To Abraham And His Seed

Posted by on Oct 8, 2006

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

October 8, 2006

Sunday Morning

“To Abraham And His Seed”

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:15-18

Introduction:

 

A.   I’m sure that most of you remember Paul’s primary reason for writing this letter to the churches of Galatia.

1. It seems that false teachers (Judaisers) had infiltrated these Gentile churches and were teaching them that simple faith in Christ was not enough, and that if they really wanted to go to heaven, they had to be circum-cised, as well as conform to other tenets of the law of Moses.

2. Not only had these false teachers infiltrated the churches, but it appears as though they had been at least somewhat successful in influencing these young believers and leading them astray.

3. Listen again to what Paul wrote in Gal. 1:6, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”

4. I would imagine that Paul was heartbroken when he heard the news about what was happening in the churches of Galatia.

5. (Illus.- I know how I would feel if God were to move me away from here [FBC] to some other ministry, and then I were to hear that, after my leaving, false teachers had crept into this church and had led many of you astray. I too would be heartbroken!)

6. Not only was Paul heartbroken by the news, but he responded by writing the letter that we are now studying.

 

B.   Now in this letter, Paul does far more than just scold the Galatians for being so gullible.

1. He does scold them.

2. For example, in Gal. 3:1, Paul wrote, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

3. And so, Paul does scold them, however, in this letter he does far more than just scold the Galatians for being so gullible.

4. What he does is present one argument after another in defense (support) of his position that salvation is by faith alone, apart from any conformity to the law of Moses.

5. This is why he brings up Abraham here in Gal. 3.

6. He said, “Listen, Abraham was not saved by keeping the law of Moses, but Abraham was saved by faith.”

7. Notice again Gal. 3:6-7, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteous-ness….Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”

8. Did you realize that when Abraham got saved, the law of Moses had not yet been given?

9. Not only was Abraham saved before the law was given, he was also saved long before God commanded him to be circumcised.

10.   And so, Paul used Abraham to support his position that salvation is by faith alone, apart from any conformity to the law of Moses (good works).

 

C.   In our text, this morning, Paul again brings up Abraham, but this time he is focusing his attention on the covenant that God made with Abraham.

1. What covenant am I talking about?

2. The covenant that is recorded in Gen. 12:1-3.

3. Turn there with me, for just a moment, and lets read what God told Abraham (Abram), “Now 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 curseth thee: and in thee (thy seed) shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

4. Now having read God’s covenant with Abraham, I want us to go back to our text, Gal. 3:15-18, and notice at least three things about this covenant.

5. First of all, I want us to notice…

 

I.       The Basis For The Covenant.

 

A.   Every covenant (agreement) has a basis.

1. Now what is the basis for the covenant that God made with Abraham?

2. The basis for this covenant is nothing less than the integrity (honesty) of God Himself!

3. (Illus.- It has been said that an agreement is only as good as the integrity [honesty] of the person who makes the agreement.)

4. That being true, the covenant (agreement) that God made with Abraham was a very good agreement, because it is based on the integrity (honesty) of God Himself.

 

B.   Let me tell you something, because of God’s integrity, there are two things that we can absolutely sure God will NEVER do.

1. First of all, we can be absolutely sure that God will never break His covenant.

2. How can we be so sure?

3. We can be sure because the Bible tells us that God cannot lie.

4. Listen to Tit. 1:1-2, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;…In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

5. Heb. 6:18 puts it like this, it says that it is “impossible for God to lie.”

6. And so, we can be sure that God will never break His covenant because it is “impossible” for Him to lie.

7. On one occasion when Balak was trying to persuade Balaam to curse Israel, he responded to him like this, he said, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19)

8. Being a man, I have broken so many agreements and so many promises that I have made to others.

9. God, on the other hand, because He is God, has never broken a covenant (and He never will).

 

C.   Not only can we be sure that God will never break His covenant, we can also be sure that He will never modify (change) His covenant.

1. Notice again Vrs. 15 of our text, “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.”

2. In other words, Paul said, “Even agreements that are made between men, once the agreement has been made, you don’t change the terms of the agreement.”

3. However, this is exactly the position that the Judaisers had taken.

4. The Judaisers were saying, “Yes, we know that God made an agreement with Abraham and his seed. However, when He gave the law to Moses, He changed the terms of that agreement.”

5. Paul said, “No, no, no, no!!! God didn’t change the terms of His covenant with Abraham and his seed, when He gave the law to Moses.”

6. In fact, the terms of the covenant that God made with Abraham are still the same today (haven’t changed)!!!

 

D.   (Illus.- Let me illustrate. Can you imagine a company like Ford motor company agreeing on a contract with it’s union employees, and then before the contract expires, calling in the union bosses and telling them, “We are going to change some of the terms of the contract! We are going to reduce everyone’s salary by 10%, and at the same time increase everyone’s workload by 20%.” Can you imagine how that would go over? There would probably be a strike.)

 

E.   (Illus.- Or suppose you were to sign a contract with your bank to borrow the money to purchase a new home. How would you react if about 15 years into a 30 year contract, your banker calls you in and says, “I know we agreed on 7% interest for the entire duration of the loan, but because of financial pressures we are now going to have to double your interest rate.” How would you react to that? You would be looking for a lawyer. Amen?)

 

F.    And so, because of God’s integrity, He will never make a covenant, and then later on change or modify the terms of His covenant.

