Written Sermons & Bible Studies

Abraham Covenant

Faith is a profound trust in God that guides and inspires us. Faith is exemplified by Abraham’s story. When God told him to leave everything and venture into the unknown, Abraham did not question or hesitate; he trusted God’s plan. His faith wasn’t about pleasing God through actions; it was about simple, unwavering trust.

 

Consider the challenge of moving your entire family to a new place. Planning, packing, and stressing over every detail can become overwhelming. But faith is not about the laborious effort; it’s about trust. Just like relying on family during such a transition, leaning on Christ’s love can guide you through life’s significant shifts, making the journey not only possible but also meaningful.

 

Abraham’s lesson resonates today: We don’t need to exhaust ourselves trying to win God’s love or force our way. Instead, we need to trust in God’s plan.  In the early church, some thought adherence to strict rules was the path to God. Paul corrected them, pointing to Abraham’s trust in God as the real way to closeness.

Faith isn’t about hard work or rules to please God. It’s about believing in God’s love and promises, even when life is challenging.

 

In the end, it’s not about what we do but the faith we hold. Abraham’s story calls us to trust, believe, and know we’re loved by God. His relationship with God is a testament to the power of faith.

 

This summer, we began a series on God’s covenants with human beings. God’s covenant with Abraham is forged not through action but through trust and belief. The covenant was more than a promise to Abraham; it was a binding agreement that shaped history and resonates in our lives today. This wasn’t just a pact; it was a profound relationship built on unmatched trust. This covenant led to incredible things, ultimately connecting to Jesus, who came to save us.

 

Let us read Genesis 17:1-8 and embrace the lesson that faith transcends deeds and connects us to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God.

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’ Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

 

Faith in God and the promises of God shape the core of Abraham’s covenant. God promised Abraham a great nation from his descendants, more numerous than the stars, even though the odds were stacked against it. He and his wife Sarah were old; having a child seemed a remote dream. Still, Abraham chose to believe, to trust in something greater.

 

However, faith can waver, and Sarah’s story illustrates this. Impatient with God’s promise and doubting its fulfillment, she acted. She offered her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham, hoping this would bring about the promised child. Hagar bore a son, and for a moment, Sarah’s plan seemed to succeed.

 

But happiness turned into conflict. Tensions between Sarah and Hagar grew. Eventually, according to God’s promise, Sarah bore a son, Isaac, leading to more strife. The once bright plan crumbled, and Hagar and her son faced exile. Sarah’s impatience and doubt had forged a path of heartache.

 

Abraham, too, stumbled in faith. Fearing kings would kill him for his beautiful wife, he twice claimed Sarah as his sister, not his spouse. In these moments, Abraham’s trust in God’s protection faltered, and he leaned on deceit rather than faith.

Yet, these weaknesses in Abraham and Sarah didn’t cause God to abandon them. God intervened, protected Sarah, and revealed the truth. God’s promise to Abraham was preserved.

 

Abraham’s story is a striking lesson in the raw power and fragile nature of faith. Imagine trusting in the unseen, believing in promises that seem impossible. For Abraham to have faith was incredible. The world he lived in was defined by gods that required actions from people to earn their favor or ward off their wrath.

In the story of Abraham, God miraculously provides him with a son, Isaac. In that day, gods required child sacrifice. Imagine Abraham’s shock when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Yet, he didn’t waver; he trusted God even in this unthinkable request. He may have justified it in his mind as consistent with other gods, but the request certainly wasn’t consistent with God’s promise.

 

God spared Isaac, providing a ram instead. In this way, God demonstrated that God’s covenant with Abraham would be based on faith. It’s a lesson about trust and faith on a level most of us can’t comprehend.

Genesis 22:15-18 beautifully sums up God’s response to Abraham’s faith: “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

 

Through Abraham’s trust in God’s promises, he became the father of countless descendants, blessing all nations. His example calls us to trust wholeheartedly, recognizing that faith can shape our lives profoundly.

 

Did Abraham follow God unwaveringly throughout life? Abraham stumbled, as did Sarah. They acted without trust and faced heartache, but God’s promises never wavered. Even when they faltered, God’s love held firm. Faith isn’t about perfection. It’s a lifelong journey, filled with highs and lows, but guided by a promise that never breaks. It’s trusting a friend who never lets you down, even when you have doubts.

