17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The church at Rome was guilty of making the kingdom of God small. Walking into their church, one would have thought the kingdom was about eating and drinking. The apostle Paul forcefully corrects this misunderstanding. But if the kingdom is not of meat and drink, what is it about? In this sermon on Romans 14:17 titled “The Kingdom of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones enters into a great debate among commentators on this passage. While some preeminent theologians say righteousness refers to the righteousness written about earlier in Romans 1–3, others suggest Paul has changed the meaning to an ethical righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones seeks to adjudicate the alternative positions and ultimately comes to a mediating position. He follows the immediate context, noting Paul’s deliberate challenge to the Romans preoccupation with minutiae and attitudes towards conduct. Paul’s argument, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, has been that the kingdom of God is much bigger than moral conduct. Righteousness is clearly much more than ethics in Romans. It refers to our standing before God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that Paul is interested in holiness, not morality. Holiness affects the whole person as they are declared righteous by faith. The truly righteous person is no longer preoccupied with minutiae as the Romans were, but is far more concerned with a life pleasing to God. Follow Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he wrestles through this passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.