Sermons

Summary: Through God's promises to Abraham, we see how His promises never change.

Introductory Considerations

1. Tommy knew that his father kept his promises. And so when his father promised to buy him a new bike, he was excited. But he would have to wait a year - when he would turn 8 years old. Tommy couldn’t wait. He wanted to make sure his father wouldn’t forget and he needed reassurance that he the promise would come true. So, at least once a week, he reminded his Dad by asking "Daddy, am I still going to get that new bike?" It bothered his father that his son kept asking him but he realized that for a young boy a year was a long time and being impatient as young boys can be, he would calmly tell him that he would keep the promise.

2. No matter what age we are, each of us may at times wonder if people will keep their promises to us. Perhaps a woman needs the reassurance from her husband that he still loves her or a father needs assurance from his son that he will remember to do the chores he promised.

3. The most important promise that we have ever received is a promise from God. The promise that He will watch over us and be our God.

4. God had promised Abraham a son and yet that promise seemed long in coming - in fact Abraham even questions in Gen 15 if God will still keep His promise.

5. As a loving Father, God assures Abraham that He will give what He promised. We also have received promises from God. At times we may question the promises He makes. We grow impatient and wonder if God may not have changed His mind.

6. And so God reassures us again and again of His promises to us - especially His promise to be our God and to take care of us if we are willing to trust in Him.

7. And to assure us further, it is important that we can see in God’s word that His promises do not change. He offers us life and calls us to accept His gifts of grace.

Teaching

1.Today as we continue to consider His covenant promises, we come to a pivotal refinement or development of the promises He already made with Adam and Eve, with Noah and with all creation.

2. As we look at God’s covenant with Abraham we will see how this covenant is connected to His past promises and to His promises to you and me today.

3. We find God’s promise to Abraham in chapters 12, 15 and 17. And while the words vary somewhat in each account, God promises to make Him a great nation, to give Him a promised land, and to make Him fruitful. He promises to set apart Abraham and his descendants as a special people who will receive God’s blessings and be a blessing to the world.

4. How do these promises tie in to what we have been talking about the last few weeks?

5. The promise of land ties in to the promise of creation being made for mankind. God had called man to be fruitful - now He promises Abraham that he will be fruitful.

6. The covenant is a bond in blood. God commits Himself again - and He confirms it through a ceremony in which Gen 15 in which the blood of animals is shed.

7. God sets the terms and He calls man to respond to His grace. He tells Abraham to leave the land and Abraham responds in faith. God provides for Abraham but as we will see, Abraham is called to trust and obey

8. And for no apparent reason, God chooses Abraham just as He had chosen Noah.

9. There is an outer sign of the promises and agreement God makes with Abraham - not a tree, not a rainbow but rather the sign of circumcision.

10. And yet the promises are refined in such a way that form the basis of God’s promises to us today. That is why Paul calls us children of Abraham. (Gal 3:9)

11. First we see how God’s promises to Abraham have a immediate application for Him but a deeper application for each of us. Then we will see how the resulting relationship of faith is lived out in Abraham as it so often is with us. Our response is not that different.

12. God promised to make Abraham into a great nation. We see fulfilment as Moses says in parting words (Deut 26:5). We are part of that nation and one day, when Christ fully establishes His reign, we will be part of His great nation that will rule the world.

13. He promised to give the land of Canaan in which Abe was an alien. He promised a home - a place of safety and rich blessing - a place of rest. We too are promised a place of rest - our promised land is in heaven.

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