WHO WILL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

A) FLESH AND BLOOD WILL NOT INHERIT THE IMMORTAL KINGDOM OF GOD

1) [1 Cor 15:40-54]:

(v. 40) There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.

(v. 41) The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

[Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 545]:

"The differences in splendor between the earthly bodies and the heavenly bodies suggested to Paul the differences between a natural and a spiritual body."

a) [Dan 12:1-3]:

(v. 1) "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

(v. 2) Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

(v. 3) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."

[Notice that those who are resurrected to everlasting life will be "like the stars for ever and ever." (cp Matt 13:43)]

1 cont.) [1 Cor 15:40-54 cont.]:

(v. 42) "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;

(v. 43) it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

(v. 44) it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."

[BKC, cont.]:

[An earthly natural body is fallen and so is temporal, imperfect, and weak. A heavenly spiritual body will be eternal, perfect, and powerful (cf. 2 Cor 5:1-4). Like a seed sown in the earth and the plant which proceeds from it, there is continuity but a gloriously evident difference."]

(v. 45) So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

(v. 46) The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

(v. 47) The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

(v. 48) As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

(v. 49) And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

(v. 50) I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable."

[Those who are in eternal resurrected bodies are in view, and not those who will be in mortal bodies who live and inherit their portion in the Millennial Kingdom. So the Kingdom does include mortals who are flesh and blood, a number of whom will inherit their portion of the Kingdom. These are not in view in 1 Cor 15 but are in view elsewhere:

2) [Mt 25:34-36]:

(v. 34) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

[Recall that these are the ones who are in mortal bodies that were faithful and survived the perils of the tribulation period]:

(v. 35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

(v. 36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "

[This portion of the Kingdom in view where mortals live will last for 1,000 years and then all mortals who are saved will receive their eternal bodies as well.

But the kingdom of God which is in view in 1 Cor 15 only has eternal beings in view, i.e., those who are resurrected from the dead in imperishable, i.e., immortal bodies who will inherit their portion of the eternal kingdom]

1 cont.) [1 Cor 15:40-54 cont.]:

(v. 51) Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--

(v. 52) in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

(v. 53) For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

(v. 54) When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." '''

B) FLESH AND BLOOD WILL INHERIT THE MORTAL, TEMPORAL KINGDOM OF GOD

1) THE FAITHFUL REMNANT OF ISRAEL WILL INHERIT THE PROMISED LAND IN MORTAL, FLESH AND BLOOD BODIES

a) [Compare Jos 1:1-6]:

(v. 1) '''After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide:

(v. 2) "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites.

(v. 3) I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

(v. 4) Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west.

(v. 5 )No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

(v. 6) "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.'''

[Notice that Israel will inherit the promised land which other passages indicate will be part of the Kingdom of God]

b) [Compare Isa 65:8-10]:

(v. 8) '''This is what the LORD says: "As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and men say, 'Don't destroy it, there is yet some good in it,' so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.

(v. 9) I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live.

(v. 10) Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me." '''

c) [Compare Zep 2:9-11]:

(v. 9) '''Therefore, as surely as I live," declares the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, "surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah-- a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of My people will plunder them; the survivors of My nation will inherit their land."

(v. 10) This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the LORD Almighty.

(v. 11) The LORD will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship Him, every one in its own land.'''

[Notice that 'the remnant of My people... the survivors of My nation (Israel) will inherit their land". The word 'survivors' has a mortal implication here, i.e., flesh and blood who will inherit the promised land in the kingdom of God]

d) [Compare Mt 25:31-34]:

(v. 31) ''' "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.

(v. 32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

(v. 33) He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on His left.

(v. 34) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.' '''

[Notice that the saints in view here are in flesh and blood, mortal bodies at the beginning when they inherit the kingdom of God. There is nothing in the text to indicate whether or not these are Jews and/or Gentiles. Certainly both are on the earth. None are stipulated as being transformed into immortal bodies]

e) [1 Chr 16:17-18]:

(v. 17) "He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant:

(v. 18) To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit."

f) [Ps 69:36]:

"The children of his servants will inherit it [the promised land, (v. 35)], and those who love his name will dwell there."

g) [Isa 65:9]:

"I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess My mountains; My chosen people will inherit them, and there will My servants live."

h) [Isa 11:6-12]:

(v. 6) "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

(v. 7) The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

(v. 8) The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.

(v. 9) They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

[Notice that mortal flesh and blood bodies are in view here]

(v. 10) In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

(v. 11) In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.

(v. 12) He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth."

i) [Micah 4:1-8]:

(v. 1) '''In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

(v. 2) Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

(v. 3) He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

(v. 4) Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

(v. 5) All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

(v. 6) "In that day," declares the LORD, "I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief.

(v. 7) I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.

(v. 8) As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem." '''

j) [Zech 14:16-21]:

(v. 16) '''Then the survivors from all the nations [after our LORD'S judgment of the nations, Mt 25:31-46] that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

[Notice the word 'survivors' pointing to mortals who are inhabitants of the Kingdom]

(v. 17) If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain.

(v. 18) If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

(v. 19) This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

(v. 20) On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.

(v. 21) Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.'''

[Throughout all of this passage we have mortals in view as inhabitants of the Kingdom who will be blessed or punished in accordance with their obedience. Only mortals have the capacity to disobey, immortals do not]

j) [Ps 72:1-19]:

(v. 1) "Endow the King with Your justice, O God, the royal Son with Your righteousness.

(v. 2) He will judge Your people in righteousness, Your afflicted ones with justice.

(v. 3) The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.

(v. 4) He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.

[Notice that mortals are in view here, immortals do not have the capacity to be oppressors or oppressed]

(v. 5) He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations.

(v. 6) He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.

(v. 7) In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more.

(v. 8) He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

(v. 9) The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust.

(v. 10) The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.

(v. 11) All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.

(v. 12) For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.

(v. 13) He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.

[Notice that immortals are in view throughout this passage, especially in light of being saved from physical death. Immortals do not have that possibility.]

(v. 14) He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

(v. 15) Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.

(v. 16) Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon; let it thrive like the grass of the field.

(v. 17) May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.

(v. 18) Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.

(v. 19) Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen."

2) THOSE BELIEVERS IN MORTAL BODIES WHO ARE FAITHFUL WILL INHERIT THEIR PORTION OF THE MORTAL KINGDOM

a) [Compare Mt 25:31-34]:

(v. 31) ''' "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.

(v. 32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

(v. 33) He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on His left.

(v. 34) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.' '''

[Notice that the saints are flesh and blood, mortal bodies at the beginning when they inherit the kingdom of God. There is nothing in the text to indicate whether or not these are Jews and/or Gentiles. Certainly both are on the earth at this time. And the reason why these saints will 'take (their) inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.' is stipulated below, (because they were faithful)]:

(v. 35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

(v. 36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

(v. 37) "Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

(v. 38) When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

(v. 39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

(v. 40) "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' '''

b) [Jas 2:5]:

"Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

[Notice that it is those who are rich in faith, who love the Lord as demonstrated by their faithfulness to Him, who will inherit the kingdom. Not all believers will be this faithful. So not all believers will inherit the kingdom]

c) [Ps 25:12-14]:

(v. 12) Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

(v. 13) He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.

(v. 14) The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

d) [Ps 37:9]:

"For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land."

e) [Ps 37:11]:

"But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace."

f) [Ps 37:22]:

"Those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.

g) [Ps 37:29]:

"The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever."

h) [Ps 37:34]:

"Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it."

