Righteousness, Peace and Joy
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life, we live in two worlds, the world of the Spirit and the world of natural things. The natural world is all that we can see, feel, touch, taste and know by our physical senses. The Kingdom of God is built upon three foundations, Righteousness which encompasses Godliness and a restored, holy, right relationship with God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; Peace (perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts — Amplified Bible) with God and with all mankind, and Joy, which is happiness, wellbeing, good humor; satisfaction and inner harmony mingled with a sense of pleasure and cheerfulness.
These two kingdoms exist now, here on earth, but only one is the same yesterday and today and only one will remain forever. The natural kingdom is subject to the power of the Kingdom of God and must yield to it by the faith of every believer by one, two or three or by a thousand because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
Jesus made a bold and profound statement concerning the Kingdom of God, His Kingdom.
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
Pilate asked the question, “Are You the king of the Jews?” And this was Jesus’ answer.
“Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?” John 18:34-35
Indeed it was the Jewish Temple hierarchy, the chief priests that delivered Jesus into the hands of Rome. But Jesus did not come to establish His Kingdom under any religious system. Though He was a Jew by virtue of His birth to Mary and Joseph and He did come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, it was not done to make Judaism the dominant religion of the world. His coming was to save the whole world under one rulership, the Kingdom God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God over all.
But at His trial He had no claim to make in this world, among those He came to save. They were not yet of His kingdom. But He spoke of a day to come when indeed those who are His servants would fight the good fight of faith that His name will be lifted up, until all come to bow before Him, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Only when the Kingdom of God is established in the hearts of men is the kingdom of God established in this world because it is not a kingdom of physical might and power to dominate over men and put them under bondage to an earthly monarch.
It is a kingdom built on righteousness, peace and joy.
A kingdom of peace with God and peace with one another in the Body of Christ is a kingdom of true peace born in the heart of everyone who truly believes and receives Jesus as Savior and Lord. Joy is the state of being that is characterized by happiness, wellbeing, good humor; satisfaction and inner harmony within one’s self and infused with cheerfulness and pleasure.
So, the Kingdom of God is not about agitation, strife, discomfort, struggle and strain, sickness, poverty and any such things. God’s kingdom is built on good things; love, joy peace, kindness, mercy, grace, abundance of provisions, indeed the joy of the Lord. It is built on the strength and the power of God, the wisdom of God, the Righteousness of God, to the end that all things and all people in His Kingdom will share in the glory of God.
“I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one…” John 17:22
In these two worlds we are called to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the one we walk as strangers and foreigners. In the other we walk in the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the one the Church suffers persecution and the contradiction of sinners. In the other we are more than conquerors through the One who loves us. What we do in and for the Kingdom of God is eternal. All that is done in and for this world is passing away. While we live here we live for Christ. We live to please God and to further His Kingdom being done on earth as it is in Heaven. And this we do in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.