IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT MEAT AND DRINK
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The church at Rome was guilty of making the kingdom of God small. Walking into their church, one would have thought the kingdom was about eating and drinking. The apostle Paul forcefully corrects this misunderstanding.
“FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT MEAT AND DRINK; BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND PEACE, AND JOY IN THE HOLY GHOST.”
TRUE PEACE AND JOY ARE PART OF OUR NEW NATURE IN CHRIST. IN CHRIST YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, PEACE AND JOY WILL BE THERE REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
EVEN THOUGH, AS A BORN AGAIN BELIEVER PEACE AND JOY ARE A PART OF YOUR NEW NATURE IN CHRIST, JOY AND PEACE ARE FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND IF YOU ARE NOT FULLY CONVINCED THAT YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST APART FROM YOUR WORKS, YOU WILL STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN JOY AND PEACE.
MANY BIBLE TEACHERS HAVE WRONGLY TAUGHT THAT WE CAN LOOSE OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS BY WRONG ACTIONS.
FAMILY, YOU DID NOT GAIN YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS BY YOUR WORKS AND YOU CANNOT LOOSE YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH YOUR WORKS.
YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IN JESUS. YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A GIFT FROM YOUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST WHO FULLY PAID THE PRICE FOR EVERY SIN ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY. NEW COVENANT RIGHTEOUSNESS CANNOT BE EARNED, WORKED FOR OR MAINTAINED BY OUR OWN EFFORTS. AS LONG AS JESUS IS YOUR LORD, YOU ARE UNDER THE BLOOD OF JESUS, YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH, AND YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST.
DO NOT BE TRICKED AND DECEIVED INTO BELIEVING THAT YOU ARE NOT RIGHTEOUS.
IF WE WRONGLY BELIEVE THAT OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OUR RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD CAN BE LOST BECAUSE OF OUR MISTAKES OR SHORTCOMINGS, WE WILL NOT WALK IN JOY AND PEACE.
A BELIEVER WILL ONLY WALK IN HIS GOD-GIVEN PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY GHOST WHEN HE UNDERSTANDS THAT HE IS RIGHTEOUS APART FROM HIS WORKS!
THREE THINGS THE DEVIL TARGETS IN A BELIEVERS LIFE..
- YOUR RIGHT-STANDING WITH GOD
THIS AFFECTS YOUR FAITH, YOUR CONFIDENCE AND YOUR WORTHINESS TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO.
- YOUR PEACE
WITHOUT PEACE… WORRY, STRESS AND ANXIETY WILL NO DOUBT BECOME COMMONPLACE. THE LORD WANTS YOU TO LIVE IN SUPERNATURAL PEACE, REGARDLESS OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
IF YOUR PEACE IS DEPENDENT UPON CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU WILL LIVE A STRESSFUL LIFE FULL OF WORRY IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN.
- YOUR JOY
THE LORD WANTS EVERY BELIEVER TO WALK IN JOY, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF CHALLENGES. THE LORD WANTS US TO LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE OUR WAY THROUGH LIFE, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH, SO WITHOUT JOY, A BELIEVER WILL BE WEAK AND NOT ABLE TO ENJOY THEIR LIVES.
GUARD YOUR JOY AND PEACE IN CHRIST.
BE FULLY CONVINCED THAT YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST APART FROM YOUR WORKS.
WHEN YOU ARE FULLY CONVINCED THAT NO MATTER YOUR SHORTCOMINGS, THAT THE LORD LOVES YOU AND THAT YOU ARE IN RIGHT-STANDING BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DID, NOT WHAT YOU DO, YOU WILL GO OUT WITH JOY AND BE LED FORTH WITH PEACE EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES
Is not meat and drink – It consists not in these outward and indifferent things. It neither particularly enjoins nor particularly forbids such.
But righteousness – Pardon of sin, and holiness of heart and life.
And peace – In the soul, from a sense of God’s mercy; peace regulating, ruling, and harmonizing the heart.
And joy in the Holy Ghost – Solid spiritual happiness; a joy which springs from a clear sense of God’s mercy; the love of God being shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. In a word, it is happiness brought into the soul by the Holy Spirit, and maintained there by the same influence. This is a genuine counterpart of heaven; righteousness without sin, Peace without inward disturbance, Joy without any kind of mental agony or distressing fear. See the note on Matthew 3:2.
Food or special days might have been a big deal with the Roman Christians in their days and certainly do not have a similar degree of importance to most of us. However, it is not the food we should be concerned about here but the truth. God is teaching us that we should not focus on externals but on what matters to Him. I should emphasize here that this truth has been abused both ways. There are believers today, like the Romans, who are making a big deal out of things that have no eternal value with God. On the other side is a more dangerous group who say nothing matters, so anything is acceptable. Neither camp belongs to you.
Learn to focus on what matters to the Spirit of the Lord. Seek the Kingdom, not external religious rules. Choose to live in peace with your brother or sister. That is more important to God than for you to seek to prove to them that the way they do their church services is not Biblical!
PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Is it possible to be full of joy when faced with temptations or hard times? Emphatically yes! As a matter of fact, there’s no better time to express the joy of the Spirit that’s in your heart than in the face of adversity. You were created by God to be joyful at all times.
Therefore no matter the challenges or trials that you face, express joy in the Holy Ghost; it’s a demonstration of your faith in the Lord.
James 1:2-3 says “……count it all joy, when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” This means that you must be exuberant with praise to the Lord in spite of them. This kind of attitude sets the forces of heaven…
God’s kingdom is the main thing and it centers not on external matters, but on our relationship with God and with others.
Paul is saying, “Keep the main thing as your main thing.” He gives us this warning because …
It’s easy to focus on external matters and neglect the main thing.
Oh, how dreadful to live none of His and to die none of His, and to have this for your epitaph—”NONE OF HIS!”
And then to wake up on the Resurrection morning and see the King in His beauty on the Throne and to know that you are none of His! To cry to the rocks to hide you, and to the hills to cover you, for you are none of His! Then to be
brought out before the Great White Throne resplendent in its holiness and hear the fact announced so that all may hear, that there is a Savior but you are none of His! Ah, what will it be to see the pit open her mouth to devour you and, descending forever, to understand that you are none of His!—
“You sinners, seek His face,
Whose wrath you cannot bear.
Bow to the scepter of His Grace,
And find salvation there.”
If you look to Jesus by faith, the Spirit is with you as you look. There is life in a look at the crucified Redeemer. Trust Him! Trust Him! Trust Him!
And may the Lord constrain you, now, to live as you have never lived before. May you now begin the spiritual life, for if you have not the Spirit of God, you are none of His!
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