[All of the passages in Psalms above have faithful Israel in view. Not all Israel will be faithful, so not all will inherit the land, the land which will be a part of the kingdom of God for 1,000 years which will be ruled by those in flesh and blood bodies]

i) [Isa 14:21]:

"Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities. The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes Me his refuge will inherit the land and possess My holy mountain."

j) [Isa 61:7]:

"Instead of their shame My people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs."

k) [Heb 6:12]:

"We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

[Notice that inheriting what has been promised comes to those who are faithful and patient. Not all believers will be faithful and patient.]

l) [Rev 21:6-8]:

(v. 6) '''He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

(v. 7) He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

(v. 8) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." '''

B) BELIEVERS WHO ARE WICKED WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD

EXCERPT FROM GAL 5:13-26 STUDY:

[ {short description of image} ]

I) [Gal 5:13-21]:

(v. 13) "For you [believers] were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.... [another term for the sin nature, (ref. Eph 2:3; Ro 8:1-8)]

...but through love serve one another.

(v. 14) The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

(v. 15) If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

(v. 16) But I say [to believers], walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

(v. 17) For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

(v. 18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

(v. 19) The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

(v. 20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

(v. 21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

A) TRUE BELIEVERS CAN & DO COMMIT SINS

1) INTRODUCTION

Verses 13 through 21 of Galatians chapter 5 indicate that believers have a propensity to and do sin. This is brought about by the intrinsic sin nature in that believer which still has the potential to produce sin, (vv. 16-17).

At this point, one might ask those who claim that there is no intrinsic sin nature in the believer, 'What is it in him then that has the potential to sin which this passage is pointing to - certainly not the new nature?

a) [New nature: cp. Eph 4:22-24]:

(v. 22) "You, [believers, (v. 4:1)] were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, [ton palaion anthropon = the old man, i.e., the old sin nature which still exists in the believer, (cp. Ro 7:21-25)], which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

(v. 23) to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

(v. 24) and to put on the new self [the regenerate self which is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit], created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

For this passage in Galatians chapter 5 and many other passages in Scripture warn believers not to sin, which indicates that believers do have such a potential. The truth of the matter is that, although God has broken the enslavement of the believer to the sin nature by crucifying it with Christ...

b) [Ro 6:6-7]:

(v. 6) "For we [believers, (v. 1)] know that our old self [i.e., the sin nature, cp. Col. 3:9; Eph 4:22] was crucified [made dead] with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -

(v. 7) because anyone who has died has been freed from sin [i.e., the controlling influence of the sin nature, (v. 12)]"

...the believer still has that sin nature as part of his intrinsic being and he can indeed succomb to its desires at any time:

c) [Ro 6:12-14]:

(v. 12) "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

["sin" = sin, singular = sin nature in this context. Notice that there is a choice to return control of ones life to the sin nature]

(v. 13) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousnes."

2) CLEAR EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE OF GENUINE BELIEVERS WHO DID NOT PERSEVERE IN GOOD WORKS

a) INTRODUCTION

Robert N. Wilkin states, (Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, "Christians Who Lose Their Legacy: Galatians 5:21", p. 26):

"...There are clear examples in Scripture of genuine believers who did not persevere in good works, but who instead walked in the flesh.

b) Solomon ended his life as an idolator (1 Kings 11).

c) Many of the believers in Corinth, although five years old as Christians, were carnal and fleshly - yet they are called babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1-3).

d) One believer at Corinth was actually living in immorality with his stepmother and was brazenly unrepentant (1 Cor 5:5).

e) A number of believers in Corinth were sick, and some had already died, as a result of their selfish and drunken disregard for the sacredness of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:30).

f) Demas, whom Paul at least twice referred to as his co-laborer in Christ's service (Col 4:14; Phlm 24), later is said by Paul to have 'forsaken me, having loved this present world' (2 Tim 4:10).

g) Likewise James refers to the need to turn back fellow believers who have wandered from the truth (Jas 5:19-20)."

h) CONCLUSION

Bob Wilkin, cont:

"...The immediate context [of Gal 5:19-21] explicitly rejects the... [false]...doctrine [of the required] perseverance of the saints [in order to be saved]. Rather than affirming that all true believers will walk in the Spirit, Paul commands the believers at the churches of Galatia to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Such an admonition would be misplaced if addressed to an unbeliever since it is impossible for those devoid of the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit....

i) [Compare Ro 8:7-8]:

(v. 7) "The sinful mind [which is that of the unbeliever all the time] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

(v. 8) Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God [i.e., persevere in walking by the Spirit]"

....Clearly in this passage Paul is saying that it is possible for genuine believers to walk in the flesh and practice the sins mentioned in the vice list (cf. vv 16, 17, 21, 25, 26)"

II) [Gal 5:21b]:

"I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

A) THOSE [BELIEVERS] WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD =

1) BELIEVERS ARE BEING WARNED NOT UNBELIEVERS

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]:

"...The Book of Galatians is addressed to genuine believers (Gal 1:8-9) and there is no indication in the context of chapter five that unbelievers are being warned. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. In 5:13 Paul refers to those addressed in 5:13-26 as brethren. Furthermore, in 6:1 Paul again refers to those being warned as brethren, and he gives instructions for the spiritual among them to restore those who become ensnared by the deeds of the flesh."

2) THIS IS A WARNING TO BELIEVERS WITH CONSEQUENCES IF THEY DO NOT HEED IT, NOT AN EXHORTATION TO BE FAITHFUL BECAUSE BELIEVERS WILL AUTOMATICALLY INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD THUS FALSELY EQUATING INHERITING THE KINGDOM WITH INHERITING ETERNAL LIFE

a) INTRODUCTION

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 24]:

"According to [some], Paul was calling genuine believers to live in a manner worthy of their high calling as children of God [which is done elsewhere in Scripture]: (cf. Eph 4:1, 16; 5:5-7)...

[In other words, it is maintained by some that in Galatians chapter 5, Paul is making an appeal to the Christian conscience to live a faithful life but consequences if they do not are not in view]:

[Some say that Paul is saying to believers that]...it doesn't make sense for believers, those who [some falsely maintain] will all inherit the kingdom to live like the unrighteous, i.e., unbelievers who will not inherit the kingdom"

[So there is a false point being made here that the phrase 'inherit the kingdom' is synonymous with 'inheriting eternal life']

b) "THOSE WHO DO SUCH THINGS" = REFERS TO GENUINE BELIEVERS NOT UNBELIEVERS

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 28]:

"The major weakness of this view [that 'inherit the kingdom' is synonymous with 'inheriting eternal life'] is that there is nothing in the context to suggest that 'those who do such things' refers to unbelievers [instead of believers]. Indeed, as mentioned above, just the opposite is true. The context suggests that it is the Galatian believers (and by application all believers) who are in danger of losing their legacy.

c) GALATIANS 5:21B IS A WARNING WITH A CONSEQUENCE NOT A SIMPLE EXHORTATION

"[The view of merely an exhortation to believers without consequences] eliminates any explicit warning. Why would Paul fail to say in context what the believer who walked in the flesh will lose?"

i) [Gal 6:8]:

[Wilkins, op. cit., p. 33]:

"In a parallel section in the next chapter (Gal 6:6-10). Paul states that those who sow to the flesh will reap corruption."

"Galatians 5:19-23 and 6:7-9 are talking about the same subject: walking in the Spirit versus walking walking in the flesh. It would thus be very helpful to consider... [Gal 6:8], since it is [in] a parallel passage within the same book and even the same subsection of the book...

Galatians 6:8 says...

[Gal 6:8]:

"The one [believer, (v. 6)] who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap corruption[phthoran = corruption, destruction]; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."

...The expression will reap corruption in 6:8 is parallel to not inheriting the kingdom in 5:21....

