Unlimited: Eating and Drinking and the Kingdom of God
Oct 19, 2023 277
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
When reading the Bible we must look for fundamental statements of principle, and this is one such statement, in which Paul agrees with Jesus. Jesus taught,
“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”…“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them… For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them” (Matt. 15:10–11,18–20.)
The kingdom of God is a matter of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Because of our fallen natures, sin fundamentally comes from inside of us, and not outside of us. It isn’t what we put into our bodies that constitutes sin, but what is within us.
It follows then, if righteousness is not found in our eating and drinking, that God is much more interested in our hearts than he is merely with our behaviour. He wants us to be in a right heart-relationship with him first. God also knows that if our hearts are right, then our behaviour will follow.
This raises a very important question. Of what does your religion essentially consist: the external matters of life, or the internal matters of the heart? Are you more focused on behaviour or your relationship with Christ? It cannot be both, for one will always take priority. The one you choose to focus on will always determine the other.