Righteousness Peace and Joy

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17

What a liberating thought! The kingdom of God is not about what we’re supposed to eat and drink! While I believe in a healthy lifestyle, and eating right, Christianity MUST NOT be reduced to a set of rules and regulations. Legalism has crippled many believers, keeping them from the joy and freedom found in the true gospel. But so many get bound in the religion of rules, striving constantly to obtain God’s approval and a sense of spiritual attainment and achievement.

But Christianity is not about what we put into our lives. The apostle Paul is saying in this verse:

Christianity is not about what we put into our lives, but what God has already put in our lives.

It’s not about rules and regulations. It’s not about “do this” and “don’t do that”. When we reduce it to that, it is legalism. It brings us back under an old covenant where we now have to perfect ourselves in order to be pleasing to God.

But the new covenant is:
1. We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus,
2. Filled with the love and Spirit of God,
3. And all that God has for us is ALREADY INSIDE of us the moment that we’re born again!

From that moment forward, life is not a life of attainment, acquisition and pursuit. It’s not a life of attainment, for example: “I’ve got to get that. I’ve got to have that. I’ve got to pursue that.” Rather, the Christian life is a life of acknowledgement of what is already yours in Christ Jesus.

According to Romans 14:17, the kingdom of God is: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

But where is the kingdom of God? Do we have to wait until we die and go to heaven to have peace, joy, and righteousness?

The answer is a resounding NO! Jesus tells us in Luke 17:21, “The kingdom of God is within you.”

And if the kingdom of God is WITHIN you, then so is RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE and JOY! They are all in you—RIGHT NOW!

But how can we get these forces working for us in a practical way?

Have you ever prayed and tried to use your faith and it didn’t seem like it was working? Have you ever been discouraged, disappointed, disillusioned because it didn’t seem things were happening?

We need our faith to work! The key to making your faith effective is found in Philemon, verse 6, “That your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is IN YOU in Christ Jesus.”

Notice what God doesn’t say….He doesn’t say, "Your faith becomes effectual by the obtaining of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus, by the acquiring of every good thing, or by pursuing every good thing."

He says YOUR faith produces results: by the acknowledging of every good thing that is already IN YOU in Christ Jesus.

You don’t need to try to obtain wealth or try to obtain prosperity. You have prosperity in you! And the way to turn it into real results is through acknowledging it—recognizing that is already in you, proclaiming it out of your mouth, and thanking God for it!

This is where the vast majority of people have misunderstood Christianity. This is where we have got it all wrong.

If we would spend our time acknowledging every good thing that is in us, we would have more results in our life much easier than we have ever experienced. His yoke is easy!

The kingdom of God is in you. Righteousness is in you. Joy is in you. Peace is in you. Love is in you. Wisdom is in you. All of the things of God are already in you in Christ Jesus because they all abide in the Holy Spirit, and He abides in you... if you are a believer.

The Holy Spirit possesses all the prosperity that you will ever need; all of the wisdom that you will ever need; and all of the healing that you will ever need. But, when you try to obtain these things some other way, and ignore this process of acknowledgement and thanksgiving, your faith becomes ineffective, and you fail to see results.

We’ve got to get this. We’ve got realize our faith becomes effective—we get results when we acknowledge what is already in us in Christ Jesus!
Additional Resources

Righteousness: The Sleeping Giant Within You

by Gregory Dickow