Rom. 14:17

Tom Harding

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17).

What is, “the kingdom of God?” It is saying the same thing as salvation is of the Lord, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The word, “kingdom” is the same as, “reign” in Rom. 5:21. Paul is declaring the same message here as in Romans 8 and 9. Salvation is not of creature merit, “meat and drink” days or doing (1Cor. 8:8), but rather of God’s sovereign grace, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). It is good for us to know what salvation is not; not of works (2Tim 1:9), not of freewill (John 1:13), not of man’s righteous (Titus 3:5). Paul also tells us upon what ground salvation is, “but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Salvation is always determined, dependant, distributed and done by the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Here is the good news of the gospel.

1). Salvation, “the kingdom of God” is based upon the justifying righteousness established by Jesus Christ. This is the whole message of the book of Romans and the whole Bible. Christ satisfied the holy demands of God’s law for us, precept and penalty (Gal. 3:13; 4:4-6). “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). See also these references: Rom. 1:16-18; 3:19-26; 4:1-8; 5:19-21.

2). Salvation, “the kingdom of God” is based upon the reconciliation, “peace” with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1; 2Cor. 5:18-21). This is the complete work of our Mediator for us (1Tim. 2:5). No sinner can make peace with the holy God (Psalm 5:5). This we enjoy only through the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus, “having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Col. 1:20).

3). Salvation, “the kingdom of God” is something every believer comes to experience and rejoice in, “joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 5:2,11). It is only because of Christ crucified that we enjoy and experience the fruit of His redeeming work in us (Phil.1:6; Gal. 1:15), in the new birth (John 3:3-6). This is the love of God Shed abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Believers are among those, which worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3; 4:4). There is no true peace given, no justifying righteousness imputed and no real joy imparted and realized apart from the Lord Jesus Christ crucified and exalted. “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God” (Rom. 14:18; Eph. 1:6).

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.


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