Galatians 4:28 – Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Hello readers, thanks for reading. I hope this blog isn’t a bit of a ramble, but there are lots of thoughts in it. Basically put, this blog is a call to just believe God’s word. We can so easily get away from simple faith and trust. We can so easily do Christianity without a real relationship and trust in God. We can do Christianity without any internal reality, just mindless religion, mindless processes. Instead of faith and trust, we mechanically do stuff in our flesh. And it gets tired, old and heavy. It all gets impossible. Learn the truths of the children of promise. It’s against our flesh to trust in and walk according to God’s promises. To claim them in our daily, practical, real lives. So often the Bible is dead to us because to us none of it is our own personal internal reality. We just have a bit of fleshly religion. Paul in his letter to the Galatians said that we are the children of promise. If you are not saved, that’s not you. You’ve rejected the promises of God and you’re going it yourself. You can be saved today, you can be a child of promise. See, we are all a child of something and someone. Maybe you’re a child of the devil? A child of the world? A child of sin? But as for me and those readers that are saved, we are the children of God. You become a child of God by birth. Without the birth, without being born into the family of God which happens at salvation, you are not a son of God.
God’s word is what begets us as children. James 1:18 – Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. We are begotten by God by the word of God. That’s why the preaching and teaching and proclamation of God’s word is what people need. There is no substitute for God’s word. The sower sowed the seed which is God’s word… sow that. It is belief upon God’s word, the gospel, that produces the new birth. You believe the gospel, God’s promise of salvation from sin and life eternal through Christ, and you will be born again. That all relies on God being a God who keep his promises. Us trusting that makes us children of promise.
Many people love religion, but many people don’t want to change. That’s why noone’s got that new birth, because they like who they are. Sure, they don’t wanna go to hell, but they don’t want salvation from their sin in their lives apart from escaping hell. True salvation is a changed life. Because true salvation is a changed heart, a new heart. True salvation is a completely different attitude to sin.
But I’ve been thinking, often our faith can belong just in the past. We can get to thinking that we trust God for salvation, but after that, we take it from here. Many people start well, but then live in the energy of their flesh. Paul rebuked that so strongly in Galatians. You see to be a child of promise is to wait on God and trust God, not just for salvation, but for practical day to day life all the way to eternity. You never grow up from trusting God. That same faith that saved you, that same faith is required every day to live the Christian life.
Jesus was going to ascend back to his father. It was better that way he said. Because he would send his Spirit and so instead of Jesus just being with them, he’d now be in them. That is, all those that placed their faith in him. And he told them to wait for the promise. Hey are you a child of promise? He’s talking to you. The Bible says in Acts 1:4 – And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Waiting for the promise is a big principle in the Bible. But today I want to look at it in terms of a life of faith. Waiting on God. Because our entire life relies actually on God’s faithfulness. On God performing his word. Abraham, the father of faith, he relied and trusted on God performing his promises to him. It wasn’t just a copout faith, it was a true heart belief in God’s word. When God told him to do something, he did it, because he held God’s word as truth. When you truly believe in something, it is justified by your actions. That is, your life proves you belief.
The Bible calls saved people children of promise. We are a child of promise because we live by trusting God’s promises. They are our reality. We rely on God performing in our life while we trust him. Often we aren’t children of promise though, because we instead try living Christianity or doing Christianity in our flesh. Rather than believing and trusting God, we try to produce. Remember Abraham? He sure tried to produce God’s promises himself. God had promised him a son, and he tried producing it through his flesh. He tried producing God’s promise in his own effort, and he failed, he got an Ishmael not an Isaac. When we get off the life of faith and go into that easy life of walking by our sight in our strength, that’s when we get derailed. We take off Christ’s easy yoke of just a relationship and love and trust in him and his word, and we instead live a spiritually dead life doing religion in our fleshly strength.
