jump to navigation

Walking versus Posing February 16, 2008

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11, Holy Spirit, Isaac, James 2:14-26, Joseph, Moses, Posing, Rahab, Titus 1:16, Walking.
3 comments

If I’m not walking, then I’m just posing.

I guess I need to be reminded of that from time to time. This is especially true in terms of my Faith. I am reminded again of the differences between “Saving Faith” and “idle faith”. James 2: 14-26 reminds me of several kinds of Faith.

There is an Intellectual Faith found in verse 17. Here it talks about knowing the concepts and knowing the lingo, but not putting it in to practice. There is an Emotional Faith found in verse 19. Even the demons have an emotional response to Jesus. These are tragic examples of dead faith or idle faith. Then there is a Living and Active Faith as found in verses 21-26. Abraham and Rahab are great examples of a living and active faith in action. They are recorded in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. Here is what it says about them and some others.

  • By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.
  • By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
  • By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
  • By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
  • By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
  • And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Now look at all of this in light of Titus 1:16. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” These are very strong words, wouldn’t you agree?

Here it is clear that profession of faith by itself is an intellectual or emotional response. Without evidence of God at work in our lives there is an implied denial of God’s power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Without steps of Faith (actions) and walking in obedience (actions) we are just standing still. We are going nowhere. We are just posing.

Advertisements

Laughter April 25, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Isaac, Laugh, Laughter, Sarah.
7 comments

We have been studying the book of Genesis in our Bible study class at church. And we have just crossed over from Abram to Abraham. There have been several instances of “laughing” or “laughter” that have caught my attention. Most of it revolves around Sarah and her response to hearing that she will bear a child. Or it revolves around her joy at the birth of Isaac as she acknowledges that it was God who brought forth this laughter.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Genesis 21:1-7 NIV

I am not sure exactly what I think about this passage. But I think that God is amazing in that He turned what was a gentle rebuke at Sarah’s (and probably Abraham’s as well) disbelief into an occasion for joy for the present time and for years to come.

Isn’t that just like our God?

God’s Covenant with Abraham March 11, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Abram, Covenant, Genesis 12.
add a comment

This was the topic in our Sunday School Class (er, I mean, Bible Study) this morning. We studied Genesis chapter 12. The Abrahamic Covenant may offer more questions than answers. I know it certainly does for me. Here are some of the questions that I have:

  • Does it promise Israel permanent existence as a nation?
  • Does it promise Israel permanent ownership of the promised land?
  • Is the covenant conditional or unconditional in nature?
  • If it is conditional, then the fulfillment of its promises is dependent upon the obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their physical descendants, the people of Israel.
  • If the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, then is the fulfillment of its promises dependent upon the faithfulness of God to His word, or upon man’s obedience?

Do you need a refresher on the basics of the covenant between God and Abram (Abraham)? If so, turn in your Bible to Genesis 12 and again in chapter 15.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant.

  1. God promises Abram land (lots of it!). The promise of land is found in Genesis 12:1. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him. This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 along with the dead animals and the stroll through the carcasses.
  2. God promises descendants (lots of them!). God promised Abram that He (God) would make a great nation out of him. Abram, who was 75 years old and childless at the time (Sarai is barren at this point), was promised many descendants. This promise is further explained in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the him. This promise leads to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and would lead to King David’s throne and ultimately with King Jesus.
  3. God promises blessings (again, lots of them) and redemption (final, full and free!). God promised to bless Abram and all the families of the earth through him. This promise is further defined in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31–34 as well as Hebrews 8:6–13, and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin and points us ultimately toward the cross and Easter.

I cannot escape the “unconditional” nature of this covenant. In fact, Abram is sound asleep during the covenant ceremony. God, and God alone, in the form of fire and smoke walked among the animal carcasses. This is a divine indicator that there was really nothing Abram could have done any way. At least not at this part of the process.

Now, does that mean that Abram did not have a real and active part in living out the covenant? Absolutely, Abram had a part. His part was to walk with God and follow where He led. His part was to keep his eyes on God as God led him out of Ur of the Chaldees and into a land that Abram knew absolutely nothing about.

