For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.…
Righteousness of life as the fruit of righteousness by faith. Righteousness practised as the effect of righteousness imparted. Righteousness before man as the evidence of righteousness before God. Believers are to be filled with the fruits of righteousness (Philippians 1:11). Death to sin and life to righteousness fruits of Christ's death.
The kingdom of God righteousness:
I. IT IS BASED UPON RIGHTEOUSNESS. If we trace earthly kingdoms up to their origin this will scarcely be affirmed of any of them. Whatever may be said about its present procedure, what existing throne has not been erected on the ruin of human rights and liberties? But God reigns by right. We belong to Him as His creatures and His children.
II. ITS MONARCH IS RIGHTEOUS. Many potentates are manifestly unrighteous, and of the very best it can only be affirmed that on the whole they rule righteously. Compassed by infirmity, with the best intentions, they are often betrayed into deeds which charity is compelled to cover. But that astounding fiction when otherwise applied, "the king can do no wrong," is absolutely and ever true in regard to God.
III. ITS LAWS ARE RIGHTEOUS. Of none other can this be said. The best system has some bad laws — legislation, part of which presses inequitably of some portion of the community, and which is endured because of the righteousness of the rest. But God's laws are all good, and good to all alike.
IV. IT AIMS AT THE PRODUCTION OF RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER. The best earthly governments are content if the people are contented and law-abiding, i.e., if their subjects are materially prosperous and do not break the law. But the members of God's kingdom are urged to keep His laws with a view to their own moral perfection and the ultimate moral perfection of the world. Hence the kingdom of the future is to be one wherein dwelleth righteousness, and the people thereof are to be all righteous.
(J. W. Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.