God had promised him a seed, and Abraham had to wait for God’s promise. God never told him to make it happen, he told him that he would do it, that all Abraham needed to do was trust him. But we like to get our life in our control, we don’t like to have to instead fall of God’s sufficiency, on God’s grace, on God to perform things. Instead of prayer and waiting, we set out to answer the call. Moses tried answering God’s call in his own energy, and he failed. Forty years later, he learnt that it had to be God doing it, that’d be the only way to live and do. When a Christian does something, it’s because he does believe God, he does it in faith, the origin of his action is faith in God. If that’s not where your life stems from, you’ve got an Ishmael in your tent, and there’s bondage there. Because you can’t do it. Your flesh will fail. Abraham’s did. Abraham’s produced Ishmael. Your flesh can’t do it. You need the Spirit of God. And the Holy Spirit is given and lives in us by promise. You see we get obsessed with “our faith journey”, but it’s really Christ’s faith. He is the one faithful and true.
We try to do Christianity ourselves and we fail. Jesus said ye must be born again. The new birth is what is required. Of course our flesh is going to fail. Our first birth, it’s not good enough. You wouldn’t need to be born again if your first birth could do it. Your first birth, you were born dead in sins. The best you can muster is unacceptable. If you haven’t been born again, you’re fighting an uphill battle from the start. Most Christianity today is completely dead inside. That explains their teaching, preaching, doctrine, ministry, worship. It is all an evidence of no spiritual life. Remember Aaron’s rod? But instead of buds, blossoms and almonds… they’re just a dead shriveled up stick. There’s no life there. Just worldly stuff with a religious skin to it. Your flesh will never please God. Your flesh is against God. Your flesh doesn’t know God. Your flesh doesn’t want to believe God and wait on him. It wants to go it itself. It doesn’t need God, it’s proud and rebellious and independent of God. If you are saved, you like Moses should be being “drawn out” of this world unto God by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in your life, he should be in you and transforming you into Christlikeness. The Holy Spirit is greater than your flesh, why don’t we live like it’s so? In the Bible Saul waxed weaker and David waxed stronger. But Saul did come first. Your flesh comes first, but once you get saved, David the anointed will come through. But it might be time before God gets you there. It can take a long time for God to teach us such simplicity like it’s all by faith, from forgiveness to sanctification to glorification. We never grow up from simple faith in God and his word.
Isaac was a miracle child. The Bible says he was born after the Spirit. We need to live life in the Spirit. You can’t live in the Spirit if you don’t have the Spirit. People often have Christianity, but aren’t saved. There’s no change there. If you’ve been saved, God has birthed a new creature in you, born of God. That’s where the change comes from. We can’t change our own heart. We can try, but we can’t do better. We need to ask God to help us, to save us, to give us his power. See that’s a life of faith, where you trust God for the power to perform his promises. He promised his Spirit, he promised deliverance, why don’t we claim that instead of going it ourselves? Often we lead defeated, dead lives when we just need come to God in prayer and faith.
When the Bible says in Romans 8:1 to walk after the Spirit, my mind automatically thinks how do I do that? You see, that’s not spiritual understanding but fleshly understanding, the same that Nicodemus had in John 3. You see, walking after the Spirit requires faith, not performance. We tend to always think in terms of our performance, rather than trusting God. To walk after something, after someone, is to follow someone. Follow Jesus Christ, he told his disciples to follow him. How do we do that? Well the Holy Spirit has to be a reality in your life, you can’t walk after the Spirit if you’re not saved. When you walk after someone, that’s them leading. So when you start walking after the Spirit, you are placing faith in the person who’s leading. So that’d require finding out what God says, his will to us… and that’s found in his word. See, Abraham followed God’s leading to Mount Moriah. We need to follow God’s direction. We know his promises in his word, we have to let the Holy Spirit, have ears to hear. Remember Samuel? The word of God hadn’t been revealed to him yet as a child, and when God called him, he ran to Eli. To walk after the Spirit, you need to know the still small voice of God’s word. See, we get “after” the Spirit and “in” the Spirit mixed up. If you are saved, you are in him. But in practical life we need to follow him, that’s walking “after” the Spirit. Go where God leads, and to know God’s leading, you need to be in his word… of course! If your life is lacking God’s word, prayer, if there’s a heavy yoke on you, if you are defeated in sin… and so on… it all shows you are not walking after the Spirit, but after the flesh. Trust God, trust in his word. You trusted him to save you, why can’t you trust him for the power to live the Christian life? He doesn’t stop performing his promises just in forgiveness, he keeps performing all his promises in all areas of life.
