Today’s Message Is: God’s Unconditional Covenant with Abram Shows How He Secures Salvation

Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Genesis 15: 16: (ESV) (God is Shield & Reward & Promises A Son)

1After 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.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue a childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5And 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.” 6And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15: 7 – 11: (ESV) (Abram Positions to Possess His Blessing by Preparing What God Says)

Gen. 15: 7-11 7And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon.” 10And 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. 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Genesis 15: 12 – 16: (ESV) (Abe Slumbers But Sees His Offspring’s Future Slavery)

12As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13Then 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. 14But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

Walk Thru The Word for Today:   Genesis 15: 17 – 21: (ESV) (Abram Is Passed Out As God Passes Through Doing the Work The Covenant Requires)

17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I givec this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

Message map:  Genesis 14

God’s Unconditional Covenant Secures Salvation

  • God Supports Us As Our Shield & Reward
  • Abrams star-dust descendants = 2 different types of children
  • Belief Is Reckoned As Righteousness – but Must be backed up by obedience as Abram Postures to be blessed by Preparing what god says
  • God’s unilaterally confirms his unconditional covenant that is not contingent upon Abe’s performance

God is Abrams shield Gen 15:1a

After Abram defeated the 5 king Chedorlaomer alliance and rescues Lot, God says “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; because …

  • Abram fears the Chedorlaomer 4 king alliance is going to return to retaliate against him during the next spring season of military expeditions.
  • The nighttime sneak attack he used to rescue will not work if the enemy is prepared and in full battle formation against him.
  • If those kings retaliate, with thousands of soldiers his tent city without walls will not survive a frontal attack and siege.
  • What probably worked in Abram’s favor is God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, so Chedorlaomer and company think there is nothing to go back and attack.

Shield means God is a protective ruler who

  • Covers us from danger as with a shield; from danger; to defend; to protect; to secure form assault or injury.
  • To ward off; to defend against; as clothes shield one from the cold.

God is Abrams reward Gen 15:1b

After Abram defeated the 5 king Chedorlaomer alliance and rescues Lot, God says …”your reward (wages, payment salary, fare, compensation) shall be very great,” because …

  • Since Abram did not take spoils from Sodom, he did not recoup what it costs him to transport his army 80 miles and then pursue the enemy over another 100 miles or so and then get all his troops and his alliance partners them all back home.

God Nominates/challenges Abram’TO NUMBER THE STARS Gen 15:4-5

5And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and NUMBER/count (assign, count, declare, measure, recount, relate them one to another, take into account, tell) the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

God challenges Abram to number (assign, count, declare, measure, recount, relate them one to another, take into account, talk, tell, the stars because …

  • God can/has but Abram can’t.
  • As Creator, God appoints and controls the stars as he appoints and controls when Abram will have a child.
  • Abraham can determine the history and future history the stars tell, but he probably can’t interpret all he beholds.
  • This may be where he gets an indication of resurrection – that God will resurrect Isaac. Although resurrection is true for us believers, the Ultimate Resurrection is Christ – which the stars foretell – as the Star over Bethlehem directed the Wise Men. Perhaps the Bible patriarchs were better astrologers than we might know.

Astronomy is the study of the stars and planets, with a view to understanding their movements and their use in fixing the time of significant events.

The study of Astronomy originally was to determine the greatness of God and his creation.

Psalm 19:1-6 -ESV – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Abrams star-dust descendants

Genesis 13:16 16I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.

Genesis 22:17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as …I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

There are two types of children of Abraham:

(Green Slide:) 1 Cor 15: 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.Gen. 15: 7-10 Abram positions himself to receive God’s blessing by stepping out in faith by obeying God and preparing the elements that will secure or confirm the covenant. Click To Tweet

Abrams star-dust descendants

2 Types of Children of Abraham: 1 Cor. 15: 4749: (ESV)

(Earth bound & Heaven minded)

Today, we also will see how there are 2 types of children of Abraham. There are the earth bound, and there are the Heaven born. 1 Cor. 15: 47-49 explains.

