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God’s Means Of Blessing The Nations

God’s Means Of Blessing The Nations

Mystery of Christ Seminar – Session 3

 

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In order to understand what Paul means by the gospel “according to the mystery of Christ,” we must have clarity about the promises that God made to Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant. In Part 2, we focused primarily on the promises that relate to the nation of Israel. In this session, we shift our focus to the promises that pertain to Israel’s calling, the nations, the resurrection, and the inheritance of the land. What did God mean when he promised that Abraham would be the “father of a multitude”? What was the hope burning in Abraham’s heart when God promised that Abraham and his seed would inherit the land forever? Join us as we continue our exploration of the content of the Abrahamic Covenant.

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THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST (REVIEW)

A.    Paul the apostle says that the gospel “according to the mystery now revealed” in Christ is God’s ordained means of establishing the saints in maturity, perseverance, righteousness, and obedience.

Romans 16:25-27 (NIV)

25 Now to him who is able to establish you (in faith and obedience, cf. vs. 26, Rom. 1:5) by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

B.    The gospel according to the mystery of Christ is a story full of drama and fascinating characters. The story begins in the Garden, where there was perfection of life, perfection of government, and perfection of fellowship. However, human beings yielded to Satan’s lies and disobeyed God. Sin opened a door for death to enter God’s good creation. However, God promised that the “seed” of the woman would come and make the wrong things right (Gen. 3:15-16). The serpent would strike the seed’s heel, but the seed would crush the serpent’s head. The seed of the woman would thus be God’s instrument for restoring all that was lost in the Fall.

C.    The conclusion of the story is the restoration of all things. When Jesus comes back, the human body will be restored through the resurrection of the body. When Jesus comes back, righteous government will be restored through the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom on the earth. When Jesus comes back, fellowship with God will be restored as it was in the beginning. We will once again walk with God in the cool of the day. We will see God face-to-face.

D.   Tonight we are going to continue looking at the covenant God made with Abraham. In order for us to understand what Paul and the other apostles meant by the “mystery of Christ,” we must have clear understanding of God’s promises to Abraham. What were the promises God made to Abraham, and how did Abraham himself and the nation of Israel understand those promises?

E.    As we read about God’s promises to Abraham, we will see God constantly using the terms “seed” and “blessing.” The question we need to ask ourselves is, “How would Abraham (and more importantly God) have understood these terms?” In order to rightly interpret the promises God made to Abraham, we need to have clear understanding of the terminology God uses in the promises, and how those terms make sense and have meaning in context to the overall storyline of Scripture. If we read passages in isolation apart from the broader narrative of Scripture, we are much more susceptible to reading unbiblical meanings and ideas into biblical words.

F.    The word “seed” is a collective singular noun, and thus can refer to a singular reality or a corporate reality. Unfortunately, when used in context to the Abrahamic Covenant, most English translations of the Bible translate seed as either descendant or descendants. However, by doing this, they are inadvertently obscuring for modern readers some very key points of apostolic teaching in the New Testament. The most helpful rendering would simply be to consistently translate the Hebrew word “zera” as “seed,” as they do in Genesis 1. The KJV is the only translation that consistently translates “zera” as seed.

G.   Before the Fall, God’s word/decree of blessing led to the perpetuation of life (access to the tree of life), fruitful co-operation governmentally (e.g. the naming and care of the animals, tending the garden, etc.), and intimate face-to-face fellowship. When God called Abraham out of Babylon and promised to bless him, both He and Abraham would have had the recovery of the Garden Paradise at the forefront of their minds. Indeed, we learn from Scripture that God’s primary definition of “blessing” is the blessing of the Spirit, unto the resurrection of the body in the Day of the Lord. We must keep this in mind as we study the promises God made to Abraham.

Isaiah 44:1-5 (NIV)

“But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 This is what the Lord says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring (seed), and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They will spring up (from the ground in resurrected glory in the Day of the Lord) like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. 5 One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and will take the name Israel.

