"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Inheriting The Kingdom Of God (5:21) INTRODUCTION 1. In listing the works of the flesh, Paul concludes with an ominous warning... a. One that he had told them about in the past b. That those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God - Ga 5:21 2. The kingdom of God was an important theme in Paul's ministry... a. He preached the kingdom of God among the Ephesians - Ac 20:25 b. He did so for two years while in Rome - Ac 28:23,30-31 3. In our text (Ga 5:21), Paul refers to 'inheriting' the kingdom of God... a. What is this kingdom of God? b. Is it something that exists now? Is it in the future? c. How can one 'inherit' the kingdom of God? [In answer to such questions, let's first talk about...] I. THE PRESENT AND FUTURE KINGDOM A. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS PRESENT... 1. Note what is said about those in the church a. They were being called into the kingdom - 1Th 2:12 b. They had been translated (conveyed) into the kingdom - Co 1:13 c. They were receiving the kingdom - He 12:28 d. They were companions in the kingdom - Re 1:9 2. The church is that community of souls in whose hearts Christ is recognized as sovereign a. They have confessed Christ as Lord
- cf. Ro 10:9-10; 1 Pe 3:15 b. They freely submit to the Lord in the day of His power - cf. Ps 110:1-3 3. Thus the terms 'church' and 'kingdom' are often used interchangeably a. As when Jesus spoke to Peter - Mt 16:18 b. The comments made to Christians in the church - Col 1:13; 1Th 2:12 c. The description of those in the seven churches of Asia
- Re 1:4,6,9 4. The kingdom of God (i.e., the reign of Christ) reaches beyond those in the church (cf. Ps 110), but it benefits those in the church - cf. Ep 1:22-23 -- In one sense, the kingdom of God is clearly present B. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS FUTURE... 1. As spoken of by Jesus a. In the parable of the tares - Mt 13:40-43 b. In describing the judgment - Mt 25:34 2. As referred to by Paul a. Exhorting Christians to be steadfast and holy - Ac 14:22; 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21 b. Expounding on the hope of the resurrection - 1Co 15:22-26; 15:50 c. Expressing his own expectation for the future - 2Ti 4:18 3. As promised by Peter a. With a call to diligence to make our calling and election sure - 2Pe 1:10 b. To receive an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom - 2Pe 1:11 -- In another sense, the kingdom of God is still in the future C. THE KINGDOM IS BOTH PRESENT AND FUTURE... 1. In the present sense... a. It is found wherever the sovereignty of Jesus is accepted - Mt 28:18-20 b. It is a spiritual kingdom, for Jesus rules in the hearts of men - Lk 17:20-21 c. Its outward manifestation today is the Lord's church
- Mt 16:18-19 d. This rule or kingdom was inaugurated on at Pentecost - cf. Ac 2:36 2. In the future sense... a. The rule or kingdom will be culminated with the coming of the Lord - 1Co 15:22-26 b. It will be a heavenly and everlasting kingdom - 2Ti 4:18; 2Pe 1:11 c. Enjoyed only by those submitting to God's will today! - cf. Mt 7:21-23 d. In which they shall reign with God and Christ forever!
- Re 22:1-5 -- The kingdom of God relates to the rule of God in the person of Jesus Christ, with manifestations and blessings of this rule both present and in the future [In our text (Ga 5:21), Paul evidently has the future blessings of the kingdom in mind. He is concerned that the Galatians will indeed inherit the kingdom. Do you have a similar concern? If so, consider...] II. INHERITING THE FUTURE KINGDOM A. WE MUST BE BORN AGAIN... 1. Otherwise we cannot see the kingdom of God - Jn 3:3 2. We must be born of water and Spirit - Jn 3:5; cf. Tit 3:5 -- A reference to baptism, in which one is born of both water and the Spirit - cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:36-38 B. WE MUST BE WASHED, SANCTIFIED, AND JUSTIFIED... 1. The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God - 1Co 6: 9-10 2. Yet the unrighteous can be washed, sanctified, and justified - 1Co 6:11 -- Another reference to baptism, in which our sins are washed away, and we are thus set apart, and declared not guilty for our sins - cf. Ac 22:16; Col 2:12-13; 1Pe 3:21 C. WE MUST PUT ASIDE THE WORKS OF THE FLESH... 1. Such as fornication, uncleanness, covetousness
- Ep 5:3-7; Ga 5:19-21 2. We must put them to death, put them off, put on the new man - Col 3:5-8 -- In their place we must put on Christ-like qualities - Col 3: 9-17; Ga 5:22-23 D. WE MUST DO THE FATHER'S WILL... 1. It is not enough to simply confess the Lord - Mt 7:21 2. It is not enough to do things in the name of the Lord - Mt 7: 22-23 -- We must have actually done the Father's will! - Mt 7:21 CONCLUSION 1. Remember that the kingdom of God is both present and future... a. The future manifestation and blessings will be experienced when Christ comes again b. To inherit that kingdom, we must submit to His rule in our lives in the present 2. Have you entered the kingdom of God in its present sense...? a. By being born again of water and the Spirit? b. By being washed, sanctified, and justified? 3. Will you inherit the kingdom of God in its future sense...? a. By putting aside the works of the flesh? b. By submitting to the Father's will in Christ? Paul found it needful to warn his brethren time and again (Ga 5:21). May our hearts be receptive to such warnings, and be determined to let the will of God reign freely in our lives...