of being set free from worldliness and to enjoy more of
the wonders of God
PS: Recently it occurred to me that all three main enemies of mankind - the 'world' the 'flesh' and the 'devil' - have been overcome by our Lord Jesus by the price He paid for us on the cross. As a result I have begun to boast in the Cross of our Lord Jesus by which I am crucified to the world, the flesh and the devil!
PPS: There seems to be a corollary
to this fundamental truth,
which is exemplified by the apostle Paul, who also boasted in his
weaknesses so that the power of God might work in his life.
12:9 But He [Jesus] said
to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in
weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The people of the world boast in what
they have done - none of which
has eternal consequence. But the wise person boasts in the Cross
of Christ and in his or her own weaknesses so that the power of Christ
may work in their life!