Romans 8:10-11 (ESV)

10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Galatians 3:13-14 (NIV)

13 Christ redeemed us (Jews) from the curse of the law (death) by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

H.    Any “blessing” that did not ultimately result in the full restoration of Eden would not have been a true blessing in Abraham’s mind. Can you imagine God saying to Abraham, “Abraham, I love you so much that I’m going to bless you with a new car, but you’ll only get to enjoy it a few years because I’m going to leave your body to decay in the dirt”?

A GREAT AND HOLY NATION (REVIEW)

A GREAT AND HOLY NATION (REVIEW)

A.    God promised Abraham that He would make of his seed a great nation.

Genesis 12:1-2

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you (NKJV – “I will make you”; NIV – “I will make you into”) a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

B.    Israel would be a nation created and fathered by God (Ex. 4:22-23; Deut. 32:5-6; Is. 63:16, 64:8). In the Old Testament, God calls Israel his “firstborn son” (Ex. 4:22). Beginning with Abraham’s call, Israel was the first nation “adopted” (cf. Rom. 9:4) or called into existence out from the illegitimate “orphan” nations of Babylon – those “fathered” and “reared” illegitimately by false gods and demons. The nation was brought into existence or “born” miraculously through the Spirit’s power in Isaac’s birth (Gen. 21:12; cf. Gal. 4:28-29). The nation was also called and brought out of Egypt not by human strength, but miraculously by God’s power. The nation thus owed its very existence to God’s power and word alone. That was the point. God intentionally birthed the nation in a way that removed all grounds for human boasting. As the “firstborn,” this nation is promised a double portion (cf. Deut. 21:15-17; Is. 61:7; Jer. 3:19-20) when the Father’s inheritance (the earth) is finally released (in the age to come). The nation is required to humbly yield in repentance to the Father’s corrective and instructive discipline in this age (e.g. Jer. 31:18-20; cf. Heb. 12:7-8).

C.   This “great nation” would be constituted of seed blessed and multiplied by God (cf. Gen. 12:1-2, 13:16, 15:5, 17:6, 22:17, 26:24, 28:14, 32:12, 35:11). There was a quantitative dimension to God’s promise. By God’s power, many descendants would come into existence through Isaac’s line.

D.   There was also a qualitative dimension – “great nation” does not simply mean numbers to God. It also means the nation being remade into God’s image through God’s filing, molding, purging, and refining in this age, and ultimately being remade in the resurrection. In Scripture, Abraham’s biological descendants through Isaac are likened to a national “lump of clay” (Is. 29:15-16, 45:9, 64:8; Jer. 18:5-6; Rom. 9:21), a “rock quarry” (Is. 51:1-2), and a “vineyard” (Is. 5:1-7) that provides the materials for God to do His work. The righteous – those in Israel who humbly submit and yield to God’s refining work – are forged back into the image of God over time and exalted and vindicated as righteous in the Day of the Lord. They are the “work of His hands,” His “handiwork” (Is. 29:22-24). The wicked and unrepentant within the nation – the “dross” – are ultimately filed off, purged, cut off, and separated from the nation in the Day of the Lord (Is. 1:21-26; Is. 4; Is. 60:21-22).

E.    Preserved by God – God has promised to preserve the nation’s existence and national identity forever (Gen. 12:3, Jer. 31:35-37). Israel will always have a national existence. The rebellion of part, or even most, of the “lump of clay,” does not negate His commitment to ensuring the “lump’s” survival unto the accomplishment of His God-ordained purposes for that nation. However, the fact that God has promised to preserve the nation’s existence on some level, doesn’t mean that He winks at the sin of the wicked and rebellious within the nation simply because of their lineage. Nor does it mean that all of Abraham’s biological descendants through Isaac will automatically receive the inheritance in the age to come simply because Abraham is their biological ancestor (e.g. Mt. 3:7-10). It does mean that in this age, in faithfulness to Abraham God is committed to preserving the “lump of clay” (the nation) and even uses the wicked and rebellious within that lump to carry out His purposes (e.g. the crucifixion). In the age to come, the entire nation will be righteous (Is. 60:21-22) and forever preserved by God, the dross (wicked) having been completely purged and cut off from the national “lump” in the Day of the Lord (Is. 4:2-4).

