Williams uses the theme of covenant to organize his survey of the Bible, but he acknowledges that other themes might helpfully be used as well, especially the theme of the kingdom. “S. G. De Graaf begins his four-volume work Promise and Deliverance with Yahweh’s kingship: In the beginning God created the kingdom of God. In Genesis 1, ‘we are not just told that God created all things. What is revealed first and foremost is the Kingdom of God’” (242).
“This time between the first and second comings of Christ, this time between the inauguration of the kingdom and its eschatological consummation, is typified by Christ’s calling men and women into a new community, a new people of God, a people who will bear the name of Christ” (247).
“The believing remnant of the old Israel, along with believing Gentiles, constitutes a new Israel, the church. … Thus the church does not replace Israel, nor is it simply identical to Israel. … Israel must be redefined in Christ; and the church is that redefinition” (251-252).
“The church is the redemptive-historical fulfillment of what Israel was called to be — a witness to the nations — and of what it could not yet be — an eschatological community incorporated in Jesus the Messiah” (253).
“The goal of the church’s mission is the realization of the kingdom, to bring the rule of God to man. Too often, especially in the twentieth century, we have truncated this mission by restricting it to verbal proclamation of the gospel and the salvation of souls. … As Israel expands under the new covenant to include people from every tribe and nation, so the land also expands to embrace the entire earthly creation” (256-257).
“The kingdom is nothing less than the rule of God. The church is the people of God called to live out and proclaim the kingdom. A proper understanding of the church places it within the context of the kingdom because God’s reign extends over more than simply the church. The kingdom of God has the whole creation in view and ultimately will lay claim to all things” (265).
“The church’s vision and purpose is constituted by its future hope. It pioneers in the present the principles that characterize the future reign of God. The church offers a foretaste of the eschatological reality, points toward the kingdom” (269).