Righteousness, Peace and Joy

Romans 14:17-18 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.”  Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit – three things that make you acceptable to God and approved by men.  As such, they must be important for you to emphasize in your service to Christ.

Righteousness is having right actions or conforming to the revealed will of God.  But none of us is righteous by our self.  Psalms 53:2-3 “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.  Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one.” That is why you must have your sins forgiven and receive the righteousness of Christ.  Romans 3:21-24 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”  God has forgiven your sins, given you righteousness and made you just before Him because of your faith and obedience to the gospel.  What a marvelous gift!  Now you will want to practice righteousness in all of your actions.  1 John 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  1 John 3:7 “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”  Study to conform your actions to the revealed will of God.

While Jesus Christ paid the price so that you can have peace with God and have peace within your heart, the peace you are to serve Christ with in the kingdom of God is having peace between you and others.  Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  You can’t be a trouble maker and have peace.  You can’t insist on things being done your way and have peace.  You can’t be selfish or proud and have peace.  Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  You serve Christ by working for peace in the church.

You should also rejoice in the Lord.  Philippians 3:1a “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.”  Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!”  What a wonderful God you serve!  What a wonderful savior is Jesus Christ!  You should also rejoice in the inheritance reserved in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.”  There will be times in your life when you are sad or grieved by various trials.  These should not stop you from having true joy in your life – joy in your God and savior Jesus Christ and joy in the eternal inheritance reserved in heaven for you.

In summary, the Apostle Paul told you in Romans 14:17-18 that if you serve Christ through righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, you will be acceptable to God and approved by men.  I encourage you to emphasize these areas in your life.

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