The Kingdom Of God Is Not Meat And Drink: Understanding Romans 14:17

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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Ever wondered what it truly means when Paul says, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink” in the New Testament? In the book of Romans in the Holy Bible, this verse challenges traditional perspectives on God’s kingdom.

The words penned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 14:17 resonate through the ages, calling upon believers to introspect and fully comprehend the deeper dimensions of their faith. They invite us to explore beyond mere physical sustenance and delve into a spiritual understanding of God’s kingdom.

The Meaning Of “The Kingdom Of God Is Not Meat And Drink”

Paul writes the full verse in Romans 14:17 as follows: “Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit define the kingdom of God, not a matter of eating and drinking.

For context, the apostle wrote the verse in response to a controversial idea and the ethical dilemma of consuming meat sacrificed to idols. While this was common practice in the Old Testament, Paul emphasizes that in the New Covenant, God prioritizes love above all, echoing the sentiment of 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Everlasting peace and joy, immeasurable by material wealth or earthly delights, are what the kingdom of God offers. It invites us to embrace a higher purpose beyond our physical existence, connecting with a divine presence that brings true fulfillment in righteousness through the Holy Bible and the grace of Christ.

Implications For Spiritual Matters And God’s Kingdom

In the pursuit of spiritual growth, it is crucial to look beyond mere outward expressions of righteousness. The kingdom of God, as described in the Holy Bible, is not solely about following religious practices or adhering to specific rituals. Rather, it encompasses a deeper connection with the divine and a transformation of the heart.

When individuals fixate on external rituals [1] alone, they risk overlooking the essence of genuine faith and the peace that comes with it.

True spirituality involves nurturing a relationship with God that goes beyond surface-level actions. While religious practices may hold significance in certain contexts, they should never overshadow the pursuit of personal growth and connection with the divine.

Prioritizing spiritual development allows individuals to better understand their purpose and forge a meaningful bond with God. This pursuit of righteousness and connection with God brings peace and clarity to all things.

Merely going through the motions without experiencing an inner transformation limits one’s understanding of spirituality. True faith surpasses superficial acts and requires an authentic change within oneself.

It involves aligning one’s beliefs, thoughts, and actions with the teachings of God’s kingdom. Embracing this mindset enables individuals to fully embrace their spiritual journey and experience profound fulfillment in matters of righteousness, peace, food, and the Holy Bible that truly matter.

dried meat and glass of wine on wooden cutting board

Embracing The True Nature Of God’s Kingdom

Love, righteousness, peace, and joy are key elements within God’s realm. The Holy Ghost reminds us that God’s kingdom is not merely concerned with material possessions or external rituals.

Rather, it centers around cultivating love in our hearts, pursuing righteousness in our actions, experiencing deep peace within ourselves and with others, and finding the lasting joy that surpasses worldly circumstances.

Shifting our perspective from worldly desires to align with the principles of God’s eternal kingdom requires righteousness. It requires us to let go of selfish ambitions and instead focus on seeking God’s will and purpose for our lives, as outlined in the Bible.

While there are other translations, including the World English Bible, the central theme endures: Embracing His Word and yielding to His grace leads to peace and transformative guidance by the Holy Spirit, aligning us with His divine plan.

Take on the noble role of being ambassadors of the Holy Ghost. Our mission involves sharing the profound messages of righteousness and peace from the Bible with those in our circles, all while earnestly striving to bring glory to God through faith and right conduct.

Practical Applications: Attitudes Towards Food And Possessions

Applying the Bible’s teachings on eating with righteousness and peace, we should approach food choices without judgment or legalism, as stated in Romans 14:17.

  • Embrace the understanding that the kingdom of God is not centered around eating or drinking but about faith in the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, we are permitted to focus on these aspects (Romans 14:17).
  • Recognize that different people may have varying preferences and convictions. Instead of judging or imposing our own beliefs, let us respect one another’s choices for peace and joy.
  • Cultivate an environment of love and acceptance where individuals feel comfortable eating and expressing their dietary needs and restrictions without fear of criticism or exclusion. This creates a peaceful atmosphere where everyone can enjoy their meals with joy and permission.

Encouraging a healthy balance between eating and drinking while remaining mindful of God’s peace in our lives.

  • Find joy and peace in the act of eating by savoring flavors, appreciating the artistry behind culinary creations, and sharing meals with loved ones. Drinking in the moments of togetherness and copyrighting the memories we create. Let us remember to give thanks to God for the abundance on our plates.
  • Remember that eating food is meant to nourish our bodies. Prioritize consuming nutritious options that promote overall well-being so that you can experience the benefits of healthy drinking.
  • Avoid excessive eating or drinking indulgences or restrictive behaviors. Strive for moderation and listen to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness to find peace and joy.

Challenging materialistic mindsets by recognizing that possessions do not define our worth or happiness, but rather finding contentment in simple things like eating.

  • Shift your focus from accumulating things to valuing experiences, relationships, personal growth, peace, joy, eating, and drinking.
  • Reframe your perspective on material possessions as tools rather than sources of identity. Understand that they are a means to an end in eating and experiencing God’s presence.
  • Seek simplicity. Free yourself from the pressure to constantly acquire more things and find fulfillment in gratitude for what you already have.

By applying these practical principles regarding eating choices, attitudes towards possessions, and their role within the kingdom of God, we can foster a healthier relationship with both ourselves and others.

group of friends in a circle laying on grass with hands outstretched to heaven


Romans 14:17 reminds us that true fulfillment and spiritual nourishment cannot be found in material things alone. By embracing the true meaning behind “The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink,” we open ourselves to a more fulfilling spiritual journey. We find contentment in knowing that our purpose lies beyond earthly possessions and transient pleasures.

Let’s journey down this path with open hearts, aiming to strengthen our connection with God and embody His teachings in every aspect of our lives. Through this, we uncover the Bible’s true essence: love, righteousness, peace, and joy.

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