Living a heavenly life sounds too good to be true, but you can, and I will show you how. Because I care about you, I will explain how to experience a life of flourishing growth through righteousness, peace, and joy. Romans 14:6 states, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Please join me in my journey of experiencing the kingdom of God at this present time. This does not mean you won’t have hardships, but you will experience a heavenly life that raises you above the hardships. Does this sound good to you? The key that opens the door to heavenly living is your attitude. An attitude of rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and being thankful for everything (1Theselonians 5:16-18).
Experiencing the Kingdom of God in this present age can only happen when you submit everything into God’s care first. Many who call themselves Christians are not submitted to God and are spiritually dead because they do not have righteousness, peace, and joy. Have you been around a “Christian” who is dishonest, angry or depressed, and an ungrateful, sour person? What I describe are signs of spiritual death. I was that kind of Christian for many years until I discovered how to heal the painful memories of hurt and offenses to have peace and joy. Read my short book on my website to learn how to heal painful memories so you can live the heavenly life to the fullest on earth. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories
In the last post, you learned how the Spirit gives life. In this post, you will learn what the role of righteousness, peace, and joy are in the life-giving process. Our text is Romans 8:10, which states, “But if (the Spirit of) Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Read my last two posts for context: HOW TO BE IN CONTROL OF LIFE and How does the Spirit give life?
Where did spiritual death through sin come from and what is life through righteousness?
Romans 5:17 states, “For if, because of one man’s trespass (Adam’s disobedience), death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” So, through the Spirit, you can put to death the deeds of the body and let righteousness rule your spirit and live the heavenly life. Just as eternal life is a gift from God (see Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 6:23) so righteousness is a gift. The following verses verify the correlation between life and righteousness.
Psalm 119:40 states, “Behold, I long for your precepts (direction for moral conduct); in your righteousness give me life!”
Proverb 12:28 states, “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death.”
Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”
In these verses, you learn that righteousness is the reason the Spirit is life. So, what is righteousness? According to dictionary.com righteousness is the quality or state of being righteous and righteous means acting in an upright, moral way (knowing right from wrong); virtuous. So, what do we have to do? 2Timothy 2:22 tells us, “So flee youthful passions (selfish thinking) and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
How do you pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace?
You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (see Romans 1:17; 3:22). Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (see Romans 10:17). Become more loving by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (see Matthew 6:12-14 and 1Corinthians 13:4-7). Increase in peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and be thankful (Philippians 4:6,7). If possible, you are to live peaceably with everyone (see Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14). Your heart becomes pure when you purify your soul from fleshly sins and obey the truth in God’s Word, then you can love one another (see 1Peter 1:22).
The evidence of righteousness is holiness and peace.
When you purify your soul, you become holy as explained in 2Corinthians 7:1. “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” The fear of God is reverent awe and a desire to please Him, knowing He disciplines us. Hebrews 12:9-11 states, “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10) For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”. And, Isaiah 5:16b explains, “the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.”
Isaiah 32:17 also tells us, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” Do you think peace and quietness are better than the turmoil resulting from setting your mind on your selfish desires and sinful behavior? Do you have peace and quietness in your life right now? Isaiah gives us a clue as to why you may not have peace. Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;” When we obey God and do what He instructs us to do, then we will have righteousness and peace. This is living a heavenly life.
To increase your righteousness and know abundant life, you must make peace with others. James 3:18 states, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Making peace with others can be difficult. Romans 12:17 & 18 explains, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable (upright, moral) in the sight of all. 18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” And, Hebrews 12:14 encourages us to, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Peace and holiness are essential pursuits if you want to experience the heavenly life and see the Lord in eternity. If you have a problem being at peace, work through the instructions in my book to remove past offenses that keep you from living in peace and joy.
For example, someone was throwing trash in my yard as they drove up a private dirt road that runs along my property and in my front yard along the main road. I was losing my peace over it and through a process of elimination I figured out who it could have been. I began to roil inside. Then I thought, wait a minute, I am no longer living above my problems. So, I captured my thoughts and turned them into a prayer and began to rejoice in God’s goodness and mercy and thanked him for blessing me. I had just memorized Romans 12:17&18, so I thought about how I can bless the person throwing trash in my yard. I came home that very evening from work and my side yard along the dirt road was all cleaned up and no trash has been thrown in since. Praise the Lord. Do you see how living the heavenly life of righteousness, peace, and joy is better than revenge, worry, and anger?
There is hope for complete spiritual healing as you pursue righteousness, peace, and joy with the help of the Spirit and live a heavenly life above all hardships.