Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son”…Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise…As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” (Romans 9:8-9; Galatians 4:28; and Colossians 2:6)
Once again, our verses reveal a God of promises, who brings forth spiritual children of promise. This truth not only dictates how we enter the family of God, it also determines how we are to live as the children of God.
Ishmael could not be counted as the true seed of Abraham, because he was the product of fleshly ingenuity. “Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” Only Isaac could be called the true seed. “But the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” This is true concerning us as well. We became God’s children through faith in the promise of the gospel. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). We could not be saved by any fleshly provision: “Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Isaac was born through faith in the promises of God. “For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.'” We also were born again through faith in the promises of God. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.”
Children of promise are spiritually birthed by promise and spiritually developed by promise. Now that we have been born into God’s family by faith in His promises, we are to live day by day in the same way that we became His children. “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” The parallel is simple and straightforward: “As… so.” As we were saved, so we are to walk. We started out with the Lord by faith in the life-giving promise of the gospel. “And this is the promise that He has promised us-eternal life” (1 John 2:25). We are to live each day by faith in the life-developing promises that are inherent to the gospel. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of promise—born again through faith in Your life-giving promises. O Lord, teach me to live day by day in this same manner—sustained and transformed by trusting in Your life-developing promises, Amen.