What did Paul teach about the law and the inheritance? Who are the true heirs of God? Galatians and the Inheritance, When?, provides clues to the questions of who are the true sons of God? Secondly, it establishes why answering that question is important. The relationship of sons is about the inheritance. A key factor in the inheritance is time.
No Inheritance Under the Law
First, according to Paul, those who advocate service to God through the law do not quite understand the testimony of the law. In an unmistakeably clear text, Paul writes, “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.” (Galatians 3:21).
Of what does the inheritance consist? It is all of those elements which belong to the consummation of the age and the end time. That includes the kingdom of God, the blessing of salvation, resurrection, and the face to face presence with God and Christ in the heavenly Jerusalem.
This presented a problem for the fleshly descendants of Abraham who rejected the gospel. As they were zealous for the law, they became blinded to message which would forever set them free from bondage.
No Inheritance For Slaves
Two points Paul makes with regard to eligibility for the inheritance. First, slaves or servants, although they are in the house of the master, do not inherit. For this reason, there had to be a social status change for those under the law. The word “bondage” implies servitude. Such was the case of Israel under the law. They were bond-slaves to sin, (Romans 6:14-16).
No Inheritance for Children
Children, being of a different social status than slaves, were in the matter of the inheritance no different, as long as they were children. Paul makes the point that underage children have no more advantage to the inheritance than a slave. Underage children cannot inherit due to their immaturity.
In that sense, though for a limited time, they differ nothing from the servant. Hence, they are under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Upon reaching full age, they are then and only then allowed to enter upon their inheritance.
Conflict With Their Law Status
As stated above, the law serve as an insurmountable barrier to the inheritance. It was a form of spiritual retardation, in that those who served it, would never mature. The law could not give life hence they could not received the inheritance under it.
Galatians and the Inheritance, When?
The key role that Christ serves in the inheritance is that of redeeming Israel from the bondage of the law. Less we think this is only about Israel, we must simply understand that redemption is presented through Israel for the world, (John 4:22, Romans 15:8). Look for more on this subject in the next post. Want to know more about eschatology and how it fits together. See our book, the ReExamination.