See, the whole point of children of promise is that it’s not longer about us, but about God’s promises. It takes the reins out our hands, it takes it out of our power, which we don’t have power anyway. We give the reins to God, we instead live and stand on God’s promises. We cling to them. We live believing them. We obey believing them. Waiting for God’s promises, suddenly that’s when things like prayer and faith and belief become alive. When we have religion, that’s us doing stuff. When we wait on God’s promises, that’s a completely different life that comes from a different heart. And we can’t control God can we? We have to trust his word. Trust he’s told us and is telling us the truth.
Abraham, the FATHER of faith, well he failed. So do we. God had promised him a son. He did trust God, but time went by. Time tested that trust and patience in God’s word. God waited until he had no power to produce that seed himself. We can’t produce the Christian life ourself. We need God the whole way. God took him past his capacity. It’d need to be a miracle. It’d need to be the power of God. Abraham and Sarah got to an age where they were past child bearing. Her womb was dead. But he didn’t live like it was so, because he trusted God. He believed what God said. That’s how he lived his life. That’s the kind of person that God’s promises are too, even today. But God’s going to have to take you to where you realize you can’t do it. You gotta trust him to perform his word.
When you’re living on God’s promises, when you’re standing on them, what a rest it is. Because it’s not about you, but it’s about the power of God. You actually have to rely on him. You have to follow him rather than you walking the direction and making your way. We so easily take over, and before long, Jesus is standing at the door, he’s not in your life. You can do Christianity in the flesh. But the just shall live by faith. God wants a living relationship, that’s the whole point of him dwelling in us and not in a tabernacle, an earthly building. God wants us to stand in faith, not in our own strength. He wants our faith to stand in his power, not in ours. We don’t like the thought of relying on God. Indeed we think we exhaust God. But we can’t. Sometimes we think God is like a battery and he’s got a certain amount of energy to give and we do the rest. We pray for this and that’s our quota. We take the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Where we once may have had a vibrant life of simple faith and trust, now it’s dead religion.
We have to trust God for every part of salvation. For every part of living. Often we can just go through the motions. We can go weeks without prayer or reading the Bible. Because it’s not a relationship and fellowship, it’s just you doing life. Mindless, heartless religion. It’s different when it’s a reality isn’t it. They asked Jesus, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus said in John 6:29 – Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. See, everything in the Christian life starts with believing him. Pray believing. Read believing. Live believing. Not an abstract belief, but a belief founded in what God has said. His promises! Children of promise!
Think about this, if you truly BELIEVE something, it will produce action as a result of that belief. Belief is more than knowledge and intellectual assent, it’s a conviction of something as true. When someone has a strong belief, they act accordingly don’t they. Why does the world have a stronger conviction of their beliefs than we do of Christ? Abraham believed God’s word, that’s what made him righteous. We often try to be righteous not by believing, but by doing. Righteousness is found in Christ, he is the righteous one, so believing in him and his word, that’s how we are made righteous. You can try and establish your own righteousness, but it’s unacceptable to God. Abraham believed God’s word, and it was counted to him for righteousness. When we are convicted of God’s word as truth, that is life transforming. Abraham did what he did because he believed God. His words just justified his faith, they proved his faith. Because if he didn’t believe God’s word, he wouldn’t have obeyed would have he. Because he would’ve thought he knew better and thus gone some other way. And he did that with Ishmael, he disobeyed God, and it was failure. When you believe God, you are leaving behind your rags of self righteousness and assenting to his righteousness and his truth as the truth.
