The Kingdom: Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course Lesson 1
: Podcast of Lesson 1 - The Kingdom with M.T. Clark and James Morgan
In 2020, I completed my master’s program of study with a
thesis that posited the position that Recovery Programs such as AA and
Celebrate Recovery could and should be integrated with additional Christian discipleship
teachings to foster a better understanding of some core Christian doctrines and
the encourage a Christian Disciple’s lifestyle to drive and maintain successful
Instead of ripping down the 12 Steps of AA or the 8 Principles
of Celebrate Recovery, I developed 7 lessons to integrate into those programs
to try to facilitate a decidedly more Christian pathway on the Road to Recovery. The seven lessons I developed can be integrated
into either recovery program or they could be taught separately as their own
discipleship program or Bible study. I
call my 7 lesson’s the “Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course”, (CFDC).
I just received word that my local church is going to be
closed for another week and I won’t be teaching my current series of discipleship
classes until May 27th!
I miss teaching and have decided that until my classes
resume I am going to present a lesson from the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship
Course (CFDC), here on the mt4christ.org blog and on the mt4christ247 podcast
today and next week.
I’m posting tonight’s lesson, CFDC Lesson 1: The Kingdom,
this morning and will record and podcast it later this evening.
I am also going to post the integration schedule that I developed
to show where the CFDC lessons would be taught within 12 Step or Celebrate
If you would like your own copy of tonight’s lesson, email me
Principle 1 – Our worldview, relationship with God, and our lives must be
defined by and lived within the context of the kingdom of God.
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 and saying, "The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any
other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
The focus of “the
gospel” of the latter 20th century and early 21st century
has been the redemption of man. The salvation of man has become the pinnacle of
focus with the emphasis on the forgiveness of man’s sin accomplished through
the cross of Christ as the benefit of Christianity. Modern messages focus on salvation
and forgiveness as the means to fulfilling man’s pursuit of happiness on earth
and his ultimate happiness in heaven. Christ, the suffering servant relieves
the guilt of sin and guarantees life after death so man can live the life he
presents the gospel as God’s call to man to repentance and service to God’s
kingdom. Christ brought the kingdom of God with His earthly ministry. It is
here presently through His word, the church, and the Holy Spirit who lives in
believers. It will be fully realized when Christ returns to rule and reign. So,
the kingdom of God has come and is yet to come. The kingdom is both now and not
What is the gospel
of the kingdom of God and how can understanding it impact recovery?
The “good news” of
the kingdom of God is that Jesus made a way for us to enter it! Through faith in Christ we become members of
the kingdom. In short, discovery of, entrance to, and participation in the
kingdom of God is life itself. Becoming part of and serving the kingdom is
life’s meaning and purpose. The gospel of kingdom of God, as the central theme
of the Bible, establishes the context in which we will live out our lives on
earth and discover our eternal destiny.
For recovery, a
revelation of the kingdom of God provides meaning and empowers you to repent of
your sins and overcome any hurt, habit, or hang up. Revelation of the kingdom
infuses life with purpose that establishes and maintains victorious
KINGDOM DEFINED: The active, dynamic
reign and rule of God over and through His “royal priests” (man) over His realm
(creation). – Dr. Christopher Romano
Covenant – The Key to the
Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our
wills over to the care of God.
CR Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my
life and will to Christ’s care and control.
What just happened?
By making the conscious choice “to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care
and control”, with a verbal proclamation that specifically names Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior, we enter a covenant with God.
Galatians 3:17 (NKJV)
17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and
thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by
God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.
Our covenant with Christ reconciles our relationship with God that
was broken by Adam’s sin. When we come into covenant with God through faith in
Jesus Christ, we receive the promises of God.
29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to
· We are forgiven of sin.
Galatians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this
present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
· We are given eternal life.
16 For God
so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
· We become God’s children
26 For you are all sons of God
through faith in Christ Jesus.
· We are given the Holy Spirit.
6 And because you are sons, God has
sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba,
· We are given power over sin.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit,
and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
· We become members of the kingdom of God
– royal priests and co-heirs with Christ.
Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own
special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of
darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once were not a people but are
now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
7 Therefore you are no longer a
slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Our covenant with
God not only establishes what we receive, it declares whose we are, which in
turn defines who we are and what we are to do.
Our covenant relationship gives us a new identity and purpose for life:
to serve the kingdom.
The specificity of
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is essential as it is through Christ’s blood
that covenant relationship with God is established. To claim peace with God or to be an inheritor
of the promises of God without a covenant through faith in Christ, is to make a
false claim to the kingdom for it is through Christ alone that we are forgiven,
blessed, and given entrance into the kingdom of God.
What do we need to know about the Kingdom of
God for Recovery?
The kingdom is
real! - Most Christians do not have a revelation of the kingdom. So, we first
have to “know”: There is One! There is a kingdom over and above all creation
and Christ is the King. He brought the kingdom to earth and He will come again
to rule and reign for all eternity.
Matthew 28:18 (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All
authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
John 18:36-37 (NKJV)
36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of
this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the
Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?"
Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a
king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world,
that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My
Matthew 6:10 (NKJV)
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in
God is in control and is working all things toward the culmination
of His coming kingdom and for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). We can
be at peace knowing there is a higher meaning and purpose to life, and we are
secure as kingdom members through our faith in Jesus.
The kingdom of God
is the gospel. The “gospel of the kingdom of God” is what Jesus taught and commanded
His followers to teach.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching
the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds
of disease among the people.
Our goal in life is
to enter the kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ. After we received the “good
news”, part of our kingdom mission is to share it, praying that God will use us
to bring others into the kingdom.
Luke 9:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them
power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to
heal the sick.
We may be saved
from separation from God and delivered from our hurts, habits, and
hang ups but we are saved to represent and work for the kingdom and to
assist in delivering others to the kingdom where they can find life,
healing, and purpose.
Matthew 5:10 (NKJV)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The point in
sharing the “kingdom” is to express God’s sovereignty and majesty and the truth
of His ultimate reality in addition to sharing His mercy and grace. The kingdom
gospel is about more than just us and our personal sins, it is a gospel that
encompasses all of creation, human history, and the coming divine government.
temporary. The kingdom of God culminates in a new heaven and a new earth. The
gospel of the kingdom aligns with scripture to dispel the common myth of an
ethereal realm of the afterlife as our final destination.
Revelation 11:15 (NKJV)
15 Then the seventh angel sounded:
And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world
have become the kingdoms of our Lord
and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new
earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there
was no more sea.
The kingdoms of the
earth will pass away, but God’s kingdom is eternal. When we have a revelation
of this, the things of God become more important than the things of this earth.
When we have a revelation of the kingdom, we will endure to the end.
As members of the kingdom
of God, we are to use the King’s power to overcome our hurts, habits, and hang
ups, to give glory to God, and to better represent the kingdom. Sanctification
is kingdom work to be done on ourselves.
Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is
your reasonable service.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and
rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the
revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the
former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy
in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am
is a kingdom work as we are doing God’s will for our lives to repent and to be
healed. Our choice to overcome our hurts, habits, and hang ups is to realize
our purpose for a higher cause than our personal well-being. We are conforming
ourselves to represent the kingdom through our transformed life and our
testimony becomes evidence of the King’s power.
The kingdom has an
enemy who has enslaved us and seeks to destroy or disable us. He must be
recognized, fought, and defeated for victory.
John 10:10 (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they
may have it more abundantly.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Matthew 6:13 (NKJV)
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil
one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The kingdom of God
recognizes there is a kingdom of darkness to be delivered from and continually
fought until Christ returns and establishes His kingdom on earth fully.
Beyond our own
fleshly desires and patterns of behavior, the enemy has been leading us into
temptation and encouraging our destruction. In Christ, we have the power to be
victorious over the enemy in spiritual warfare.
Assisting others to
join and participate in the kingdom of God is your calling from God as your
testimony can be used to help others overcome.
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the
world and preach the gospel to every creature.
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are
spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself
lest you also be tempted.
