The Promise of the Inheritance to Abraham and His Seed.
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Abraham received “the promise” when he came out of Babylon. He was told of another city, an inheritance. But though he was told of this promise he died in faith not receiving “the promise”.(Heb 11:13)
Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (9) By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham was to receive an inheritance, “Something better”. Though he walked through the promised land, he never received the promise while on this earth. He was looking for another city. A city prepared by God. The New Jerusalem.
When was Abraham to Receive the Promise?
Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. (15) And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. (16) But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Sarah all died in faith not having received the promises. God wanted to give them a “better country” or “something better” or something more excellent. Regarding all those who died in faith we are told:
Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
The promise to Abraham was not given yet. God has “some better thing” for them. The promise of the New Jerusalem is not until the resurrection.
Who is the Promise to? Abraham’s Children
As we’ve already read above the promise of the inheritance was to Abraham and his seed(Rom 4:13. Isaac, and Jacob are heirs of the same promise. (Heb 11:10). But who else is the seed?
Galatians 3:7-9 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
The promise is through faith in God’s word. Through faith we will receive the inheritance. Not through the law, law keeping, your own works, but through righteousness by faith.(Rom 4:13, Gal 3:19). When faith in God is had the natural out working of love and the law is fulfilled. (Gal 5:14)
Abraham’s Seed through Christ
We are told in the bible that Christ himself is the seed of Abraham. And that the promise is to Christ the seed.
Gal 3:16 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.
And all those who are Christ’s are the children of Abraham. Therefore those who are Christ’s are those who have accepted the faith of Christ. (Gal 2:20)
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Through Christ, the promise of the inheritance of the world is to be given. Many have attempted to gain the promise by self. They’ve built towers, they’ve tried to do the law of themselves, and some of the Galatians believed that they could attain the promise by circumcision. They misunderstood the gospel that the promise was “not of themselves” but ”it is the gift of God” and it is obtained only through what Christ did for us, and our mere acceptance and AMEN to it.
The Promise of Men
The law is righteous(Deu 4:8) and God wants to fulfill the righteousness of the law in us.(Rom 8:4). But the law condemns man, because “sin is the transgression of the law”(1 John 3:4) and “all have sinned”(Romans 3:23). When a man is condemned by the law, and the law is witnessing against them, oftentimes men will make a rash promise to keep the law recognizing their own unrighteousness and the law which is making their sin exceedingly sinful.(Rom 5:20, 7:13) They attempt to fulfill the law of themselves,(Rom 7:19, 20) and sadly they are kept under the condemnation of the law(Rom 7:24) and have not accepted the only way out from that condemnation.(Rom 7:25, 8:1)
This very pattern occurred at Mount Sinai. The law was spoken at Sinai(Heb 12:19) and the people were asking Moses to speak to them as they could not bear what God had to say to them. They recognized their sinfulness, and they wanted to escape their condemnation. In their rashness they made a promise to God saying “all that the LORD hath spoken WE WILL DO”(Exodus 19:8).
Rather than accepting the law and promises that God would do in them what he had spoken, they instead decided to make their own gospel, with their own promise. And their promises lasted but a few weeks.
God did not ask them to do this of themselves. But they felt the need to stop breaking God’s law, but because the flesh is desperately wicked and they failed to understand that they could not keep the promise, they were worshipping a golden calf within a short period of time. The promise to keep God’s word had failed.
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
God promised “something better”, “a better covenant” with “better promises”. God knew that they couldn’t keep their promises. The lesson was learned quickly.
Slaves SOLD UNDER SIN -Bondage
Romans 7:22-24 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
This was the state that these children were in. They weren’t children but slaves. In bondage, servants or slaves sold under sin.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
And because they were “under sin” they were “under the law”. They did not have faith in the promises of God.
Galatians 3:22-23 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
They were in bondage, Under sin, under the law. The law was nothing to them but a law of sin and death. They were slaves to sin. They were yet to be Abraham’s children. The law was a taskmaster, a jailmaster, a schoolmaster, and it was keeping them in bondage, and they needed to be brought to Christ.
Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
After breaking their own promises and the Old Covenant, they were ready to accept the “better covenant” based on “better promises”, the covenant that was given to Abraham. The covenant of Grace through faith. After faith came, they were ready to accept deliverance from “under the law”.
Freed from the Slavery of Sin – Under Grace
Sin was their ruler, their taskmaster, they were under it. Sin had dominion over them, and they needed to be set free.
Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Moses pointed them to the “better covenant” based on “better promises”. They could not be under the law and under grace at the same time. They needed to accept the covenant of grace which was given to Abraham.
Exodus 6:2-5 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: (3) And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (4) And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. (5) And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
The covenant of grace was given to Abraham. God did not bring them out of bondage in order to bring them into bondage and slavery to sin. God wanted to make them free.
John 8:33-34 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? (34) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
They thought they were free. But Jesus explained that they had a misconception of what true freedom was. He tells them that whoever commits sin is the slave of sin. Sin is their taskmaster, they are under its domininion, and they are “sold under sin”(Rom 7:14, Gal 3:22). One who is sold is a slave and a servant of sin.