[So whatever corruption means in Gal 6:6-10 must parallel what 'will not inherit the kingdom' means in Gal chapter 5]

...Corruption (phthora) refers to 'ruin, destruction, dissolution, deterioration, [or] corruption.'

[Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1979), 858]

It could refer to many types of ruin, corruption, etc...

...These verses are dealing with something which believers reap for work done. Eternal salvation is not a reward for work done. Rather, it is a free gift...

ii) [Ro 3:22b-24]:

(v. 22b) "There is no difference,

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace threough the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."]

...Since the expression will reap corruption in Gal 6:8 refers to loss of eternal treasure (and possibly as well to loss of present joy [even premature death, (1 Jn 5:16-17)] the parallel expression will not inherit the kingdom in 5:21 conveys the same sense."

3) SINCE CLEAR PASSAGES ELSEWHERE IN SCRIPTURE TEACH THAT ETERNAL LIFE IS SECURE IN THE BELIEVER, LOSS OF SALVATION CANNOT BE IN VIEW

a) THE BIBLE TEACHES ETERNAL SECURITY

Individuals who have trusted alone in Christ alone unto eternal life immediately have their eternal destiny sealed and secured in heaven by God Himself, (Eph 1:13-14), and have eternal life immediately as a possession, (Jn 3:16).

i) REF: ETERNAL SECURITY, DETAILED STUDY

b) BUT INHERITANCE AND CO-RULERSHIP IS NOT A GUARANTEE

But what they do not have guaranteed to them is their inheritance and co-rulership of the kingdom of God with Jesus Christ when they do get there.

4) INHERITING THE KINGDOM OF GOD CANNOT BE REFERRING TO INHERITING ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD:

a) [1 Cor 15:50]:

"I [Paul] declare to you, brothers [i.e., believers], that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable."

"flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" =

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 31]:

"Paul is defending the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the dead in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians. In v. 50 he is reminding believers that only those with resurrected bodies can inherit the kingdom of God....

[Since Scripture indicates that people with unresurrected bodies will take part in the kingdom, (Mt 24:34), Paul must be talking about something other than kingdom entrance (i.e., inheriting eternal life)].

...In the Millennial Kingdom there will be children born (Isa 65:20-23). And since people with resurrected bodies cannot have children according to our Lord's teachings (Matt 22:30), that demands that people with natural bodies must be in the kingdom.

Likewise, we know that no one with a resurrected body will sin (1 John 3:2). Yet at the end of the Millennium there will be many people who take part in a rebellion against Christ led by Satan (Rev 20:7-10). Only people with natural bodies could possibly rebel against the King of kings.

Paul's point in 1 Cor 15:50 is that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then the Corinthians could not hope to rule with Christ in His coming kingdom - something which they clearly desired (cf. 1 Cor 4:8; 6:3).

First Corinthians 15:50 refutes any view which understands inheriting the kingdom as merely getting in [i.e., inheriting eternal life]. On the other hand, it supports well the Future Rewards View [for those believers who are faithful]."

5) SO THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF INHERITANCES FOR THE INDIVIDUAL

a) INTRODUCTION

There are two kinds of inheritances that Scripture speaks of relative to the matter of the kingdom of heaven, but only one of these apply here:

Inheriting eternal life and inheriting the kingdom of God, i.e., the earth, beginning at our Lord's millennial rule. Notice that the two sets of expressions can and do indeed describe two similar yet different inheritances. One is an inheritance of a quality of life with God in the kingdom and the other, (which necessitates having the first), is an inheritance of the kingdom of God itself: co-ownership and co-rulership of it with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Zane Hodges states, ['The Epistle of James', Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx, 1994, p. 51]:

"Just as Christ inherits the kingdom (Ps 2:8-9) due to His loyalty to God the Father (Heb 1:8-9, quoting Ps 45:6-7), so will the co-heirs of His kingdom (2 Tim 2:12; Rev 2:26-28). Thus the kingdom has been promised to those who love God. Although salvation is freely bestowed at the moment we exercise simple trust in Christ for eternal life, the kingdom is not inherited that way. Heirship in the kingdom requires us to love God, which we can express only through obedience to Him (John 14:21-24), while obedience itself is the product of living by faith (see Gal 2:20)."

b) THE INHERITANCE OF BEING LET INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, OF INHERITING ETERNAL LIFE AS A FREE GIFT FROM GOD

i) [Heb 1:14]:

"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"

ii) [Lk 18:18]:

"A certain ruler asked Him [Jesus, (v. 15)], 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' "

iii) [Mk 10:17]:

"As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before Him. 'Good Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' "

iv) [Lk 10:25]:

"On one occasion an expert in the Law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' "

v) [Eph 2:8-9]:

(v. 8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this [salvation is] not from yourselves, it is the [free] gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."

vi) [Ro 3:22b-24]:

(v. 22) "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

vii) [Titus 3:5-7]:

(v. 5) "He [God our Savior, (v. 4)] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done [notice that perseverance of good works is not a factor], but because of His mercy [but God's mercy is]. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

(v. 6) Whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior [i.e., Jesus Christ, His sacrifice is the reason that this is possible]

(v. 7) so that, having been justified by His grace [= free gift, (cp. Ro 3:24)], we might become heirs [i.e., receivers of an inheritance] having the hope ["elpida" = sure hope] of eternal life."

c) THE INHERITANCE OF CO-OWNERSHIP AND CO-RULERSHIP OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS A RESULT OF A FAITHFUL LIFE

