Monday, 9 May 2016
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. Galatians 4:28
Paul’s words here show the full force of what has occurred in us because of the work of Jesus. Ishmael was born to Abraham without a promise. Abraham simply went into Hagar, she conceived, and he was born. The process of his birth followed the normal order of things. However, Isaac was born of a promise. The Lord said that Abraham would have a son, even when it seemed it would never occur. Later, He again told Abraham the time of the year that it would occur. This was after the birth of Ishmael, showing that Ishmael was not the son of promise. And just as the Lord promised, Isaac was born.
In the same way, those who were made sons through the law occurred in the way that the law indicated. A covenant was made, it was sealed in blood, and it came into effect. If one followed the precepts of the law, then son-ship was assured. However, the prophets spoke of a time when the Messiah would come. He would be a King on His throne, He would have an eternal priesthood, and those who came to Him by faith would be considered children of God. This was all promised in advance. With the coming of Christ, the result of believing in His work is the reception of the Spirit and adoption into God’s family.
Paul says here that “…we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” This is rather marvelous to consider. God said that this would occur; and here we are, the result of that marvelous promise! We are then likened to Isaac because of the way in which our son-ship came about.
As a side note, some manuscripts say “we,” others say “you.” If “we” is correct, then Paul is making a general statement about anyone who has been born of the Spirit through faith in Christ Jesus. If “you” is correct, then he is making a statement of emphasis that the Galatians are, in fact, children of promise. They then would be in contradistinction to what the false Judaizers taught. Rather than children of promise, they were attempting to get them under the law. Either way, the Galatians are included in the concept of being “children of promise.”
Life application: If we have been born of God, can we somehow become more fully “children of God” by observing the law? It is ridiculous to consider. Hold fast to the grace of Christ. Give up on deeds of the law.
Lord God, our hearts await You day after day. Yes, we are in this world and we have to live out each day the best we can, but for those of us who have tasted the delight of heaven through having received Jesus, our true hope is in the day we receive our heavenly home and our eternal inheritance. Everything here is temporary, but what You have promised is forever. We wait in expectation for the joy that lies ahead! Thank You for Jesus who has made all things new. Amen.