John 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
The slave is not going to inherit the home. The slave is not going to inherit the city. The slave is only their temporarily, then the slave is cast out. They are not heirs of the promised inheritance.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Is the slave of sin heir with the son? Cast out the slave.
Bondage and Slavery – The Old Covenant Promises
The old covenant is a covenant of sin and death. God knew they would enter this covenant, but it was never God’s intent that they should be saved by that covenant. That covenant was Christ-less. Abraham and Sarah tried to make an old covenant through Hagar. They tried to fulfill the promise through Ishmael. They didn’t trust God to give them a child through Sarah, and so they tried to fulfill the covenant of God through their own works.
Galatians 4:22-25 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
People read the law, and Paul is saying to those who desire to be in bondage that they need to read the law more carefully. Some of these Galatians were making an old covenant with God. They were trying to fulfill the law of themselves, they knew they were condemned, but they didn’t want to accept the promise of God.
Hebrews 8:6-8 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (8) For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
The fault wasn’t with God’s promises. The fault was “with them”. The fault was with their promise. God had made “better promises” in the covenant with Abraham and their promise to do the law, was futile. This was the same with Abraham trying to fulfill the promise through Hagar. He promised to fulfill the promise of God through Hagar. But God’s covenant was through Isaac.
Galatians 4:26-29 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (27) For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. (28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (29) But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
The promise is that we are to receive the inheritance of the New Jerusalem. In New Jerusalem there is freedom. That is the freedom that God promised, freedom from sin, freedom from Egyptian bondage, freedom from Babylonian captivity. When all will be his children and he shall be their God.
But can they be children of God and slaves to sin at the same time? It’s obvious that they cannot. They must be freed from the bondage of the Old Covenant.
Born After the Spirit
Jesus said “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Isaac was “born after the Spirit”(Gal 4:29)
Romans 9:7-9 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) 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. (9) For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Despite being born of the loins of Abraham, this did not make one a child of Abraham. The Pharisees felt that they were children of Abraham, but Jesus told us they were slaves of sin, and that the slave would not abide in the house forever, that the slave would be cast out and not be heir with the sons of God.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
To become a child of God, you must first be born of God. You must accept the new birth. The freedom from sin.
1 John 3:9-10 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Those who are led of the Spirit do not “commit sin” that is willful or known sin and sin involves the commitment to the flesh “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”(Rom 14:23).
John made a distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil. He said that God’s children are free from the bondage and slavery of sin. Jesus said this was what made the difference between Abraham’s seed, and the children of the devil. And Paul said that the children who were not of faith and who didn’t walk after the Spirit were not the children of God, but rather slaves sold “under sin” and “under the law”.
Redeemed from Under the Law
Galatians 4:1-3 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; (2) But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. (3) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
These people were slaves. They were not children of God but children of the world, sold under sin and in bondage. They were in bondage to the “elements of the world”. These “children” were considered “servants”(slaves to sin) in “bondage” and needed to be set free. They were “under sin”, “under the law”, “under tutors”, “under the elements of the world”. These were “children of disobedience”, “children of wrath”
Ephesians 2:2-3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
And these children were trying to fulfill the covenant of God by their own works. But God had already made an everlasting covenant. A covenant of grace and there was no need for these Galatians to attempt to do what Christ alone could do. Christ came to redeem them from “under sin”, “under the elements of the world”, and “under the law” and it’s condemnation by taking that condemnation upon himself, being “made in the likeness of men”(Phi 2:5), “made sin”(2 Cor 5:18), “made flesh”(John 1:14), “made lower than the angels for the suffering of death”(Heb 2:9). Made to suffer under the condemnation of the law to redeem those who were under the condemnation of the law.
Galatians 4:4-6 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Redeemed from being “children of wrath” in “bondage” and slavery to sin, to become the sons of God by receiving and becoming “born of the Spirit”(John 3:7).
Exodus 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Israel is God’s Son, God’s firstborn, even though Esau was Isaac’s firstborn, the child who was born of Spirit, born again was Jacob. And he was God’s firstborn. When receiving that Spirit he became a son of God, no longer under the condemnation of the law.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Those that are led of the Spirit are no longer under the law, they are the sons of God. Now that we are no longer slaves or servants of the law, we have received redemption, not to break the law, but that Christ in us would fulfill the law.(Rom 8:4, Rom 6:14, 15)
The Kingdom of God
The Holy Spirit is the down payment on the inheritance. It was said by Jesus that “the Kingdom of God is within you”(Luke 17:21) and in the sense of receiving the Spirit we do have the down payment. It is written.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Abraham did not yet receive this inheritance. Neither did his seed which is Christ. (Gal 3:16). But he will receive this Kingdom soon.
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Christ will soon be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
He is coming, and he has the promised inheritance.
Galatians 3:18-19 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (19) Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Christ is coming, to whom the promise was made. The promise is to Abraham and His seed which is Christ. Why be slaves to the law and sin? It cannot save. Only Christ can save, the law merely points out transgression until Christ should come to redeem his people and receive the promised inheritance. The inheritance is not through law keeping, but through faith in Christ that he will do in us what he promised and the submission of our will to his. Like Abraham we must accept this better covenant of grace through faith rather than making the covenant of death and sin.
Let us accept the “better covenant” and accept the promise today that “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”(Heb 11:40)
Hebrews 12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.