Abraham's Children

Dear Brethren,

What is the importance of the promises that God made to Abraham?  What are the promises that God made, and why did God establish a birthright in him and enter into a covenant with him?  If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's children, and heirs according to the promise.”  (Galatians 3:29)  True Christians are the spiritual children of Abraham.  What does that mean?  Since salvation is open to all peoples through Jesus Christ alone, and it is not inherited through the birthright, why do we need to concern ourselves with Abraham?  God chose Abraham to be, not only the father of great nations, but "The father of all those who believe" (Romans 4:11).

When we look at Abraham's life, we find that he obeyed God:  Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”  (Genesis 26:5)  Abraham believed that God would keep the covenant promises that He made to Abraham.  What does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”  (Romans 4:3)

The English-speaking nations are largely the descendants of Abraham.  Through his great-grandson, Joseph, they are enjoying the material and national blessings of the physical birthright, which was handed down through Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.  God's covenant with Abraham included both spiritual and physical promises.  The knowledge that God is fulfilling the spiritual promise through Jesus Christ, and the physical birthright promises to modern day Israel, is necessary for the understanding of Biblical prophecy in our day.

Jesus is the promised "Seed."  To Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”  (Galatians 3:16-18)

God made some promises of blessings and greatness to Abraham that have come down through the ages.  The Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:1-3)

The physical promises, land and possessions, which are called the birthright promises that were made to Abraham and his physical descendants, are being fulfilled at this time.  God’s promise to Abraham of the scepter, representing both the kingly lineage and spiritual promises, included salvation through Christ the Messiah.  Unto the Son, [God the Father] said, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.”  (Hebrews 1:8)

God built and reiterated His covenant to Abraham again and again.  When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.”  (Genesis 17:1-2)

Abraham, means "father of a multitude of peoples".  Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”  (Genesis 17:3-5)

The covenant that God made with Abraham continues to every generation – even ours. I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shall keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.”

This is only the very beginning of a beautiful relationship that God is honoring through all ages.  It is the beginning of the story of the vast wealth and power that the United States and Britain have enjoyed.  It is history written in advance.  If we do not understand these foundational covenants that God made with Abraham, the Bible will remain mostly a closed book.


Sermon:  "Abraham's Children