i) [Eph 5:1-14]: NO ONE WHO IS IMMORAL HAS AN INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST

~~~eph5v14

Ephesians 5:1-14 defines the situation of a believer who is not walking in fellowship with God, who is not producing fruit, who is not producing work for the Lord and is even involved in a lifestyle of sin. The passage exhorts believers to imitate God in their daily walk. In so doing it indicates the undesirability and the consequences of a disobedient life. Verses 7-12 indicate the shamefulness of going back to the disgusting lifestyle of the world after Christ had sacrificed Himself so that the believer would not have to be a slave to sin and suffer eternal condemnation, (v. 2). The passage says to act instead like the person that a believer is: a child of light possessing eternal life, (v. 8), rather than to act like the world and suffer the consequence of losing one's inheritance in, (and not one's destiny to), the kingdom of Christ for being immoral, (v. 5):

[Eph 5:1-14]:

(v. 1) Therefore [Christians] be imitators of God, as beloved children [believers];

["Therefore, be imitators.." = Paul is commanding Christians in this passage, (Eph 14:1b - 3; 13:30-32), who are eternally secure, (Eph 4:30; Jn 10:28) to be imitators of God]

(v. 2) and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

(v. 3) But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

[Notice that Paul indicates the proper behavior for saints: moral, righteous behavior - as opposed to improper behavior: "immorality," and "impurity" and "greed". This strongly implies that saints can behave improperly and still be called saints, i.e., still have eternal life]

(v. 4) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

(v. 5) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, or one who is an idolator, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, even God.

["...Christ, even God" = "Christou kai Theou" = "...Christ, Who I mean to say is God". When "kai" occurs in this manner, i.e., when the noun after it, ("Theou"), is without an article; it signifies identification of this noun "God" ("Theou" ="Christou" = "God") with the first noun "Christ". Therefore "Christou" = "Christ" = "God".

"has an inheritance" = This refers to two kinds of individuals:

1) DISOBEDIENT BELIEVERS

A disobedient believer, i.e., a believer who chooses to live a life which is under the control of the sin nature will not receive an inheritance when that child of God, (Eph 5:1), goes to heaven. That child has been disinherited but remains a saved child who will go to heaven but with no rewards or inheritance, (Eph 4:30; 1 Cor 3:11-15).

2) ALL UNBELIEVERS

All unbelievers are under the complete control of the sin nature, (Ro 6:17a; 8:6-9), and therefore live lifestyles which are characterized as sinful. Furthermore, they are not destined for heaven because they never trusted alone in Christ alone, (Jn 3:18; 3:36; 1 Jn 5:9-13), so there will obviously be no inheritance in heaven for unbelievers either.

(v. 6) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience"

"sons of disobedience" = those who disobey the gospel, i.e., those who do not believe in Christ as Savior, are defined as sons of disobedience, i.e., sons of Satan, unbelievers. The only requirement of the Gospel is to believe it, (Jn 3:16; Eph 2:8-9). So to DISobey the gospel can only mean to DISbelieve in it. Compare 1 Pet 1:18-22, 2:6-8. 1 Pet 4:17 teaches that to obey the gospel is to believe it, to disobey the gospel is to disbelieve it. Compare Eph 2:1-3 = unbelievers are disobedient & follow Satan.

Compare Jn 3:36 which contains the Greek word "apeithon" = "disobedient" = refusing to believe in the Son:

[Jn 3:36]:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever "apeithon" = refuses to believe and obey, i.e., rejects the Son [as his Savior] will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

[Jn 3:18]:

"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

Notice that here in John 3:18 that the only condition presented for being condemned is to not believe in the name of God's one and only Son. Compare Jn 8:42-47 = those who do not believe in Christ belong to their father the devil, i.e., are not saved. Since the sole condition on the part of the individual is to receive eternal life is to trust alone in Christ alone and since the sole condition of condemnation unto the Lake of Fire, i.e., since the only thing that gets you condemned to hell is not ever trusting alone in Christ alone as Savior and since disobeying the gospel of salvation gets you condemned to hell then disobeying the gospel of salvation is the same thing as disbelieving it. One can disobey by doing something 'out of the line of the authority that you are under' and one can also disobey by believing something out of line.

[Eph 5:1-14 cont.]:

(v. 6 cont.) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of "apeitheias" = disobedience [noun form of the same verb, '"apeithon", as in Jn 3:36 above]

(v. 7) Therefore [you believers] do not be "summetochoi" = joint partakers [in disobedience, disbelief and sin] with them,

[Do not be joint participaters in sin with unbelievers = This does NOT say as some maintain, 'Do not be joint partakers of God's wrath with unbelievers' because one would not, as a believer, participate in such wrath, (1 Thes 1:10; 5:9). So Eph 5:7, quoted above, commands believers not to sin as unbelievers do; but it does NOT indicate that believers would be condemned to Hell if they led sinful lives]

(v. 8) For you [believers] were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; [so therefore] walk as children of light

(v. 9) (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

(v. 10) [so do not sin by] trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

(v. 11) And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, [which are characteristic of the unsaved] but instead even expose them;

(v. 12) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

(v. 13) But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light,

[The light of the righteousness of Christ which evidences itself via God the Holy Spirit in the conscience of every believer. Compare I Jn 1:5-7; Ro 9:1]

[Eph 5:14 cont.]

(v. 14) For this reason it [Scripture] says,

'Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you"

This verse contains a quotation from a combination of Old Testament passages or perhaps from an early Christian hymn. In any case the words speak of a believer who has committed "deeds of darkness" who is commanded to wake up and rise from the dead as he is involved with the deeds of evildoers. Here is a Christian who has no deeds, i.e., divine good works, (Eph 2:10; 1 Cor 3:11-15). His faith - his very life - is considered dead by Scripture and the God Who inspired that Scripture. This Christian is not physically dead nor spiritually dead. He is temporally dead, dead meaning useless in the same way that faith without deeds is dead = useless to God, (Jas 2:17, 26). He is out of fellowship with God. He walks in darkness. Having grieved God the Holy Spirit with his sin, (Eph 4:30), his soul is separated from the righteousness of God and is useless to God until that sin is dealt with, (I Jn 1:5-10). While he is in this state of temporal death, under the control of his sin nature, he produces nothing of eternal value, (Ro 8:8). Romans 8:6a says that the mind of sinful man is death. The man described in Eph 5:14 is a sinful believer - a believer who is not under the control of the Spirit but under the control of the sin nature.

[Compare Gal 5:13-15]:

(v. 13) "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

(v. 14) The entire Law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

(v. 15) If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."

ii) [1 Cor 6:1-20]: BELIEVERS WHO LIVE UNFAITHFUL LIVES WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD

1 Cor 6:1-20 indicates that believers who live unfaithful lives will not inherit the kingdom of God. So there will be a difference in eternity, even amongst Christians.

(v. 1) '''If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

(v. 2) Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

(v. 3) Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

(v. 4) Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

(v. 5) I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

(v. 6) But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers!

(v. 7) The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

(v. 8) Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

[Notice that the context has the lifestyle of true believers in view and it continues to exhort believers to lead godly lives and not worldly ones]:

(v. 9) "Do you [believers, (vv. 1:2, 6:11) not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

(v. 10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

[Paul is stating to the Corinthians that such an evil lifestyle will disqualify the believer, whom is being addressed here, from inheriting the kingdom of God. Paul goes on to point out that some of the Corinthians indeed led such evil lifestyles before they were 'washed' and 'sanctified' and 'justified']:

(v. 11) And that is what some of your were.

[Paul goes on to exhort the Corinthian believers to a holy life, and stipulates a sober consequence if they do not:

"will [not] inherit the kingdom of God" = This phrase is used twice, and notice that it does not say inherit eternal life, but inherit the kingdom of God, i.e., ownership and rulership of the kingdom of God.

Furthermore, this phrase refers to two kinds of individuals.

1) DISOBEDIENT BELIEVERS

A disobedient believer, i.e., a believer who chooses to live a life which is under the control of the sin nature will not receive an inheritance when that child of God, (Eph 5:1), goes to heaven. That child has been disinherited but remains a saved child who will go to heaven but with no rewards or inheritance, (Eph 4:30; 1 Cor 3:11-15).

