River Church NOLA
Feb 3 The Gospel Story ...Abram Covenant
  • Your Grace Is Enough
  • The Stand
  • I Need You More
  • Good Good Father
  • Hope you enjoyed the story of the fall of mankind last week. We are now going to look at Abram who became Abraham.
    God chose Abram, and we don’t really know why. but God chose him and made his descendants into a great nation… Israel. Abraham will be the Father of Israel which will be a country that is pivotal in history. Israel was supposed to be a lighthouse of God’s love to the rest of the world. The Savior of the World, the Messiah, Jesus would come from Israel… from Abraham.
    We still live in uncertain times… much like Abraham. And like Abraham, we must simply trust the Lord.
    Gen 12 is a transitional chapter from the way God previously dealt with mankind. In chapter 12 He choses a people to be his people.

    God calls Abram to follow Him

    Genesis 12:1–3 NLT
    1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
    When God called Abram from Ur to Haran and then to Canaan, God then established a covenant with Abram. God told him that he would be the father of a great nation and he would be blessed and that other nations would be blessed by his descendants. Israel, the nation that would come from Abram.
    More than that, Jesus the Messiah was in Abraham’s lineage. Through Jesus, people can have a personal relationship with God and be blessed beyond measure.

    God lead Abram to a place where he could bless him.

    Genesis 12:4–6 NLT
    4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
    God promised to bless Abram, but he had a condition. Abram had to do what God asked him to do, and for him it meant leaving his family and friends to go to a place God told him to go. Abram obeyed God and walked away from his father’s family for the promise God gave him of greater blessings.
    God may be trying to move you to a place of greater service and usefulness for him. Don’t let the comfort and security of your present position make you miss God’s plan for you.

    Abram worshipped the Lord for what He had done

    Genesis 12:7–9 NLT
    7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. 9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.
    God told Abram he was giving the land, Canaan, to Abram and his descendants.
    Then Abram praised and worshipped the Lord by building him an altar. He built several. Building an Altar symbolized communion with God and commemorated notable encounters with the Lord. These altars would remain in place for years and served as reminders of what God had done in that place.
    Abram built the altars for two reasons:
    To worship the Lord and pray.
    To serve as a reminder of God’s promise to bless him.
    Abram could not survive without regular worship of the Lord and neither can we.
    Regular worship helps us remember what God desires and motivates us to obey Him.
    We need to worship at home every day… and together in church … and in smaller groups as well.

    God promised to protect Abram and to provide him with a great reward.

    Genesis 15:1 NLT
    1 Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
    God spoke to Abram and told him not to be afraid. It could be that Abram feared revenge from the kings he just defeated, but God have him two good reasons for courage.
    Protect and Provide
    When you fear what lies ahead, remember that God will stay with you through difficult times and that he has promised you great blessings. He will always protect you from evil and provide you a way out.

    God promises Abram a son

    Genesis 15:2–3 NLT
    2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
    Abram complained that he did not have a son to give all of his wealth to. Eliezer was Abram’s most trusted servant, acting as his household administrator, but Abram wanted a son… family to leave everything to.
    Genesis 15:4–5 NLT
    4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
    Abram wasn't promised wealth or fame… he already had that. Instead, God promised that his descendants would outnumber the stars or the grains of sand on the beach.
    Just try to pick up even a handful of sand and count the grains… you can’t.
    Just when Abram was losing faith in a son, God promised him a son. Listen, God’s blessings are beyond our imagination!

    Abram believed God and was made righteous

    Genesis 15:6 NLT
    6 And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
    Abram had already been demonstrating that he had faith. He left his home and was traveling to where God told him. It wasn’t his actions that caused God to give him his righteousness, it was his faith.
    We can also have a right relationship with God through Faith in Jesus
    Our outward actions—church attendance, prayer, good deeds—will not by themselves make us right with God. A right relationship is based on faith—the heartfelt inner confidence that God is who he says he is and does what he says he will do. Right actions will follow naturally as by-products of our faith.

    Abram wasn’t perfect, he had doubts and questions for the Lord.

    Genesis 15:7–11 NLT
    7 Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” 8 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?” 9 The Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11 Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.
    Abraham wanted confirmation that he was doing what God wanted him to do. We are the same, we want to know that we are doing God wants us to do. Abram didn’t have the Bible… we do, so as long as we go by what the WOG says, we are in good shape.

    God speaks to Abram about the future of his descendants.

    Genesis 15:12–16 NLT
    12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15 (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
    God was still giving the Amorites the opportunity to repent and turn to Him. But God also knew they would grow more and more wicked and someday would need to be punished. He was showing them mercy… but he know they would not repent and wouold have to be punished.
    God is being patient today… giving people a chance to repent and turn to him. At some point, He will have to punish the evil of our world.

    God made a covenant with Abraham

    Genesis 15:17–20 NLT
    17 After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18 So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River—19 the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,
    The fire and smoke represent God’s holiness, his zeal for righteousness and his judgement on all the nations. By passing between the halves of the sacrifice, it gsave Abram a visable assurance that the covenant was real.
    Why is this important.
    Galatians 3:29 NLT
    29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
    We are heirs to everything God promised to Abram… Abraham.
      • Genesis 12:1–3ASV

      • Genesis 12:4–6ASV

      • Genesis 12:7–9ASV

      • Genesis 15:1ASV

      • Genesis 15:2–3ASV

      • Genesis 15:4–5ASV

      • Genesis 15:6ASV

      • Genesis 15:7–11ASV

      • Genesis 15:12–16ASV

      • Genesis 15:17–20ASV

      • Galatians 3:29ASV

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