“It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise who are counted as offspring.”
Romans 9:8 (ESV)
God promised Abraham that He would give him as many children as the stars in the sky (Genesis 22:17). However, when he and Sarah stepped in in the flesh and Abraham bore Ismael through Sarah’s servant Hagar, these descendants became children of the flesh.
But when he and Sarah (who was way past childbearing age), considered Him faithful who made the promise, she bore him Isaac (Hebrews 11:11). These descendants became heirs of the promise!
God honors faith!
He loves it when people surrender themselves to Him, fully trusting in His promises by faith; when we hold on to His promises, fully “knowing” (believing), that nothing is impossible for God! (Luke 1:37)
The Jewish nation has always been (and always will be) God’s chosen people. But because they didn’t continue in Abraham’s footsteps of fully surrendered faith, God sent His son Jesus into the world, so that all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God i.e., children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision/desire or his own will, but children born of God! (John 1:12 and 13)
So now, by FAITH, we too can be called “children of God” – heirs of our Father Abraham – the Father of faith.
By His sovereign grace and mercy, God Himself grafted us into the vine of His people, so that we who were not His people, can now be called “sons of the living God” (John 1:7).
“As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.”
Romans 9:25 (ESV)
So just like that, we now belong! We are part of the family of God! Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). For God says that He has mercy on who He wants to have mercy (Romans 9:18)!
In the book of Romans, Paul describes how the failure of the Jews to fully trust and obey God led to the opening of the door to the Gentiles.
“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous.”
Romans 11:11 (ESV)
Therefore, Paul warns us:
“(ESV)18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.”
For it is by grace alone that we have become children of God, ingrafted branches of the vine through faith in the finished work of the Cross (Ephesians 2:8).
Romans 10:10 (ESV) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation
“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
Romans 11:25 (ESV)
Thanks be to God, that those who do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Romans 11:23).
God has a salvation plan for His chosen people, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26)
As regards the gospel, they are enemies for our sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers (Romans 11:28).
Thank you, Abba, for your mercy by which we too have a seat at your table, together with the forefathers of faith.
Thank you, Jesus, for your blood, so that by faith in You, we too can become heirs of the promise, and so be called “children of God”.
What a magnificent promise: a Holy gift!
We praise you and give you thanks dear Lord!
ALSO READ: Daily devotion: Here’s your Bible verse and prayer