This week, we wrapped up the “Eviction Notice” series. In Galatians 4:30-31, Paul reminds the reader that the scripture says that Abraham had to “evict” the bondwoman and her son from his household. As we delve into why that eviction was necessary and what it means for us, we need to understand a little about the “seed of Abraham.” This may sound odd to you, but the reality is that there are four different seeds of Abraham. When we read scripture about the seed of Abraham and promises attached to that seed, it is important to know which seed is relevant to that scripture
Here are the four seeds…
1. Natural Seed –This includes all the physical children and descendants of Abraham. This includes Isaac, but it also includes Ishmael. It includes Jacob, but it also includes Esau. Even though Ishmael was cast out with his mother and Galatians tells us he did not inherit the promise of Abraham, he still did get A PROMISE. In fact, his promise is almost identical to Abraham’s, with one distinct difference we will see in a minute. The same is true of the blessing and promise given to Esau versus that given to Jacob.
2. Special Natural Seed – This excludes Ishmael and Esau. It is the branch of the family tree that starts with Isaac and then Jacob and establishes the nation of
as God’s chosen people. It
is important to know that there is not a special spiritual blessing here. The
Jews do not have a higher spiritual standing than the Gentiles. They were and
continue to be a chosen nation. They are not spiritually favored, but they were
favored in that they first had the law given to them that revealed the need for
a messiah, and also had the messiah first revealed to them. Now, the spiritual
promise was given FIRST to the Jew and then the Gentile, but the promise itself
is the same. Israel
3. Spiritual Seed – This includes all who believe. You are not required to be in the physical bloodline of Abraham to be a child of Abraham. We join this bloodline because of righteousness – a righteousness obtained the same way Abraham received his, by simply believing.
4. Unique Seed – This is Christ Jesus. He is “the seed” that proceeded from Abraham and became a blessing to all the nations of the earth. It is this seed that enables us to become the spiritual seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise.
There is also something we need to keep in mind regarding the promise. There is a physical aspect of each thing promised as well as a spiritual aspect. Let’s look at the things promised in Genesis 12:2-3 and define these…
1. Seed/Child – Physical: Isaac, Spiritual: Jesus
2. Nation – Physical:
Spiritual: the church Israel
3. Land – Physical:
, Spiritual: Sabbath rest and Holy
In Hebrews 6:13-15, we are told that after Abraham waited patiently, he received the promise. Then in Hebrews 11:11-13 and 39-40 we read that Abraham (along with the rest of the great patriarchs of faith) did not obtain the promise. So, is this a contradiction? Of course not! When you read carefully in Hebrews 6, you find that the context points to the physical aspect of the promise, or the child Isaac. Abraham unquestionably received that promise. The passage in Hebrews 11 is talking about the spiritual aspect of the promise, or the Sabbath rest by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I taught in the last series that what Abraham believed that made him righteous was that he simply believed God, but as I was studying for this message the Lord further clarified that. There was a specific thing that he believed about God. That thing was that one part of the promise I mentioned earlier that was not given to the natural seed Ishmael or Esau. That was the last part of the promise in Genesis 12:3 – that all the nations would be blessed through his seed. In an indirect way, Abraham believed in Jesus. Abraham believed the promise God made that a redeemer would come through this miracle child birth – not by Isaac, but by one of his descendants. Even Abraham had to believe in the Messiah! Both the beginning of the bloodline of Christ and His actually birth happened by miraculous conception that were not related to man’s works!
Even though Abraham believed in a coming Messiah and used his faith to put that plan in motion, Jesus had not yet come, and the Holy Spirit had not yet come. That is the part of the promise that was to be available to the spiritual seed. You cannot get it by being only natural seed of Abraham. Natural seed CAN receive it now if it chooses to believe and become spiritual seed just like a Gentile does, though.
So, how does this relate to the “eviction notice?” When we receive Christ, we become spiritual seed in OUR spirit. Now, we are Abraham’s seed. We are adopted into the family. Now, as part of the family, we make a decision as to which branch of the family tree we are going to be connected to in our body and soul. Will we align ourselves with the Isaac branch of the family, which represents grace and righteousness apart from works, or will we align with the Ishmael branch of the family, which represents law and condemnation?
The choice we make does not change our eternity. Both are children of Abraham, but the life of Christ and power of the Holy Spirit are only working in the Isaac branch. When we choose to live by grace, we need to cut off our ties to law. You must evict the other branch from your household. Based on what Paul said in Galatians 4:29, the Ishmael branch is always going to persecute you and ridicule you for choosing to live by grace, but we’ll love and bless them anyway!
To listen to the entire sermon go to http://ahwatukeechurch.com/media.php. To learn more about Living Word Ahwatukee, visit http://ahwatukeechurch.com/.