2) ALL UNBELIEVERS

All unbelievers are under the complete control of the sin nature, (Ro 6:17a; 8:6-9), and therefore live lifestyles which are characterized as sinful. Furthermore, they are not destined for heaven because they never trusted alone in Christ alone, (Jn 3:18; 3:36; 1 Jn 5:9-13), so there will obviously be no inheritance in heaven for unbelievers either.

This could not mean salvation because the last part of verse 11 indicates that this is addressed to individuals who have already been washed, sanctified, justified, i.e., saved unto eternal life]:

(v. 11 cont.) ....But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

[Since numerous clear passages on the matter indicate that once an individual is saved his eternal destiny in heaven is sealed and eternally secure, (Eph 1:13-14), and that eternal life is the immediate possession of the believer, (Jn 3:16), and that it is irrevocable, (Eph 4:30), the phrase addressed to true believers, "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" cannot refer to salvation unto eternal life.

Furthermore, the rest of the passage exhorts the Corinthian believers not to sin. It indicates that believers have the potential to sin even in egregious ways. And Paul mentions a number of specific sins certain saints of Corinth were themselves committing, (chapter 5), yet he still calls them saints: (v. 1:2)]:

(v. 12) "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

(v. 13) "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

(v. 14) By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

(v. 15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

(v. 16) Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

(v. 17) But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

(v. 18) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

(v. 19) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

(v. 20) you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

[Notice that the context continues with Paul exhorting true believers to 'flee from sexual immorality' and lead holy lives, honoring God with 'your body.' Thus those believers who do not do that as verse 10 will not inherit the kingdom of God.]

iii) [Col 1:10-12]: LIVE A WORTHY LIFE AND THE BELIEVER WILL SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT

(v. 10) "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

(v. 11) being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

(v. 12) giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

iv) [Compare Col 3:23-24]: WORK FOR THE LORD SO THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE AN INHERITANCE IN HEAVEN FROM HIM AS A REWARD

(v. 23) "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

(v. 24) since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

v) [2 Timothy 2:11-13]: IF BELIEVERS ENDURE, EVEN SUFFER, THEY WILL THEN SHARE IN THE LORD'S GLORY AND REIGN WITH HIM

2 Timothy 2:11-13 clearly indicates that God is faithful in His promise of eternal life to the believer who died with Christ on the cross, (Ro 6:3-7). On the other hand, this same passage indicates that reigning with Christ depends upon the believer faithfully enduring with Christ doing good works and not disowning Him:

[2 Tim 2:11-13]:

(v. 11) "Here is a trustworthy saying:

'For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;

"For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him" = If, by faith, we became sharers in the death of Christ, then we will also share in His eternal life, (Ro 3:21-24; 6:1-16.

[Compare Col 3:1-3]:

[Col 3:1-3]:

(v. 1) "If then you have been raised up with Christ,

[If then you were raised up with Christ at the point of trusting in Him for eternal life, (Ro 6:1-10)]

(v. 1 cont.) "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things that are on earth.

(v. 2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

(v. 3) For you have died [with Christ, (cp Ro 6:8)] and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

[If we died with Christ we were saved unto eternal life..... If we died with Christ which is by faith alone in Christ alone, (Jn 3:16; 5:24; Eph 2:8-9), then we will live with Him forever, (Ro 6:1-10). When we received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in us which occurs at the point of salvation, (Eph 1:13-14), it then becomes our identification with the death of Jesus Christ and its benefits, not the least of which is that "we we also live with Him", (Ro 6:8b)]

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(v. 12) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.......

["If we endure" = If we, who are believers, who are secure in our eternal life, (Eph 1:13-14), endure the difficulties and testing and live a faithful, productive life - full of divine good production....]

(v. 12 cont.) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him...

[If we endure as "endure" is defined above- then we believers will not only have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven because of our one time expression of faith in Him; but we will also reign, i.e., corule, with Him and receive unimaginably glorious rewards.

Compare with Romans 8:16-17:

[Ro 8:16-17]:

(v. 16) "The Spirit Himself with our spirit that we are God's children" [i.e., born again believers]

(v. 17) Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory."

["Now if we [believers] are children, then we are heirs of God [unto eternal life in heaven] and [not only heirs of eternal life in heaven but if we are faithful, as the rest of this verse states, then we are] co-heirs [coinheritors of rulership] with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings [by taking up our own cross, (Mt 16:24-27)] in order that we may also share in His glory."

So it is those believers who "Take up [their] cross and follow" Christ who will reign with Him. Indeed, those who endure by remaining faithful, by abiding in Christ - by producing fruit will also suffer their own peculiar suffering during their lifetime for the sake of Christ. Those believers who do not abide in Christ will not inherit much in heaven when they get there:

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(v. 12 cont.) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him,

If we disown Him, He will also disown [disinherit] us,"

[If we disown Him, He will also disown (disinherit) us," = If we believers disown, i.e., disavow Christ's ownership of us by acting in thought, word and deed in disobedience and unfaithfulness, (1 Cor 6:19-20), then Christ will disown our ownership, i.e., our inheritance of eternal rewards and co-rulership with Him, (Col 1:10-12; 3:23-24; Eph 5:5; Gal 5:21).

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(v. 12 cont.) "if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown [disinherit] us

(v. 13) "If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself."

["if we [believers] are faithless, He [Jesus Christ] will remain faithful [to His promise that] "if we died with Him, we will also live with Him," (v. 11)]

If we believers are faithless toward our Lord, He will nevertheless remain faithful to His promise of eternal life to all who have trusted in Him no matter what, (Jn 3:16: Eph 1:14), because He cannot disown, i.e., disinherit Himself - His Body - the Body of believers to whom He promised eternal life, (Col 1:24). Our Lord cannot deny eternal life to those who have become part of His body forever - the body of Christ - the body of believers whom He indwells forever, the church. The believer's unfaithfulness cannot cause God to deny His own work of salvation]

vi) TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND BE WORTHY: CONFESS AND BE CONFESSED BEFORE THE FATHER OR DENY AND BE DENIED YOUR INHERITANCE

[Compare Mt 10:32-33, 37-39]:

(32) "Every one therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before My Father Who is in heaven.

(33) But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven."

Charles C. Bing states, ("The Cost of Discipleship" from the Grace Evangelical Society Journal, vol 6, Spring '93, p. 43):

"The idea of being ashamed of Christ or denying Christ is clarified in some contexts more than in others....Perhaps the greatest clarification comes from...Matt 10:32-33...There Jesus is giving instructions to the Twelve before sending them out to preach the Gospel (Matt 10:5ff). He warns of rejection and persecution (vv 16-25) and encourages them not to fear (vv26-31). Verses 32-33 are also followed by similar warnings about rejection (vv34-36). In vv 32-33 Jesus is both encouraging and warning in the face of the fear off persecution. He wants the disciples to know that anyone who identifies with Him will be rewarded, while anyone who shrinks from this will be denied by Christ before the Father (explained below). Matthew's context seems a close parallel to that which is signified by Mark's phrase 'in this adulterous and sinful generation' (Mark 8:38).

The consequence facing someone who is ashamed of or denies Christ is more enigmatic. Does Christ's reciprocal shame and denial of that person at His coming denote a denial of salvation? In correlating Matt 10:32-33 with 16:27, it is clear that the issue is some kind of recompense for one's works...

[Mt 16:27]:

"For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

...Matthew takes care to state that at His coming, Christ 'will reward (apoodosei) each according to his works" (16:27). That Jesus makes works the basis of the recompense demands that salvation not be the issue (Eph 2:8-9)...

[Eph 2:8-9]:

(v. 8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it it the gift of God -

(v. 9) not by works, so that no one can boast."]

Charles C. Bing, (cont. op cit, p. 43):

...Also, the verb 'apoodosei' carries the idea of 'recompense' with no inherent sense of whether it is good or bad, so it could speak of positive reward or negative judgment. In Mark and Luke a negative recompense is suggested...

Mk 8:38