GOD'S CHOSEN MEANS OF BLESSING THE NATIONS

GOD’S CHOSEN MEANS OF BLESSING THE NATIONS

A.    God promised that in/through Abraham and his seed, His blessing (Spirit unto resurrection) would go forth to the nations of the earth unto their salvation. God’s promise to Abraham thus also relates to the functional/vocational calling of the nation. Israel’s national calling is to be a light to the nations.

Genesis 12:3 (ESV)

and in you (“and your seed,” cf. Gen. 22:18, 28:14) all the families (NIV – “nations”) of the earth shall be blessed” (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11).

Genesis 18:17-18 (ESV)

17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11)?

Genesis 22:17-18 (ESV)

17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring (seed) (cf. 12:3) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11), because you have obeyed my voice.”

Genesis 28:14 (ESV)

Your (Jacob)offspring (seed) shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring  (seed) shall all the families of the earth be blessed (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11).

B.    Israel’s Calling as a Light to the Nations

Genesis 14:18-24 (NIV)

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem  brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed beGod Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

Deuteronomy 4:5-8 (NIV)

5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Isaiah 2:1-5 (NIV)

1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Isaiah 62:1-7 (NIV)

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah (“my delight is in her”), and your land Beulah (“married”); for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Isaiah 42:5-7 (NIV)

5 This is what God the Lord says— he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Zechariah 8:20-23 (NIV)

20 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.” 23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 13:46-48 (NIV)

46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Is. 49:6).When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

A HOLY COMMUNITY OF NATIONS

A HOLY COMMUNITY OF NATIONS

A.    A Righteous Community of Nations – We also learn in Genesis that God’s blessing to the nations in and through Abraham and his seed is unto those nations also being fashioned and shaped into a righteous community/company/assembly of nations worthy of the age to come. In other words, God’s blessing to the nations in Abraham and his seed would result in them also being remade into the image of God.

Genesis 28:1-5 (ESV)

1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples (NIV – “community of peoples”; NKJV – “assembly of peoples”; LXX – “sunagogue”=often interchangeable with ekklesia, or “assembly”). 4 May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring (seed) with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham (the blessing necessary to inherit the land)!”

Genesis 35:9-15 (ESV)

9 God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body (Heb. “from your loins”).

Revelation 7:9 (NIV)

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

B.    The blessing of God (the Spirit) would have the same effect on the nations that it would have on the people of Israel: molding, purging, and refining unto the nations being made worthy of the age to come and inclusion in the resurrection of the righteous, and actually being resurrected in the Day of the Lord.

C.   God also promised Abraham that he would not only be the father of a great nation, but also the father of a community/company/assembly of nations.

Genesis 17 (ESV)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations (cf. v. 15; focus not on biological descendants through other sons – Ishmael and sons of Keturah, cf. Gen. 25:1-4). 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram (“exalted father”) but your name shall be Abraham (“father of a multitude”), for I have made you the father  (governmentally – as ruler in the age to come, cf. Rom. 4, Gen. 48:8-9) of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring (seed) after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring (seed) after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring (seed) after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”…15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (“princess”), but Sarah (“princess,” but root also means “contend, have power, contend with, persist, exert oneself, persevere”) shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give(ESV note Heb. – “have given”) you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her (not simply talking about biological reproduction here).” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac (“he laughs”). I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring (seed) after him.

Romans 4:16-17 (NIV)

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring (seed)—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all (Jewish and Gentile believers). 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

D.   Governmental and Instructional Fatherhood

Genesis 48:8-9 (NIV)

8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.

Psalm 105:20-22 (NIV)

20 The king sent and released him (Joseph), the ruler of peoples set him free. 21 He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, 22 to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

E.    God tells Abraham that he will rule many nations in the age to come, and that these nations would come as the result of the multiplication of his seed. But He also stresses to Abraham that His covenant will be with Abraham’s seed through Isaac. So, here was the big question: How would it be possible for Abraham to end up as the father of many nations in the age to come, when God had made it very clear that He was establishing His everlasting covenant specifically with Isaac and his seed – one nation? How could Abraham become the ruler of many nations in the age to come, by virtue of the fact that he was the biological father of only one nation in covenant with God in this age?

