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"
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
- "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
"Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers,
beware of the false circumcision" (Phil.
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
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
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!