Christian Patriarchs (Romans 9:4-5)

August 21, 2016 00:39:18
Christian Patriarchs (Romans 9:4-5)
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Christian Patriarchs (Romans 9:4-5)

Aug 21 2016 | 00:39:18

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Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:01.159 --> 00:00:05.080 I'm going to have you sit this morning as I actually have a longer passage 2 00:00:05.120 --> 00:00:12.150 to read than is in your bulletin's going to continue in Romans nine, four 3 00:00:12.310 --> 00:00:17.469 through five, but after reading that I'm going to read a longest chapter in 4 00:00:17.710 --> 00:00:22.059 the book of acts, and I'll explain why in just a moment. I'm, 5 00:00:22.100 --> 00:00:25.420 as you're, turning to Romans nine, versus, for and five. 6 00:00:26.219 --> 00:00:29.660 Of course, if you've been with us for the last several weeks know that 7 00:00:29.739 --> 00:00:34.740 we've been moving through these verses. I'm sort of Noun by Noun and thinking 8 00:00:34.899 --> 00:00:40.409 and considering what it is that God has given to his people. And Paul 9 00:00:40.409 --> 00:00:45.170 says, there are these things that belong to the Israelites and we've been considering 10 00:00:45.250 --> 00:00:51.840 each one of them. Today we consider this word Patriarchs, or father's, 11 00:00:52.759 --> 00:00:59.000 and in doing so I want to focus on Stephens speech and acts seven and 12 00:00:59.320 --> 00:01:03.390 consider what that has to say about the Patriarchs. Stephen has actually quite a 13 00:01:03.469 --> 00:01:10.870 lot to say which will help us to understand what Paul means here and how 14 00:01:11.069 --> 00:01:15.349 things we ought to conclude from it. So, with that brief introduction, 15 00:01:15.430 --> 00:01:22.019 let's hear Romans nine, versus four and five. They are Israelites and to 16 00:01:22.219 --> 00:01:26.780 them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the 17 00:01:26.819 --> 00:01:30.739 law, the worship and the promises. To Them Belong the Patriarchs and from 18 00:01:30.739 --> 00:01:36.250 their race, according to the Flesh, is the Christ who is God over 19 00:01:36.450 --> 00:01:46.689 all, blessed forever. Men. Now we turn to acts chapter seven to 20 00:01:46.810 --> 00:01:52.200 hear a Stephen's speech. For those of you who aren't very familiar with the 21 00:01:52.280 --> 00:01:57.359 Old Testament, this is your golden moment. Stephen here in this speech gives 22 00:01:57.480 --> 00:02:01.349 an overview of the entire Old Testament. So that's why I say it's a 23 00:02:01.390 --> 00:02:05.829 little long, but it's a lot shorter than the old testament is. We 24 00:02:05.909 --> 00:02:12.229 have just one chapter here. Acts Chapter Seven, Stephen Thinks about who the 25 00:02:12.349 --> 00:02:20.060 fathers are of Israel and their relationship to God. You remember that Stephen was 26 00:02:20.219 --> 00:02:23.379 one of these early Christians greatly blessed by God. He was doing various signs 27 00:02:23.419 --> 00:02:28.860 and miracles, and the Jews, who had crucified Jesus, were not happy 28 00:02:28.939 --> 00:02:32.689 about this. They spread lies and false witnesses, brought him in before a 29 00:02:32.849 --> 00:02:38.810 council and demand him to speak. In Verse Fifteen of Chapter Six we read 30 00:02:38.969 --> 00:02:44.250 and gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face 31 00:02:44.479 --> 00:02:49.879 was like the face of an angel. Can you imagine? Now? Here's 32 00:02:49.879 --> 00:02:57.120 what Stephen says in Acts Chapter Seven. And the high priest said, are 33 00:02:57.199 --> 00:03:04.349 these things so? And Stephen said, brothers and fathers, hear me. 34 00:03:05.349 --> 00:03:08.750 The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, 35 00:03:09.430 --> 00:03:14.020 before he lived in Harn, and said to him, go out from your 36 00:03:14.099 --> 00:03:16.659 land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you. 37 00:03:17.580 --> 00:03:21.939 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Harn, 38 00:03:22.900 --> 00:03:27.449 and after his father died, God removed him from there into the land 39 00:03:27.610 --> 00:03:31.569 in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, 40 00:03:32.210 --> 00:03:36.729 not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as 41 00:03:36.770 --> 00:03:40.719 a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child, 42 00:03:43.280 --> 00:03:46.680 and God spoke to this effect that his offspring would be sojourners in a land 43 00:03:46.800 --> 00:03:52.719 belonging to others who would enslave them and afflict them for four hundred years. 