THE INHERITANCE OF THE EARTH IN THE RESURRECTION

THE INHERITANCE OF THE EARTH IN THE RESURRECTION

A.    God also promised that Abraham and his seed would inherit the land of Israel, and ultimately the entire earth, as an everlasting possession in the age to come.

Genesis 12:6-7 (ESV)

6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring (seed) I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Genesis 13:14-18 (ESV)

14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring (seed) forever. 16 I will make your offspring (seed) as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring (seed) also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Genesis 24:7-8 (ESV)

7 The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring  (seed) I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.”

Genesis 28:10-13 (ESV)

10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring (seed).”

B.    For Abraham to receive the land as an eternal inheritance, meant that Abraham himself would have to actually be alive to receive the land! His hope and faith was that he himself would receive the land in a new body. Inherently bound up to the promise of the eternal land inheritance, therefore, was the promise of inclusion in the resurrection of the righteous.

Genesis 15 (ESV)

1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue (ESV alternative – or “I shall die”) childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring (seed), and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son (ESV note – Hebrew – “what will come out of your own loins”)  shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring (seed) be” (not just quantitatively, but also qualitatively in the resurrection, cf. 1 Cor. 15). 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. 7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half (cf. Jer. 34:18-19), and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring (seed) will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” 17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring (seed) I give (or “have given”) this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

Matthew 22:29-32 (NIV)

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (cf. parallel in Lk. 20:38 – 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”)

Hebrews 6:13-19a (ESV)

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you” (Gen. 22:17). 15 And thus Abraham,having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things (1. the promise; 2. the oath), in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (God’s promises in the Abrahamic a steadfast anchor for hope in the resurrection!), a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain…

Romans 4:17 (NIV)

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believedthe God who gives life to the dead (the resurrection promised in the Abrahamic covenant) and calls things that are not (I “have made” you a father) as though they were (as a way of expressing of the certainty of the promises).

Hebrews 11:17-19 (NIV)

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring (seed) will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

SUMMARY OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

SUMMARY OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

 

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Abraham’s Part

God’s Part

The “Obedience of Faith” (Rom. 1:5) The Provisions for the Journey

The Promises

FaithPersevere in faith in the coming judgment and the restoration of all things AssurancesRecurring confirmations/assurances of the certainty of the promise along the journey

 

Guarantee of the certainty of the promise with an oath

This Age –Abraham and his seed crafted and made worthy of the inheritance; the “work of God’s hands” in sanctification

  • Bless Abraham and his seed unto the formation of a holy, righteous nation worthy of the age to come

 

  • Administer God’s blessing (the Spirit unto life in the resurrection) to the nations in/through Abraham and his seed

 

  • Bless Abraham and his seed unto the formation of a holy, righteous community/assembly of nations worthy of the age to come

 

The Age to Come – Abraham and his seed receive the inheritance; the “work of God’s hands” in glorification

 

  • Blessing of the Spirit poured out in Day of Lord unto resurrection of Abraham and his seed from the dead

 

  • Give Abraham and his seed the land of Israel/earth as an eternal inheritance

 

  • Appoint and exalt Abraham and his seed governmentally over this holy nation and holy community of nations

 

  • Administer God’s blessings to the nations forever in/through Abraham and his seed forever

 

Obedience and Holiness

  • Obey God’s voice
  • Walk blamelessly
    • Instruct household in the way of the Lord
    • Keep God’s commands from the heart
    • Humbly submit to God’s fashioning and shaping
Living RelationshipCommands not in a vacuum, but flowing out of regular encounter with God in context to friendship, hearing His voice, etc. Abraham the “friend of God.”
Call on the name of the LORD in prayer (the longsuffering, merciful one (EX. 34:6))

  •  Leaning on the strength of who God is; no boasting before God
  • Receive forgiveness  and mercy through repentance
  • Grace for obedience accessed through communion and calling on God’s name in prayer (name=covenant faithfulness)
Grace, Peace, and Mercy

  • Promise of forgiveness and mercy upon repentance when he falls short, in accordance with God’s character/name as longsuffering, slow to anger, etc. (Ex. 34:6)
  • Grace and strength to obey God from the heart
  • Grace and strength to persevere faithfully through trials and tests

 

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Tim Miller Tim Miller (124 Posts)

Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.


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