We obey the Gospel by believing the promise that Jesus has already accomplished everything necessary for our salvation. Among the promises of the Abrahamic covenant is the one whereby faithful heirs will possess the gospel and the power of the Lordâs priesthood. All nations will be blessed in Abraham and his seed. You may not understand how much He cherishes it, and there may well be none who realize it. John Calvin explains this principle well: …as if God would declare, that he had sufficient power for Abram’s protection: because our faith can only stand firmly, while we are certainly persuaded that the defence of God is alone sufficient for us, and can sincerely despise everything in the world which is opposed to our salvation. It was a lot like taking your life in your own hands. Perhaps, he is considering Lot as the vehicle for his becoming a great nation. The principle of adoption brings those who are not Abrahamâs descendants but who accept the gospel into his family. So, at the same time that God was feeling very excited, God also felt heavy of heart. Literally, they mean, "Go you!" The Abrahamic Covenant included the promise of land (Genesis 12:1). The Abrahamic promise of countless descendants pertains to the eternal world as well as to descendants on earth. Today, one can see this promise partially fulfilled in the many millions who look upon Abraham as their ancestor. Even though God accepted his sincerity and obedience, he was still unworthy of becoming God’s confidant, of becoming someone who knew and understood God, and someone who was knowledgeable about God’s disposition; he was far from being of one mind with God and doing God’s will. âAnd if ye be Christâs, then are ye Abrahamâs seed, and heirs according to the promiseâ (Gal. At the same time as speaking to Himself, God also spoke to Abraham, but apart from hearing the blessings that God gave to him, was Abraham able to understand God’s true wishes in all of His words at that moment? All rights reserved. In fact, there was nothing commonplace about these words. Thus, we see here that when God spoke to Abraham, He was earnest and sincere. It was a specific land, an actual property, with dimensions specified in Genesis 15:18–21. The Lord chose this faithful man, of all men on earth, to become the father of a covenant people. But God never intends for us to run with that command on our own, attempting to obey it in our own strength. That is, because Abraham had followed God’s command, because he had done everything that God had said, asked and commanded, without the slightest complaint, thus God made such a promise to him. In the Old Testament, we read that God postponed the promise of the land when his people refused to serve him. We thus make no distinction between the literal seed of Abraham and his heirs through adoption, for they are âall one in Christ Jesus.â. The Lord promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. 5:48). More than 8.5 million Latter-day Saints regard him as their forefather, while more than one billion other Christians and Muslims consider Abraham to be their father in a symbolic sense. Modern revelation testifies of a heavenly fulfillment: âAbraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins â¦ which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, â¦ both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number themâ (D&C 132:30). But in fact, this person’s knowledge of God was barely more than nothing. This promise will be fulfilled initially in the birth of the nation of Israel. In those days, it was the sole role of kindred to take care of their own, to avenge any wrongful deaths, and to provide protection in numbers. The twofold missionary calling of the latter-day children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is (1) to gather others of the house of Israel back to the covenants that God made with their forefathers and (2) to gather all others who desire to become one with them. This again has the force of an imperative. Is Lot not his kindred? 35:9–12.) We are heirs to the gospel and the priesthood because of the covenant God made with Abraham. Alongside the demands are a series of blessings, of promises. But now, God is taking his covenantal relationship with Abram to the next level, insisting that Abram walk before him in blamelessness. This is an unabridged account of God’s blessing to Abraham. And what does Abraham do once he hears all this? It should also be taken literally. To this point, Abram’s faith has been up and down: up to leave his home to follow God to the Promised Land, and down to go to Egypt during the famine. Despite God’s promises that he would provide Abram a son from his very own body (Gen. 15:4), Ishmael is still the only son of the 99-year-old patriarch. With Christians, Jews, and Muslims, Latter-day Saints consider Abraham the father of the faithful and the exemplary ancestor of those who serve God. So, too, we see the price He pays to gain people, and the care and thought He puts into gaining them. God, however, had not abandoned his promise, and so he approaches Abram to bring a command with a promise: 1When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” (Gen. 17:1-2), God insists that Abram “walk before me, and be blameless” in order that God may make his covenant with Abram, to multiply him greatly. The fourth element in God's promises is, "Be a blessing." God bestowed great blessings upon Abraham simply because he obeyed God’s words. The patriarch Abraham committed himself unwaveringly to the Lordâs service and was privileged to enter into a covenant with him. In 12:4, it states, "so Abraham went, as the Lord had told him." Perhaps the best-known blessing of the Abrahamic covenant is that of a vast posterity. Yet He did not halt His steps, and He continued to plan the next step of what He must do. The Abrahamic covenant blesses those who are not of Abrahamâs lineage in a very direct way. The Lord taught Abraham concerning the nations of the earth who would not be his physical offspring: âI will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their fatherâ (Abr. 2 Samuel 7:20 And what can David say more unto thee? The Lord denied ancient Israel the blessing because its people had failed to earn it, fulfilling the Lordâs word that inheritance in the land could be had only on the condition of faithfulness. There is one crucial sentence in this promise that touches upon God’s thoughts at the time. Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. For I have known him in order that he may command his sons, &c. command his children and his household after him, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, OT Law: Genesis 18:19 For I have known him to (Gen. Ge Gn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools.
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