William Andrew Dillard
CHILDREN OF PROMISE
The first two thousand years of human history might well be called “the age of experimentation.” Will mankind left largely to himself seek after God, and His will for their life? The obvious answer was, and is, “No!” Thus it was proven through the Noahic Flood, and the subsequent Tower of Babel that, though some were saved people spiritually, their way was corrupt. It followed then that God moved to implement a specific covenant relationship with His people. Abraham is the beginning of that line. He received a covenant of promise that is still in effect to this day. Although predicated upon spiritual salvation relationship with God, the covenant has to do with the life of obedience to God His people are to live.
The apostle Paul taught the church at Rome, and the churches of Galatia about this special standing with God in the following terms: “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:8. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Gal. 4:28. Some theologians would apply these scriptures to all who have repentantly received the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior, yet walk after the world or worse, walk after the heresies of Satan’s promotion. Such lifestyles have no advantage over the antediluvian population or those who busied themselves with the Tower of Babel. Furthermore, the loss of the true meaning of life on earth is just as sure to those of that mindset.
Let the reader consider that God would not have Ishmael for His heir, but the child of God’s promise: Isaac. His offspring was given a temporary covenant of Law that they might learn the awfulness of sin. It also prepared them for the next and last stage of the covenant relationship, the Anointed One’s body: the New Testament Church, purchased with the lifeblood of the Son of God. It is a covenant that will remain to give glory to God throughout the age, and in worlds to come. Among its multi-purposes is that of preparing a people to rule and to reign with Jesus in the fast approaching millennial reign.
Men have sought to offer to God various forms of legalism as His inheritance. Others have despised their heritage and sold out for worldly exaltation or temporary gain as did Esau of old, thereby losing something that cannot be regained. But it is true church saints that constitute those to whom the beloved apostle said, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Here then is the sweet possession of God’s true people on earth. Let it be cherished and never abandoned!