Year 2 Day 215
Read - Genesis 12
Message - Scott Woodburn
Genesis is barely over ten chapters old and already Moses has introduced us to multiple major Biblical figures. There is Adam the first man and the federal head of humanity. Quickly we meet Noah who receives the promise that never again will the Lord destroy the earth by flood. Then by the end of chapter eleven we are introduced to another descendant of Shem called Abram.
If you are familiar with the Scriptures then you know that Abram is a major Biblical figure. Later in the book of Galatians Paul outlines his importance. Paul writes “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 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.’ So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” (Galatians 3v7-9)
Did you catch that? Paul states that those who have placed their faith in Christ are spiritual descendants of Abraham. We don’t look into Genesis 12 to see Abram saving himself by works. Instead the Lord preached the Gospel to Abram saying “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (v3) The Gospel would come first to the Jew but then it would make its way to the Gentile. In Abram all the nations of the world would be blessed because the Gospel would be declared to the ends of the earth and salvation is by faith alone. No wonder Paul calls Abraham “the man of faith.”
It was by faith that Abram went out from his own country (v4) and it was by faith that Abram believed that the Lord would give his descendants the land (v7). Yet we would be wrong to believe Abram to be the perfect man. As he travelled to Egypt he came up with a scheme to protect himself regardless of what trouble it might cause his wife.
Abram’s wife Sarai was beautiful and Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him to claim Sarai for themselves (v11-13). His solution was to urge her to pretend to be Abram’s sister rather than his wife. The scheme backfired terribly when Pharaoh took Sarai into his house believing her to be a single woman. But quickly Pharaoh understood Abram’s deceit as the Lord afflicted Pharaoh’s house with plagues (v17).
So as chapter twelve comes to a close we have received a whirlwind introduction to Abram who was both a man of faith and a man of faults. His name looms large over Genesis and indeed the whole Bible. He believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness and as Paul reminds us “if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3v29)
In response take some time tonight to stand and look at the stars. Long ago our God promised Abram he would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. The simple fact that you have received the Gospel and believed it shows that the Lord continues to keep His covenant promises. So tonight in gardens all across Ballynahinch let’s sing a wee song of joy…altogether now…”Father Abraham had many sons…many sons had father Abraham…I am one of them and so are you…so let’s all praise the Lord!”
Q94 What is Baptism? Baptism is a Sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.