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God's Covenant With Abraham & Missions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by wpe3bql, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

    May 15, 2015
    This past weekend the church of which I'm a member ( www.lighhthousministries.org ) held a Missions Conference for the first time in a couple years.

    As a sort of challenge to us to be missionaries where ever you might be--on the job, in the halls of your school or college, in your neighborhood, etc., our church's founding pastor Al Henson, who now serves as full-time president and director of the Compassionate Hope Foundation ( www.compassionatehope.org ) he gave a sermon entitled "God's Covenant With Abraham & Missions."

    I've never really heard this covenant that's found in Genesis 12 applied to "being a missionary."

    Here's his basic outline:

    A. God Moves
    Why He Moves
    1. His love for people--individually and
    the nation
    2. His passion not to be alone to build His

    B. Man Moves--Abraham's heart revealed by
    his actions
    1. What he turned from--Home, family
    culture, country, and all that was
    comfortable to him
    2. What he practices
    a. Saying yes to God's leadership
    b. Always building an altar to worship
    c. The tent was portable so that he could
    be ready to move to wherever God
    called him

    C. God Blesses Beyond Abraham's imagination
    1. Genesis 15:1-6 reveals God blessings to
    an obedient Abraham
    2. Everything that Abraham did in obedience
    to God, God blessed--both spiritually and

    D. Man Blesses--Abraham, who gave his life and
    heart away, now continues to bless mankind-

    "The blessing of God to Abraham is still available to us if we will, like Abraham, surrender all the things that make us comfortable in order to follow God's leadership for our lives!"
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Sorry to be picky bit Abraham did not always build his alter. When he went to Egypt he did not. It seems also when he had failed too he did not do well. It was only when he left Egypt that he went back to his alter. This was a lesson well learned.
  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Sorry to be picky but Abraham's departure from Haran was an escape for his life, an exodus as from Egypt, or Sodom, or the first church from Jerusalem, if the book of Jasher is correct.
  4. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2010

    The Abrahamic Covenant is important to the Redemptive plan of God and should be one of the basic elements in our "missionary" work. The promises made to Abraham were the revelation of God's intention to bless mankind (all families of the earth), and while they are not the realization of all that God would do (through Christ), those promises are never negated from God's Redemptive plan, as spoken of by Paul in Galatians 3.

    But we do not go out and preach the Abrahamic Covenant, for we are ministers of the New Covenant. The Abrahamic is a foundational feature which did not reveal Christ, but prophesied of Him.

    The final statement is, due to time, the only thing I would comment on at this point:

    This fits more with discipleship, rather than evangelization, which could still be attributed to missions and fit that framework but I sense that this was more geared towards the evangelizing aspect of Missions.

    The priority would be, not to lay down foundational principles, and suggest to unbelievers they can partake of the promises of God through Abraham (though indirectly that is true, though only through Christ), but must first focus on what the promises meant within the whole of Redemptive Revelation. The blessing of all families of the earth is fulfilled through Christ on an eternal level, and that in regards to man's sin, lack of relationship with God, and Christ being the remedy. But we would want to be careful not to instill a mindset in prospective converts that they can be blessed as Abraham was without first being redeemed through Christ.

    And that is sort of how the outline comes across, though I am sure there is something lost in translation.

    There are just too many who think relationship with God is a matter of either doing, or not doing something. In Abraham's case we see that it was God's intervention that precedes Abraham's faith. When we evangelize, we maintain that basic principle, and our part will be an attempt to present the Gospel. The Abrahamic Covenant comes up often when I witness to people, but it is not the centerpiece, the New Covenant is.

    Unbelievers cannot surrender anything that makes them comfortable, in a temporal sense, and come into relationship with God. Abraham was not accounted faithful because he surrendered anything (and I know Isaac will come to mind), but because he obeyed God. By the time he was of a faith where he could, in faith, offer up Isaac, we remember that before this point we have God revealing Himself to Abraham, and had made promise to Abraham through that revelation. He could have faith that should he obey God, and slay Isaac, God would be faithful to his promise that...

    Genesis 21:12

    King James Version (KJV)

    12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

    That same principle applies today, in that God intervenes through the Ministry of the Comforter prior to faith being established. Take your atheist friend, for example: if his conscience were not pricked he would not be trying to justify his belief system. Most likely he is under the convicting ministry of the Comforter and he is resisting that ministry. But the point is that something has moved him to question, not your faith, but his.

    But, I hope the message carried a little more than what we can see from the outline, and I hope you both enjoyed it and were moved by the underlying intent which seems to be to motivate towards a mission-minded life.

    God bless.
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2010
    Darrell C


    67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

    68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

    69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

    70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

    71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

    72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

    73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

    74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

    75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

    76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

    77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

    78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

    9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

    10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

    12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

    16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

    18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

    19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

    20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

    21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

    26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

    27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

    28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

    29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

    30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith
  6. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

    May 15, 2015
    The key point "Bro. Al" was trying to make when he was talking about Abraham building an altar was that when Abraham did so, it was always when he was in obedience to God.
    That fact may not have been readily apparent in the text of his basic outline that he gave me, but he made it very evident to us when he got to that point in his outline.

    As he told me, when he preaches from an outline, he doesn't put every single word that he'll use in his outlines, thus he may not have put every single word that he preached in this particular outline.

