Blog the Bible: Galatians 4:31

What did Isaac do to inherit the promises of God?

It is a simple question, but a very profound one. The answer, of course, is nothing. Isaac was the promised heir to the blessings God had promised to Abraham.

That is the point Paul wants us to get. You see, Isaac didn’t earn God’s favor by good deeds, law keeping (after all the law wasn’t even given when he was alive), or any other form of human striving or effort. It was by sheer, utter, and complete grace that God that he inherited the blessings of God.

And so it is with us. We too inherit all the blessings of Christ, not by our own attainments, not by rule-keeping, performance before God, but by his free grace. In Christ we are no longer slaves to sin, that is, forced to try to keep the law perfectly and chained to the reality that we can never measure up. No, in Christ, we are made the rightful heir to all the promises of Abraham. We are Sarah’s children, not Hagar’s. And how is it so? Just like with Isaac, “for by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

Or again as Paul puts it in Galatians 4:4 – “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Amen! Again I say Amen!

Lord, thank you for your grace in sending your Son to fulfill the whole law on my behalf. Thank you that in Him, I am brought into the family of God. Thank you that I can call you Father! Lord, set free others by your free grace! Amen.