The Word of Promise
by Ivan Ho 24 Dec 2022
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 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. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Romans 9:6-9 KJV
And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
Genesis 21:1-3 KJV
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Hebrews 11:11 KJV
Abraham had two sons: one born out of the flesh, Ishmael; and the other, Isaac, was born out of the word of promise from God. Genesis 18:1-10
For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Romans 9:6-7 KJV
The seed of Isaac points to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It was from the lineage of Isaac that Jesus was born. Matthew 1:1-16
Just because one belongs to a Christian organization and attends church regularly does not necessarily mean he or she is part of God’s family. Only those who have personal relationship with Jesus Christ, those who have been born again in the spirit, are children of God.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth as a human being. Through Jesus Christ we can become born again which is the birthday that is not only celebrated on earth but also in heaven!
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Unless you are born again (in the spirit), you cannot see the kingdom of God”. If you cannot see the kingdom, you cannot enter in.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3 KJV
Someone asked me recently: “Ivan, do you know you will go to heaven?” to which I replied: “Yes, I know if I die today, I will be in heaven”.
If it was according to my flesh ie according to how good I am or how many good deeds I have done, I wouldn’t enter into the kingdom of God. Thank God, Jesus revealed Himself to me many years ago and I become born again in the spirit. We become born again into God’s kingdom not of the flesh but of the Word of promise!
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 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. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:5-18 KJV
You see, it’s not about trying to be a good person or saying “the sinner’s prayer” but all about being born again in the spirit by the Spirit of God!
Born of water and the Spirit
Jesus said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6
Being born of water refers to a person’s physical birth when one comes out of his mother’s womb. We all have been born of the flesh and everyone who is born of the flesh is born in sin since Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s command.
Being born of the Spirit refers to a person’s spiritual birth that can only come through his or her faith in Jesus Christ. Unless you who are born of the flesh has been born of the Spirit as well, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Spirit like the wind
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever He pleases. We cannot confine the works of God’s Spirit within the four walls of physical church buildings. You can experience new birth in the Spirit right where you are at any time!
Jesus came from heaven
“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” John 3:13
At the time when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, He hasn’t yet been crucified on the cross. This means that the spirits of the righteous dead who had faith in God were all in a holding place called paradise inside earth until the resurrection of Jesus when they were taken to heaven. That’s why Jesus said: “no one has ascended to heaven” at the time.
Jesus the Son of God, on the other hand, came from heaven to earth, He was the Son of Man who came to earth in human flesh.
The resurrection of Jesus and eternal life
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:14-15
What happened was, when Moses led the people into the wilderness, many of them were grumbling against Moses and against God. As a result, deadly snakes appeared in the desert and people were dying from snake bites.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Just like those who were dying from snake bites looked at the bronze serpent and lived, everyone who looked to the resurrected Lord Jesus for salvation, after they die, shall not perish in hell but have eternal life. The Son of Man Jesus was lifted up, referring to His resurrection!
The word of promise
Unlike man, when God gives the word of promise, He neither takes it back nor changes His mind according to His mood or circumstances. When God gives His word of promise, conception takes place in the person who receives and puts his faith in the word of God. The word of promise is like a seed that must be received by someone in faith before fulfillment takes place.
Sara did not conceive Isaac until she mixed faith with the word of promise. Hebrew 11:11
Mary conceived Jesus by the Spirit of God the moment she said: “Be it done to me according to your word“. Luke 1:35-38
Jesus the Son of God wasn’t born of the flesh but of the word of promise. Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit when the angel Gabriel delivered to her the word of God proclaiming the birth of Jesus.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Luke 1:30-33 KJV
Jesus Christ the Son of God came as a human being according to the word of promise. Through His death on the cross and His resurrection, our sins are forgiven. You become born again when you believe in Jesus and accept Him into your life and make the life changing decision to follow Him as your Lord and Saviour. His Spirit adjoins with your spirit and you become born again into God’s kingdom.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 KJV