A Kingdom of True Jews

Romans 2:29 (CSB)  On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That person’s praise is not from people but from God.

Romans 14:13-20 (CSB)  Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister.  14  I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.  15  For if your brother or sister is hurt by what you eat, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy, by what you eat, someone for whom Christ died.  16  Therefore, do not let your good be slandered,  17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18  Whoever serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and receives human approval.  19  So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.  20  Do not tear down God’s work because of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong to make someone fall by what he eats.

Romans 2:29 (CSB)  On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That person’s praise is not from people but from God.

Romans 14:13-20 (CSB)  Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister.  14  I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.  15  For if your brother or sister is hurt by what you eat, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy, by what you eat, someone for whom Christ died.  16  Therefore, do not let your good be slandered,  17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18  Whoever serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and receives human approval.  19  So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.  20  Do not tear down God’s work because of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong to make someone fall by what he eats.

I’ve just begun preaching through the book of Romans at church and have been intentionally looking at how the kingdom of God shows up in the letter.  The book of Romans is about the gospel.  Since the gospel that Jesus preached- and that was entrusted to His disciples and eventually to us – is the gospel of God’s kingdom, I figured Romans must include some stuff about the kingdom! So far, from Rom 1 & 2, I’ve learned that our self-righteousness is unrighteousness before God and the only way for the unrighteous and the self-righteous to become righteous and enter the kingdom of God is the gospel!  With that in mind, I read Rom 14:17  in its context (v13-20) and noticed that it has to do with clean and unclean food – an aspect of life where self-righteousness can rear its ugly head.  So then v17 says this – that the kingdom of God is not about self-righteousness but (true) righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!  If we cast self-righteousness aside, our service Christ is acceptable to God and others (v19 suggests this refers to or fellow citizens in the kingdom).  True righteousness is ours only because it was imputed to us by Christ our King.  We didn’t earn our place in the kingdom! It was won for us by our King!  

This righteousness was described  in Rom 2:29 as having a circumcised heart.  To the Israelites, circumcision was a sign of being in covenant with God (and not with the world) – see Gen 17.  A circumcision of the heart is the mark of the new covenant that we have with God through Christ.  As people of the kingdom, therefore, our lives must reflect this circumcision of the heart.  Let us not have anything to do with unrighteousness or self-righteousness as both of these are a hindrance to us as soldiers – both in our engaging of the enemy and our communing with our fellow soldiers.  #perikingdom2020  #gospelofrighteousness 

What do you reckon?