With the Christmas season upon us, it’s important to remember why we celebrate and how we are to worship. Christmas, of course, is the time we remember the birth of Christ. The fact that we have this great holiday reminds us that much of the world acknowledges Jesus as a historical figure, and that should help us recognize why he came and who he is.
Still with all the busyness of the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget what God’s kingdom is all about. When the first century church was confused about how to serve the Lord, and what things (such as food, drink or manner of dress) were acceptable. The Apostle Paul laid it out so we wouldn’t get confused about what God’s kingdom is all about.
Romans 14:17 says; “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” In other words, God’s kingdom is not about tangible, touchable things such as items used in worship or what to abstain from, but God’s kingdom is about three things. And those three things relate to Christmas in a powerful way.
First God’s kingdom is about; righteousness. Right standing with God is imputed into the life of those who trust in Christ. Then the Jesus follower is empowered to live for righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24 says; “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness…”
Because Jesus bore our sins, sin no longer has mastery over those who walk in the power of the Holy Spirit because they’re under grace not law (Romans 6:14). But how does righteousness apply to Christmas? Jesus is the Lord of righteousness, he committed no sin, no deceit was found in him, and he is the king of righteousness.
Secondly God’s kingdom is about Peace. As the believer walks in the power of the Holy Spirit, peace is the fruit that comes to their life. Again, looking to Christmas, Jesus is called; “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). He came to make peace and he imparts peace to those who trust in him. Peace with God comes by faith in Jesus.
Lastly, God’s kingdom is about joy. Joy is also the fruit of the Holy Spirit, so joy, even in hardship, sustains the one who trusts Christ. And Christmas is all about joy. Luke’s gospel records what the Angel announced to the Shepherds about the birth of Jesus. Luke 2:10-11 says; “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Good news of great joy for all the people. Christ has come and now we can worship God in Spirit and in truth. That’s because God’s kingdom is not about the exteriors of what you eat, drink or wear, but it is about Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit. May you be filled with these manifestations this Christmas.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.