Disobedient man and God’s promises

Promises

File:Joseph Anton Koch 006.jpg

Landscape with Noah’s Thank Offering – Landschaft mit dem Dankopfer Noahs – (painting circa 1803 by Joseph Anton Koch)

The book of Genesis tells us that man has become disobedient to God, and that the offspring of Adam (especially in the line of Adam‘s son Cain) went from bad to worse. God made an end to this by means of the Flood, and started again with Noah and his sons. But it went wrong again when the population grew.
When God then again
made a new beginning with a fair man, Abraham, He gave him several times promises about the distant future. Those promises are found in Chapters 12, 13, 15, 17, 18 and 22 of the book of Genesis. Such multiple repetition we can not possibly overlook; it means that we are here to address a very important foundation of Biblical doctrine. The promises include the following aspects:

  • Numerous offspring (multiple “seed“)
  • A blessing for himself
  • A blessing for all peoples
  • The whole land of Canaan (for himself and his progeny)
  • A “physical” son (who he still had not)
  • A Covenant with God
  • A mighty offspring (a single “seed“)
Wenceslas Hollar - God's covenant with Abraham...

Wenceslas Hollar – God’s covenant with Abraham (State 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These promises are repeated to his son Isaac in Genesis 26, and his grandson Jacob in Genesis 28 and 35. Who can still doubt that we have here to address a key issue.
The many offspring naturally is first and foremost the people of Israel came forth out of him. But also to all the faithful who will later find salvation in Christ. Paul writes to the Galatians:

Galatians 3:7-9 The Scriptures 1998+  (7)  Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Aḇraham.  (8)  And the Scripture, having foreseen that Elohim would declare right the nations by belief, announced the Good News to Aḇraham beforehand, saying,
“All the nations shall be blessed in you,”  (9)  so that those who are of belief are blessed with Aḇraham, the believer.

Galatians 3:26-29 The Scriptures 1998+  (26)  For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע {Jeshua}.  (27)  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.  (28)  There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע {Jeshua}.  (29)  And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

It was in God’s Plan that Abraham now became blessed to provide a new seed for the coming generations in what would become children of a New Covenant.

We will see in the next chapter what is the meaning of this ‘faith‘ and the expression ‘justified’. For the moment it is to only important to determine the statement that the promises to Abraham go far beyond the national existence of the people of Israel.

In the Old Testament we are told about a coming Messiah. Those promises made to Abraham and to his seed include the mighty offspring, Christ, the Redeemer, as Paul also writes to the Galatians:

Galatians 3:16 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.

Paul also calls for our attention that the promises made to Abraham spoke not of seeds but to his seed, which is Christ. And again he observes that it we belong to Christ, then we too may be seed [which multiple offspring] of Abraham and heirs according to promise. (verse 29).

Galatians 3:29 The Scriptures 1998+  (29)  And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

There is more in these promises. The land was promised to Abraham’s descendants, but also to himself. Yet he died without having received it. Then Stephen also points out in his defence speech that God did not give him the inheritance in his lifetime, but that there would come a time that he could have it in possession.

Acts 7:5 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  “And He gave him no inheritance in it, not a foot of it. But He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

If we consider God to be reliable, it can only mean one thing: Abraham must come back to life to yet receive the promise. So the promises speak indirectly of the resurrection from the dead, which will take place at the same end of the days, of which we already talked about. The full extent of these promises and their fulfilment can not be explained in a single chapter. In the following chapters, we’ll be back on the main aspects of this. But it will be clear what the Apostle Peter meant when he wrote:

” By this [God’s divine power], we are blessed with precious and very great promises, that ye might be partakers of the divine nature.”

God is working on a consistent plan, which he marked already in the given book of Genesis (the book of the origin‘). And, according to Paul’s words to the Galatians:

the gospel has been preached already to Abraham (Galatians 3: 8).

And, as we already noted in a previous chapter:

Christianity was not a new religion; it was only the next stage in God’s plan.

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Preceding articles:

Divine Plan and an Imperfect creation

God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings

Dutch version: Een goddelijk Plan #4 Beloften

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Additional reading:

  1. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 1
  2. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  3. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  4. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  5. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  6. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  8. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  9. Together tasting a great promise
  10. We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
  11. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  12. On the Nature of Christ
  13. The one who set the standard
  14. Christ having glory
  15. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  16. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?

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Further reading

  1. Ishmael (p) Part 2: The Rightful Holder Of The Everlasting Covenant Edit
  2. Faith Like Abraham
  3. The intercession of Abraham for the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah
  4. The Ecstasy of His Doings
  5. A glory after test, trials and examinations
  6. Answered Prayers
  7. More Thoughts on “Let’s Blame Abraham and Sarah”
  8. A Selected Passage from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Godself (2)”
  9. hard hearts
  10. The Way of the Enemy
  11. Promises of God
  12. God’s promises
  13. God Can Bring Forth Life!
  14. Faith

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About Christadelphians

Free Christadelphians or Brothers and sisters in Christ, living in Belgium, European Union. - Vrijë Christadelphians of Broeders en zusters in Christus wonende in België in de Europese Unie.
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6 Responses to Disobedient man and God’s promises

  1. Darryl says:

    Amen. God promises are for us today and everyday. I agree and thank you for writing this post. I purposely memorized certain scriptures and Galatians 3:13-14 was one of them. Thank you again. God bless!

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