Thursday, October 7, 2010

Abraham's Blessing



Today we're going to take a little trip back to the Old Testament in the Book of Genesis, to look at Abraham. God instituted a Covenant with Abraham that layed out the way to salvation, many years before the Law was brought about. It was a Covenant of Faith, looking toward the prophesied Messiah. Abraham was reckoned as "righteous", finding salvation, because he "believed" God and His promises. 




Galatians 3: 6-9
6. Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, [saying], "All the nations shall be blessed in you." 9. So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

Galatians 3:14
"He (Jesus) redeemed us (from the curse) in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

Genesis 12:1-4
1. Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2. And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3. And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4. So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.



Back in Genesis 12 we first meet Abraham, or Abram as he was known then. He lived in an area of pagan worshippers, but he was known by God. God saw something in this man that made Him know he would listen and obey God's Word. God asked Abram to pick up his family and leave his country. God said, "leave" and that He would show Abram where to go. How many of us have heard that same call from God? God tells us to "pack up" either spiritually or physically" (maybe both) and head out. Leave our comfort zone...and be willing to act in faith and move forward in to whatever God is doing. I know I've been there.

God had a big plan for Abraham, and to be able to reveal it to him, he had to be out of the atmosphere he had been living in. Sometimes God calls us to leave friends, churches, security, jobs, lifestyles etc. in order to get to a place where we can hear Him better. Our comfort zones can sometimes be a hindrance to our calling in life. Safe and secure, like Peter in the boat. God can call us to put our feet out of the boat into the uncertain waters where all we can do is look at Him and trust God that our feet will stay up and that we will not sink.

If you look back at Genesis 3:6 you will see the main point of this post: Abraham believed God and thru that Faith in God's Word he found salvation. The covenant that God made with Moses many years later which instituted "the Law" did not obliterate the covenant God had made with Abraham. The Law was given to guide and show that we cannot be saved by rules and regulations. Therefore Abraham's covenant preceded the "Law". Faith in God is the key here. Salvation through faith.


Romans 4:1-3
1. What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3. For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise...

So we've looked at a lot of scripture today, and what does it all mean in our study of Galatians? The Judaizers were trying to get the Galatian Christians, and all other Christians for that matter, to return to the Jewish way of doing things, i.e. the Old Testament way to salvation. But they were wrong even on that count, because even under the Law of the Old Covenant, salvation was not found in obeying the rules and regulations of the Law. Salvation had always been through believing in the promise of a Savior and of the Holy Spirit. So the Judaizers were wrong on all counts. The Abrahamic Covenant came before the Mosaic Covenant of the Law (the Ten Commandments). The Law did not discount the previous covenant at all. And even so, when Jesus says that He did not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it, the concept still stands.

No one can find salvation, or "get to heaven" by following rules and regulations, or by being "good enough", or by doing acts of charity or good will. Giving gifts to the poor or helping others are all wonderful attributes, but they do not provide salvation. Acknowledging our sin and asking Jesus to be our savior and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ are the only ways to be "justified" and made righteous in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.


Writing these posts on Galatians have made me know that in just a few minutes here each week I cannot "teach" a book of the Bible. It requires study, time, and prayer. Not only for me, but for you. A personal time for Bible Study and prayer are life changing. That's why I encourage you to look up the scripture for yourself and to pray for understanding. One of the best ways of "studying" the Bible is to look up the other scripture references in the center or margin of your text. I have used a New International Version Study Bible for years and would not go back. It gives reference material and other scripture that helps give a well rounded understanding of what you are reading.


I used to call it Bible Study Scavenger Hunt, because one scripture would lead to another. Take time with a notebook/journal and write down the scriptures you're finding and what you "get" from each one. You'll be surprised that shortly you are personally coming up with a lot of "revelation". It takes a little time, but it's so rewarding. Plus it puts you in the place of "hearing God" speak to you individually.


And I'd love to hear from more of you about what you're receiving here, if anything. I know a lot of people come in to the site, but I don't know how many of you are actually reading it or gaining anything from it. I also know we're super busy and sometimes a comment takes a minute. I'd just like to know if you're reading.

I'm called to do this, but it really makes it so much more meaningful to me if I have some input from some of you. I know there are some of you out there that come from other countries. I'd love to say "hello" to you and thank you for visiting here.


Not preaching here, just encouraging Bible Study, and asking for your ideas and thoughts on our subject matter.


I love writing these posts because it keeps me in tune and in touch with what God is saying. Believe me, He IS relevant for today and knows what each of us are doing and thinking and going through.


Have a great week everyone.
Hugs and blessings,
in Jesus,
Debra

9 comments:

  1. Debra,
    I'm enjoying your Bible Study, as always.:)

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  2. I just came upon your site, I love it! Tomorrow I'm going to go through the verses you have mentioned as see where it takes me. I will commit to following you for a few weeks and see what comes of my lessons. I am doing a study/read of Beth Moore's book, So Long, Insecurity. I'm also toying w/ the thought of putting a study I've written on either my blog, or a stand alone (of course w/ God)blog. I will let you know as I go. Thank you for your insight. God's blessings upon you!

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  3. I came tonight to see what you were up too and enjoyed the read. I felt peace and comfort tonight and I needed it so much with whats going on in my personal life. I know you might not get many comments but don't stop your work on here. It must keep you in tune with the Lord and someone may stumble across a good read as I did tonight. Come join me on my blog contest and say Hi. Kath' at www.lilbitoldlilbitnew.blogspot.com

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  4. I love Abraham... he was so obedient.

    God called my husband and I out of our comfort zone a few years ago, into ministry. We had people tell us we were crazy since my dear husband had a VERY successful business. We walked away from it, knowing we had been called and that God would provide. AND HE HAS! The following two years, the economy took a fall, which we would have lost the business anyways, and we are now happy serving the Lord, trying to always keep our eye on Him so we don't sink. :)

    I am reminded that God loves us, He loved Abraham... God is Faithful, what He says, HE does! GOD IS GOOD!

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  5. I am looking forward to coming back and joining you here. Very encouraging!!

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  6. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I love coming back. I find it all very interesting and eye opening. I find it strange that your views are pretty much what I've always believed. I've always thought maybe I was wrong about the interpretation of the Bible so I really enjoy reading other people's views. Keep up the good work - it really is enjoyable and very helpful.

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  7. I love your description of the 'scavenger hunt'! That's exactly right! Each verse unlocks the treasure in another..and another... You have a beautiful gift in your teaching. Keep up the great work, sister!

    Blessings!
    Melanie

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  8. Debra, Enjoyed todays study. I love the way the whole Bible is connected and we can start looking for something in one book and end up on a Biblical scavenger hunt as you called it. I alos appreciate your point about checking the facts for ones self. Especially when hopping around on the internet, you can never be sure that what you are reading is True, so I always encourage people to read their Bible themselves & check out the facts.

    You are doing a good work here, keep it up.

    terry
    mzzterry

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  9. Hi Debra! I still come by when I have time to really read what you have shared. I also read the NIV Study Bible. It was a gift from a friend years ago. It is a hard back copy and is starting to break up a little. I guess that is a good sign of use. I do have another smaller Bible that I take to church, it usually just resides in my car so I have it when I need it. Good study today. Thanks.

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