So we are children of promise. Salvation is a promise of God. So is the Holy Spirit. Are you a child of God’s promises? When they were waiting at Jerusalem, they were obeying God’s word. They believed what Jesus said to do, so they did it. But they couldn’t make the Holy Spirit come. They couldn’t do the preaching themselves, they had to wait for God’s promises. They’d need to trust God to perform his word. We need to place our life into God’s hand to perform his word and will in our lives. Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. If you’re trying to live Christian and failing it’s because it’s all about you. Your flesh might sincerely desire to do religion, but it can’t do it. As much as Abraham wanted God to accept Ishmael, Ishmael was NOT the promised seed, the promises weren’t to Ishmael. We can really make God want to accept our flesh. But he doesn’t.
Has Isaac been birthed in your life? Are you born again? Have you come to an end of yourself. Has God born that person in your life who lives by faith. Who instead of self effort, self betterment instead trusts the Lord God? You see, we are all failures. In the flesh we cannot please God. That’s Bible. The flesh doesn’t need to pray, it doesn’t need to trust, it doesn’t need to rely on God. The flesh says I’ll do it myself. Why do you think Paul in Acts asked people, have you received the Holy Ghost? Because if he’s not there, nothing else matters. Jesus said you must be born again. We live in a self help world. We live in a world that doesn’t need a new birth because they love their first birth. They might want to improve their flesh, but they sure love it, and nourish it, they don’t want to be born again. They don’t even see a need for it, they’re happy with themselves.
You know, your flesh will persecute the Isaac born in you. It’s a battle to walk after the Spirit, to walk after the Spirit you’ll need to deal with Ishmael. Ishmael persecuted Isaac… they couldn’t coexist. You need to put your flesh to death. You need to crucify it. That’s a practical truth, you need to reckon yourself dead to sin. You need to acknowledge you are a sinner. You need to claim the promises of God. He’s promised to save you and he’s promised the Holy Spirit to those that believe on him. So rather than us trying harder and doing better, instead look to Christ for deliverance, for life, for direction, for power. When you have that mind, you’ll want to pray, you’ll care about the veracity of God’s word, because that’s what you’re living by. People don’t care about God’s word because they are living in their own capabilities and capacity. That’s fleshly dead religion.
Without a new heart you really are just fighting yourself. Look at Samson, he was fighting against the Philistines, but took a Philistine wife! Have you ever figured out that you love sin? It’s hard to stop sinning when you love it right. There are sins that we all love, that we always commit, that beset us. We need God to give us the will and ability to have deliverance from them. They can really hold us. Those Hebrews wanted to go back to Egypt. You’d think surely not, they were slaves there, but they longed to go back. A life of sin isn’t as good as you think, yet we love it.
I had never really understood when Paul said we are the children of promise. It’s because we are begotten by the word of God. Let’s not forget the promise is God’s word. God’s word is full of exceeding great and precious promises. The children of promise, the children of Abraham, they are those that trust God’s word. That trust in Jesus Christ. That live on his promises, not on what they can do. Philippians 3:3 – For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. The Galatian church had begun by believing the gospel, but were now instead of still trusting in God, living by their own performance. They began in the Spirit, but now they were trying to be made perfect in the flesh. How often we get saved, then we try doing the Bible in our own capacity. Hey it won’t be long till you realize how desperate that state is. When you keep sinning, and keep sinning, and can’t find victory. That’s because you’re trying to deliver yourself. Because it comes easy to our flesh to try and deliver ourselves and do better. Much more natural to us and easier than bowing the knee and asking Jesus to deliver us! And waiting for him to do it. This is not as an excuse to sin, but it’s in living a real life that is based on trusting him to perform his express written will. To change our very will and desires and heart, for HIM to do it.
We get such a wrong handle on salvation. Salvation is salvation from what? Sin… that’s what. That’s not just forgiveness, but that’s a whole lot more. God wants to deliver you from the practice, power and presence of it. That’s the whole point of the new birth. He creates a new person in you, born of God. That’s Isaac. And he’s received by faith, by God performing and us trusting. Hey that’s hard for us, having to realize we can’t do it. That’s what Abraham realized. He COULD NOT do it. Him and Sarah had tried their best… but only made matters worse! But boy did Abraham love Ishmael, we can really love that old flesh. But he did believe God, and Isaac was born and started to grow. You know, as a Christian you should grow. That new person should wax stronger while the flesh gets weaker. And as that person, that Isaac grows, you need to kick Ishmael out. Cos he gonna cause trouble. There’s not room for the both of them, and only one of them is the heir. Put the flesh to death, mortify it’s deeds, don’t feed that beast. So often we feed our flesh, and we keep Ishmael alive and in the camp. Cast OUT the bondwoman and her son.
