What is a Commonwealth?

A commonwealth government is one that exists to protect the welfare of the citizens as a whole rather than a small privileged class.(wiki.answers.com) A commonwealth describes what the kingdom of God on earth would look like. Eph 2:12 – That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.  Jewish culture at this time did not reflect a commonwealth Paul spoke of, but the opposite of which the Father rebuked the religious leaders of the time through Jesus Christ.  The Greek word used for commonwealth means a community or citizenship.  This same Greek word is used again in Acts 22:28 – And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this” freedom”. And Paul said, But I was free born.  The chief captain gained his freedom with a great sum gaining his Roman citizenship.  Another Greek word that comes from the same word group as commonwealth or citizenship is conversation, which means the behavior connected to the citizenship in the commonwealth.  Phil 3:20 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This behavior is directly connected to a new heart and spirit, renewed thinking  producing a language and behavior associated with the purity of the kingdom of God.  John 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The US was created with this basic intent of a commonwealth, but it is impossible to establish and found due to the nature of sin and mankind’s predominant self referential nature.   There are four states in the US that call themselves a commonwealth, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  Even Paul struggled with this in his latter years of ministry.  The book of Philippians was written between AD 53-55 and it is obvious that the commonwealth formed after Pentecost was crumbling, at least in outward appearance.  The kingdom of God will never be shaken, but many will fail the test and fall away and there will be a remnant to carry on.  Philp 2:2 – fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Phil 2:19-21 – But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20) For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21) For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.  In the same book and chapter Paul is exhorting the Philippians to be likeminded and then in the same chapter he say’s I can find no one likeminded except Timothy.  This had to grieve Paul’s heart greatly.

Scriptures that best describe the commonwealth citizenship in the kingdom of God with direct reference to behavior are:  John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  The Greek word for love  is a “Love that can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son.  This love is self sacrificial and will  lay it’s life down for another.  Not just a loved one or a friend, but for anybody in need.  John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (neighbor or stranger).  James 2:8-9 – If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9) but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  A commonwealth form of government shows no partiality, but all are their brothers keeper in love.  Paul describes it best in Phil 2:1-4 – Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

The real test and warfare thereof is between the heart and the mind and many will fail and few there will be the  enter in.  There must be a real conversion of our mind.  2 Cor 13:5-6 – Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test? 6) But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.  Matt 24:12 – And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Is it your desire to live this kind of purity in Jesus Christ and establish His kingdom on earth for all to see?  There will be no more half hearted Christians much longer for when the anti-christ is revealed they will be swept away by deception, because their heart does not bear witness to 1 Tim 1:5 – The purpose of this command is love, out of a pure heart, a good conscious and sincere faith.  Many churches and Christians are dying, because they are self seeking and merciless, practicing a form of religion but denying the power of God.  Run from it, escape while you can, before it leavens what is left in you.  Run, seek God where He may be found.

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