What is the kingdom of God?

Romans 14:7 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

It’s not what you eat or drink!

Eating and drinkingThis Bible verse first tells you what the kingdom isn’t: it’s not what you eat and not what you drink. Your choices concerning food and drink are nothing to do with the Kingdom of God!

If you want to eat curry, love a steak, pork loin, drink wine, beer or even coffee – do it for the glory of God. If you are a vegetarian or teetotal and that’s your choice – great.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Does this mean that you can eat and drink what you like? Yes, technically you can, but practically if you do that, then you are acting foolishly and will end up in the kingdom of ‘heaven’  faster than probably intended!

Staying fit and healthy

Looking after your body and staying fit and healthy is wise. However, it is not the focus of Christianity. I mean, I own a ladies gym www.curvesgosport.com and see the positive effects of exercise in the lives of hundreds of women but that doesn’t bring any of those women into the kingdom – only new birth does that.

1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

For example: a believer is free to drink wine but if you get drunk, then you have come under the power of alcohol – you are acting foolishly!

Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”

1 Cor 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

The kingdom is about love

The main key principle of the kingdom is love. It is not about being free to do what I like, it is about whether I am acting in love towards my brother or sister. Therefore, if I know that you have a problem with alcohol (maybe it’s a strong temptation to you) then I am acting in love when I restrict my freedom and choose not to drink around you.

Romans 14:15 “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”

Therefore, even though all things are lawful and all foods clean, yet, I make a freewill choice of love and faith (Romans 14:23).

Romans 14:14 “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”

 1 Cor 10:12 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

It’s an emotional kingdom

The Kingdom is a trinity of three things: righteousness, peace and joy. Two of those: peace and joy, are emotions and they flow out of the first: righteousness. If you know and believe you are righteous by faith then the emotions of peace and joy automatically follow.

This explains why many Christians are unhappy, unsettled and depressed: they are not walking in God’s imputed righteousness but their own! They are not dead to sin and the law.

Col 2:20 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (dogma or rules). Touch not, taste not, handle not.”

Col 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

Walk, live and breath the kingdom

Therefore, let’s stop focusing on behavior (our own and others) and walk, live and breath this kingdom. I mean, how much peace and infectious joy are you transmitting to others? What’s the point of claiming to be subjects of the kingdom of God and yet kick the cat and yet make the  lives of everyone around us hell – that is not the kingdom of God!

1 Cor 6:9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Jesus sums it all up quite nicely in Matthew 15:10:

Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Further Reading:

Awake to righteousness

Holiness
Self-Consciousness
Is it possible to preach to much grace
The Shadow of the law

Download my Kindle books on Amazon:

Christ the End of Law
Christ in you the hope of glory
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