By grace or by works? 2

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 So God’s intention was to make man (male and female) in Christ (his image and likeness). Now, how did God set to do this? Is it by grace or by works?

2 Timothy 1:9

who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, *not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,* which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

 Titus 3:4-5

But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,  *not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us*, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

We see that God decided to carry out his plan to save us and make us his children by grace and not any human effort. This was seen in Genesis through the story of Isaac and Ishmael as well as Jacob and Esau.

Genesis 21:10 (NLT)

So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!”

Isaac was the son born according to the promise of God (Grace) and Ishmael was born according to the flesh (works). Here, we see God telling Abraham that Ishmael won’t share the inheritance with the child of promise. That is to say that the inheritance is by grace and not works. The inheritance is in reference to salvation/righteousness.

 Genesis 21:12

And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; *for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.*

In Isaac shall thy seed be called. This is to say that those who will become children of God and inherit the promise of righteousness will be those who receive Christ by grace through faith and not those who are from the lineage of Abraham–physical descendants (works)

So we see in Romans, how Paul used this to explain that it is not the physical descendants of Abraham who are children of God but rather, those who have believed in Jesus Christ.

 Romans 9:7-8 (NLT)

Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For the Scriptures say, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted,” though Abraham had other children, too. This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children.

The children of the promise refer to those who have received Christ through faith.

Galatians 3:28

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

This shows that God planned to make us his children by grace through faith and not works. God planned to relate with us by grace through faith and not works. This same truth was established through Jacob and Esau…

To  be continued…

 SANDY AMPONSAH

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