The Two-fold Aspect of God’s Kingdom (Witsius)

The Reformed Reader

Sacred Dissertations on the Lord's Prayer  In Reformed church history, theologians have generally made a distinction when it came to discussing God’s kingdom or kingdoms.  Simply put, historic Reformed theology distinguished between God’s general kingdom (his kingdom of power/nature) and God’s saving kingdom (his kingdom of grace/glory).  Here’s how Herman Witsius spoke about this distinction in his discussion on the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy kingdom come.

The kingdom of God must be viewed by us in a twofold aspect, as universal and as special. I use the phrase, universal kingdom, to express his boundless greatness, majesty, authority, and power over all. “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” This is the kingdom to which the sun with all the stars, the sea with her waves, the winds with all their tempestuous fury, the seasons of the year with their various changes, the alternate…

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