God’s Covenant with Abraham

Continuing through the Gospel Project Chronological, we have come to the part of Scripture detailing God’s Covenant with Abraham.

In this session, we will learn that God is a covenant-making God.  Because of sin, the people on earth had been separated from God (Eden) and each other (Babel), but God chose one man, one family, through whom He promised to reverse this separation.  This promise was later fulfilled through Abraham’s descendant – Jesus of Nazareth.  And this promise continues to be fulfilled today through the mission of Jesus’ church as peoples from all over the world become part of God’s family through faith in the gospel.

Here are some of my notes from this great session:

  1. God promised Abram: 1) land, 2) offspring, and 3) blessing.
  2. While the people of Babel wanted to make their name great by their own efforts (Gen. 11:4), God decided that he would make Abram’s name great by his own efforts (Gen. 12:2).
  3. God narrows down the promise of Gen. 3:15 in Gen. 12:2.  The Messiah will come from Abraham’s line.
  4. God promises to Abraham what he had commanded others – he will multiply him (Gen. 1:28; Gen. 9:27).
  5. This people would be blessed in order to GO so that all the earth would be blessed.
  6. The cross breaks down the walls between nations (Gen. 12:3; Eph. 2:14).
  7. Don’t have a contractual attitude towards a covenantal relationship.
  8. God’s promise at Shechem (Gen. 12:6) will be fulfilled (Gen. 35:2-4; Josh. 24:1).  This people will inherit this land!
  9. Yahweh chooses a man who is quick to lose heart, willing to prostitute his wife, eager to be intimate with a slave girl, and pitiful enough to abandon his family.  There is hope for me yet.
  10. Abraham experiences a famine (Gen. 12:10; Gen. 41:57).  He goes down to Egypt for relief (Gen. 12:10; Gen. 42:3).  God afflicts Pharaoh for mistreatment of God’s chosen one (Gen. 12:17; Ex. 7:3).  Sound familiar?
  11. Genesis 12’s progression is not accidental.  Abraham’s election is followed by evidence of his unrighteousness.
  12. What a sobering legacy.  Abrams would repeat this mistake (Gen. 12:13; Gen. 20:2) and Issac would repeat it (Gen. 26:7).
  13. In the midst of Abram’s doubt, God came to him and restated the promises and even added to them (Gen. 15:1-5).
  14. One of those stars represented me (Gen. 15:5)!
  15. The multitude more the stars (Gen. 15:5) came to pass (Deut. 1:10; Deut. 10:22).
  16. Faith obtains righteousness (Gen. 15:6)!  Years before the Law!  Years before the cross!
  17. This standard type of covenant is different because God is going to do all the work associated with this contract (Gen. 15:7-11).
  18. The covenant made between the divided carcasses reminded them concerning the gravity of the situation (Gen. 15:7-11).  God was stating, “Let this happen to Me if this does not come to pass – if I am not faithful!”
  19. God spoke of 400 years of affliction before redemption would come (Gen. 15:13).  This situation is repeated in the space between the Old Testament and the New Testament with 400 years of divine silence.
  20. God’s covenant with Abraham was conditionally unconditional (Gen. 17:1-2).
  21. One of Abraham’s offspring must be blameless!
  22. Holiness is not what we do to become something – it’s what we do because we already are!
  23. The outward symbol of circumcision marked the place from which the seed would come, and it marked and set apart the people of God.
  24. Name changes: Abram will become the father of a multitude (Gen. 17:5) and Sarai the mother of a royal dynasty (Gen. 17:15).
  25. Lord, set your people apart (Gen. 17:9-14; Rom. 2:29)!