Rom. 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 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. 1. He did not say one is an unbeliever and the other is a believer but he is referring to the SOURCE of their birth - "children OF THE FLESH" versus "children OF GOD" 2. The "children of the flesh" refers to NATURAL or PHYSICAL born children of Abraham but we are explicitly told these are not the children of promise, nor the "children of God". What other alternative is possible to "children of the flesh" if natural birth was the ONLY possible birth prior to Pentecost??? 3. How could Paul even make a distinction between "children of the flesh" and "children of God" if the only possible kind of birth prior to Pentecost was physical birth??? The only other alternative is to suggest no children of promise (children of God) existed prior to the cross, but then, what is the point of contrast here then as the focus is before the cross???? Gal. 4:28-29 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 1. If all prior to Pentecost were "born after the flesh" and none were born "after the Spirit" then what is the basis for making a comparison by the words "as then" and "so it is now" if now is not as then in regard to "born after the flesh"? If there were no other alternative to being "born after the flesh" prior to Pentecost then he has made no point at all between "as then" and "so it is now"??????? 2. However, Romans 9:7-8 demands there were "children of God" prior to the cross who were not "born of the flesh." Hence, what were they "born of" to be "CHILDREN of God" if they were not "BORN OF the flesh"??? What other option is there to being "BORN OF flesh" if not "BORN OF Spirit"?????? 3. John 3:3; Ezek. 44:7 also demand there were those born of God prior to Pentecost or circumcised IN HEART, which is a synonym of the new birth even in the New Testament (Col. 2:11-12). 4. If one removes the illipses "born after the Spirit" then one also denies there is an meaningful contrast being made "born after the flesh" "THEN" with "NOW"! 5. If the children of the flesh are not the children of promise either then or now then what other alternative is there then or now to be children of promise other than by new birth?????? 6. Again, Paul is referring to the SOURCE of birth "born" whether than "belief" or "unbelief". He is not referring to faith or lack of faith but the NATURE of birth between "children of God" versus natural born human beings who are not "children of God." What other possible alternative is there to being "born after the flesh" in order to be "children of God" THEN or NOW if not "born of the Spirit"!