By Josh Hunt
Religion doesn’t just keep us on an emotional treadmill of depression; it denies us access to the Kingdom of God. And by ‘denies’, I mean it says we can have access, if…
But the Kingdom of God is not accessed through religion, or self-effort. The Kingdom of God is accessed through the Holy Spirit; the Spirit takes what Jesus has accomplished and makes it a reality in our lives (see John 16:14).
So many people are trying to access the privileges of the Kingdom through the toil of the dominion. You can’t do it! You can’t enjoy the beautiful blessings of heaven, through the hard work of living by the flesh. We have been delivered from the dominion of the cursed world of living under law, we are now, currently living in the Kingdom of light (see Col. 1:13).
The Kingdom of God is ours because of grace. We access it by grace alone.
‘… the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ – Romans 14:17
Notice, the Kingdom of God is in ‘the Holy Spirit’. We access the Kingdom and all of its blessings by grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 states the above-mentioned; the Kingdom of God can’t be accessed by religion, ‘the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking’. This, ‘eating and drinking’, refers to the belief that it is okay to eat and drink certain things and not okay to eat and drink other things. This way of thinking is religious. Paul says that we are not to make a big deal of what people eat and drink (see Rom. 14:13), but at the same time emphatically states that the Kingdom of God is not subjected to human logic or religiosity.
The Kingdom of God is ‘in the Holy Spirit’. How did you receive the Spirit? ‘By observing the law, or by believing what you heard?’ (Gal. 3:2). The Kingdom of God and all of its wonderful blessings is a gift of grace.
Don’t be like the ‘foolish Galatians’ and try to finish by your own effort that which can only be accessed by the Spirit (see Gal. 3:3). Grace is the only way to live!
The Kingdom of God is the most attractive place to live. It’s a place of wonder and beauty; a place of dreams come true. God has always desired that we live by grace, through faith in the Kingdom! It’s important to realise that the Kingdom isn’t some future thing; it is not some future manifestation that the second coming of Jesus will bring about. No, the Kingdom is the work of Jesus’ first coming! The Pneumatological realisation of the Finished Work of Jesus!
The Kingdom is an amazing place to live! The good news of the Spirit is that this Kingdom isn’t some far away reality. The Kingdom is on the inside of us! We can live in the Kingdom because we carry it with us. The Kingdom is in the Holy Spirit.
As we enjoy the love of Daddy God we manifest that glorious Kingdom and it flows out of us and transforms our outward tangible lives into the Kingdom. The flavour and atmosphere of heaven in us radiates outwardly and transforms our lives, our homes, our families, our churches, and our communities!
But, in order to see and enjoy the Kingdom in us we must remember that the Kingdom is not ‘eating and drinking’. The Kingdom is not; do this, don’t do that. The Kingdom is not philosophy, or religion, or rule-keeping. The Kingdom of God is in the Holy Spirit, and it looks like ‘righteousness, peace, and joy’!
The Kingdom of God isn’t rule keeping, it’s righteousness. This righteousness is not trying to do the right thing. No this righteousness is a gift! Paul is saying that the Kingdom of God isn’t do what you think is right, the Kingdom of God is righteousness as a gift. Because of Jesus we have a gift of righteousness. A right to the life of the Godhead! That’s what righteousness is; a free gift of a right to the Godhead based on what Jesus has accomplished. This also includes a righteous nature, but that’s because we have a right to the life of the Trinity!
Then Paul goes on and says that the Kingdom isn’t do this, don’t do that, the Kingdom is peace! Religion and human philosophy take away our peace. They base our foundations of believing on shakeable ground and so we are always left with a feeling of human hopefulness; ‘I hope this works!’ But the Kingdom is Jesus’s free gift of peace! A peace that transcends understanding (see Phil. 4:7). Listen to how the Amplified bible describes peace in 2 Peter 1:2; ‘…and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you’. Isn’t that amazing! The Kingdom peace is based on unshakable foundations; what Jesus has accomplished for us! This leaves us with a bible hope; ‘I hope in Jesus’, and ‘hope never disappoints’ (see Rom. 5:5).
The last things Paul says the Kingdom of God is, is joy! There is no joy in belief systems that allow one to do one thing, but abstain from another. This is not because sin is fun. No way! It’s because we weren’t made to focus on law. We were made to live the very life of God. Paul says the Kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Spirit. This is the attraction to the Kingdom. This is the best from of evangelism. The life is the light. The incredible joy that belongs in the Kingdom because the radical love of Papa is the defining flavour of the Kingdom. The joy is the light! The life is the light!
The Kingdom of God is so glorious! It contains all that you need; healing, provision, protection, favour, prosperity, Daddy’s love! But please remember; the Kingdom of God is not based on human understanding or ‘eating and drinking’, it’s based on the unshakable work of Jesus, and it looks like the gift of righteousness, peace and joy in the wonderful Holy Spirit!