Abraham Descendants are both Heaven Born and Earth Born Gen 15:5 Gen 16:13, (Gen 22:17 & 1 Cor 15: 47-49)

Isaac               Ishmael

(child of promise vs. child of physics)

Christ  and Adam are representatives of.

People who are born again or twice vs people who only are born once.

If you are born twice, you die once because what the Bible calls the 2nd death in Rev 2:11, 20: 6 & 14,

Revelation 2:11 says, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers (or is victories or overcomes) will not be hurt by the second death.’

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:14 – “The lake of fire is the second death” will not affect you.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

If you only are born once, and do not receive the John 3; 16 born again experience, you will die twice.

Spirit vs. Soulish – emotional The flesh lusteth against the spirit. Gal. 5:13.

Converted vs. Carnal

Committed vs. Casual

Faith vs. Flesh

Romans 8:1 “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk (live) by faith, not by sight.

Side Bar: Is anyone curious about we Abram is challenged to number his offspring

But We are forbidden to number Israel?   

It is interesting that God says not Abram nor anyone else will be able to count his offspring and later in Scripture God says “do not number Israel.  So I asked: “What’s up with that?” Here’s the Biblical rule of thumb…

It is interesting that God says not Abram (nor anyone else) will be able to count his offspring and later in Scripture God says “do not number Israel.  So I asked: “What’s up with that?” Here’s the Biblical rule of thumb…

  • A man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him.
  • Israel did not belong to David, but to God.

In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.”

2 Samuel 24:10 shows us it is God’s prerogative to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God’s command, who would receive the offering of a ransom to “atone” for the counting – or reckoning.

Without the ransom, God’s anger against sin is not satisfied, and the nation is judged which is why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10).

The Ransom required in Ex 30:12 Foreshadows How Christ Will Become The Ransom to Redeem Us.

Psalm 49:7 No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them

1 Tim 2: 5-6 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the mana Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.  7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Belief Is reckoned as righteousness

Gen. 15: 6 6And he believed (trusted) the LORD, and he accredited/counted/reckoned it to him as righteousness (vindicated him to be in right-standing with God and accredited with the righteousness of Christ!

(Rom 4: 6-7, 11, 22-24).

The wages, reward, payment salary, fare, compensation for believing God is Gen 15:6 – we get credited or accounted with righteousness.

Rom 6:23   – 23For the wages (reward, payment salary, fare, compensation) of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 Belief is Backed Up by obedience

Gen. 15: 7-10 7And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle dove, and a young pigeon.” 10And 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.

Gen. 15: 7-10 Abram positions himself to receive God’s blessing by stepping out in faith by obeying God and preparing the elements that will secure or confirm the covenant.

The faithful follow through to fend off fowls

Gen. 15: 11 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.  KJV: And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away because … (T/F).

  • Matt 13:4, Mark 4:4, Luke 8:5 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
  1. The work we do for God and the sacrifices we dedicated to God, are not free from the attack of the enemy. (T/F)
  2. Though God protects the faithful He may permit Satan and the world to attack, interfere and cause us trouble. (T/F)
  3. The sacrifices we offer to God may be violated, if we do not remain pure and prepared to resist temptation and repulse whatever assaults, inconveniences and challenges come. (T/F)

Gen 15:29 God’s unconditional covenant with Abram 

Gen 15: 17- 20 God acts unilaterally to fulfill the covenant on behalf of Abram, who is asleep, and can’t fulfill or ratify it because …

  1. God is making a promise to Abram
  2. Abram is not promising God that he’ll have a child.
  3. Abram was disqualified by being disrespectful by falling asleep.
  4. Abram was too proud to pass between the sacrifices.
  5. God was pleased to give Abram a sign that the promise would be fulfilled.
  6. God was demonstrating how He covenants with through Christ, who passed through between God and us, and all who believe like Abram receive the pledged gift of the Spirit, “as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (Eph 1:14, 2Cor. 1:22 & 2 Cor 5:5

Eph 1:14 NLT – The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

2 Cor 1:21-22 21And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (or down payment).

2 Cor 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

 

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