The kingdom of God is mentioned over a hundred times in the New Testament, it is a central theme in both Jesus’ teaching and the epistles. One of the theological discourses that Paul explores in Galatians is the relation between the law and Christ. In Galatians 3:23,29 he wrote, “Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed… If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
The law is not negated in the New Covenant, reliance in the law is. In the earlier part of the chapter the apostle wrote, “for all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse” Galatians 3:10. Pauline teaching deals harshly towards a system that had extolled religious regulation over faith in Christ. A system that was meant to guide adherents to Jesus’ kingdom became the goal in itself. The custodian took over the eminent role reserved for God and placed on its followers a burden impossible to carry. Paul had to correct this by stating that while the law trains us to be righteous, it cannot make us righteous, only faith in Christ can do that. Profoundly, Paul ends this chapter by reiterating the true seed of Abraham are those who believe in Christ. They are heirs of the promise.
This truth is important for us today. Christianity is not antinomian; the moral law has an important place in our belief. In fact, through Christ we gain the power to live rightly, and through His kingdom we discover that submission to His rule opens us to His realm. Significantly, by understanding that we are kingdom kids, with the promise of inheritance, God motivates us to embrace kingdom precepts not because we must but because of who we are.
Ps. Loke Chi Shyan