6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants shall be named.” 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.”
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That 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. 9For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
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.
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.