Christian duties in the Left Hand Kingdom

Christians exist simultaneously in two kingdoms: the Church and the State. The Church is a spiritual kingdom and the State is an earthly one.  Lutheran theologians call these the kingdoms of the right hand (the Church) and the left hand (the State).  In the Bible, God commands His followers to obey three basic duties as members of the left hand kingdom.

First, Christians are to be obedient to earthly authorities so there is order. Paul writes to Titus and tells him, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” (Titus 3:1). In a similar message, Peter tells his readers, “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.  Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:15-17).

Second, Christians are to pray for those in authority in the kingdom of the left hand, interceding for them to God. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” As Christians pray for their rulers, they are asking God to grant the leaders wisdom that all citizens may live in peace and safety.

Third, Christians are to be informed and involved citizens, seeking the good of the community in which they live. God instructs Jeremiah to tell the people of Judah who were taken as slaves to Babylon to work for the good of the city, because when it does well, it will benefit them also. Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.   Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

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