By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she consideredhim faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11
The Bible clearly shows that promises of physical blessings also include spiritual blessings. We weren’t created for an existence like that of cattle and donkeys. Instead, we were created for eternity. When God gives us a promise, he doesn’t limit himself to our physical needs. He isn’t concerned only about our stomachs. He also wants to keep our souls from being destroyed and wants to give us eternal life.
Consequently, promises concerning external and physical matters are like the shell of a nut. But the real essence, or inner kernel, is Christ and eternal life. God, who makes the promises, isn’t speaking to donkeys and cattle. As Paul points out, “Is it about oxen that God is concerned?” (1 Corinthians 9:9). Rather, he’s concerned about intelligent human beings created in his image to live with him for eternity.
Clearly the promises of physical blessings are like the nuts and apples we use to get the attention of our children. God gets our attention with physical blessings so that we will learn to appreciate eternal blessings. This is how God encourages us to expect eternal life. God’s purpose in giving us food and water isn’t merely that we eat and drink without thinking, as horses and donkeys do. Rather, he gives us physical blessings so that we will realize that he is loving and kind. This will help us to believe he will take care of all our needs. Even if God gave us only a piece of straw, he would want us to acknowledge him as the eternal God who kindness is overflowing. If we still believe in him, we will have eternal life. Even though Abraham didn’t see al of these promises fulfilled in his own lifetime, he still believed God. That’s why he was given eternal ife.
The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.
The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.