Category Archives: Abraham’s Seed

Marrow of Modern Divinity – Promise of Grace, part 2

The Marrow of Modern Divinity is a 17th Century work that teaches concerning God’s Eternal Plan to redeem a people to his name to the praise of His grace. The work is set as a discussion between a legalist and a libertine about the role of the law in the life of a believer. An Evangelist happens along who is able to put the law in it’s proper perspective, as it relates to the salvation of men. Chapter 2 of the book covers God’s Plan of Salvation, purposed within Himself in Eternity Past, revealed in various stages through Biblical history, beginning with Genesis 3:15, and finally completed in His Son – Jesus Christ. God’s Plan of Salvation of mankind is commonly referred to by theologians as the Covenant (or Plan) of Grace; or the Gospel. Chapter 2 of the Marrow covers the Gospel outlined as follows: Gospel 1) Purposed, 2) Promised, and 3) Provided.

In part 1 of this review, we looked at God’s Purposing of Grace in the Everlasting Covenant (as Spurgeon called it). In the second post, we looked at the gospel promised to Adam in seed form in Genesis 3. In this post, we’ll see how the gospel was preached to Father Abraham.


Promise of the Gospel to Abraham

After Evangelist finished teaching the men concerning the first proclamation of the gospel to Adam, the men ask Evangelist to go on explaining how the gospel message was revealed by fuller measure throughout the Old Testament.

Evangelist continues…

Why, then, the promise was turned into a covenant with Abraham and his seed, and oftentimes repeated, that in his seed all nations should be blessed, (Gen 12:3, 18:18, 22:18); which promise and covenant was the very voice itself of the gospel, it being a true testimony of Jesus Christ; as the apostle Paul beareth witness, saying, The Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, (Gal 3:8), saying, “In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

Says Thomas Boston, regarding this exchange:

When that promise or covenant [Adamic] …was renewed, Abraham and his seed were designed expressly therein; and so it became a covenant with Abraham and his seed. And the promise being still the same as to the substance of it, was often repeated, and in the repetition more fully and clearly opened. So Jesus Christ, revealed to Adam only as the seed of the woman, was thereafter revealed to Abraham as Abraham’s own seed; and thus was it believed and embraced unto salvation in the various revelations thereof.

The Promise to be Fulfilled in Christ

Nomista asks a follow-up question, and Evangelist continues…

Nom. But, sir, are you sure that this promised seed was meant of Christ?

Evan. The apostle puts that out of doubt, (Gal 3:16), saying, “Now unto Abraham and to his seed were the promises made. He says not—and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” And so no doubt but these godly patriarchs did understand it.

Boston footnotes this exchange in this way:

That is, Christ mystical, Christ and the Church, the head and the members; yet so as the dignity of the head being still reserved—he is to be understood here primarily, which is sufficient for our author’s purposes; and his members secondarily only.

To understand why Pastor Boston refers to Christ and his church comprehended as the seed, let us remember that Paul, after having identified Christ as the seed of Abraham in Gal 3:16, goes on to say in Gal 3:29 – “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” – ‘Ye’ being the church.

The Promise to Abraham is the Gospel

The promise to Abraham, of course, was a people and a land (see my earlier, yet uncompleted, posts on the Abrahamic Promises, as fulfilled in Christ), yet, Jesus himself interprets what was revealed to Abraham, at least in part, was the very gospel in seed form:

    Did Abraham understand about the coming Christ?
  • “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56)
  • Were those promises to Abraham verily the gospel?
  • “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Gal 3:7-9)

Gospel Types

Of course, to Abraham was not revealed the gospel in all its richness and fullness as we know it today, and yet, in a very powerful and real way, Abraham had a vivid testimony of the work that God was going to do.

  1. Melchisedec – a Theophany or (more likely) a ‘type’ of Christ (Gen 14:19, Jer 23:6, Is 9:6, Heb 6:20, 7:1-3)
  2. Says Boston:

    Melchisedec was unto Abraham a type, to confirm him in the faith, that he and his believing seed should be as really blessed in Christ, as he was blessed by Melchisedec.

  3. Blood Covenant – Genesis 15
    — sacrifice typifies the torment of Christ
    — furnace and lamp typify the wrath of God
  4. Offering up of Isaac – prefigures Christ’s sacrifice as Only-Begotten

Abrahamic Promise Passed to Posterity

The promise was renewed with Isaac (Gen 26:3-5,24) and to Jacob (Gen 27:28-29, 28:14-15). And Jacob, left it by his last will unto his children in these words, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shiloh come,” (Gen 49:10); ‘that is to say, of Judah shall kings come one after another, and many in number, till at last the Lord Jesus come, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords; or, as the Targum of Jerusalem and Onkelos do translate it, until Christ the Anointed come.’

