Living out Kingdom Righteousness
Jesus, in His model prayer, told us we should pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven.” So, what is the Kingdom of God and how would you know if that prayer was answered in your life?
The Apostle Paul gives a definition of the Kingdom in Romans 4:17-19.
“17 for the Kingdom of God is - - righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up.” WEB
The Amplified version puts it this way, “for the Kingdom of God is - - righteousness – that state which makes a person acceptable to God – and heart-peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
So, we can think of it this way: 1. The first element of the Kingdom is righteousness. But every honest person knows we cannot be righteous on our own. The only righteousness we can claim is the righteousness of Jesus that was given to us by God when we believed in Jesus. So, element one of the Kingdom depends upon the grace and mercy of God and we receive it freely when we believe. Thankyou Jesus!
2. The second part of the kingdom is also God-given, by the Holy Spirit. Heart-peace and joy result from listening to and obeying God.
But righteousness is not just passive (received). It is to be lived out in real-life action and attitude. Our enemies; the world, the flesh, and the Devil, are all bent on defeating us through lies and doubt. When the challenges come, we can be victorious by aggressively asserting Christ’s imputed righteousness. We can say the truth out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” (2Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.) That assertion activates our faith in what Christ has done, puts the enemy on notice that we know who we are in Him, and sets our course for victory. Also, with that truth statement, we put our own soul on notice. We intend to win the battle and we know whose power will make it possible.
The resultant overcoming of the enemy’s lies and doubts opens the door to the second element of the Kingdom; heart-peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Rom. 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
What happens next, according to Romans 14:19, is that there is not only personal soul-piece, but also corporate peace and mutual building up of one another.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you have made me the righteousness of Christ through faith. Thank you that, by Holy Spirit power, I am an overcomer and that I am a purveyor of peace and blessing to others around me.