Essentials in the Kingdom of God

Therefore, do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men” (Romans 14:16-18).

The reason why your brother’s conscience is to be more important to you than the food in your diet is because of the inherent nature of the kingdom of God. Of supreme importance in it is the spirit and soul, not the body. It is possible to go to heaven and never eat a bite of meat in your life. It is impossible, however, to go to heaven without righteousness.

Righteousness, therefore, is an essential in the kingdom of God. To be right with God, you must serve Christ in matters of faith and conscience. To acceptably serve Christ in matters of faith there must be purposeful adherence to the doctrine of Christ. To acceptably serve Christ in matters of conscience, there must be loving acceptance of each person’s differences. This is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Pursuing the things which make for peace and the things by which you may edify your brother is another essential in the kingdom of God. Disputing over matters of indifference to God is not pursuing peace or edification.

Joy in the Holy Spirit is an essential in the kingdom of God also. Grieving a brother over his or your diet creates unnecessary sorrow and heaviness of heart. There is no joy in such avoidable pettiness and lovelessness.

Clearly, the kingdom of God is not rooted or maintained by eating and drinking; rather, its essentials are righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are to be pursued.

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Author: jchowning

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