Romans 14:17 – “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. NKJV
There is so much more to the Holy Spirit, that I can’t even begin to exhaust the subject of Him. As I have mentioned before, there are some really great books out there. One of my personal favorites was written by John Bevere. I encourage you to study the word, to find out His role in your life, but it wouldn’t hurt to read a book, either! Thanks for hanging in there with me, as I’ve tried to share a few truths I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit.
I believe passionately in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. I’m sure I’ll come back to Him again and again! I also feel strongly about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But today, I want to talk about Him from this perspective: there is so much more!
Our text for today states that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. This is a perfect chapter to demonstrate an important aspect of the Holy Spirit, for in it, Paul is admonishing the body of Christ. He tells us that we are not to get carried away in what we eat or don’t eat because this is not what the kingdom of God is about. Understanding that at that time, they were coming together as a body of believers, made of Jews and Gentiles, and had concerns over the issue of what to eat and not to eat.
They were also concerned over holy days and holidays. Again, Paul stressed the relative unimportance of these days, in relationship to the overall goal of being one in Christ. Much as many of us are still arguing over things like: to be immersed, or to sprinkle; to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or just in the Name of Jesus. Should we be allowed to wear pants, or in today’s fashion world-leggings- or jogging suits to church? So many little issues that clog up the overall goal of advancing the kingdom of God. Should sin be allowed to infect the Body? Certainly not! But those things that are irrelevant in the whole scheme of salvation, should not be allowed to separate us!
The kingdom of God is God’s rule and way of doing things. Jesus came preaching the kingdom, and commissioned us to go and do likewise. There’s much in the kingdom, and it will be my topic, soon, but for today’s post, I’m more focused on the end of the verse. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!
The kingdom of God is righteousness. Righteousness is being in right standing with God. This is accomplished by coming into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ! In the Strong’s the rendition is “the state of him who is such as he ought to be; the condition of being acceptable to God.” That’s what Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross made available to all who believe, that we would be acceptable to God. In a state of sin, we are unacceptable, but as believers, we are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
If we keep this verse in context, it also deals with our right relationship with others. It’s important to remember that God requires of us all to do the right thing in regards to others. Judging people on what they eat or don’t eat, the color of their skin, their economic state in life, isn’t right, and it isn’t godly. The Holy Spirit helps us to get this right in our relationships with others. Especially the household of faith!
The kingdom of God is peace. Peace is a place of security, safety, prosperity; the state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ. In Ephesians, the Holy Spirit is mentioned as the guarantee of our redemption! Have you ever purchased a home and had to give a deposit to guarantee the seller that your interest was sincere? The Holy Spirit guarantees your salvation, He is your assurance policy. He also is there providing security, safety, and prosperity to those in the kingdom.
In relationship to the context in which it is written, being at peace with one another is important. Arguing and being in constant dispute over things that bring division and discord, like food and drink, and what days to worship, and how to worship, is pure foolishness and doesn’t lead to peace. In the kingdom of God, peace that flows from the Holy Spirit should be flowing through us to others. Not a facade of peace, but the real deal that demonstrates our connection with the Spirit of God. We are to be people who want safety, security, and prosperity in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.
The kingdom of God is joy! Cheerful, calm delight, and gladness is the kingdom. Joy isn’t based on what is happening around us, it is based on what is happening in us. Joy goes deeper than happiness, for it is rooted in our inner being. Happiness is external and subject to change. When there is joy in our lives, we are better equipped to spread joy to others. The Holy Spirit causes that joy to stay fresh, enabling us to radiate it, even when we are not thinking about it, or we don’t appear to have a reason for it. Everyone loves being around a joy filled individual. They look at life and see hope, and all that is good around them.
In light of this verse, we are to bring joy, not pain and chaos into the lives of others. Hurting others, because of our need to feel superior, is not radiating from the Holy Spirit. Joy is meant to be spread to others, just as love is. When we purpose to allow joy to shine from us, in the midst of troubling times, it’s magnetic. People are drawn to it! People are drawn to the kingdom.
Paul is writing to believers, and He is letting us know that in the Holy Ghost, we have access to righteousness, peace, and joy. That’s the kingdom! And as kingdom citizens, we should display righteousness, peace, and joy to others! I leave you with this thought:
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 – NKJV
He’s so much more than we ever thought, or could imagine! Taking time to get to know Him better, and allowing Him to have a place of importance in our lives will benefit us more than it will benefit Him. He’s just waiting for you, for us, to give Him a chance to show us so much more! Wonderful Jesus!