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December 21, 2021 12:01 am
The Lord put His own glory on the line when He promised to bless Abraham and his descendants. Today, R.C. Sproul shows that God's steadfast faithfulness to Abraham culminated in the coming of Jesus Christ.
Get R.C. Sproul's teaching series 'Promises' on Digital Download and 'Promises of God' on DVD 'for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2039/promises
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To know for sure that your site is a growing process with most Christians as they exercise three things. First of all a greater trust in the promises of God is your bedrock of assurance.
The second thing is by the inward evidences of grace are the marks of fruits of grace in your life and the third is a direct testimony of the Holy Spirit that he speaks directly to your soul through the word. I am thy salvation or bring some of the promise to play into your life in such a way that you can't deny that he is assuring you you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to you.
Take those three things the promises of God, evidences of grace, testimony, the Holy Spirit and then put over them all. God's faithful track record over the years, God's people can have full and infallible assurance of faith. Assurance of faith by Joel BK visit Lincoln here.org/teaching series to learn more. We read in Genesis that God made an incredible promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, a promise that Abraham didn't fully understand. I expected to be the patriarch of a huge family with my descendents.
Reaching throughout the world that here I am in my old age.
Admire his alien user of the mask is my servant when Abraham was a little bit upset here because God had promised, and the promise was not fulfilled. So it seems that the promise was unfulfilled said that our timing is not God's timing, though this is a perfect example of that today and Renewing Your Mind on Dorsey's role helps us understand how the promise to Abraham guarantees the blessings we celebrate this Christmas as we continue our preparation for the Advent season we are looking at the promises of the gospel that were given by God to his people in the Old Testament. We've already examined what we call the proto-a van gal that is the first gospel.
The first promise of redemption that was incorporated in God's cursing of the serpent in Eden, when he said that the seed of the woman that is a descendent of the would crush the head of the serpent and in the process his heel would be bruised and we see how that in this earliest portion of the Old Testament in the third chapter of Genesis itself. There is a promise of future redemption that focuses in the one who has come whose coming we celebrate and add level between the third chapter of Genesis and the 12th chapter of Genesis, there were many more promises that God made to his people, not the least of which were the promises he made to Noah, they would never again destroy the earth by flood, God made a covenant with Noah, but in chapter 12 of Genesis, a whole new dimension comes to the four with the call of the patriarch Abraham. We know that Abraham was a pagan living in Ur of the Chaldees and we stop and think about this that of all of the people in the world who were pagans. Why did God in his mercy and his grace choose Abraham we don't know the answer to that question, but we do know that God came to a man in the midst of a pagan environment and he gave this summons and this promise we look at chapter 12 of Genesis, when we read this account. Now the Lord had said to Abram, get out of your country from your family and from your father's house to a land that I will show you and I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed to see that in this summons to this man called out of paganism. God made a promise he made a promise not only to Abram or Abraham as an individual, but he made the promise to the whole world through the promise to Abraham he said to Abraham in the first place. I will give you land. I remember when I was a little boy. One of the songs that reach the top of the popular charge was a western song entitled don't fence me in, and when something like this give me land lots of land beneath the starry sky above. Don't fence me in, that's the way it went. It was just enormously popular, but the part of the song that I remember was the request for land lots of land is deeply rooted in every human breast to possess some piece of real estate that is our own. And God came to Abraham and said I'm going to give to you and to your descendents.
Land and so much of the drama of the Old Testament centers on the fulfillment of that promise for lay in fact the land in question became known as what the promised land, not just the land of milk and honey, not just the fertile valley in the Mediterranean. But it was known simply as the promised land. Going back to this incident in Jewish history were God said to Abraham, I am going to give you. I the drama of the patriarch Abraham is that he lived his whole life looking for that land waiting for that land trusting in the promise of God for that land, and the only land he ever actually owned was Machpelah a little piece of real estate that Abraham purchased for his grave but he went to his grave in peace knowing that his descendents would inherit the promise and God also promised to Abraham a bless I will bless you and your descendents I will make of them. He said a great nation, and Abraham I will make your name great.