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Our pain and struggles become a message
of hope for others as we represent a transformed life that results from
becoming a member of the kingdom of God through our faith in Jesus Christ.
23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us
now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy."
24 And they glorified God in me.
Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of
their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned for good. Our
stories were of darkness but now are of light, life, and hope.
The Kingdom is not
24 "Strive to enter through the narrow
gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the Master of the house has
risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the
door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I
do not know you, where you are from,'
26 then you will begin to say, 'We ate and
drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.'
27 But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know
you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'
28 There will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the
kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. (Galatians 3:5-7)
will not enter the kingdom of God as Christ describes entry to be through a
narrow gate. The narrow gate is entered through faith in Jesus Christ (I am the
door – Johnv10:9). Without Christ, we
are workers of iniquity (unforgiven) and unknown (unacceptable) to God.
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through Me.
Those who have rejected Christ have
refused entry into God’s kingdom. Sobriety without Christ is a good work but
leads to eternal separation for salvation is through faith in Christ
Knowing this we must love our enemies
and forgive them for they don’t realize the seriousness of their
situation. We must be loving and patient
for in a moment they could suddenly see the light and come to Christ. Our
previous lives in darkness looked like we had no hope, so we of all Christians
should know to keep those outside the faith in prayer and extend to them the
hope of the gospel of the kingdom.
Having a Revelation
of the existence and reality of the kingdom of God can be a key paradigm shift
in our recovery and in our lives.
Continually discovering how our conscious choice to put our life and
will in Christ’s care and control has brought us into God’s kingdom and made us
rightful heirs to the promises of God can motivate our success and maintain our
recovery as we experience the difference of a life filled with God-given hope
and purpose. Belonging to the kingdom,
· The kingdom is real, is here and is yet to come.
· Christ is King.
· This world is temporary, and the kingdom is eternal
· The kingdom was Christ’s primary message and teaching that we
· Membership to the kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ gives us
Eternal life from
which we can live fearlessly
Power to overcome
and heal, to walk out of darkness into His light
Authority over the
enemy and to recognize his role in our temptation
A present and
eternal purpose to represent and usher others into the kingdom
Living in the
context of the kingdom brings heaven to earth as we experience the peace that
surpasses all understanding regardless of circumstances, knowing that our lives
will continue into eternity and that God is presently with and for us and will
never leave or forsake us. God has a plan for His creation that results in His
followers living with Him in a new heaven and new earth. When we understand the kingdom, we are given
a purpose and the power to overcome and endure persecution.
Review and Examine.
How can a
revelation of the kingdom of God help in your recovery?
What are the
implications for those in recovery who have not named Christ as Lord and Savior
regarding the kingdom of God and their ability to prevent relapse?
What promises does
one inherit as a member of the kingdom of God?
How is the gospel
of the kingdom of God different from other gospels taught in most modern
Are there any inherent
responsibilities as a member of the kingdom of God? If so, what are they? If not, explain your
How does the
knowledge of the kingdom of darkness and the enemy impact your recovery?
How does the
knowledge of the kingdom of God affect the purpose for your life?
The Gospel of the
Kingdom by George Eldon Ladd
Kingdom by Myles Munroe
SYS 208 Kingdom Dynamics by Dr. Christopher Romano
KINGDOM LESSON ENDS
AA Twelve Steps
1 – Denial
3 – Hope
4 – Sanity
5 – Turn
6 – Action
CFDC 1: The KiCFDC 1: The Kingdom
7 – Sponsor
8 – Moral
9 - Inventory
10 - Spiritual Inventory
11 - Spiritual
Inventory Part 2
12 – Confess
CFDCCFDC 2: Identity
CFDC CFDC 3: The Enemy
3: The Enemy
CFDC 4: CFDC 4: The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
16 – Amends
17 - Forgiveness
18 – Grace
19 – Crossroads
20 – Daily
CFDC 5: AscCFDC 5: Ascension
21 – Relapse
22 - Gratitude
CFDC 6: Worship
CFDC 6: Worship
23 – Give
24 – Yes
25 – 7 Reasons We
CFDC 7: Mi CFDC 7: Mission