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Who is Abraham’s Seed? Gen 13:14-18

Genesis 13:14-18

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.  Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.  Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it…

The promise was made to Abraham, although Abraham himself had no portion in the land of promise. According to the preaching of Stephen in Acts 7:2-5,

The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,  And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.  Then came he out of the land of the Chaldæans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.  And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

Abraham died in faith, not having received the promise, not having a land of his own, but seeing the fulfillment of it afar off. As we have seen, the land promise made to Abraham was not passed to all his descendants, but rather only to his elect seed (though Isaac and Jacob). Additionally, foreigners that would join themselves to Abraham’s family and take God’s covenant upon themselves and their children would take part in God’s blessings as well.

According to Joshua, the children of Israel, Abraham’s physical descendants through the line of Isaac/Jacob did receive the blessed promised land – all of it upon the completion of the conquest of Canaan:

Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for uthe LORD had given all their enemies into their hands.  Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:43-45)

But, they would not keep it for long. For later Joshua warned:

And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them …ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.  …Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;  That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:  But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. …if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.  Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.  When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

So, the elect seed was to remain in the promised land upon condition that they continued faithful in their covenant with Jehovah. But Israel did not stay faithful to Jehovah did they? They apostatized over and over again, preferring the worship of Idols and pagan gods to the God who delivered them. So, how could God be true to his promise to Abraham that all the land would be given ‘to they seed’ for ever? Would Israel ever have a faithful son of Abraham, a king who, like David would stay true and faithful to God’s covenant.

Galatians 3:16-29
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  …For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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Who is Abraham’s Seed? Gen 12:1-3 (Keil & Delitzsch)

Genesis 12:1-3

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The Call

The word of Jehovah, by which Abram was called, contained a command and a promise. Abram was to leave all – his country, his kindred (see Gen 43:7), and his father’s house – and to follow the Lord into the land which He would show him. Thus he was to trust entirely to the guidance of God, and to follow wherever He might lead him. But as he went in consequence of this divine summons into the land of Canaan (Gen 12:5), we must assume that God gave him at the very first a distinct intimation, if not of the land itself, at least of the direction he was to take.

The Promise

For thus renouncing and denying all natural ties, the Lord gave him the inconceivably great promise, “I will make of thee a great nation; and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” …The four distinct elements are -

  1. increase into a numerous people;
  2. a blessing, that is to say, material and spiritual prosperity;
  3. the exaltation of his name, i.e., the elevation of Abram to honour and glory;
  4. his appointment to be the possessor and dispenser of the blessing.
  5. Blessing

    Abram was not only to receive blessing, but to be a blessing; not only to be blessed by God, but to become a blessing, or the medium of blessing, to others. The blessing, as the more minute definition of the expression “be a blessing” in Gen 12:3 clearly shows, was …(1) the blessing and cursing of men were to depend entirely upon their attitude towards him, and (2) all the families of the earth were to be blessed in him.

    All the Families of the Earth (lit. ground)

    Abram was not merely to become a mediator, but the source of blessing for all. The expression “all the families of the ground” points to the division of the one family into many (Gen 10:5, Gen 10:20, Gen 10:31). The blessing of Abraham was once more to unite the divided families, and change the curse, pronounced upon the ground on account of sin, into a blessing for the whole human race. All further promises, therefore, not only to the patriarchs, but also to Israel, were merely expansions and closer definitions of the salvation held out to the whole human race in the first promise.

    The commentary then goes on to enumerate other occasions where this marvelous promise is re-iterated and passed on to succeeding generations of Abraham’s Seed:

    Blessing repeated to Abraham upon testing of his faith

    Genesis 22:16-18 – “And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:  That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;d  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

    Blessing repeated to Isaac

    Genesis 26:2-4 – “And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:  Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;  And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;  Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

    Blessing repeated to Jacob

    Genesis 28:13-14 – “I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

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Who is Abraham’s Seed? Gen 12:1-3

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen 12:1-3)

The Call of Abraham

The first few verses of Genesis 12 contain the call of Abraham (then Abram) to leave his family and journey to a distant land, where Abraham would become the father of a great nation. God’s blessing would be upon Abraham, and through Abraham all the nations of the Earth would be blessed. This was the beginning of hundreds of years of wilderness wandering for Abraham’s chosen seed (though his sons Isaac and Jacob, Ishmael and Esau being excluded) – through nomadic roaming, slavery in Egypt, wilderness wandering, and then finally to the conquest and settling in Canaan land.