This promise was made over 4000 years ago. Ladies and gentlemen, and today were talking about because Abraham is known throughout the world, not only to the Christian world through the Muslim world through the Jewish is the father of the faithful's name has been made great and through him immeasurable blessings have flowed throughout this planet. There is not a hospital in America that can't either directly or indirectly find its roots in this promise that God made to Abraham the whole foundation for humanitarianism in the Western world has its roots in this promise that God made to Abraham.
Abraham was promised that he would become the father of a great nation. Abraham became the father of Isaac and the father of Ishmael and Isaac became the father of Jacob and Esau and Jacob became the father of the sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel.
Somebody once asked George Bernard Shaw May 1 proof for the existence of God and he replied the Jews, the history of Israel is one of the most fascinating and gripping stories of human civilization, and it goes back to the call of Abraham but Abraham. We are told is not to receive this promised blessing merely for his own benefit or merely for the benefit of his children and his children's children, but the promise of blessedness that is given to Abraham is to extend the whole world whereby God says I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and you will become a blessing to the nation's. Some of you have studied the Bethel Bible series which is an overview instruction curriculum for the Old Testament and there's a chapter in their that deals with the call to Abraham and the title of the chapter is simply blessed to be a blessing. Abraham not only received a blessing, but he became a vehicle and instrument a conduit through which blessing would flow and permeate the whole world know that's the initial call that he receives in chapter 15 we get further along in this promise were we read in chapter 15 of Genesis. These words after these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.
Here comes another promise not remember in between these chapters.
Abraham had gone out. He had left all the security of his homeland.
He had acted upon the promise of God and looked for the fulfillment of it, but so far he didn't have any children it in any real estate. He had precious little blessing as a God comes to them again and says Abraham.
Don't be afraid. I am your shield, I am your exceedingly great reward. What does Abraham say listen to his response, but Abram said, Lord God, what will you give me saying that I go childless in the year of my house is Ely Acer of Damascus and Abram said look you have given me no offspring. Indeed one born in my house is my heir to see what he say what happened to your promise you said I was going to be the father of a great nation. I expected a quiver full of arrows house full of sons and daughters. I expected to be the patriarch of a huge family with my descendents.
Reaching throughout the world and here I am in my old age.
My wife is barren. We are childless admire is Ely Acer of Damascus, my servant wears this great reward you're talking about when Abraham's a little bit upset here because God had promised in the promise was not fulfilled, and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, verse 450 saying this one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir and then he brought him outside and he said, look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you're able to number them and he said to him, so shall your descendents be. And he believed in the Lord and he accounted to him for righteousness. Then he said to him, I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.
And Abram said, Lord God Hospital had no that I will inherit to see what's going God says no Abram you have read it wrong, Ely Acer, your servant will not be your heir. Your heir will come forth from your own warns it will be flesh of your flesh and blood of your blood. I am going to keep my promise. Abraham gets his hopes up again but he's afraid to really, really by me already trusting his trust him enough to be reckoned righteous in the sight of God but he still staggering at the promise nieces God, how I now how can I know for sure, but these things are going to happen now with God's response to this to our way of looking at it in the 20th century sounds absolutely bizarre and this is one of those passages we can read 100 times and missed it altogether. But let's look at it. God said to him, bring me a three-year-old heifer three-year-old female goat three-year-old grandma turtledove and a young pigeon and he brought all these to him and cut them into down the middle and placed each piece opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds into and when the vultures came down the carcasses. Abram drove them away and when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abram and behold horror and great darkness fell upon him and then he said to Abram, no, for certain that your descendents will be strangers in a land that is not theirs will serve them will afflict them 400 years and also the nation whom they serve. I will judge afterward. They will come out with great possessions and then in verse 17 we read and it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch passed between those pieces and on the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram what's going God says Abraham get these animal staffers. The goats and all of that slaughter them, cut them in half, arrange them in a bizarre fashion on the ground.