His part is just like our part. We are to walk with God on the same sort of “faith walk” that Abram went on. We are to walk with God daily. And daily we are to commit to upholding our part of the covenant. But, we like Abram, do not have the power and ability to do even our part on our own. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a holy life, a covenant life.

There is much more to be said about the twelfth chapter of Genesis. I particularly like the last few verses where we see pharaohs and plagues and deliverance out of Egypt. What an incredible foreshadowing of events that would take place some 430 years later. But, I will save that for another blog post.

What are your thoughts about this chapter and story of Abram’s life?

God’s Covenant with Abraham March 11, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Abram, Covenant, Genesis 12.
2 comments

This was the topic in our Sunday School Class (er, I mean, Bible Study) this morning. We studied Genesis chapter 12. The Abrahamic Covenant may offer more questions than answers. I know it certainly does for me. Here are some of the questions that I have:

  • Does it promise Israel permanent existence as a nation?
  • Does it promise Israel permanent ownership of the promised land?
  • Is the covenant conditional or unconditional in nature?
  • If it is conditional, then the fulfillment of its promises is dependent upon the obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their physical descendants, the people of Israel.
  • If the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, then is the fulfillment of its promises dependent upon the faithfulness of God to His word, or upon man’s obedience?

Do you need a refresher on the basics of the covenant between God and Abram (Abraham)? If so, turn in your Bible to Genesis 12 and again in chapter 15.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant.

  1. God promises Abram land (lots of it!). The promise of land is found in Genesis 12:1. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him. This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 along with the dead animals and the stroll through the carcasses.
  2. God promises descendants (lots of them!). God promised Abram that He (God) would make a great nation out of him. Abram, who was 75 years old and childless at the time (Sarai is barren at this point), was promised many descendants. This promise is further explained in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the him. This promise leads to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and would lead to King David’s throne and ultimately with King Jesus.
  3. God promises blessings (again, lots of them) and redemption (final, full and free!). God promised to bless Abram and all the families of the earth through him. This promise is further defined in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31–34 as well as Hebrews 8:6–13, and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin and points us ultimately toward the cross and Easter.

I cannot escape the “unconditional” nature of this covenant. In fact, Abram is sound asleep during the covenant ceremony. God, and God alone, in the form of fire and smoke walked among the animal carcasses. This is a divine indicator that there was really nothing Abram could have done any way. At least not at this part of the process.

Now, does that mean that Abram did not have a real and active part in living out the covenant? Absolutely, Abram had a part. His part was to walk with God and follow where He led. His part was to keep his eyes on God as God led him out of Ur of the Chaldees and into a land that Abram knew absolutely nothing about.

His part is just like our part. We are to walk with God on the same sort of “faith walk” that Abram went on. We are to walk with God daily. And daily we are to commit to upholding our part of the covenant. But, we like Abram, do not have the power and ability to do even our part on our own. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a holy life, a covenant life.

There is much more to be said about the twelfth chapter of Genesis. I particularly like the last few verses where we see pharaohs and plagues and deliverance out of Egypt. What an incredible foreshadowing of events that would take place some 430 years later. But, I will save that for another blog post.

What are your thoughts about this chapter and story of Abram’s life?

God’s Covenant with Abraham March 11, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Abram, Covenant, Genesis 12.
add a comment

This was the topic in our Sunday School Class (er, I mean, Bible Study) this morning. We studied Genesis chapter 12. The Abrahamic Covenant may offer more questions than answers. I know it certainly does for me. Here are some of the questions that I have:

  • Does it promise Israel permanent existence as a nation?
  • Does it promise Israel permanent ownership of the promised land?
  • Is the covenant conditional or unconditional in nature?
  • If it is conditional, then the fulfillment of its promises is dependent upon the obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their physical descendants, the people of Israel.
  • If the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, then is the fulfillment of its promises dependent upon the faithfulness of God to His word, or upon man’s obedience?

Do you need a refresher on the basics of the covenant between God and Abram (Abraham)? If so, turn in your Bible to Genesis 12 and again in chapter 15.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant.