Our Christian life can be so dead. You know why? Because it is dead. There’s no spiritual life. If you have no internal reality… a NEW heart… then it’s all dead. It’s all death. It all stinks. And it’s not acceptable to God. Without the new birth don’t even bother. God’s made promises not just to be saved, but for our life after that saving faith. We don’t just trust Jesus to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us from our sins. That’s why people aren’t born again, because they don’t want deliverance from sins. How can you want deliverance from something you love? And then you give up the fight eventually, people are turned away sure enough, like Samson in Delilah’s lap. They don’t want to fight anymore. Despite knowing what’s going on, they have no strength. They give up the fight. Cos they’re fighting an enemy they love. You can’t expect to sow to your flesh and feed it, and it not take over and ruin you. Pray for God to change you, to create a new heart in you, to put a will and a desire in you to obey him. You need to ask God to give you the heart to want to obey him, not just to obey him. See, Samson was born into a vow, but unless it was in his heart to be that, it was just an external thing. And he lived with a pull inside to sin. We have to really trust God in all areas of life, for his grace and sufficiency. The Bible says that it is Jesus that works in us both to WILL and to DO of his good pleasure. God performs his salvation he gives us. If he’s begun a good work in you, he will perform it till the day of Christ. See, that’s not you performing it, but you are trusting God, assenting to his authority and “rightness”, that takes humility and God gives grace to the humble. And his grace upon your life… that’s manifested in the power and ability to do what God says, out of a living quickened heart of love and gratitude to him.
Its takes Gods power for us to love righteousness. How does Moses choose Christ over the pleasures of sin? How do we? We have to ask God for the ability to want and do his word through the Spirit. We cant make that happen ourselves. But ask according to his will, and that is his written will, and God promises to answer. You’ll never be able to work yourself into a state of being acceptable to God. God has to make you acceptable to him. And that’s why faith pleases him. Cos that’s trusting him and his provision. Abraham saw God’s provision at Mount Moriah didn’t he? That’s a picture of the cross, that’s the means by which we would see it’s about God. All Abraham kept on discovering was it’s all God. God did everything , all Abraham did was stuff it up. That’s the same for us. Just trust God. Believe him.
Anyway, it’s been a longer blog than I thought. But as a Christian, we need to realize we are children of promise. We don’t walk after the flesh, but our walk is one of trusting in God’s promises. They are our reality. You can’t produce, you can’t make things happen that it’s God’s business to do. He requires of us just to believe on him in our hearts. Our lives justify if we have that true faith in his word. Mortify your flesh, don’t serve it, don’t let him rule you, but instead trust in God’s Holy Spirit, who had the power to raise Jesus from the dead, to quicken your mortal body. It’s by faith. The Holy Spirit will draw you out of this world, out of sin unto God. A child of promise is a born again believer. An Isaac must be born in you. Ishmael was cast out. You can live your whole life, there’s a big impressive Ishmael, but he was produced by the flesh and in disobedience to God… and God’s promises weren’t to him, he wasn’t the heir. God’s promises are to faith. We need to get back to simply believing God’s word. Believe the gospel. Wait for his promises. He’s promised the Holy Spirit, so if you want to walk after the Spirit, pray for him to lead you. We like to walk in the flesh because it comes natural to us, it’s what we can see, it’s us in control… but God wants us to lead a real, practical life trusting him. Get in God’s word. Place your faith in Christ. The children of promise believe and wait on God’s promises. Standing on the promises of God. And God’s promises are 100 percent folks, he can be trusted, he is the faithful Creator.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)