Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in Jesus’ Kingdom

by Terry Wane Benton

"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).

The kingdom should feature an emphasis on righteousness. Living by righteous standards is what the kingdom is about. Dietary laws of the Old Testament had illustration value in foreshadowing things to come but were not matters of righteousness -- matters of moral right versus moral wrong. So, the emphasis should be on righteousness as seen in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) rather than falling out with one another over issues of food or drink.

The kingdom is about peace with God and with each other, so don’t let matters of liberty become so important to us that we lose that peace among ourselves. Is that what the Prince of Peace wants in His church?

The kingdom of God is about joy and rejoicing in the Lord always. Why jeopardize that feeling of goodwill and feeling of contentment by getting sidetracked into petty issues?

Let the kingdom of God be what it is intended to be: righteousness, peace, and joy. Fight for obtaining and maintaining these things as Jesus died for us to have these things! Don’t spoil it or let others spoil it!

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