Righteousness peace and joy

Romans 14:17-19

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. – Romans 14:17-19

The kingdom of God concerns righteousness peace and joy. That is so different from any earthly kingdoms which are about possession, rule and domination. What is the essence of righteousness. In probably the earliest book written in the bible Job asks the question:

How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? – Job 25:4

His whole struggle was to understand why he was suffering. But, through that he learned that God was almighty, awesome, all-powerful and worthy of all praise no matter what happens to us on earth. God is righteous and only His righteousness is good enough to be able to stand before God. That is why Christ has given us His righteousness:

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: – Romans 3:21-22

We receive the righteousness of God by putting our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live a life that is pleasing to God.

9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. – Colossians 1:9-12

As we have a right standing before God we can have peace and experience the joy of the Lord which is our strength. Righteousness peace and joy that goes beyond understanding:

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord said blessed are the peacemakers:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9

To be a peace maker is to reconcile people. We have been reconciled to God and we can lead others to experience that reconciliation:

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

James said:

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:18

Those who sow peace will see the joy of the Lord as others turn from their sin and are harvested into righteousness, into the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God which is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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