God’s Promise(s) to Abraham Fulfilled in Christ (Genesis 15:1-21)



2012-10-21 God’s Promise(s) to Abraham Fulfilled in Christ | Genesis 15:1-21

Genesis 15:1-21

Genesis 15:1 ¶ 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 childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, 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 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 be.”

 

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, 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 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 you, 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 I give 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Abram’s story, New Testament believers can discover the nature of their faith and the certainty of their inheritance in Christ. Like Abraham, the father of our faith, we struggle with doubt about the future, impatience in the delay and fear in the face of suffering, yet when we understand our identity as members of the covenant and the certainty of God promises, we can face God’s delays by trusting in his timing; we can face our own doubts by trusting in his….

 

1-21 The Lord made a formal cov with Abe confirming the promise made at his call 12.1-3. There would be a long period of slavery for his descendants before promises completely fulfilled.

 

 

 

THE NATURE OF OUR FAITH

 

 

Central to the story is verse 6. It tells us about Abram’s faith

 

6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

 

Verse 6 is not sequential or resulting from God’s previous words or demonstration of assurance, but rather explanatory, parenthetical, a transitional summary statement, between the two sections. It does not necessarily mean Abe came to faith here.

 

On the contrary, Hebrews 11:8 says he left Haran by faith when he was called, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” It is a statement of Abe’s status as a believer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This passage speaks of two important issues for every Christian:

THE NATURE OF YOUR FAITH and THE CERTAINTY OF YOUR INHERITANCE

 

THE NATURE OF YOUR FAITH

 

Faith is trusting in God’s ability to do what he has promised, and it results in a right relationship with God and right living before God.

 

  1. Faith is trusting in God’s ability to do what he has promised.

 

Verse 6aAbram believed God…”

 

What did Abram believe? God was able to miraculously do what he promised – make him a natural father, etc

 

Romans 4:17-21 (ESV) as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”– in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18  In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20  No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21  fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

 

Hebrews 11:11-12 (ESV) By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

 

This is the imputed description of the members of the covenant as well as their covenantal responsibility. Abe accept the word of the Lord as reliable and acted in accordance with it. Consequently, the Lord declared him righteous, and therefore acceptable.

 

 

  1. Faith results in a right relationship with God and right living before God.

 

Verse 6bAnd it was credited to him as righteousness…”

 

Romans 4:22-25 (ESV) That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24  but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

 

 

 

Verse 6 contains core doctrine of Justification by faith not works.

 

Galatians 3:6-14 (ESV) ¶ just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 7  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

 

10 ¶  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11  Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12  But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us– for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”– 14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

 

Abe believed the promise of the birth of an heir –

Romans 4:17-21 (ESV) as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”– in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18  In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20  No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21  fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

 

Hebrews 11:11-12 (ESV) By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

 

And God counted him righteous, that is, to have met the covenant demand.

 

Abe’s faith became the model for those who trust in the resurrection of X, God’s sacrifice for sin, and rely on X’s righteousness credited to us by faith

 

Romans 4:22-25 (ESV) That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24  but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

 

The divine reckoning qualified Abe to become recipient of land grant to be transmitted to his descendants.

 

-Believed – Abe is father of all who believe

 

Romans 4:11 (ESV) He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,

Galatians 3:7 (ESV) Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

 

-righteousness – the word presupposes a relship with God that included moral standards revealed to Noah (6:9), thru nature (rom 1.18-32) and special revs

 

Verse 6

Rom 4:9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 

Rom 4:22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 

Gal 3:6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 

Jam 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” and he was called a friend of God. 

 

 

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb 11:6 ESV)

 

 

THE CERTAINTY OF OUR INHERITANCE

 

Like Abraham, we have been told in Scripture that we have received, are receiving and will receive an inheritance in Christ. But at times, our calling and inheritance raise questions in our minds.

 

Abram was like – and we are like – the man whose son had an unclean spirit who said to Jesus,

 

But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mar 9:22-24 ESV)

 

Complaints or questions are not antithetical to faith if they are based on taking God seriously.

 

God even encourages us to ask questions or ask for signs as he did King Ahaz in Isaiah 7:10-14. God encouraged King Ahaz, 11  “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12  But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”  13And [God] said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 

Abram’s questions reflect our own fallen condition.

 

Abe’s first question reflected his doubt. He asked, “How are you going to do this?

Like Abram, we doubt of God’s promises.

 

Abe’s second question reflected his impatience. He asked, When are you going to do this, or How long will it take? Like Abram, we are impatient about his promises.

 

But because he has counted us as righteous.

 

  1. When we have doubts, God’s word confirms his promises

 

Abe’s first question is a response to v 1 Genesis 15:1 (ESV) ¶ 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.”

 

ABE’S QUESTION 1:

In vv 2-3, Abe said in effect, Ok, you’ve called me – you’ve promised  – to do this, now how am I – no, how are you – going to pull this off?

 

2 But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”

 

GOD’S ANSWER 1:

Abram and Sarah would conceive and bear a son, many sons, through God’s supernatural, superabundant power.  

