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Sermon #3215

Child of the Promise

A Sermon on Romans 9:6-9


Romans 9:6-9 ESV KJV
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the …

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Sermon Description

How do Christians today rightly understand the division between Isaac and Ishmael? In this sermon on Romans 9:6-9 titled “Child of the Promise,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the promise given to Abraham to give him innumerable descendants, to make his name great, and to establish nations and kings through his line. Though Isaac and Ishmael were both sons born to Abraham making them children of his seed, through God’s sovereign plan Isaac was chosen as the one to fulfill God’s covenantal promises. It had nothing to do with Isaac himself; he was chosen even before he was born. This particular and covenantal calling of Isaac to be the child of promise reminds believers today that God’s calling is not dependent on their works and activity or on their intrinsic merit. It is entirely God’s production and according to His sovereign plan and purpose. It is God’s choice and calling that matter.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is dealing with the objection brought against the Gospel, particularly by Jews.
  2. His argument is that God's promise has not failed. God's word has not fallen to the ground.
  3. The meaning of the term "Israel" needs to be properly understood. Not all who are descended from Israel are the true Israel. There is an Israel and an Israel.
  4. God's promise is limited to the true Israel, not the more general Israel that includes all descendants of Jacob.
  5. Paul demonstrates his point using the example of Abraham's two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Though both were Abraham's sons, God's promise was established through Isaac, not Ishmael.
  6. The word "seed" has two meanings: a natural descendant and one who carries on the covenant. Though Ishmael and Isaac were both Abraham's seed naturally, only Isaac was the seed of the promise.
  7. The word "children" also has two meanings: natural descendants and those who are children of God through faith. Not all of Abraham's children are children of God. Only the children of promise are counted as the seed.
  8. Isaac was the child of promise, born according to God's promise, not just Abraham's natural son. The promise produced its own children. Isaac was born of the Spirit, not just the flesh.
  9. God chose Isaac as the seed before he was even conceived. Isaac's birth was the result of God's promise, not the other way around.
  10. Nothing matters except the spiritual birth, which is always of God, never of the flesh. The case of Isaac proves this.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.