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Children of Promise
Bible study on Christians.

There are several descriptive phrases used in God's word regarding Christians, like "disciples of God" (Gal. 3:26).

One of the phrases related to Christians I don't hear very often, which I want to discuss in this article, is "children of promise" (Gal. 4:28).

Children of the Promise are Children of God
The phrases "children of the promise" and "children of God" are synonymous.

  • "That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants" (Rom. 9:8).

Not only do we learn these two phrases are synonymous from Romans 9:8, but that being a child of promise has nothing to do with fleshly ancestry.

In Romans 9, Paul goes to great length explaining that a person is not a descendant of Abraham (thus a child of promise) based merely on his lineage. Rather, he is a child of promise based on obeying God's word (Rom. 9:6).

Today, children of promise are Christians -- the people who walk by faith as disciples of Jesus Christ (Rom. 9:32-33).

We Become Children of Promise When Baptized
From the very beginning of the church, it's evident that we become partakers of the promise when we're baptized into Christ.

On Pentecost, when people asked what they should do to be saved, Peter said:

  • "'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself'" (Acts 2:38-19).

Then writing to the Ephesians, Paul plainly states:

  • "To be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (Eph. 3:6).

Remember we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3).

Since we are partakers to the promise in Christ, and we gain entrance into Christ through baptism, we become partakers of the promise when we're baptized into Christ.

Writing to the Galatians, Paul makes this point in greater detail.

  • Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.
  • So because we believe, we become sons of Abraham when we're baptized into Christ.
  • And now, we're heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:6-7, 26-29).

Paul explains this when he says:

  • "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise" (Gal. 3:26-29).

Christians are the True Circumcision
The children of promise are those of the circumcision, because circumcision was given to Abraham as a sign of the covenant.

Christians are the true circumcision. We were circumcised with the circumcision of Christ when we were baptized.

  • "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism . . ." (Col. 2:11-12).

Therefore, Christians are the true Jews, the true children of God, the true children of promise.

  • "For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).

Paul warns us to beware of the false circumcision, those who want to harm us because of our relationship with God.

"Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision" (Phil. 3:2).

Jesus similarly warns us of people who say they are Jews (children of God), but are not. In reality, they are of the synagogue of Satan.

  • "'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan'" (Rev. 2:9).

Jesus tells us He'll make them bow down at our feet, and make them know He has loved us.

  • "'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -- I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you'" (Rev. 3:9).

Application of the Warnings
Today, we can apply these warnings to the false religions and churches observing the circumcision of Abraham, or claiming to be Jews, or claiming to be children of God.

We must watch out and be alert, pressing on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Satan's battle against Christ and His church continues to rage, and some brethren have allowed themselves to be taken captive through doctrines of demons.

Sadly, even some of the young in Christ, before they were fully grounded have been led astray.

Thus, we must fervently preach and teach the word, so brethren aren't caught in a snare of the devil, unaware of what's happening.

Thousands of years ago, God made a promise to Abraham that looked forward to the "seed," Jesus Christ.

Today as Christians, we're partakers of the promise, having been baptized into Christ and faithfully serving Him.

So, as heirs according to the promise, we have a home in heaven as joint-heirs with Christ.

Praise be to God for showering us with such rich blessings in Christ, and for the home awaiting us in heaven!