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Romans 14:17

    Romans 14:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    Webster's Revision

    for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    World English Bible

    for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    Definitions for Romans 14:17

    Meat - Food.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 14:17

    For the kingdom of God - That holy religion which God has sent from heaven, and which be intends to make the instrument of establishing a counterpart of the kingdom of glory among men: see on Matthew 3:2 (note).

    Is not meat and drink - It consists not in these outward and indifferent things. It neither particularly enjoins nor particularly forbids such.

    But righteousness - Pardon of sin, and holiness of heart and life.

    And peace - In the soul, from a sense of God's mercy; peace regulating, ruling, and harmonizing the heart.

    And joy in the Holy Ghost - Solid spiritual happiness; a joy which springs from a clear sense of God's mercy; the love of God being shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. In a word, it is happiness brought into the soul by the Holy Spirit, and maintained there by the same influence. This is a genuine counterpart of heaven; righteousness without sin, Peace without inward disturbance, Joy without any kind of mental agony or distressing fear. See the note on Matthew 3:2.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 14:17

    For the kingdom of God - For an explanation of this phrase, see the note at Matthew 3:2. Here it means that the uniquenesses of the kingdom of God, or of the Church of Christ on earth, do not consist in observing the distinctions between meats and drinks, it was true that by these things the Jews had been particularly characterized, but the Christian church was to be distinguished in a different manner.

    Is not - Does not consist in, or is not distinguished by.

    Meat and drink - In observing distinctions between different kinds of food, or making such observances a matter of conscience as the Jews did. Moses did not prescribe any particular drink or prohibit any, but the Nazarites abstained from wine and all kinds of strong liquors; and it is not improbable that the Jews had invented some distinctions on this subject which they judged to be of importance. Hence, it is said in Colossians 2:16, "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink;" compare 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Corinthians 4:20.

    But righteousness - This word here means "virtue, integrity," a faithful discharge of all the duties which we owe to God or to our fellow-men. It means that the Christian must so live as to be appropriately denominated a righteous man, and not a man whose whole attention is absorbed by the mere ceremonies and outward forms of religion. To produce this, we are told, was the main design, and the principal teaching of the gospel; Titus 2:12; Compare Romans 8:13; 1 Peter 2:11. Thus, it is said 1 John 2:29, "Everyone that doeth righteousness is born of God;" 1 John 3:10, "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God;" compare 1 John 3:7; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:7, 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:9; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 4:24. He that is a righteous man, whose characteristic it is to lead a holy life, is a Christian. If his great aim is to do the will of God, and if he seeks to discharge with fidelity all his duties to God and man, he is renewed. On that righteousness he will not "depend" for salvation Philippians 3:8-9, but he will regard this character and this disposition as evidence that he is a Christian, and that the Lord Jesus is made unto him" wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;" 1 Corinthians 1:30.

    And peace - This word, in this place, does not refer to the internal "peace" and happiness which the Christian has in his own mind (compare the notes at Romans 5:1); but to peace or concord in opposition to "contention" among brethren. The tendency and design of the kingdom of God is to produce concord and love, and to put an end to alienation and strife. Even though, therefore, there might be ground for the opinions which some cherished in regard to rites, yet it was of more importance to maintain peace than obstinately to press those matters at the expense of strife and contention. That the tendency of the gospel is to promote peace, and to induce people to lay aside all causes of contention and bitter strife, is apparent from the following passages of the New Testament; 1 Corinthians 7:15; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:22; James 3:18; Matthew 5:9; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:8; John 13:34-35; John 17:21-23. This is the second evidence of piety on which Christians should examine their hearts - a disposition to promote the peace of Jerusalem; Psalm 122:6; Psalm 37:11. A contentious, quarrelsome spirit; a disposition to magnify trifles; to make the Shibboleth of party an occasion of alienation, and heart-burning, and discord; to sow dissensions on account of unimportant points of doctrine or of discipline, is full proof that there is no attachment to Him who is the Prince of peace. Such a disposition does infinite dishonor to the cause of religion, and perhaps has done more to retard its progress than all other causes put together. Contentions commonly arise from some small matter in doctrine, in dress, in ceremonies; and often the smaller the matter the more fierce the controversy, until he spirit of religion disappears, and desolation comes over the face of Zion:

    "The Spirit, like a peaceful dove,

    Flies from the realms of noise and strife."

    And joy - This refers, doubtless, to the "personal" happiness produced in the mind by the influence of the gospel; see the notes at Romans 5:1-5.

    In the Holy Ghost - Produced "by" the Holy Spirit; Romans 5:5; compare Galatians 5:22-23.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 14:17

    14:17 For the kingdom of God - That is, true religion, does not consist in external observances. But in righteousness - The image of God stamped on the heart; the love of God and man, accompanied with the peace that passeth all understanding, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

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