A Study Of Pauline Passages On Inheriting The Kingdom -- By: René A. López

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 168:672 (Oct 2011)
Article: A Study Of Pauline Passages On Inheriting The Kingdom
Author: René A. López


A Study Of Pauline Passages On Inheriting The Kingdom*

René A. López

* This is the fourth article in a six-part series, “The Pauline Vice Lists and Inheriting the Kingdom.”

René A. López is Adjunct Professor of Greek and New Testament and Spanish Bible Studies, Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.

Does the phrase “inherit the kingdom of God” mean possession of rewards in the millennial kingdom, or entrance into it, or both? And does Paul’s use of the word “kingdom” refer solely to a future kingdom or to a present reality? A study of the many passages where Paul used the phrase “inherit the kingdom of God,” the term “inheritance,” and the word “kingdom” can help answer these questions.

Romans 4:13-14

“For not through the law was the promise given to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they become heirs by the law, faith becomes invalid and the promise nullified.”1 To “inherit the world” here is based on “the righteousness of faith,” not on merits obtained through the Law; otherwise faith and the promise are ineffective and voided.

The word “promise” does not refer to any of the promises given to national Israel (e.g., land, Gen. 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18-21; 17:6-8; 22:17), but to the promise of justification by faith offered to both Israelites and Gentiles (Gen. 3:15; 12:3; Rom. 3:27-30; Gal. 3:7-8). Thus the church composed of Jews and Gentiles is in view. Those who by faith “belong to Christ” are Abraham’s “children” (i.e., descendants) and are “heirs according to [God’s] promise” (Gal. 3:29).

It follows that those who are Abraham’s children by faith and who will thus inherit “the world” (Rom. 4:13; in the millennium) are the same as those who are heirs of God by faith alone (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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