Not Children of God by Physical Birth
This is where chapter 9 begins to get very interesting and messy and in my opinion, difficult to interpret. Here are verses 6-9: “6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. “ In the previous paragraph Paul lamented the fact that despite the promises and covenants made with Israel that many Israelites rejected Jesus. But in this section he reminds us that no all Israelites rejected Jesus. Those who are the “true” seed of Abraham, or descendants of Abraham, are those who have become children of God through Jesus Christ. Jews would have been both; physical descendants of Abraham and also spiritual descendants of Abraham if they have received Christ. This is what he means when he writes, “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel”. All those who are physically “of Israel” are not spiritually “of Israel”. This point is made repeatedly in Paul’s letters in the New Testament. Paul makes this specific point in relation to circumcision. He describes “true” circumcision as circumcision of the “heart”, by faith, not circumcision of the flesh. There are some today who claim spiritual salvation via their physical heritage. This is not true. It is not possible to become a child of God based on whose child you are born to here in this world. No one is a child of God by physical birth; thus the need to be born again as Jesus mentioned in John chapter 3. As we unpack chapter 9 we are going to see a very unique and interesting relationship between God and Israel, which in some ways still exists today. I trust that you are not trusting in your family name to place you into God’s family. That won’t work. Receiving Jesus as your Savior is what leads to adoption into God’s family.