It is very easy to become comfortable in our theological position and miss what God is doing today. The Jewish religious leaders did not accept the kingdom Jesus taught because he spoke of a kingdom that messed with their theology.
We aren’t much different today. We have a tradition of Jesus as the Christ and we have developed a theological system around who he was/is, how he is manifest and to whom he is manifest. How would we respond if he manifest himself outside of our theological framework?
Paul was addressing just such issues in this verse. Even the young church of that day struggled with traditions. There were some things that were taught in the earliest days of the church that were later put aside as God gave them greater revelation of the kingdom.
I have been guilty of being victim to the fallen nature way of looking at others. If they don’t fit my mold then they are probably not believers. If we are going to be effective reaching this generation we are going to have to look a little deeper into kingdom truth.
This passage makes it very clear that the kingdom is not about what you eat or drink (we could add what you believe about non- essential doctrines) and it is not about our traditions. The kingdom is about righteousness, peace and joy that comes through being in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
A tragedy is that some believers do not have the joy and peace they should have because they are too concerned about how others are responding to peripheral issues. It is time to do a peace and joy check. We are called to peace – let’s live like it.
Principle: Living in the kingdom produces peace and joy.
Affirmation: I accept kingdom truth over my traditions.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to judge others by my traditions and grant me the grace to receive your peace. In Jesus name, amen.
Reflection: It is miserable to be trapped in a theological system that restricts you while looking over the fence at others who have great liberty and wishing you could be like them. I've been there and I know the feeling.
If your life in the kingdom of God isn't producing peace, joy and righteousness then you may need to re-evaluate your relationship with the Lord.
Search the Scripture and give some thought to how you can have the peace which surpasses all human understanding as Apostle writes in Philippians 4.
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