Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Kingdom of God

"The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace and 
joy in the Holy Spirit,"      Romans 14:17

Many today are looking for an outward kingdom.  In Romans 14, the case here was they were trying to distinguish a person participating in God's kingdom by his eating or drinking.  This teaching was probably from Jewish traditions and observance of their commandments.  They were so familiar with their doing and traditions that they could not perceive that God through his son Jesus had provided a new and better way into the kingdom of God.  They were trying to shift the believers from their faith and abiding grace in God into works.  They wanted them to earn their way into heaven by eating the right foods, rather than abiding in what Christ did for us at the cross.

Jesus came to fulfill the law for us.  God tells us in Galatians 3:24 that the law was put into place to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  However, many try to earn their way into heaven by works.  They believe it is an outward doing of good rather than an inward relying of God through faith in what his son did for us at the cross.  We try in our own strength to be obedient to God honoring the law.  Sometimes we  implement rules that say do this and don't do that.  We then try to get others on the bandwagon to do the same.

The only way we can fulfill the righteous requirement of God is to go through his salvation plan.  God tells us that if we have the spirit of God living in us, then we will be obedient.  We may not be obedient in all areas of our life right away, however the work of the Holy Spirit begins to prune those things that are ungodly out of our life.  Jesus died to meet the righteous requirements of God through the shedding of his blood and to meet the righteous requirements of the law.  We are righteous because of him.  When Jesus becomes our Savior and Lord, then we receive the promise of his Spirit living in us and that is how we are able to do what Christ desires.  He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to overcome the sin in our lives and to desire to live a holy life.  We overcome because of God's greatness, power, goodness, grace and mercy.

When we abide in Christ, we arrive at our destination.  When we rest in his work and what he desires to do in his kingdom, we come into the fullness and power to fulfill our destiny.  When we realize it is God who is working to do his good will and purpose in our life, then we come to know that we are on tract with God.  So today may you walk in the kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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