 

In the end, Abraham’s covenant is a call to courage. An invitation to embrace faith as a living, breathing adventure. A poignant reminder that belief isn’t a one-time act but a brave step toward a God who is as mysterious as He is trustworthy. It’s about walking the faith journey, guided by a love that never fails. Thank you, Abraham, for showing us that faith is a way of life.

 

As an illustration, I want to share a fishing story.

Standing on the water’s edge, I revel in the tranquility of fly fishing. My friends and I have our unique approaches to fishing. They trust in the fly rod without question, clinging to their method like a sacred covenant. I, however, lean towards action that produces my desired results, landing five big Redfish with my spinning rod.

 

The second day out, the boat gets stuck, frustration mounts, but my friends remain unwavering, content in their pursuit. I’m struck by their persistent hope, like one friend who’s been trying to catch a permit on a fly for a decade. Inspired, I commit to the fly rod and land the prize catch of the week.

 

The contrast between my friends’ faithful approach to fishing and my results-driven mentality serves as an unexpected metaphor for the unwavering faith of Abraham. While I celebrate my catch, their continuous faith, untouched by setbacks, offers a more profound lesson.

 

It’s not about how many fish they catch but about the joy of the process, the relationship with the sport, and the patience and trust it requires. It’s a lesson in persistence, patience, and understanding, reminiscent of Abraham’s faith in God’s promises.

 

In the end, the fishing story isn’t just about the big catch; it’s about recognizing the deeper value of faith is not in forced outcomes, but in the experience. It’s not just about fishing; it’s a reflection of life’s greater journey, where faith in the unseen can bring about true fulfillment.

 

The covenant with Abraham is not a distant story; it’s a timeless guide for our faith today. It reminds us that we can be right with God, just as Abraham was, through faith and trust. Genesis 15:6 says, “Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” Abraham’s faith made him right in his relationship with God. And it wasn’t just about belief. It was about righteousness, a term that means being right with God or aligned with God’s will. A life of faith invites us all to follow a path guided by love and wisdom.  

 

Embrace a life of faith, inspired by Abraham’s trust in God’s plans. Let Christ guide you to righteousness, even in uncertain times. Join a journey filled with love, grace, and authentic belief.

 

In the early church in Galatia, some leaders insisted that following old Jewish laws, like circumcision, was essential to faith in Christ. But the Apostle Paul redirected their focus to Abraham, the father of faith. Abraham’s relationship with God wasn’t about laws or rituals; it was about trust and belief in God’s promises.

 

Paul made this argument: Just as Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness, so too is our faith in Christ. The laws, including circumcision, were made obsolete by Jesus’s resurrection.

 

In essence, Paul urged the Galatians to follow Abraham’s example, trusting in God’s grace, even when it contradicts worldly understanding. This timeless lesson from Abraham reminds us that our connection to God is through faith alone, not human efforts or rituals. Faith in, laws out. Thank you, Jesus.

 

Galatians 3:7-14 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us 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.

 

In Galatians 3:7-14, the Apostle Paul provides a profound connection between Abraham’s faith and our faith in Christ. He emphasizes that those who have faith are children of Abraham and that faith, not works of the law, justifies us before God. Paul writes: “All nations will be blessed through you,” referring to the promise God made to Abraham, a promise fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Jesus death on the cross and resurrection saved us from the curse of the law and our sins and errors as a result of our human nature.

 

This passage reinforces the timeless truth that it is faith that binds us to God. We don’t need to exhaust ourselves with rituals or strive to earn God’s love, we have God’s love through a “free gift” and through grace. Our faith in Christ makes us heirs to the promise given to Abraham. Our faith in Christ unites us to Abraham’s legacy of trust in God.

 

If you find yourself seeking this connection and haven’t yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, consider this a personal invitation. Embrace the path of faith, and experience the love, hope, and strength that only faith in Christ can provide. Like Abraham, trust in God’s promises, trust in the Gospel of Christ and its promise and let grace guide you. This is more than a call to belief; it’s a relationship with God that transcends all understanding, grounded in faith in Jesus Christ.

About Pastor Tim

Tim Holmes

Senior Pastor

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