Who are the true Children of Abraham, and heirs of the promise?
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."(Matthew 1:1, KJV).
The first thing that must be seen is that Jesus is recorded as the son of Abraham. In fact He is the last one listed in Abraham's genealogy. Jesus The Christ is the last one listed in the generation's of Abraham. Why is that, and what happened to the lineage after Christ?
Abraham was the father of faith, everything about him pointed to Christ. The Abrahamic covenant is summed up in Christ. " In you all the families of the earth will be blessed," was God's covenant with Abraham. This covenant is fulfilled in Christ; for it is in Him that all the families of the earth get blessed. For salvation comes by no other name than Christ.
So Christ is the last in the lineage of Abraham, and it is in Christ that the genealogy continues.
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:16, KJV).
It is important to notice that the promise was made to "Abraham and his seed " and that the seed is Christ. The promises go from a natural people in the Old Covenant, to a spiritual people in the New Covenant. Now, no one is excluded from the promises made to Abraham. Christ is the seed of Abraham, and it is those in Christ that are the children of Abraham.
"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."(Galatians 3:7, KJV).
My NKJ renders it this way, "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham." It is only those who are born again believers that are the true children of Abraham.
In Christ the Genealogy changed from a natural people to a spiritual people. There are Jews over in Israel, and around the world; but God is working out His covenant in a spiritual people, born of the spirit, who are the true Israel of God. It matters not what nationality you are, it is weather you are in Christ.
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."(Galatians 3:27-29, KJV).
You are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. The church is the children of Abraham, the Israel of God. We are of the Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all; but this is not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. ( Gal. 4:21-31 & 5:6 & 6:15,16. Rom. 4:11. )
Who is the Jew?
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Romans 2:28,29, KJV).
The true Jew is the born again man, it is he that has been born of the spirit; that is, circumcision of the heart. It is the cutting away of the man of flesh, the old nature. Again, what was natural to Abraham has become spiritual to us. The natural circumcision of Abraham's covenant with God is but a type and shadow of God's covenant with us. Circumcision of the heart is the new birth experience; it's God's covenant with us that we are saved. You are spiritually lost before you get saved, but at salvation you leave the race of the lost, all those in Adam, and enter a brand new race, those in Christ. Your heart is changed, your a new creature in Christ, a spiritual Jew, God's chosen people.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. "(1 Peter 2: 9,10, KJV).
God's chosen people are not a natural people over in the Middle East somewhere, but a spiritual people, the church. The church is not a pause in what God is doing, the church is what God has been after all along. A people for a purpose, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:5,6, KJV).
The church is the children of Israel, we are the children of the promise, the holy nation Peter was talking about. The church is to be a kingdom of priest's showing forth the praises of God to the rest of the world. This is what God has been after all along. It's why Christ died. His death causes you to become something you had know way of becoming in yourself. The true Israel of God is a spiritual nation.
"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 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 9:6-8, KJV).
Paul was longing for the natural nation of Israel to be involved in the new covenant. All they would have to do is believe in Christ whom God sent. So it doesn't matter who your born to naturally, but who your in. Are you in Christ? or not. It's who your in, not where you come from. It's not where you were born in the flesh, but who your born in after the Spirit. ( Eph. 2:11-22 & Heb. 12:22-24 & Rev. 21:2,3. )
The CHURCH is the true Israel of God. We are the Holy city New Jerusalem. We are kings and priest's of God, a people for a purpose. We are the children of Abraham. We are called to show forth the praises of our God. We are a Royal Priesthood; "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."(Eph.2:7 NKJ)
R H M 1996