THE KINGDOM OF GOD and RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans 14:17 – “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The Kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy, in the Holy Spirit. It is not just about eating and drinking or anything that we’re deprived with, anything that we could put first in our lives instead of Jesus, not about anything that could compromise our righteousness.
The characteristics of a lifestyle we should have according to (Romans 14:17 )are righteousness in the Holy Spirit; peace in the Holy Spirit; joy in the Holy Spirit, all three we receive in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The early Church persecution under Emperor Nero endured all things because of their relationship with God with righteousness, peace and joy putting Jesus first among anything else, in fact the early church despised their own lives unto death. (1 Peter 4:12-19; Revelation 12:11)
“The key to understanding real peace, is to understand it comes from putting Jesus first.” – Pastor Brian Burton
The early church were put to death in colosseum and fed to the lions and other wild beasts, but despite that they have endured because of their love to Jesus, they have endured because they have real peace and joy despite of the circumstances.
In our time, we’ll not experience the same exact situation, however we do have our own challenges where we’ll have to weight which to put first, Jesus and his Kingdom or everything else.
Isaiah 54:17 says that a weapon will be fashioned against us by the enemy for sure, no questions about it, but a promise also given that these weapons will not prosper. The early Christians bodies were destroyed but the price of that is nothing compared to that the world can give. They received eternal life, and the Gospel spread to all corners of the earth. No matter what Emperor Nero did, the church kept on growing. The soldiers were the means of spreading the gospel, because they witnessed things, they witnessed the persecution of the Christians, they witnessed what the Kingdom of God is about through the lives of those believers, and the believers then led by Peter, spoke Peace. (1 Peter 4:17)
“In whatever circumstance, we have to learn to speak peace” -Pastor Brian Burton
TWO THINGS THAT ENABLED EARLY CHRISTIANS TO LIVE LIKE THAT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
1. They have a clear goal worth dying for.
To be persecuted and put to death for the sake of others to enter the Kingdom of God is worth dying for. Their love for Jesus enabled them to endure and removed all fears. (1 John 4:18)
2. They were ‘In the Holy Spirit’
John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
The Holy spirit will guide us into all the Truth and how will it happen? When we are righteous and obedient to God. He will speak to us and He will disclose to us what is to come. He will prepare us for tomorrow!
Dare to ask God. God can see ahead and we can’t -Pastor Brian Burton
Righteousness leads to peace, and peace leads to joy, all these by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to see others enter into His Kingdom, His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.
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Excerpts from Pastor Brian’s Message
Phuket Christian Centre, April 17, 2016