“And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.” Galatians 4:28
Pursuing one’s genealogical roots leads down dead end streets, and reveals surprising discoveries. Not all of them are good. It is impossible to dig into the root system of one’s family tree without finding a few bad apples. With name changes, poor records, and fading memories, the only reliable way to be sure of one’s heritage is through DNA testing. It never lies.
Physical DNA clearly links a person with their family legacy. Spiritual DNA does the same thing. God adopted Gentiles into His family. By faith in His Son, they became children of promise. They are God’s children, not because they became Jews, but because they trusted in Jesus, not The Law, to make them right with God.
Paul was schooled in The Law. His letter took the Galatians to school on their heritage as “children of promise.” These early believers had more at stake than the keeping of a few dietary laws, or the adopting of religious rules and regulations foreign to their Gentile heritage. They were in danger of equating keeping The Law with receiving God’s grace. Big difference.
God is love. Love is not something He does. Love is who He is. His character is the driving force behind His unmerited favor. From God’s first covenant with Abraham, up until this present day, God’s grace is received by faith. Without the spiritual DNA of faith in God, there is no family connection. “Children of promise” are believers who have trusted Jesus as their Savior.
Keeping The Law does not generate love in God’s heart for His children. His love is constant, never ending and extends the grace of His promise towards those who need it the most and deserve it the least. This is the essence of grace. It is unmerited favor. It is freely given. God’s love is undefeatable good will, and unconquerable benevolence. He extended His love through His Son. “Children of promise” believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, as their Savior and Lord. Their faith is in Him, not The Law.
Abraham believed God. His faith in God, not his keeping of The Law made him right in the eyes of God. This is the promise. Believers are made right with God by faith, not by The Law.
“Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.” Galatians 3:6-9
Make no mistake about it. The Law reveals a rich spiritual heritage that is directly linked to The Jews. Blessed by God, they were chosen to be recipients of His grace. They were also chosen to be conduits of His grace to The Gentiles. A deep understanding or commitment to this spiritual DNA does not make anyone an heir to it, or deserving of it. Gentile believers enter into God’s family by His adoption, not by their devotion to The Law.
Paul knew his Jewish root system. He was clearly aware that his physical DNA was linked to Isaac’s mother, a free women, not the mother of Ishmael, a bondwoman. Paul also knew his spiritual DNA, and pointed out this key connection. He shared with the Gentile believers.
“So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.” Galatians 4:31
What God provided to Abraham, through Isaac, was a work of His grace. What Abraham produced, through Ishmael, was a work of his flesh, not his faith. Abraham’s wounded pride and lack of patience led him to a man-made solution. It always does.
Man’s best effort is always a poor substitute for what God has promised. God told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son.” At that time, Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The point is this. God only recognizes the children of promise. They bear the DNA of faith. Without faith, there is no family connection with The Father, and no adoption by The Father.
Believing prayer is the living, breathing expression of the “children of promise.” The Spirit within a child of God cries out, “Abba! Father!” God’s children are linked with The Father by faith, and they communicate with Him, through prayer.
When the “children of promise” pray to The Father, in the name of His Son, they discover He is accessible to them. At the same time, believing prayer makes His children available to Him. A true heir of The Father is not just interested in The Father’s will. They are intimate with The Father. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!