"If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels." (cp Lk 9:26)

...Those who were too ashamed to identify with Christ will experience Christ's shame. The effect of Christ's shame is not specified, but one could surmise that for a redeemed and now fully-enlightened believer, this would at least produce agonizing regret...[cp Mt 22:1-14; 25:14-30]...In the parallel passage, Matt 10:32-33, the idea of recompense is good (v32) or bad (v33) accordingly. Christ's confession (or lack of it) in heaven would not relate to the judgment of our salvation, but to an acknowledgment (or lack of it) before the Father of the disciples' unity or fellowship with Christ which is recompensed in an unspecified but appropriate way. (However, one might compare 2 Tim 2:12, where reigning with Christ is the specific reward.)

[Mt 10:32-33, 37-39 cont]:

(v. 37) "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

(v. 38) And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

["take up his cross and follow Me" = Charles C. Bing states, (op. cit., p.41):

"...Because following another person is a process, a progression, and requires time, this condition cannot speak of entrance into salvation. This would promote salvation by the imitation of Christ or by adherence to His example which would be a salvation of works. It is best taken as a term that describes a continuously committed lifestyle."

"is not worthy of Me" = Not being worthy in this passage does not constitute a condition of being unsaved. The context of this passage speaks of eternally secure believers, (Mt 10:1-5). Only believers can take up their cross in the first place. Unbelievers cannot please God by taking up any cross, (Ro 8:8). First they must be saved before they they do anything! So being unworthy of Christ in this context speaks of a believer who chooses not to follow Jesus as one of His disciples - choosing not to make the necessary sacrifices and not enduring the God ordained hardships, i.e., not taking up his cross.

(v. 39) He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

[Losing one's life = turning the control of one's life over to the sovereign will of God. By living according to the will of God, (which is contained in His Word), one is rewarded on earth with an inner happiness and confidence that God will carry them every step of the way through life, into heaven and on into eternity, especially in light of the confidence a faithful believer has in going to heaven and receiving indescribably wonderful rewards. One who has lost his life to the sovereignty of God has found the real purpose of his life for which he was created, (Eph 2:10). This new found purpose brings love, joy and peace to a child of God's earthly life when he is aligned with the purpose of the great Almighty God of the universe Who provides that love, joy and peace. The peace and inner happiness is based on Who God is and His indescribably wonderful promises.

Charles C. Bing, (op. cit., pp. 42-43):

"...When Jesus says 'whoever loses his life for My sake,' the sense is certainly not eternal destruction, for He says this one will then 'find it,' which is something good. Conversely, it fits well that what one may lose when he tries to save his life (preserve himself from the hardships of self-denial and cross-bearing) is life in the essential qualitative sense (i.e., experiencing God's life in this life, John 17:3), not the eternal soul. The paradox Jesus used has great meaning. What He appears to be saying is this: 'Whoever desires to preserve himself from the hardships of God's will of self-denial and cross-bearing will in fact forfeit the essential quality (- true spiritual value) of the present life he is trying to preserve. On the other hand, whoever forfeits himself to God's will of self-denial and hardships will discover the greater essential quality (spiritual value) of the present life he was willing to forfeit.' This interpretation would therefore not describe eternal salvation, but a higher quality of experience with God in this life, with implications for the eschatological life[future & eternal life]..."

vii) [Compare Mt 5:1-3, 5, 10-12]:

THE BEATITUDES: THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH

[Mt 5:1-2, 10-12]:

(v. 1) "Now when He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,

(v. 2) and He began to teach them, saying..."

["and He began to teach them [disciples, v. 1)], saying..." = Nine beatitudes are hereafter presented by our Lord to the disciples and the crowd on the mountainside; but His message this time is specifically directed to believers, especially His disciples and especially about believers being rewarded in heaven for being faithful. This is especially evident in verses 10-12 which cap off the passage and bring home this context:

(v. 10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(v. 11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

[Notice that faithful believers only are in view here, as confirmed by the next verse]:

(v. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Robert N. Wilkin states, (Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, "Christians Who Lose Their Legacy: Galatians 5:21", p. 32-33):

"Receiving the kingdom of heaven in this context is a rewards concept. This is easily seen by comparing vv. 10 and 12. Verse 10 says that those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake will receive the kingdom of heaven. Verse 12 says that those who are persecuted for Christ's sake should 'rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.' Receiving the kingdom of heaven is parallel to receiving great reward in heaven just as persevering under persecution for Christ's sake.

Of course, eternal salvation cannot be in view here since it is not a reward for holding up under persecution. It is a free gift (John 4:10ff; Rom 3:24; Eph 2:9; Rev 22:17).

Receiving the kingdom in this passage thus refers to some reward. In light of other passages, rulership and its attendant privileges and responsibilities must be in view. All believers will be in the kingdom; however, only faithful believers will rule and possess it (Luke 19:11-27; Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:12).

Since inheriting the earth is a synonymous expression to receiving the kingdom, it too refers here to ruling and possessing the kingdom. After all, the kingdom will take place on earth (cf. Rev 20-22). To receive the kingdom is to inherit the earth. Those who are meek [i.e., obedient] will be co-heirs with Christ and will share in kingdom rule and glory."

[Mt 5:3]:

(v. 3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

["Blessed are.." = The term beatitude or blessed comes from the Latin 'beatus' which means blessings, and in this context temporal plus especially eternal blessings or rewards.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" = Our Lord is not describing poverty types. The word poor means aware of one's own spiritual poverty, i.e., spiritual bankruptcy, relative to the righteousness of God. Thus through recognition of one's true poverty in spirit one can rely on the grace of God instead of one's own 'righteousness' for eternal life. One is thereby blessed by God's grace with eternal life so that one may inherit eternal life. But this verse goes further than that for those believers who are "poor in spirit" for it rewards those who continue to be poor in spirit with an inheritance of the kingdom of heaven:

"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" = implies ownership as well as occupancy of the kingdom. Believers who recognize their own spiritual poverty and thereby rely on God's gracious working through them via the leading of the Holy Spirit in them, (v. 16) rather than doing what they perceive as righteous acts, will be following the path of a faithful lifestyle leading to the reward of their actual inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.

[Mt 5:5]:

(v. 5) Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.

["meek" = gentleness, obedience, self-control - under the control of the Spirit.

Since an obedient lifestyle is excluded from what is required for an individual to be saved...

[Ro 4:1-2]:

(v. 1) "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

(v. 2) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about - but not before God."

[Eph 2:8-9]:

(v. 8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this [salvation is] not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -

(v. 9) not by works, so that no one can boast."


...then salvation is not in view but the reward for the obedient believer of inheriting the earth certainly is.

No believer inherits the earth unless he is faithful. When a believer is faithful he is under the control, i.e., filled with or in submission to the Spirit, (Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18-21). He is obedient to the will of God. That's what produces the true meekness and the gentleness in a believer: submission and obedience.

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 33]:

"The Lord Himself is a perfect illustration of the truth of the beatitudes. He was meek and poor in spirit, and He willingly accepted persecution for righteousness' sake. As a result He Himself will inherit the earth and receive the kingdom. In Ps 2:8 God the Father says....."

[Ps 2:6-8]:

(v. 6) "I [God the Father, (v. 4)] have installed My King on Zion, My holy hill.

(v. 7) I [author David] will proclaim the decree of the LORD:

'He [God the Father] said to Me [the Son of God], 'You are My Son; today I have become your Father [in the sense of now granting His Son all the privileges of royalty: rulership and ownership of the Kingdom of God due to His Son's absolute obedience in going to the cross for the sins of the whole world]:

(v. 8) Ask of Me, and I will make the nations our inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.' "

[Compare Heb 12:2 which reaffirms this point]:

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him [of reigning] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