Get thee out of thy country… Abraham was called from his life of idolatry to follow Jehovah, the one true God. God commanded Abraham to sever ties with his worldly family in order to begin a new family line of faith (the elect seed) – a new nation that would bring forth the Saviour of mankind. Here, Abraham is called upon to separate from his idolatrous family in order to separate to this new work of Jehovah – a chosen people, in a chosen land.

…unto a land that I will show thee… The land Abraham was called unto was Caanan, but here Abraham was called to ‘go’, not knowing where the destination was going to be – he was not yet informed of the destination, but only the way.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb 11:8-10)

Abrahamic Covenant

I will make of thee a great nation… 1) In a carnal and typical sense fulfilled in the people of the ancient nation of Israel, especially under kings David and Solomon; 2) and then more perfectly in all his Spiritual children (Gal 3:14-29) – the Holy Nation (1 Pet 2:9) comprised of all those who are joint citizens with the Israelites and fellow heirs with Christ (Eph 2:11-19).

Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people [Gentiles], but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:8-10)

I will bless thee, and make thy name great… Abraham wandered his whole life and had no share in the land of Canaan (Acts 7:5), but yet the promise he sought was found in Christ. For he saw Christ afar off (Heb 11:13) and was blessed by being justified by faith (Romans 4).

Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. …Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Rom 4:3,7-8)

Can anyone doubt the greatness of Father Abraham? He is the father of all the Hebrews and the father of all the faithful.

I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee… This is covenant language. God, as the Great King, places his special mark of protection/blessing on his vassal servant – “your friend is my friend and your enemy is my enemy.”

…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. This promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18; and in Acts 3:25 Peter ties this directly to Christ. So, this promise contains, in seed form, the essence of the gospel; and this blessing comes upon any and all that come to Christ for salvation.

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)… (Rom 4:16-17)

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Who Is Abraham’s Seed?, Part 3

In the first post of this series I introduced, in brief, Father Abraham – the exemplar of the man of faith and the father of all the faithful. To Abraham and his seed was made a tremendous promise –

I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen 12:2-3)

AND…

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (Gen 13:14-16)

From Genesis 12 onward, the whole span of Scripture, God’s entire unfolding drama of redemption, is a fulfilling and unfolding of the promises made to Abraham.

If this indeed be the case, then to understand who the seed of Abraham is, is the very key to understanding God’s plan for the ages. Upon whom do these promises terminate? Abraham’s immediate children? The nation of Israel? The church?

The promises made to Abraham were made to him and his seed, but who is/are the seed of Abraham? All Abraham’s physical descendants? All Hebrew peoples? No. Abraham had several children, the eldest of whom was Ishmael, and yet the promise was only through Abraham’s son Isaac.

Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!  And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. (Genesis 17:18-19; see also Gen 21:10-12 and Gal 4:30-31)

So to all the descendants of Isaac were the promises were made? Well, no.

Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,  And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Mal 1:2-3; see Genesis 27 and Rom 9:13)

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  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.  For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.  And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;  ( 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;)  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (Romans 9:6-12)

So, the promises then fell to all the sons of Jacob – the 12 tribes of Israel? In a physical and typological and temporal sense – YES. Jacob’s descendants became very numerous and were blessed by God, they were delivered from bondage, and lived in peace in the land. BUT, they did not all believe did they? They did not keep covenant with God did they? Rather than remain faithful to their covenant head, they apostatized and committed ‘spiritual’ adultery – over and over again. So, in an enternal, anti-typical, and Spiritual sense – No. All of Jacob’s physical seed will not inherit the blessings.

The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.  And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.  And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. (Jeremiah 3:6-11)

Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  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.  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; (Romans 9)

 

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Who Is Abraham’s Seed, part 2

In the last post, I introduced Abraham, the Abrahamic Covenant, and Abraham’s Seed as one of the keys of understanding Scripture. Below, I’ve listed a few distinctions regarding Father Abraham, taken from John Reislinger’s book – Abraham’s Four Seeds

 


Abraham is one of the most important men in all History; and, next to our Savior Himself, he is one of the most significant individuals in all the Scripture. Here is a sample of things that demonstrate Abraham’s importance.

