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Call of Abraham – Gen. 12

December 26, 2008

Failing to read the Old Testament missiologicaly weakens the call to the Church to engage in worldwide mission.

Paul refers to the Church in Tit 2:14 as “a people that are his very own.”
He uses the exact Greek phrase that is found in the Septuagint’s rendering of Ex 19:5. The
correlation is clear: as God has chosen Israel in the Old Testament to be the mediator through
which he would reveal his Name and glory to the rest of the nations, so in the NT he has
chosen the Church, believers in Christ, to be his witnesses.

Abram was the ninth generation from Noahcity in Babylonia, named Ur of the Chaldees
The building of Babel, the confusion of tongues, and the first call of Abram, are three remarkable particulars in this chapter; and these led to the accomplishment of three grand and important designs: 1. The peopling of the whole earth; 2. The preservation of the true religion by the means of one family; and 3. The preservation of the line uncorrupted by which the Messiah should come.

God commanded him to “Go by himself” —leave all other relations….’vs 1 “NIV “HAD SAID” PAST TENSE CF> STEPHEN ACTS 7

God says he will make abram a great name and make a great nation from him…
NOTE: GOD is a MISSIONARY GOD 1) Saves abram out of his idolatry 2) moves him from corner of world to the crossroads of humanity…3) Thought beyond blessing abram but will bless all world through him….cf. us and how we want to stick to our own kind…>God loves all kinds of people…we are most like him when we reach out to everyone….
Vs 3 – nations will be blessed by him (what God will do) and/or will bless themselves in him (the nations responsibility to abram and his SEED)

God call us to serve Him, sometimes at some personal cost – vs 1 – left family cf importance of family then to family importance of today. 2) he had to leave some ungodly influences (friends) in his life in order to pursue what God wanted him to pursue. (be not deceived bad company corrupts good manners.”)
God is good because He wants us to share in what He can give us rather than what we can acquire for ourselves. Cf. Abram would have stayed right where he was., would’ve kept same old land, no children….with God his wife had many kids, received promise of entire world….Romans 4:13/ Hebrews 11:8-10…trace theme of land throughout scripture….to new heavens and new earth….why important? Because God made us bodies also…not just floating on clouds…..Promise of local land in later prophets begins to expand to include the whole world…
God is Sovereign and Gracious in Salvation –cf. Abram’s situation in his paganism VS what God does here in the opening of chapter 12

This call included two promises: the first, showing the land of his future posterity; and the second, that in his posterity all the earth was to be blessed (Genesis 12:2). Excursion: Is what is happening today to Israel a fulfillment of biblical prophecy? What are we to expect out of Israel in the future? What happened in 1948? Is that a fulfillment of prophecy?

Vs5 – God again, keeps His promise….God is the true promise maker and keeper

Vs 7 – God does things with long term effects in your life, others, and most importantly His kingdom in mind
Seed – singular use,…Cf Paul’s argument in Gal 3:16

The Covenant was fourfold:
(1) God would make Abraham’s descendants a great nation.
(2) God would bless Abraham materially and make his name great.
(3) God would protect Abraham by blessing those that blessed him
and cursing those that opposed Abraham.
(4) God would bless all the families of the earth through Abraham. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth” (Psalm 67:3-4 NIV). Psalm 2:   “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name – for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm – when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel . . .” (I Kings 8:41-43, NIV). Isaiah 49:6      Paul refers to the Church in Tit 2:14 as “a people that are his very own.”
He uses the exact Greek phrase that is found in the Septuagint’s rendering of Ex 19:5. The
correlation is clear: as God has chosen Israel in the Old Testament to be the mediator through
which he would reveal his Name and glory to the rest of the nations, so in the NT he has
chosen the Church, believers in Christ, to be his witnesses.

OT – more of drawing kind of evang…with hints of it expanding outward    remember all OT sacrifices, rituals, place of worship…Israel was to draw others to God
NT – “Go” but also has elements of drawing power ….all centered in person of Christ (the true Israel)….IF I be lifted up will draw all men to myself” abut we go out and do this

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