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 The Promise of the Land  

        Genesis 12 to 22

 

The  time  came  when  God further enlarged and explained  the  promises. Stephen testified that "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee" - Acts 7v2,3; Genesis 11v27-32. Abraham (at that time called 'Abram') and some of his relatives lived in Charran (Haran) until the death of Abraham's father Terah. Then God renewed His call to Abram to completely leave his country, and enter "a land that I will shew thee" - Genesis 12v1. (Note that "had said" should be rendered "said", as in the Revised version).

 

Abram was a man of faith, & we read - "so Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him;..And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance..and into the land of Canaan they came" - Genesis 12v5 cp Acts 7v4.

 

To enter the land of Canaan, it was necessary to cross the river Euphrates, and because of his "crossing over" from a place of idolatry to the land of promise, Abram became known as "Abram the Hebrew", Genesis 13v13. 'Hebrew' signifies (a) 'crosser-over'. We also must "cross over" from the old to a new way of life, passing through water (link to 'baptism'). Many years ago, the following propositions re the promises to Abraham were presented, and it will be opportune to place them in full below for the enlightenment of a much wider audience.

 

       'THE GOSPEL PREACHED

                  TO ABRAHAM

                    ESSENTIAL

           TO YOUR SALVATION'

 

1.LUKE 13v23-30. Christ stated that Abraham and other faithful ones will be in the Kingdom of God. These will include both Jew and Gentile (those of other nations beside Israel). Many will be shut out.

 

2. ROMANS 4v1-5. Abraham's great attribute was faith - note v3 - "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness".

 

3. ROMANS 4v13.  He believed in SOMETHING DEFINITE, i.e. "the promise that he should be heir of the world". His "seed" also would  inherit the promise.

 

4. ROMANS 4v13-22. The "seed" of Abraham..those having THE SAME "faith of Abraham" (see v17) - Jew and Gentile.

 

5. ROMANS 4v23-25; 15v8,9. "Jesus Christ..confirm(ed) the promises" i.e. all who believe will receive them - link to 'sacrifice'.

 

                   6-11..GENESIS 12-22..

   THE PROMISES MADE TO ABRAHAM

 

6. GENESIS 12v1-3. Seven-fold promise NOTE: v3 - "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" is THE BASIS OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE -   Galatians 3v8 - cp GENESIS 22v18 - see below.

 

7. GENESIS 13v14-18. The inheritance of the land of Canaan promised to Abram and his "seed" FOR EVER. (Note that he received "none inheritance" during his lifetime. And nor did Isaac and Jacob, "the heirs with him of the same promise" - see ACTS 7v2-5 cp HEB. 11v8-13,39,40).

 

8. GENESIS 15v5-21. Abram's faith resulted in God making "a covenant" with him. Notice the extent of the promised inheritance in v18.

 

9. GENESIS 17v1-14. Circumcision was the sign of God's covenant. Abram is now called Abraham (signifying "father of many nations", v4,5). Circumcision was the sign of the "new covenant", as compared to the "old covenant", the sign of which was the Jewish sabbath. To refer to this, follow link to 'grace' - page 2.

 

10. GENESIS 21v1-12. "In Isaac shall thy seed be called". Paul shows that Abraham's son of his old age represented the true "seed". See ROMANS 9v7-9. See link below to page 1 re persecution of the true seed.

 

11. GENESIS 22v1-18. This was Abraham's great test. There is final confirmation of the promises (v15-18) BECAUSE OF HIS OBEDIENCE. Cp James 2v14-26 - "Abraham" was thus "justified by works" - his "faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect". His "seed shall possess the gate of his enemies", cp page 1 re ch.3v15.

 

12. GALATIANS 3v16, 26-29. The "seed" of Abraham = nChrist (v16) & those who are baptized into Him on the basis of THE SAME "FAITH" OF ABRAHAM (v26-29). Compare No. 4 above re ROMANS 4v13-22.

 

CONCLUSION: God requires FIRSTLY our belief in the promises made to Abraham, and SECONDLY our obedience on the basis of that faith. This involves baptism into the Lord Jesus Christ (link to 'baptism'). We then become "Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise", Galatians 3v29, and if we are faithful, "shall sit down (with Abraham and all the redeemed) in the Kingdom of God" - Luke 13v28,29.

 

Jesus showed that Abraham, Isaac & Jacob must rise again Luke 20v27-38 - link to 'mortal'. Cp Acts 23v6; 24v14,15; 26v6-8.

 

CLOSING REMARKS. In the first promise in Eden we read that God promised eternal life to those who would be faithful. We have now learnt that this eternal life involves the inheritance of Canaan (Israel). The final promise involves the setting up of the Kingdom of God. This is on page 3.

 

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