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The Power of the Word

December 05, 2019
By Martin Luther

"Through Isaac shall your offspring be named."

GENESIS 21:12

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The Power of the Word

[The apostle Paul] postulates a threefold progeny of Abraham. The first is physical and without the promise concerning Christ. Ishmael, who was born of the flesh of Abraham, was an offspring of this kind. The second progeny, says Paul, is physical, but with the promise concerning Christ. Thus Isaac, too, was born of the flesh of Abraham; but he had the promise: "I shall establish My covenant with Isaac." The third progeny, says Paul, is not physical but is the offspring only of the promise. Although it certainly does not belong to the flesh of Abraham, still it holds fast to faith and embraces the promise made to Abraham. . .. Therefore Paul is right in stating that those are heirs who are of the promise, that is, who hear the promise and believe the promise, whether they were born of the flesh of Abraham or not. For the promise, which is the Word of God, is so effective and powerful that it calls into existence the things that do not exist (Romans 4:17). Christ says (Matthew 3:9) that children are raised up for Abraham from stones. This power the flesh or physical birth does not have. Only the Word has it, because it is omnipotent.

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