(Ref. Heb 1:8-9).

B) CONCLUSION:

1) INTRODUCTION

Since salvation cannot be lost:

a) ETERNAL SECURITY, DETAILED STUDY

We are left with a number of possibilities for the interpretation of Gal 5:19-21:

[Wilkin, op. cit., pp. 23-37]:

"Four options have been proposed: the Reformed Perseverance View, the Worthy Walk View, the Present Rewards View and the Future Rewards View....

2) THE REFORMED PERSEVERANCE VIEW

a) EXPLANATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., pp. 23-24]:

"Paul was warning..... both true and false professors [of being a believer], that if they live characteristically sinful lives they will prove to be false professors and hence will not enter God's kingdom.

According to this view true believers will certainly persevere in the faith. [This view maintains that] God guarantees this since those who fail to persevere never had genuine faith and thus were never saved in the first place..."

b) EVALUATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., pp. 26-28]:

"A number of major difficulties attend this view.

i) ETERNAL SALVATION IS NOT CONDITIONED ELSEWHERE IN SCRIPTURE UPON PERSEVERING IN GOOD WORKS

"Eternal salvation is not conditioned elsewhere in Scripture upon persevering in good works"

[Rather it is by faith alone in Christ alone: Jn 3:16; 4:10ff; 5:24; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5

no works even permitted: Rom 4:1-5; Eph 2:9; Titus 3:5]

ii) SCRIPTURE PROVIDES CLEAR EXAMPLES OF GENUINE BELIEVERS WHO WERE NOT FAITHFUL

"There are clear examples in Scripture of genuine believers who did not persevere in good works, but who instead walked in the flesh:"

Solomon 1 Kg 11
Corinth believers 1 Cor 3:1-3; 5:5; 11:30
Demas Col 4:14; Phlm 24; 2 Tim 4:10
Believers who have wandered from the truth Jas 5:19-20

iii) GALATIANS CHAPTER 5 IS ADDRESSED TO GENUINE BELIEVERS NOT UNBELIEVERS

"The Book of Galatians is addressed to genuine believers (Gal 1:8-9) and there is no indication in the context of chapter 5 that unbelievers are being warned."

[Gal 5:13-26, 6:1 are addressed specifically to believers by the use of brethren and context]

iv) PAUL SAYS THAT GENUINE BELIEVERS CAN WALK IN THE FLESH

"The immediate context explicitly rejects the [false] doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Rather than affirming that all true believers will walk in the Spirit, Paul commands the believers at the churches in Galatia to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Such an admonition would be misplaced if addressed to an unbeliever since it is impossible for those devoid of the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit. Clearly in this passage Paul is saying that it is possible for genuine believers to walk in the flesh and practice the sins mentioned in the vice list (cf. vv. 16, 17, 21, 25, 26).

v) FUTURE JUDGMENT OF THE BELIEVER'S WORKS FOR REWARDS IN HEAVEN IS IN VIEW, NOT SALVATION

"These verses are clearly ethical in nature [i.e., based on living a moral & not an immoral life] and look to a future judgment according to one's works....

[The exponent of the Reformed Perseverance View] ...does not distinguish between eternal salvation and eternal rewards [and] is forced to see all of the Judgment Seat of Christ passages as referring to some sort of final judgment for believers to determine who gets into the kingdom.... He views good works as a condition of kingdom entrance.

There is, of course, no final judgment to determine who gets into the kingdom and who does not. The Judgment Seat of Christ is for believers only and it concerns rewards, not kingdom entrance (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment is for unbelievers only - people already condemned according to John 3:18 [ on the basis of their unbelief only and not on anything they might have done or not done]:

[Jn 3:18]:

"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

- and it [the Great White Throne Judgment] concerns degrees of punishment in hell, not kingdom entrance (cf. Matt 10:15; 11:21-24; Rev 20:13).

vi) THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF ASSURANCE OF SALVATION IS IGNORED

"This interpretation eliminates something which the Scriptures clearly affirm, namely, assurance of salvation....

[1 Jn 5:12-13]:

"I [John] write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

...If the Reformed Perseverance View were correct, one would never know for sure until he died if he was saved because it would always be possible that tomorrow his works might cross the line and become sinful enough to disqualify him from kingdom entrance. Indeed, under such a system one couldn't even be sure today that his works were good enough to qualify him to enter the kingdom."

vii) THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF WORKS SALVATION IS PROMOTED

"This view produces a works - salvation mentality. Once a person begins to think that he must persevere in the faith in order to enter the kingdom, he then believes that eternal salvation is conditioned upon his works, not on his faith only [which is counter to what Scripture teaches, ref. Ro 4:1-4; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5]."

3) THE WORTHY WALK VIEW

a) EXPLANATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 24]:

"Inheriting the kingdom actually refers to entering the kingdom and... those who fail to inherit the kingdom are unbelievers....

[The view also maintains that] ...only true believers are in view. In addition, Paul is seen to be exhorting true believers not to indulge in the vices listed. Genuine Christians are viewed as capable of practicing as a habit of life the various sins listed (cf. 1 Cor 3:3) [but somehow not choosing to, otherwise they would not be true Christians. So the 'those' in v. 21b, ('those who live like this'), is falsely determined to refer not to believers but to unbelievers only]

According to this view Paul was calling genuine believers to live in a manner worthy of their high calling as children of God (cf. Eph 4:1, 16; 5:5-7). Paul's point is that it doesn't make sense for believers, those who will inherit the kingdom, to live like the unrighteous (i.e., unbelievers) who will not inherit the kingdom.

This view sees no explicit warning in these texts [that a believer will suffer eternal consequences of some sort if he lives an immoral, unfaithful life]. Rather, it sees an appeal to holiness based on reason and responsibility."

b) EVALUATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 28]:

i) BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW, NOT UNBELIEVERS

"The major weakness of this view is that there is nothing in the context to suggest that 'those who live like this' (v. 21b) refers to unbelievers. Indeed... just the opposite is true. The context suggests that it is the Galatian believers (and by application all believers who are in danger of losing their legacy."

ii) THE CONTEXT OF A WARNING WITH CONSEQUENCES IS NOT ADDRESSED

"Secondly, this view eliminates any explicit warning. Why would Paul fail to say in context what the believer who walked in the flesh will lose? In a parallel section in the next chapter (Gal 6:6-10), Paul states that those who sow to the flesh will reap corruption.' "

4) THE PRESENT REWARDS VIEW

a) EXPLANATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 25]:

"According to this view inheriting the kingdom refers in Paul's vice lists to inheriting present blessings associated with the present aspect of the kingdom of God. The warning is thus seen as temporal in nature: unfaithful believers will be miserable.

[So inheriting the kingdom is not viewed as the same as entering the kingdom]

b) EVALUATION

i) One must be resurrected from the dead in order to inherit the kingdom

[Wilkin, op. cit., pp. 28-29]:

"According to Paul in 1 Cor 15:50, in order to inherit the kingdom one must first be resurrected from the dead."

ii) PRESENT BLESSINGS IN THIS AGE CANNOT BE EQUATED WITH FUTURE INHERITANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Inheriting the kingdom is in view, not experiencing present blessings of God on earth at a time in which God's kingdom is not fully, and dominantly operational - to which Galatians chapter 5 refers and to which the rest of Scripture refers when the term inheriting the kingdom is used. Right now, in this age, it is the rule of Satan, the world and the sin nature, (ref. Eph 2:1-3), so present blessings in this age cannot be equated with future inheritance of the Kingdom of God]

5) THE FUTURE REWARDS VIEW

a) EXPLANATION

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 25]:

"Inheriting the kingdom refers to obtaining rewards, not to entering the kingdom. However, it differs in that it sees inheriting the kingdom as referring to future, not present, rewards.

According to this view inheriting the kingdom in Paul's writings refers to future possession of and rulership in the kingdom. Believers whose Christian lives prove to have been characterized by the fruit of the Spirit will possess the kingdom and reign in it as members of the King of kings' world government. However, believers whose Christian lives prove to have been characterized by the deeds of the flesh will neither have possession of nor rulership in the coming kingdom, although they will be citizens in it."

b) EVALUATION:

THE FUTURE REWARDS VIEW ANSWERS ALL OF THE SHORTCOMINGS OF THE PRECEDING VIEWS

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 29]:

"All of these points are compelling evidence that this view is the one intended by Paul....

i) It does not suggest that persevering in good works is a condition of eternal salvation in addition to believing in Christ.

ii) It has no difficulty with the many examples in Scripture of genuine believers who walked in the flesh.

iii) It sees those being addressed as genuine believers, as the context clearly shows.

iv) It has no argument with the fact that the context acknowledges the possibility that genuine believers might walk in the flesh.

