July 8, 2018

Children of Promise

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What does it mean for us to be “children of promise”?

One of the key ways in which we as believers in Jesus Christ are identified in the Bible is as sons and daughters of someone or something.  For example, we are:

  • Children of God –John 1:12; Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14, 19
  • Children of light—Ephesians 5:8
  • Children of your Father in Heaven—Matthew 5:45
  • Children of the resurrection—Luke 20:36
  • Children of Abraham—Galatians 3:7
  • Children of the freewoman—Galatians 4:22
  • Children of promise—Galatians 4:28

All of these have opposite identities, which are in some instances referenced in the same text.  They all speak to character, behavior, purpose, likeness, and belonging.

Abraham and the Promise

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”  So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Galatians 3:8,9)

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

And John bore witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.  I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit”. (John 1:32,33)

The Teaching of Jesus

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  (John 14:25,26)

It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)

The Promise of the Father

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4,5)

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

The Promise Fulfilled

When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The Promise Prophesied

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.  And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.

The Promise, The Saved, and the Church

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. (Acts 2:21) 

And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47)

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.  Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  (Acts 2:32,33)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. (Acts 2:38,39)

The Promise, The Saved, and the Church

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)

And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47)