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Potent Aspects of God’s Kingdom

To bring out those aspects so that they might be applied in a broader way in this message outline (and in the actual sermon to be delivered) I am going to lift the above-mentioned verses out of context and place them within the general context of Christ’s teaching and the epistles. We will see three potent things in these three verses about God’s Kingdom.

I. Its Actuality 17

Despite what some mockers say, this kingdom is certainly not one of make believe, but one of definite power whereby God mercifully takes a sinner and transforms Him into the image of His Son.

“…the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, …” ASV

God’s Kingdom is not of this world. It is spiritual, not founded in the physical. Nor is it legalistic and evasive, points which this verse’s context addresses. It is neither commercial or humanistically social.

Instead, it is in the spiritual realm and the Holy Spirit led Paul to bring out three elements of it.

“…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ASV

Note that the sentence structure indicates each of those three are in the Holy Spirit.

First of the three is righteous, God’s righteousness, not ours. We certainly can fool ourselves into thinking that we are right with God. Mark Dever in his book {1}, “What Is A Healthy Church?,” wrote that Charles Spurgeon once said he was walking down a London street when a drunk met him, leaned against a lamppost and exclaimed, “Hey Mr. Spurgeon, I’m one of your converts!” Spurgeon replied, “You must be one of mine–you’re certainly not one of the Lord’s!”

Albert Barnes {2} writes that righteousness “… here means virtue, integrity, a faithful discharge of all the duties which we owe to God or to our fellow-men. It means, that the Christian must so live as to be appropriately denominated a righteous man, and not a man whose whole attention is absorbed by the mere ceremonies and outward forms of religion.”

Peace in the Holy Spirit is next mentioned and this certainly is not our fabricated peace or that of the world. It is the peace of God found only in Christ and is placed within us when we make our surrender to God, establishing Christ as the King of our life–and, our very life itself.

Naturally, or I really should say, supernaturally this brings the joy in the Holy Spirit. It is no way like the mere happiness of the world or a peace contingent upon circumstance. It is joy from Christ Himself, Who endured all things for our sake.

Now, all of these, righteousness, peace and joy must be found in the Holy Spirit. The Word of God encourages us to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and, at that, to overflowing (Psalm 23:5). The Holy Spirit is the person of Christ Himself (John 14:16-18), dwelling within if we permit Him (John 15:4-5).

II. Its Acceptability 18

“For he that herein serves Christ is well-pleasing to God, and approved of men.” ASV modified

Filling our lives with Christ the King’s agenda will make us Christlike and, logically, pleasing to the Heavenly Father. We must keep in mind that the righteousness of God comes first as listed in verse 17 when the Kingdom of God is described.

For being “approved of men,” we certainly must keep the context of the verse in mind, for surely both the words of Christ and that of the Holy Spirit’s in the epistles clearly indicate that we will be misunderstood and persecuted by the world. And, as I write this, clearly the world is now far more unstable than at the time the epistle to the Romans was written.

We have to keep in mind that the Holy Spirit had Paul to write to the Roman Christians. Anyone truly in Christ will find spiritual approval in other true Christians.

III. Its Activity 19

“So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.” ASV

Applying this verse in the whole of Holy Scripture we shall understand it to mean bringing the peace of God to the lost by presenting God’s remedy for sin, Jesus Christ dwelling in one’s life. There can be no true godly peace until the requirements by God for holiness are met.

Indulging in the Holy Spirit’s righteousness, peace and joy fosters peace within the true Church and spiritually strengthens each member.

Notes:

{1} Dever, Mark: What Is A Healthy Church? (Crossway: Wheaton, IL – 2007), p87.

{2} From an electronic version of Barne’s Notes, by Albert Barne, incorporated into the Online Bible computer program.

Holy Scripture is from the American Standard Version, verse 18 being modified to bring the language more up to date.

This article is a form of a message (sermon) outline. God willing, you will find links to the actual message sometime hopefully by March 31, 2013 at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M239 .

Not responsible for lead picture after date of publication. Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

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