  1. God promises Abram land (lots of it!). The promise of land is found in Genesis 12:1. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him. This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 along with the dead animals and the stroll through the carcasses.
  2. God promises descendants (lots of them!). God promised Abram that He (God) would make a great nation out of him. Abram, who was 75 years old and childless at the time (Sarai is barren at this point), was promised many descendants. This promise is further explained in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the him. This promise leads to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and would lead to King David’s throne and ultimately with King Jesus.
  3. God promises blessings (again, lots of them) and redemption (final, full and free!). God promised to bless Abram and all the families of the earth through him. This promise is further defined in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31–34 as well as Hebrews 8:6–13, and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin and points us ultimately toward the cross and Easter.

I cannot escape the “unconditional” nature of this covenant. In fact, Abram is sound asleep during the covenant ceremony. God, and God alone, in the form of fire and smoke walked among the animal carcasses. This is a divine indicator that there was really nothing Abram could have done any way. At least not at this part of the process.

Now, does that mean that Abram did not have a real and active part in living out the covenant? Absolutely, Abram had a part. His part was to walk with God and follow where He led. His part was to keep his eyes on God as God led him out of Ur of the Chaldees and into a land that Abram knew absolutely nothing about.

His part is just like our part. We are to walk with God on the same sort of “faith walk” that Abram went on. We are to walk with God daily. And daily we are to commit to upholding our part of the covenant. But, we like Abram, do not have the power and ability to do even our part on our own. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a holy life, a covenant life.

There is much more to be said about the twelfth chapter of Genesis. I particularly like the last few verses where we see pharaohs and plagues and deliverance out of Egypt. What an incredible foreshadowing of events that would take place some 430 years later. But, I will save that for another blog post.

What are your thoughts about this chapter and story of Abram’s life?

God’s Covenant with Abraham March 11, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Abram, Covenant, Genesis 12.
add a comment

This was the topic in our Sunday School Class (er, I mean, Bible Study) this morning. We studied Genesis chapter 12. The Abrahamic Covenant may offer more questions than answers. I know it certainly does for me. Here are some of the questions that I have:

  • Does it promise Israel permanent existence as a nation?
  • Does it promise Israel permanent ownership of the promised land?
  • Is the covenant conditional or unconditional in nature?
  • If it is conditional, then the fulfillment of its promises is dependent upon the obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their physical descendants, the people of Israel.
  • If the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, then is the fulfillment of its promises dependent upon the faithfulness of God to His word, or upon man’s obedience?

Do you need a refresher on the basics of the covenant between God and Abram (Abraham)? If so, turn in your Bible to Genesis 12 and again in chapter 15.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant.

  1. God promises Abram land (lots of it!). The promise of land is found in Genesis 12:1. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him. This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 along with the dead animals and the stroll through the carcasses.
  2. God promises descendants (lots of them!). God promised Abram that He (God) would make a great nation out of him. Abram, who was 75 years old and childless at the time (Sarai is barren at this point), was promised many descendants. This promise is further explained in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the him. This promise leads to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and would lead to King David’s throne and ultimately with King Jesus.
  3. God promises blessings (again, lots of them) and redemption (final, full and free!). God promised to bless Abram and all the families of the earth through him. This promise is further defined in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31–34 as well as Hebrews 8:6–13, and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin and points us ultimately toward the cross and Easter.

I cannot escape the “unconditional” nature of this covenant. In fact, Abram is sound asleep during the covenant ceremony. God, and God alone, in the form of fire and smoke walked among the animal carcasses. This is a divine indicator that there was really nothing Abram could have done any way. At least not at this part of the process.

Now, does that mean that Abram did not have a real and active part in living out the covenant? Absolutely, Abram had a part. His part was to walk with God and follow where He led. His part was to keep his eyes on God as God led him out of Ur of the Chaldees and into a land that Abram knew absolutely nothing about.

His part is just like our part. We are to walk with God on the same sort of “faith walk” that Abram went on. We are to walk with God daily. And daily we are to commit to upholding our part of the covenant. But, we like Abram, do not have the power and ability to do even our part on our own. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a holy life, a covenant life.

There is much more to be said about the twelfth chapter of Genesis. I particularly like the last few verses where we see pharaohs and plagues and deliverance out of Egypt. What an incredible foreshadowing of events that would take place some 430 years later. But, I will save that for another blog post.

What are your thoughts about this chapter and story of Abram’s life?