Take the pieces that you have noon into and set them over against each other as it is making a path, a gauntlet so Abraham follow those instructions and then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Abraham a sense of foreboding of horror fell upon him, and in this night vision. He sees a smoking that moves between the pieces going on here. What we have is a theophany, a visible manifestation of the invisible God throughout the Old Testament when God makes himself visible. He usually does it through some kind of fire, a torch, a burning bush. A pillar of smoke in the wilderness.
In this vision, the smoking oven represents God and he sees God moving between these animal pieces that have been half. There is a sacred ritual going on here that Abraham understood and every ancient Semite would understand that God is making a covenant. Covenants were not written with pen covenants work. There were always some kind of cutting right involved like the cutting of the foreskin in the rite of circumcision so these animals were cut into and when God walks between the pieces of these animals what he is saying ritualistically and liturgically to Abraham. Is this how will you know for sure a brand I'm going to keep my I'm not gonna say cross my eyes hope to the high stick a needle in my I'm not in a square by the heavens were the earthly belong to me but is the author of Hebrews tells us later because God could swear by nothing greater. He swore by himself symbolically what God is saying to Abram here is this Abram if I don't keep every detail of every promise that I have made to you.
May I be kind thunder just as you have slain these in ladies and gentlemen, it's impossible to cut God's under God is infinite God is a spirit is not made up of parts. He is immutable. He cannot. He is eternal what God is saying to Abraham he races Abraham if I don't keep my promise. May my immutability suffer a mutation. May my infill that they become finite. May my intern allocate cease Abraham I'm putting my very deity on the line here. I'm swearing to you by my holy nature final keep this word I will no longer be God and God made a covenant with Abraham. He made a promise and he backs up that promise which is not just Abraham beloved, but it is to you if you put your trust in Christ to all of God's people. He makes a promise that he see's within Oaks based upon his own very nature, there is no conceivable hire guaranty during this Advent season. This season of Christmas we can look at all of redemptive history and see how God is kept his promises to Abraham perfectly.
It's a great comfort to us is an and in fact it's the tidings of comfort and joy as that great Christmas hymn says thank you for joining us today for Renewing Your Mind.
The series were featuring this week is called promises in it. Dr. RC Sproul shows us God's promise keeping nature through several Old Testament saints including Eve, Isaiah and Jeremiah would like to provide you with a digital download of this five-part series when you give a donation of any about the ligature ministries. We will add all five messages to your learning library online, allowing you to stream them right away will also send you the two DVD set of doctors, groceries, the promise keeper God of the covenants to request both resources when you call us at 800-435-4343. You can also give your gift online and Renewing Your Mind.work well, 20, 21, is winding down then that we hear ligature ministries are looking forward to 20, 22, with great anticipation we see our sovereign God opening doors.
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So we would ask you to consider making a year-end gift to this global outreach. The deadline to give your gift is next Friday the 31st, so make sure your check is postmarked by then or you can give right up until the deadline. When you go to firstname.lastname@example.org/donate and on behalf of all of my colleagues are leader ministries. Thank you in advance for your generosity in our Coram day of thought for today. I like to say to people that if I were ever cast in the prison and were only allowed to have with me one book. The book I would want would be the Bible miss it if I could only have one book of the Bible.
I want the book of Hebrews because it is such a beautiful summary of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, but I only have one chapter in the Bible it would be chapter 15 of Genesis, because if I were thrown into prison, I would have reason to despair. I would have reason to lose hope. I would be afraid. And I would want to go back and I would want to read every day of that event in history where God made a covenant with Abraham where God made a promise and consigned it by an oath in which he committed his own. The when you think that God has not kept the promise to you when you fear that his promises might not be fulfilled.
Go to Genesis 15 and read it and remember who he is and what he has set