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17For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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17. For the kingdom of God—or, as we should say, Religion; that is, the proper business and blessedness for which Christians are formed into a community of renewed men in thorough subjection to God (compare 1Co 4:20).

is not meat and drink—"eating and drinking"

but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost—a beautiful and comprehensive division of living Christianity. The first—"righteousness"—has respect to God, denoting here "rectitude," in its widest sense (as in Mt 6:33); the second—"peace"—has respect to our neighbors, denoting "concord" among brethren (as is plain from Ro 14:19; compare Eph 4:3; Col 3:14, 15); the third—"joy in the Holy Ghost"—has respect to ourselves. This phrase, "joy in the Holy Ghost," represents Christians as so thinking and feeling under the workings of the Holy Ghost, that their joy may be viewed rather as that of the blessed Agent who inspires it than their own (compare 1Th 1:6).