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Studies in the Scriptures
Volume 17—No. 6
by Arthur Pink
The Lord’s Prayer—Part 4
“Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10). This second petition is the briefest and yet
most comprehensive one contained in our Lord’s Prayer, nevertheless, strange and
say that, in some circles, it is the least understood and the most controverted.
questions call for careful consideration. First, what is the relation between
and the one preceding it? Second, Whose “kingdom” is here in view? Third,
what is meant by “Thy kingdom”? Fourth, in what sense or senses are we to
“Thy kingdom come”?
The first petition, “Hallowed be Thy name” concerns God’s glory itself, the
and third respect the means whereby His glory is manifested and promoted on
God’s name is manifestatively glorified here just in proportion as His “kingdom”
to us and His “will” is done by us. The relation between this petition and the
then, is quite apparent. Christ teaches us to pray first for the sanctifying of
name, and then directs us to the means thereunto. Among the means for promoting
glory none is so influential as the coming of His kingdom, and hence it is we
to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). But
men ought to glorify God’s name upon earth, yet of themselves they cannot do so:
kingdom must first be set up in their hearts. God cannot be honoured by us until
we voluntarily submit to His rule over us.
“Thy kingdom come.” Whose “kingdom”? Why, God’s, of course, or more
the Father’s; yet not as something that is separate from the kingdom of the Son.
The Father’s kingdom is no more a distinct one from Christ’s than “the Church of
God” (1 Tim. 3:15) is other than the Body of Christ; or the “Gospel of God”
1:1) is something different from the “Gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16), or than
of Christ” (Col. 3:16) is to be distinguished from the Word of God. Rather does
kingdom” (the Father’s kingdom) point a contrast between God’s and Satan’s
(Matt. 12:25-28), which is a kingdom of darkness and disorder—the opposite from
hinderer of God’s.
The Father’s kingdom is, first and more generally, His universal rule, His
dominion over all creatures and things: “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and
and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the Heaven
and in the
earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as Head above
(1 Chron. 29:11). Second, and more specifically, it is the external sphere of
His grace on
earth, where He is ostensibly acknowledged (Mark 4:11, etc.). Third, and more
still, it is God’s spiritual and internal kingdom which is entered by
a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
Now, as the Father and the Son are one in nature, so is Their kingdom the same,
thus it appears in each aspect of it. In the kingdom of providence: “My Father
hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17), i.e., in the government of the world (cf.
Heb. 1:3). In
the mediatorial kingdom, Christ has it by the Father’s appointment (Luke 22:29)
and establishment (Psa. 2:6). In the kingdom of grace, as it is set up in the
hearts of the Lord’s
people, it is the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 4:20), yet of the Son (Col. 1:13). In
of Glory: Christ will drink the fruit of the vine, “in My Father’s kingdom”
yet it is also called “The everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ” (2
Peter 1:11). Hence we read of “the kingdom of our God and the power of His
It may be inquired, Which aspect of the “kingdom” is here prayed for as yet
Not God’s providential, since that has existed and continued from the beginning.
then, be the kingdom of His grace, which is consummated in the kingdom of glory.
is to be a voluntary surrender of the whole man—spirit and soul and body—to the
will of God, so that His rule over us is entire. The character or nature of this
is summed up in three things: “the kingdom of God is . . . righteousness, peace,
and joy in
the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). First, Christ’s righteousness imputed, and then
the righteousness of a good conscience, the basis of which is our sanctification
by the Holy Spirit.
Second, peace: peace of conscience toward God, peace with His people, and with
creatures—under “peace” is included all the duties of love. Third, joy: which is
a fruit of
the other two—a delighting in God in all estates.
“Thy kingdom come.” This has a threefold force, for it applies to each aspect of
kingdom. First, to the external kingdom of grace: let Thy Gospel be preached,
of Thy Spirit attend it, the Church be strengthened, Thy Cause on earth be
works of the Devil be destroyed. Second, to the internal and spiritual kingdom
let Thy throne be set up in our heart, Thy laws be administered in our lives,
Thy name be
magnified by our walk. Third, to the kingdom of Glory: let the days be hastened
Satan and all his hosts shall be completely vanquished, when Thy people shall be
with sin forever, when Christ shall see the travail of His soul and be
God’s kingdom “comes” in the following degrees. First, when He gives to men the
outward means of salvation: Luke 11:20 and cf. 17:21. Second, when the Word
enters the mind so that the mysteries of the Gospel are understood. Third, when
Spirit’s regeneration actually bring us into the kingdom or state of grace.
Fourth, at death,
when the soul is freed from all sin. Fifth, at the resurrection, when we are
“O Lord, let Thy kingdom come to us who are strangers and pilgrims here on
us for it and conduct us into it, that be yet outside to it; renew us by Thy
we may be subject to Thy will; confirm us who are in the way, that our souls
life, and both soul and body in the day of judgment may be fully glorified: yea,
this glorification to us and all Thine elect” (W. Perkins).
We say again, Though this be the briefest petition, it is the most comprehensive
In praying “Thy kingdom come,” we ask for the power and blessings of the Holy
attend the preaching of the Word, for the Church to be furnished with God-given
God-equipped officers, for the ordinances to be purely administered, for an
spiritual gifts and graces in its members, for the overthrow of Christ’s
that the kingdom of grace may be further extended till the whole of God’s elect
brought into it. By necessary implication, we pray that God will wean us more
from the perishing things of this world.
In conclusion, let us point out some of the uses to which this petition should
First, failures to be bewailed and confessed by us. We are to own before God our
wretched estate by nature, whereby we are the servants of sin and so under
Satan: Romans 7:14, 24. We are to mourn over the sad state of the world: its
transgressions of God’s Law, whereby He is so dishonoured and the kingdom of
furthered: Psalm 110:36, Mark 3:5. Second, we are to earnestly seek those graces
will influence our heart and lives whereby God’s kingdom is erected and
endeavouring to be so subject to Christ that we are wholly ruled by Him. Third,
be performed: we are to “bring forth the fruit” of the kingdom (Matt. 21:43,
and diligently use all the Divinely appointed means for the furthering of it.
Thus, the sum
of this petition is that God, and not sin and Satan, may reign over us.—A.W.P