1. However, this is exactly the position that the Judaisers had taken.

2. They were saying, “Yes, we know that God made a covenant with Abraham and his seed. However, when God gave the law to Moses over four hundred years later, the law disannulled the first covenant.”

3. But Paul said, “No, no, no, no! The law did no such thing. The first covenant is still good!”

4. Notice again Vrs. 17 of our text, “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.”

5. And so, because of God’s integrity, the covenant that God made with Abraham and his seed is still good.

6. That’s the basis of God’s covenant with Abraham.

 

G.   Now I want us to notice…

 

II.      The Beneficiaries Of The Covenant.

 

A.   Not only does every covenant have a basis, it also has beneficiaries.

1. In other words, someone benefits from the covenant (agreement) in some way.

2. Who are the beneficiaries of God’s covenant with Abraham?

3. Someone says, “Abraham, of course!”

4. Well, it’s true that Abraham was one of the beneficiaries, but He wasn’t the only one.

5. There are other beneficiaries as well.

 

B.   Turn with me to Gen. 12:6-7, “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land….And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land:”

1. Notice the words “thy seed.”

2. Now turn with me to Gen. 17:7, where God later reaffirmed His covenant with Abraham. God said, “And 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.”

3. Twice in this passage we are told that the covenant that God made with Abraham was not with Abraham only, but also with his “seed.”

 

C.   But someone says, “I understand that the promises God made to Abraham were also made to his descendants, but we are not descendants of Abraham! What does this covenant have to do with us?”

1. It has everything to do with us.

 

2. Now I realize that we are not physical descendants of Abraham, however, by virtue of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are his spiritual descendants.

3. Notice again Vrs. 16 of our text, “Now 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.”

4. In other words, Christ is the seed of Abraham.

5. When God told Abraham in Gen. 12:3 that in him (his seed) “all the families of the earth” would be blessed, He was talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. (Amen?)

 

D.   Do you realize what this means?

1. First of all, it means that by virtue of our faith in Christ, we are children of Abraham (spiritually).

2. Look again at Gal. 3:6-7, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteous-ness….Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”

3. Paul put it like this in Rom. 4:16, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.”

4. And so, because of our faith in Christ, we are children of Abraham, even though we are Gentiles in the flesh.

 

E.   It also means that as children of Abraham, we too are beneficiaries of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

1. (Illus.- A man told me once that, in his opinion, there was absolutely no reason for us, as believers in Christ, to study the Old Testament. He believed that the Old Testament was obsolete and had absolutely no relevance for Christians today.)

2. Of course, this man was wrong!

3. The covenant that God made with Abraham proves that he was wrong.

 

4. It proves that he was wrong because the promises that God made to Abraham span both the Old and New Testaments.

5. They reach all the way from Abraham to believers today!

6. Someone says, “Well, I don’t care what God promised Abraham!”

7. Well, I do, because what God promised Abraham, because of my faith in Christ (the seed of Abraham). God also promised to me! (Amen?)

8. I don’t have a drop of Jewish blood flowing through my veins, however, I am a child of Abraham, and as such, am a beneficiary of the covenant that God made with him.

 

F.    Thus far we have noticed two things about the covenant that God made with Abraham.

1. The basis for the covenant (God’s integrity).

2. The beneficiaries of the covenant (those who have placed their faith in Christ).

3. Finally, this morning, I want us to notice…

 

III.    The Benefit Of The Covenant.

 

A.   We could also use the word “blessing.”

1. Do you remember what God told Abraham in the latter part of Gen. 12:3?

2. He said, “…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

3. Now this raises a question.

4. What is this blessing that God promised to “all the families of the earth,” that would come through Christ?

5. In Vrs. 18 of our text it is referred to as an “inheritance,” but what exactly is this inheritance, that we, as believers in Christ, have to look forward to?

 

B.   Someone says, “The inheritance that God promised to Abraham’s descendants was the land of Canaan.

1. That’s true, if you are talking about Abraham’s fleshly descendants.

2. After Abraham obeyed God’s command to leave his home in Haran and follow Him, God led him to the land of the Canaanites.

3. Listen to what God told Abraham soon after he arrived in Canaan, He said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land:” (Gen. 12:7)

4. And so, it’s true that God did promise the land of Canaan to Abraham’s fleshly descendants.

 

C.   But what about Abraham’s spiritual descendants?

1. What has God promised to us?

2. Well, let me say that He has promised us something far better than the land of Canaan.

3. Turn with me to 1 Pet. 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,…To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”

4. What has God promised us?

5. He has promised us a home in heaven! (Amen?)

6. Jesus put it like this in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

 

D.   Someone asked me once, “Did Abraham know about this spiritual inheritance? Did he know about heaven?”

1. Listen to Heb. 11:8-10, and then you answer the question, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went….By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:…For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

2. There’s no doubt that Abraham knew about heaven, and by faith he looked forward to going to heaven one day.

Conclusion:

 

A.   We have noticed three things about the covenant that God made with Abraham.

1. The basis of the covenant. (God’s integrity)

2. The beneficiaries of the covenant. (all who have put their faith and trust in Christ).

3. The benefit of the covenant. (heaven).

 

B.   Let me ask you a question.

1. Are you a child of Abraham (spiritually)?

2. Have you put your trust in Abraham’s seed (Christ)?

3. If so, because God is a God of integrity, one day you will inherit the blessing (heaven).

4. If you haven’t trusted Christ, then you are going to miss out on this tremendous blessing, because the promise is only to Abraham’s seed.