 

  1. God says he will not fulfill it as Abe imagined, by natural means, but by supernatural means.

4 “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”

 

 

  1. God says he will not fulfill it minimally, but superabundantly.

5 Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

 

 

God confirmed his earlier promise to Abram, assuring him a miraculous conception and birth of a natural child to Abram and Sarai in spite of their advanced age. he gave them a visual aid to help them imagine and remember the vastness of God’s power. He assured Abram that not only would he give him one natural son, which was miraculous enough, he would give him innumerable descendants as well.

 

Romans 4:17-21 (ESV) as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”– in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18  In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20  No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21  fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

 

Hebrews 11:11-12 (ESV) By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

 

You may be asking the How question of God as well.

 

You may be saying, Ok, you’ve called me to this new job, how are you going to help me pull this off? Or, ok, you’ve called me to stay with this old job, how are you going to help me finish strong? Or, God, I have no job or I’m currently under-employed, how are you going to help me find a better job?

 

Or, ok, you’ve called me to raise this child, or these children, how am I going to do it? Or, ok, I’ve raised this child or these children and sent them to school, how are you going to keep them in the faith? Or how are you going to help them find a job? Or how are you going to help them find a mate?

 

These answers are found in our reward, our inheritance, who is Christ. We trust in the promises of his word and his superabundant supply of grace.

 

Colossians 3:16-17, 23-24 (ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 23  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

 

Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV) ¶ For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-– that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ¶ Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

 

 

Not only do we doubt God’s promises, we are impatient about his promises. But because he has counted us as righteous.

 

  1. When we are impatient, God’s covenant guarantees his promises.

 

Abe’s second question is a response to verse 7 ¶ And [God] 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?”

 

The verb “possess” here is the same as word translated “heir” in v4. So Abe is asking, “When will my descendants, my heirs, take possession of this land you’ve promised?

 

Abe is asking, When are you going to do this, or How long will it take?

 

 

God’s answer is – when his purpose has been fulfilled.

 

That is, Israel will inherit Canaan when God’s timing for the judgment of the Amorites has come to pass. So Israel must endure and extended period of slavery, but after that, God will deliver them through a supernatural act of redemption.

 

This time God guarantees the fulfillment of his promises through a solemn ceremony making a binding covenant, for which he has Abe make the preparations.

 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, 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.

 

Next, the symbol of darkness and God’s prophetic word foretell the enslavement of Israel and the purpose for waiting.

 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 will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.

 

Finally, God guarantees his blessing in spite of the suffering and delay.

 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

15 As for you, 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 I give 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.”

 

God delays and allows suffering in order to fulfill his justice against the ten nations currently living in Canaan, referred to corporately as “the Amorites.” God is willing to wait, until their sin had reached an intolerable level, just as he did in the days of Noah, and as he did in the time of Christ’s first coming.

 

(Gal 4:3-7 ESV)4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,  5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons  6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

We must learn to wait – to be patient – for God’s timing – that he might fulfill his purposes in the world. And so it will be at his second coming.

 

2 Peter 3:8-10 (ESV) ¶ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

 

Like X’s better promises Hebrews 6:13-20 (ESV) ¶ 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.” 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, 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, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20  where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

Nothing can separate God’s people from his love or the fulfillment of his plans.

Romans 8:18-39 (ESV) ¶ For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 ¶  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 ¶  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 ¶  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

33  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died– more than that, who was raised– who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV) ¶ His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4  by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have the same questions, doubts…. How will redemption be finally accomplished?

 

Disciples asked is this the final stage, how will we know…Mat 24? We don’t know where you are going? ??

The sign of his coming again – don’t go here, will come in the clouds…

 

Guarantee is Christ’s death…darkened on Calvary

 

 

 

13 – X redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us

14 – X redeemed us in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles

 

13 “400 years” full 4 centuries in Egypt. God’s people must learn to be patient. 2 Peter 3:8-10 (ESV) ¶ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

16 “the sin of the Amorite” – God’s justice agains the ten nations when sin reached intolerable level

 

17 “smoking firepot, blazing torch” reminded Moses’ original audience of God’s presence in the wilderness

“passed bt the pieces” invoking a curse on himself if he did not keep covenant, as in Jeremiah 34:14 (ESV) ‘At the end of seven years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; you must set him free from your service.’ But your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me.

 

 

18 “covenant” – land grant to Abe’s descendants

18-19 Despite death and suffering (enslavement) God has sworn an oath.

Hebrews 6:13-14 (ESV) ¶ 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.”

 

 

2 Peter 3:1-7 (ESV) ¶ 3  scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6  and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.]

 

2 Peter 3:8-10 (ESV) ¶ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

 

Offspring –  Galatians 3:29 (ESV) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

 

Nation1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) ¶ But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

John 11:52 (ESV) and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

BlessingGalatians 3:8-10 (ESV) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 ¶  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

 

LandRomans 4:13 (ESV) ¶ For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

 

Hebrews 11:16 (ESV) But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

John 14:2 (ESV) In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

 

John 8:39-59

“Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
Romans 4:1-3, 13, 16-25

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God?  If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping– believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead– and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

 

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