v) It is completely compatible with the ethical nature of the passage and the fact that judgment according to one's works is in view.

vi) It does not eliminate assurance of salvation.

vii) It does not produce a works - salvation mentality.

viii) It is in harmony with the eschatological aspect of the expression found in 1 Cor 15:50.

ix) And, it does find in the passage a clear warning to believers."

6) FINAL NOTE ON GAL 5:19-21

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 37]:

"Paul told the believers in Galatia that if their manner of life was characterized by walking in the flesh then they would not inherit the kingdom of God.

This article has suggested that inheriting the kingdom in Gal 5:21 (and in the parallels in 1 Corinthians 6 and Ephesians 5) refers to obtaining eternal rewards. Particularly, the Lord's approval and ruling with Him were found to be in view.....

This motivates me daily to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him. It motives me to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Walking in the flesh, though appealing to our old nature (Gal 5:17; Heb 11:25), is very unappealing for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that to do so results in losing our legacy [of inheriting the kingdom of God].

Christians can't lose their salvation. However, they can lose their reward. The ultimate inheritance is the kingdom itself. Oh, that we might be numbered among those who are found worthy to inherit it! That is a legacy worth living - even dying - for."

III) [Gal 5:22-23]:

(v. 22) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

(v. 23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

A) THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN THE FAITHFUL BELIEVER'S LIFE

C.I. Scofield states, (The New Scofield Study Bible, NIV, New York, Oxford Univ. Press., 1967, p. 1233, footnote #3):

"Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of the graces of vv. 22-23. Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ, and may be understood as the apostle's explanation of 2:20, 'I no longer... but Christ,' and as a definition of 'fruit' in Jn 15:1-8. This character is possible because of the believer's vital union with Christ (Jn 15:5; 1 Cor 12:12-13), and is wholly the fruit of the Spirit. 'Fruit' (singular), in contrast with 'acts' (plural, v. 19), suggests that the Christian's life in the Spirit is unified in purpose and direction in contrast with the life in the flesh, with its inner conflicts and frustrations."

Donald K. Campbell states, (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Walvoord & Zuck Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 608-609):

"There is a pointed contrast here. As verse 16 indicated, there is no need for a believer to display the works of the flesh. Rather, by the Spirit's power he can manifest the nine graces that are now listed. It is important to observe that the fruit here described is not produced by a believer, but by the Holy Spirit working through a Christian who is in vital union with Christ (cf. John 15:1-8). The word 'fruit' is singular, indicating that these qualities constitute a unity, all of which should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit. In an ultimate sense this 'fruit' is simply the life of Christ lived out in a Christian. It also points to the method whereby Christ is formed in a believer (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 1:21).

The first three virtues are habits of mind which find their source in God. Love (agape) is listed first because it is the foundation of the other graces. God is love and loves the world (cf. 1 John 4:8; John 3:16). Such self-sacrificing love that sent Christ to die for sinners is the kind of love that believers who are Spirit-controlled manifest. Joy (chara) is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ (cf. John 15:11). It does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God's sovereign control of all things (cf. Rom. 8:28). Peace (eirene) is again a gift of Christ (cf. John 14:27). It is an inner repose and quietness, even in the face of adverse circumstances; it defies human understanding (cf. Phil. 4:7).

The second triad reaches out to others, fortified by love, joy, and peace. Patience (makrothymia) is the quality of forbearance under provocation (cf. 2 Cor. 6:6; Col. 1:11; 3:12). It entertains no thoughts of retaliation even when wrongfully treated. Kindness (chrestotes) is benevolence in action such as God demonstrated toward men. Since God is kind toward sinners (cf. Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:7) a Christian should display the same virtue (cf. 2 Cor 6:6; Col. 3:12). Goodness (agathosyne) may be thought of both as an uprightness of soul and as an action reaching out to others to do good even when it is not deserved.

The final three graces guide the general conduct of a believer who is led by the Spirit. Faithfulness (pistis) is the quality which renders a person trustworthy or reliable, like the faithful servant in Luke 16:10-12. Gentleness (prautes) marks a person who is submissive to God's Word (cf. James 1:21) and who is considerate of others when discipline is needed (cf. 'gently' in Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:25; 'gentle' in 1 Cor. 4:21; Eph. 4:2; 'gentleness' in Col. 3:12; 1 Peter 3:16).

Self-control (enkrateia; this noun is used in the NT only here and in Acts 24:25; 2 Peter 1:6) denotes self-mastery and no doubt primarily relates to curbing the fleshly impulses just described. Such a quality is impossible to attain apart from the power of God's Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:16). As a final summary statement Paul affirmed that there are no prohibitions (lit., there is not a law) against such virtues. In a litotes (understatement) he asserted that obviously no one would make laws against people who practice such things."

IV) [Gal 5:24]:

(v. 24) "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

A) BELIEVERS ARE UNDER THE CONTROLLING INFLUENCE OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT WHICH HAS BROKEN THE CONTROL OF THE SIN NATURE

["Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [i.e., believers] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" = i.e., have destroyed the flesh's total control over them. This could not be teaching that the sin nature itself has been totally eradicated because the very next verse urges believers to "keep in step with the Spirit" and not the flesh]

Campbell, ibid:

"Paul next explained that believers (lit., 'those who are of Christ Jesus') need not be responsive to the sinful nature because they have crucified it. This does not refer to self-crucifixion or self-mortification. Rather, it refers to the fact that by means of the baptism of the Holy spirit, Christians were identified with Christ in His death and resurrection...

1) [Compare Ro 6:3]:

(v. 3) "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized [by the Holy Spirit] into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?]

[Campbell, cont.]

...Paul declared that this had been his experience (cf. 2:20) and that of all believers (cf. Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:11; 3:9). While co-crucifixion took, place potentially at the cross, it becomes effective for believers when they are converted. This does not mean that their sin nature is then eradicated or even rendered inactive but that it has been judged, a fact believers should reckon to be true (cf. Rom. 6:11-12). So victory over the sinful nature's passions and desires has been provided by Christ in His death. Faith must continually lay hold of this truth or a believer will be tempted to try to secure victory by self-effort."

V) [Gal 5:25]:

(v. 25) "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

A) EVEN THOUGH BELIEVERS HAVE THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT WHO HAS CONTROL OF THE BELIEVER'S LIFE, THE BELIEVER STILL HAS A CHOICE TO RESIST OR KEEP IN STEP WITH GOD'S LEADING STEPS

"If we live by [the] Spirit" = "Ei zomen Pneumati" =

"If" = Since =

"Since we live" = pres. tense, indicative mood: statement of fact = since all believers live by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is so since we have the indwelling Spirit in us Who now provides the believer with direction that he is to choose to live by, (cp. Ro 8:9)]

"let us keep step with the Spirit" =

let us follow the leading of that Spirit - indicating that there is a choice to be made: the Spirit or the flesh which one can permit once more to take control.

1) [Compare Ro 6:11-13]:

(v. 11) "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

(v. 12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you should obey its lusts,

[Notice that the believer has a choice]

(v. 13) and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of righteousness to God."

And then in the next verse, Paul goes on to exhort fellow Galatian believers NOT to sin, mentioning certain specific sins as appropriate examples which the Galatians were, (and you and are I are), prone to commit - thus indicating that the sin nature is still part of the believer's makeup with potential to do evil at any time]:

VI) [Gal 5:26]:

"Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."

Donald K. Campbell, states, (THE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY, NEW TESTAMENT EDITION, Victor Books, USA, Walvoord & Zuck, Editors, p. 587):

"Again Paul reminded the Galatians that in addition to a divine judgment of the sinful nature there is a divine enablement in the person of the Holy Spirit. He made the believer alive by regeneration (cf. John 3:5-6), so each believer is exhorted to keep in step (stoichmen, trans. 'follow' in Gal. 6:16) with the Spirit. Step by step one's Christian walk should conform to the Spirit's direction and enablement, lest believers become conceited, provoking and envying each other."