  1. Abraham is the only man who was ever called “the friend of God” (Isa 41:8; James 2:23) by any writer of Scripture. Abraham’s friendship with God, or “justification by grace through faith,” is used by Paul to prove the single pattern of “salvation by grace through faith” for all believers of all ages (Romans 4).
  2. All of Scripture from Genesis 12 to the end of the Book of Revelation is the story of Abraham and his “seed” as that seed relates to the rest of mankind.
  3. No two men (apart from Adam) in all of Scripture or History are related to each other as Abraham and Christ as it concerns their “seed.”
  4. Every blessing of God experienced by the Nation of Israel was only because of God’s promise to Abraham. In fact, they were delivered from Egypt and formed into a nation at Sinai only because of their physical relationship to Abraham. . . . and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. Exodus 2:23-25
  5. Christ came into this world “to show mercy to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham.” (Luke l:72,73)
  6. The apostles preached the gospel as the fulfillment of the covenant that God made with Abraham. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:25-26
  7. It is impossible to even begin to understand the book of Galatians without grasping the significance of Abraham and his relationship to believers today. All who are “of faith” are “Abraham’s children” (Gal.3:7), and are “blessed with faithful Abraham” (Gal. 3:9). Christ died on the cross so that “the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles” (Gal. 3:14).
  8. Abraham enjoyed God’s inheritance of justification by faith in the gospel promise concerning Christ (Gal. 3:6-9,18), and you and I, who believe the same gospel message today, enjoy the same inheritance of justification because by faith we are Abraham’s true seed, and the true “heirs with him according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29)
  9. I repeat my original statement. Next to Christ Himself, Abraham is one of the most significant men in all the Scriptures. No two people are related to each other as it concerns their “seed” as Abraham and Christ. The whole of the history of redemption revolves around “Abraham and his seed.” There is no information that will help us to see the one unifying message of redemption through our Lord Jesus Christ in both the OT and NT Scriptures as much as knowing exactly what was promised to “Abraham and his seed” and who that seed is to whom those promises were made.

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Who Is Abraham’s Seed?

Introduction

Other than Jesus and the Apostles, whose name is mentioned more times in the New Testament than any other? A: Abraham [citation needed]! Yea, none other than Father Abraham. Indeed, Abraham is probably the third or fourth most important man in all of Scripture – the Father of all the faithful, the exemplar of faithfulness, and the one from whom would come forth the Messiah and Salvation for the World. Indeed, Abraham is a key prophet of the most important prophets in all three of the world’s most prominent monotheistic religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Father Abraham

Faithful Abraham (Romans 4:11-13,16-18) was called from his life of idolatry and sin, to fulfill a special purpose in God’s plan of redemption for mankind – to bring forth the nation to whom God’s Divine Covenants would be made, the nation entrusted with the oracles of God (Romans 3:1-2), the people who would bring forth the Only Begotten Son of God into the world (Matthew 1:1-2, Hebrews 2:16) for the salvation of mankind.

The Promise

Abraham, whose name means ‘father of a multitude’ was the founder of the great Hebrew nation. On the death of his father, Abram (as he was then called), was called by God to become the founder of the great nation and that through him, all the families of the Earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-5). So Abram migrated to the land of the Canaanites and there God promised him that his seed would inherit all that land – “And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land” (Gen 12:7).

Exodus from Egypt and Wilderness Wandering

Later, Abraham would migrate to Egypt due to famine, acquire great possessions, be driven out, and return to Palestine. Due to his great possessions, he had to separate from his nephew lot (over whom Abraham served as a sort of guardian). Back in the land of promise, God renewed His Covenant with His chosen servant.

The Promise Renewed

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (Genesis 13:14-16)

The Promise Ratified by Covenant

Shortly thereafter, Lot was kidnapped and Abraham rescued him from capture. God met with Abraham again and renewed His Covenant a third time in a most solemn Covenant ceremony.

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.  And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.  …In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates… (Genesis 15:5-18)

The Crucial Question

To Abraham and to Abraham’s Seed are the promises made. The inheritance is sure and certain and will be inherited only by those that are sons of this man of faith. So the fundamental question that every Bible student needs to explore is this – who is/are the seed of Abraham? To whom do the promises belong? In whom are the promises and inheritance of God yeah and amen?

The answer to this question is the foundational key that structures all of Scripture.

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