Text: “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. but he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.’”
Good morning, Christian child of God’s promise! You are not saved merely due to the fact that your Father and Mother were Christians. Your faith in God is not something you have inherited from your earthly parents. Not for you, Salvation through some legal religious system; or man written creed; nor system of ‘good works’, or ‘good-living’ keeping of high morals. You believe God’s Word: “There is none righteous, no not one...”. (Psalm 14:1-3) (Romans 3:10)
You are saved for time and Eternity by the finished work of the Cross of Christ Jesus, His Sacrifice, being appropriated, by God-given faith, to atone for your PERSONAL sins. Hallelujah! What truth, and what freedom for true children of God’s promise. Amen. (Titus 3:5-6) (John 8:32;36)
So often we learn of individuals, and even groups of individuals, who get so confused over the issue of Salvation. Some think they become Christians because their Mothers and Fathers are Christians; because they join a church group; because they follow a certain code of behaviour; a list of do’s and don’ts; or man-made creeds. What pitiful people these are! There is no more wicked delusion as self-delusion - and self-delusion will damn the sinner’s soul to a Christ rejecter’s Hell. (Jeremiah 17:9)
Some folk delude themselves that they are saved, merely because some preacher pleaded with them from a pulpit to, ‘Please accept Jesus into your heart?’ What nonsense! What Arminian twaddle! You and I have not got the power to become genuine, Spiritually regenerate Christian, unless the Lord has chosen us to be so, from before the foundation of the world. He determines whom He will save, and whom He will reject for Salvation. God is in FULL Sovereign Control of all things. (Please read The Sovereignty of God, by Arthur W. Pink.)
In our Bible passage today, the apostle Paul addresses this problem, and mourns deeply at the self-deluded people he encounters among his ‘brethren’, his ‘...kinsmen according to the flesh’ - the Jewish Nation.
These folk were Israelites whom had received the Law of Moses; been especially chosen as a Nation to reveal God’s dealings with mortal man; were outwardly waiting faithfully for the advent of their Messiah - yet, received Him not whenever He came unto them in human form! (John1:11)
We latter-day Gentile Nations are no less deluded, in many cases, as to our real standing in the eyes of our Holy Lord God. Many think their family relationship makes them accepted before God; many believe that the ‘good works’ they do daily will gain them a position in Heaven; many place their confidence in being a paid-up member of a church organization to attain Eternal Salvation. What pathetic confidence! Surely we can relate to Paul’s anguish at the misguided beliefs of such people in his day. Is it any wonder Paul had, “...great heaviness and continual sorrow in (his) heart...for (his) brethren, (his) kinsmen according to the flesh.”? (V.2-3)
One can almost hear Paul screaming at his countrymen and women: “Neither is there Salvation in any other, for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby ye must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“Jesus saith...‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)
The Jewish Nation thought that they would be saved just because they were the natural ‘...seed of Abraham...’ according to their lineage, but failed to realize that they were, ‘...not all Israel, which are of Israel...’. In other words, they needed to become Spiritual sons/daughters of God; they needed to be ‘...born again..’ of God the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-8)
Just as Isaac was the son of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah, we too must become sons/daughters of God according to His promise. We do this by faith alone, in Christ’s Atonement at the Cross alone; and by personal conviction and regeneration alone.
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons (daughters) of God, even to them that BELIEVE on His Name.” (John 1:12)
God not only gives His children the promise of full Salvation, He also grants His free gift of FAITH to those whom He chooses to adopt into His Heavenly family, the true Church of Jesus Christ.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man (woman) should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Therefore, we see clearly that true Christians are indeed the ‘...children of the promise...’ God gave to Abraham way back in the book of Genesis.
“Now the Lord had said unto Abraham...I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing...and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3) (Hebrews 11:8-12)
“Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness...” (Romans 4:3)
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:6-7) (James 2:23)
God’s Word says, “Ye must be born again!” We believe through God-given faith, and are imputed the very righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself! We become ‘children of God’s promise’. Hallelujah! What grace indeed! Praise God our Father in Heaven! (Hebrews 11:6)
With the above exposition in mind, beloved friend, let me ask YOU the question I must continually ask of myself: Are YOU a child of God’s promise, or merely a child who has grown up, or been brought into, a church organization?
The personal, individual, answer we give to such a searching question can make the vital difference between self-delusion and full awareness of one’s Eternal Security in the Body of Christ. (Philippians 2:12)
Thought: It is better to be Eternally sure, than Eternally sorry!