Children of Promise


November 12


Read Galatians 4:28-31

Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.



How is Isaac an illustration of Christians today?


To understand today’s passage, we have to understand some Old Testament history. The history of Abraham and the covenant God made with him is being referred to in this Scripture. If you want to brush up on Abraham’s story, you can find it in Genesis 12-25.


God made a covenant with Abraham and promised him many descendants. Which was interesting because his wife, Sarah, was barren. But Abraham followed God’s command and went where He sent him in faith that God would bless him with many descendants. But Sarah was not bearing any children. So Sarah convinced Abraham to take her maid, Hagar, as a wife to have a child through her. This was legal in their culture at the time but it was not God’s plan for Abraham and Sarah. So even though Hagar did bear him a son, Ishmael, he was not the son God promised. In Galatians, Ishmael is the son “born according to the flesh”.


Again, God promises Abraham that he will have a son through Sarah and that they are to call him, Isaac. Abraham and Sarah were elderly by this point. It was a miracle that a barren woman and a man so old would ever conceive a child. Isaac was a son “born by the power of the Spirit” because only the Spirit could have accomplished this miracle. At Isaac’s weaning feast, Ishamel begins to mock and mistreat Isaac. God ends up telling Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away because Ishmael was not the promised son who will receive his inheritance.


What does this Old Testament historical account have to do with the Christians Paul was writing to in Galatia? And what does it have to do with Christians today? Paul was comparing and contrasting two births. Physically, we are first born in the flesh as sinners because in Adam, all have sinned. Spiritually, we are born again in the Spirit when we accept Christ. It is this spiritual birth that makes us children of God and eligible to be His heirs.


Ishmael was born according to the flesh just like our old selves and he persecuted Isaac. Isaac was born in the Spirit just as we are also born in the Spirit when we are in Christ. Ishmael represents the unbelievers who have always persecuted the believers that Isaac represents. Hagar was a slave woman who represents the slavery of the law. Sarah was a free woman who represents the freedom we find in Christ.


Friends, Paul is telling us that we are like Isaac, children of the promise! Isaac’s birth represents that we are born of the Spirit when we have faith and are given grace like Abraham. Don’t turn back to slavery under the law (represented by Hagar). We are not children of the law but children born of the Spirit. We are children of the promise!



Father, I know that I don’t deserve it but thank you for your grace. It has given me the opportunity to choose faith, life, and freedom in You. Because I am now born of the Spirit, help me to walk in the Spirit rather than returning to the slavery of the past. Amen.

~ Pastor Nat Crawford


If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us! Or share this post with your friends and family, here is the link:

Thank you Lord for your unconditional love for me.
Amen, thank you Lord.
Draw me to You, dear Lord. I want to be a person who finds freedom in You, not in the things of the world.
Heavenly Father than You for all of blessings, grace, mercy, and kindness that You continually provide for us. We are born new creatures in You. Help me to walk in the path that leads to You. My Lord, Savior, King, Redeemer. All my faith and trust I put in You. In Your Son, Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Thank you for this wonderful devotions.
What a great explanation of this passage. I have never heard it put into words the way you did. This may now become one of my favorite passages. Thank you.
Was great lesson
I'm born of the spirit and not of the flesh thank you Jesus my soul manify the Lord and my spirit praise His name , glory to God Amen.
This bless my heart very much may God bless you all amen
Pastor Nat here. How is this study of Galatians helping you understand God and your relationship with Him? If you're not watching the teaching videos associated with this, check it out here:
Thank you God
Thank you Pastor Nat for such clarity and narration of what it really means to be "children of promise (born of the Spirit...Isaac), as opposed to be "slaves under the law (rep. By Hagar). Amazing grace indeed! Father, thank You for making me a child of "promise" through Your Son, my Saviour, Christ Jesus! Amen.
Thank you Pastor Nat for this clear presentation of living as a slave vs. living in freedom. Amen.
Thank you so much for the insight of this passage. God Bless
This story never was presented to me with this key message , thank you
Wow thank you for the insight in this scripture its something I never saw in it before very powerful and true
Truth...Amen, by the grace and help of God.
Let us encourage one another on to love and good works for it is God who works in us to will and do his great purposes. We are blessed because of what Jesus had done and is doing in us. All for your glory Jesus. Amen
Loved this ...
Enjoyed this teaching
I enjoy this teaching this morning it was a refreshing of God's word
Thank you Father for breaking the power of canceled sin. Help us to appropriate that power into our lives.