    You'd had to have actually been present at our Sunday AM corporate worship serviced to catch his emphasis when he came to this particular part of his sermon.

    I might add to those who may have misconstrued what "Bro. Al" meant with regard to the Abrahamic Covenant being the focal point of a Christian's witnessing to others in this day and age.

    He didn't mean that one should go around preaching that the Abrahamic covenant is equivalent to proclaiming the Gospel to a lost and dying world because that isn't true.

    "The Abrahamic Covenant" never had anything to do with a person's salvation, but rather it points to the application of God's blessing on Abraham's life when he obeyed God by stepping out on faith.
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    Praise the Lord for what must have been a great conference.

    I'm sure Pastor Henson would not remember me (though he would remember my grandfather), but since I was based out of Murfreesboro on deputation in the '70's, I did meet him once in the early years of your church, and was impressed. Nice to hear he is still strong for the Lord.
    I like the outline.

    I have a book by Walter Kaiser, Mission in the Old Testament. It looks great, though I haven't read it yet. I believe the Abrahamic Covenant and then Ps. 96 to be forms of the Great Commission for the Jews, though they did not obey.
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2010


    Judging by the Scripture you have chosen I am assuming you disagree with my statement.

    So is that what you are doing? Preaching the Abrahamic Covenant?

    I did not say we remove those foundational principles from our theology, but that we are Ministers of the New Covenant.

    So I see nothing that contradicts my statement.

    And that was a Mystery (Gentile Inclusion), not revealed in that Age:

    Colossians 1:25-27

    King James Version (KJV)

    25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

    26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    The Abrahamic did not reveal this Mystery, and did not in fact reveal the Mystery of the Gospel...

    Romans 16:24-26

    King James Version (KJV)

    24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

    25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

    So again, I see nothing that contradicts my statement, but, if you want to go around preaching the Abrahamic Covenant, that is between you and God.

    God bless.
  9. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2010

    And that is what I stated, I thought it probably lost a little in the translation (or lack thereof, lol).

    But I still have a problem with imposing a mindset that one can prosper or be closer to God by doing particular efforts, such as(and I will just make a few comments on Point B)...

    The truth is that God saves men without a requirement for leaving their current situation (which does not relate to sin), and there will be those that if we are not careful will think they should leave home, family, culture, and country.

    God's focus on Family in Scripture denies the possibility of someone being saved to abandon their family. While we might speculate about scenarios that might be similar to Abraham's state when called (in a heathen land), this is not going to be a norm for most evangelical efforts, or, the results of those efforts.

    New Converts should be encouraged to first learn of God and His Word and in doing so, gain the discernment provided from that God prescribed method of growth. We should not, I feel, put ideas into the minds of babes which might make them take premature steps. New Converts are usually in that stage I call "on fire for the Lord," and like children, they are easily influenced. And since the lesson seems to focus on bringing those already converted to a more missionary minded focus, it is unlikely that encouraging to leave these things will be beneficial.

    Another issue I think we need to be careful about.

    While it is true our daily conversation and practice is important, We cannot make a compete parallel with Abraham. Having progressed due to the revelation we have been provided with, it is a little more complicated due t a greater knowledge of Sin and Redemption.

    We just need to be careful we do not give the impression that might lead to a works mentality. Obedience is the priority in teaching, as it is one of the most outstanding lessons we learn from men like Abraham, and a Bible Basic. And what God calls men to do is going to be diverse, because most have very diverse circumstances in their lives.

    Something that is learned as we grow. The more we understand God's Will, the better we are able to obey.

    New Converts, and especially prospective converts...just aren't going to understand that.

    Okay, gotta scratch my head on this one, lol.

    I am sure he presented this in a spiritual sense of sorts, right?

    And this I can understand, as we see it also presented in the Tabernacle of the Wilderness. I see the picture of the Church herself in this imagery, who, through death and new converts, is constantly torn down and raised (erected) again.

    I think as long as (at least) some of these are not imposed into a physical meaning, we could find them useful in illustrating the conditions of the New Covenant.

    And I still am not crazy about the way this...

    "The blessing of God to Abraham is still available to us if we will, like Abraham, surrender all the things that make us comfortable in order to follow God's leadership for our lives!"

    ...is stated.

    That is one of the biggest lessons I see us as needing to learn from all of the Covenants, which is that God blesses men despite their obedience. The very promise of the New Covenant is based on that concept, because not one man gave up the first thing to be saved. God freely gives that gift to all who will receive Him, and it is not until after conversion that men have the ability to obey God in truth. And that can take years for some of us (yes, my hand is raised, lol).

    The "blessing of God to Abraham," if viewed in the physical, cannot entirely be received by men today. The blessing of God to Abraham, in their eternal perspective, and on a spiritual level, is something all men could receive. And I think it a little off to suggest that by giving up anything one can receive either. That we are in obedience does not mean that we will not face tribulation, trials, and perhaps even death. That we are disobedient does not mean we will not be blessed.

    And most babes in Christ are disobedient for the simple reason that they simply do not know the will of God for their lives. And with new converts, I think it important to make sure that they understand their weakness, and that maturity is not a matter of works we perform, but a living out of the nature that is within us, which we better understand through study of God's Word.

    And sorry, had no intention of going on so long, lol.

    God bless.