44 00:03:53.919 --> 00:03:57.669 But I will judge the nation that they serve, said God, and after 45 00:03:57.750 --> 00:04:01.229 that they shall come out and place me in this place. And he gave 46 00:04:01.270 --> 00:04:06.550 him the covenant of Circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac and 47 00:04:06.789 --> 00:04:12.259 circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, 48 00:04:12.620 --> 00:04:17.699 and Jacob of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, 49 00:04:17.819 --> 00:04:23.779 sold him into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him out of 50 00:04:23.939 --> 00:04:28.810 all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, King of Egypt, 51 00:04:29.129 --> 00:04:33.250 who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there 52 00:04:33.370 --> 00:04:39.759 came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan with great affliction, and our fathers 53 00:04:39.800 --> 00:04:44.040 could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, 54 00:04:44.079 --> 00:04:47.319 he sent out our fathers on their first visit, and on the second 55 00:04:47.360 --> 00:04:54.029 visit Joseph Made himself known to his brothers and Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh, 56 00:04:54.750 --> 00:04:59.350 and Joseph sent and summoned Jacob, his father and all his kindred, 57 00:04:59.470 --> 00:05:03.430 seventy five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt and he died, 58 00:05:03.910 --> 00:05:09.740 he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid 59 00:05:09.819 --> 00:05:13.819 in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons 60 00:05:13.939 --> 00:05:19.019 of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time of the promise drew near which 61 00:05:19.060 --> 00:05:26.410 God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there 62 00:05:26.449 --> 00:05:30.730 arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with 63 00:05:30.850 --> 00:05:35.600 our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants so that they would not 64 00:05:35.839 --> 00:05:42.120 be kept alive. At this time Moses was born and he was beautiful in 65 00:05:42.240 --> 00:05:46.279 God's sight, and he was brought up for three months in his father's house. 66 00:05:46.759 --> 00:05:50.589 And when he was exposed, Fay rose daughter adopted him and brought him 67 00:05:50.589 --> 00:05:56.949 up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of 68 00:05:57.069 --> 00:06:02.750 the Egyptians and he was mighty in his words and deeds. When he was 69 00:06:02.829 --> 00:06:06.100 forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the 70 00:06:06.139 --> 00:06:11.300 children of Israel, and, seeing one of them being wrong, he defended 71 00:06:11.379 --> 00:06:15.300 the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that 72 00:06:15.420 --> 00:06:20.730 his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but 73 00:06:20.850 --> 00:06:26.329 they did not understand and on the following day he appeared to them as they 74 00:06:26.329 --> 00:06:30.610 were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, men, you are brothers, 75 00:06:30.089 --> 00:06:33.560 why do you wrong each other? But the man who was wronging his 76 00:06:33.680 --> 00:06:39.079 neighbor thrust him aside, saying who made you a ruler and judge over us? 77 00:06:39.800 --> 00:06:44.079 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? At 78 00:06:44.199 --> 00:06:47.870 this retort, Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, 79 00:06:48.389 --> 00:06:55.110 where he became the father of two sons. Now, when forty years had 80 00:06:55.149 --> 00:06:59.149 passed, an angel appeared to him in the Wilderness of Mount Sinai. In 81 00:06:59.269 --> 00:07:02.060 a flame of fire in a Bush. When Moses saw it, he was 82 00:07:02.139 --> 00:07:05.220 amazed at the sight and as he drew near to look, there came the 83 00:07:05.339 --> 00:07:11.620 voice of the Lord. I am the God of your father's the God of 84 00:07:11.699 --> 00:07:17.009 Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, and Moses trembled and did not dare 85 00:07:17.089 --> 00:07:21.410 to look. Then the Lord said to him, take off the sandals from 86 00:07:21.410 --> 00:07:27.050 your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I 87 00:07:27.170 --> 00:07:30.079 have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I 88 00:07:30.199 --> 00:07:34.240 have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them, and 89 00:07:34.439 --> 00:07:42.040 now come I will send you to Egypt. This Moses whom they rejected, 90 00:07:42.240 --> 00:07:46.509 saying who made you a ruler and a judge? This man God sent as 91 00:07:46.629 --> 00:07:50.470 both ruler and redeemer by the hand of an angel who appeared to him in 92 00:07:50.629 --> 00:07:56.750 the Bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt 93 00:07:56.990 --> 00:08:01.459 and at the Red Sea and in the Wilderness for forty years. And this 94 00:08:01.699 --> 00:08:05.019 is the Moses who said to the Israelites, God will raise up for you 95 00:08:05.139 --> 00:08:09.420 a prophet like me from your brothers. This is the one who was in 96 00:08:09.459 --> 00:08:13.569 the congregation, in the Wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him at 97 00:08:13.610 --> 00:08:18.490 Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, he received living oracles to give to 98 00:08:18.610 --> 00:08:24.610 us. Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and 99 00:08:26.370 --> 00:08:31.600 in their hearts they turned to Egypt, sang to Aran. Make for US 100 00:08:31.680 --> 00:08:35.200 gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, who let us 101 00:08:35.200 --> 00:08:37.519 out of the let us out from the land of Egypt, we do not 102 00:08:37.720 --> 00:08:43.830 know what has become of him and the cat. They made a calf in 103 00:08:43.149 --> 00:08:48.389 those days and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works 104 00:08:48.470 --> 00:08:52.909 of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the 105 00:08:52.990 --> 00:08:56.419 host of Heaven at is, as it is written in the book of the 106 00:08:56.500 --> 00:09:01.899 Prophets. Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices? During the forty 107 00:09:03.019 --> 00:09:07.419 years in the Wilderness, Oh house of Israel, you took up the tent 108 00:09:07.580 --> 00:09:11.970 of Moloch and a star of your God. Refen the images that you made 109 00:09:11.049 --> 00:09:18.210 to worship, and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon. Our Father's 110 00:09:18.289 --> 00:09:22.330 had the tent of witness in the Wilderness, just as he who spoke to 111 00:09:22.409 --> 00:09:26.240 Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen. 112 00:09:26.159 --> 00:09:31.080 Our Father's, in turn, brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the 113 00:09:31.080 --> 00:09:35.919 nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days 114 00:09:35.960 --> 00:09:39.590 of David who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a 115 00:09:39.629 --> 00:09:45.710 dwelling place for the God of Jacob, but it was Solomon who built a 116 00:09:45.870 --> 00:09:48.710 house for him. Yet the most high does not dwell in houses made by 117 00:09:48.789 --> 00:09:54.860 hands. As the Prophet says, heaven is my throne and the earth is 118 00:09:54.980 --> 00:09:58.299 my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? Says the 119 00:09:58.419 --> 00:10:01.500 Lord or what is the place of my rest? Did Not my hand make 120 00:10:01.539 --> 00:10:07.529 all these things? You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in your heart and ears, 121 00:10:07.610 --> 00:10:11.769 you always resist the Holy Spirit, as your father's did. So do 122 00:10:11.889 --> 00:10:16.690 you. Which of you, which of the Prophets, did your father's not 123 00:10:16.970 --> 00:10:22.399 persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the rock coming of the righteous 124 00:10:22.399 --> 00:10:28.879 one, whom you have now betrayed and murdered. You who received the law 125 00:10:28.960 --> 00:10:35.950 as delivered by angels and did not keep it? Now, when they heard 126 00:10:35.350 --> 00:10:43.149 these things, they were enraged and they ground their teeth at him. But 127 00:10:43.350 --> 00:10:48.070 he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory 128 00:10:48.269 --> 00:10:54.419 of God and Jesus Standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 129 00:10:54.500 --> 00:10:58.659 behold, I see the heavens opened and the son of man standing at 130 00:10:58.700 --> 00:11:03.100 the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and 131 00:11:03.340 --> 00:11:07.529 stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of 132 00:11:07.570 --> 00:11:13.049 the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their garments at the 133 00:11:13.169 --> 00:11:18.559 feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, 134 00:11:18.639 --> 00:11:24.639 he called out, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and, falling to his 135 00:11:24.720 --> 00:11:28.559 knees. He cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold 136 00:11:28.679 --> 00:11:33.750 this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep 137 00:11:35.669 --> 00:11:43.870 and Saul approved of his execution. This ends God's word to us. May 138 00:11:43.990 --> 00:11:54.700 He bless it. This saul is the same Paul who wrote Romans Nine, 139 00:11:54.820 --> 00:12:00.980 four through five. That's a significant thing, I think. This Saul, 140 00:12:01.259 --> 00:12:05.570 who unlikely heard this speech and was involved in this whole event, was there 141 00:12:07.529 --> 00:12:16.159 and Heard Stephens Speaking about the Patriarchs. He heard Stephen Talk about these promises 142 00:12:16.240 --> 00:12:20.360 and blessings that God had poured out on the Fathers, on the Patriarchs of 143 00:12:20.440 --> 00:12:26.440 Israel, but he also heard how the father these same fathers, over and 144 00:12:26.639 --> 00:12:33.230 over and over again, refused God and refused to obey him. Instead of 145 00:12:33.350 --> 00:12:39.309 receiving the promises, instead of enjoying those blessings, they turned away. And 146 00:12:39.470 --> 00:12:46.220 Saul was there participating, perhaps even enjoying, the things that were going on, 147 00:12:46.620 --> 00:12:52.220 the stoning of Stephen, approving of his execution. By the time, 148 00:12:52.460 --> 00:12:58.370 though, he writes Romans nine versus four and five, Paul Saul is a 149 00:12:58.490 --> 00:13:07.649 very different man. He understands things in a different way. He understands the 150 00:13:07.809 --> 00:13:13.360 Patriarchs not just in his way here that he belonged to them, as a 151 00:13:15.399 --> 00:13:20.480 child of Abraham is one belonging to their race. But he understood the promises 152 00:13:20.679 --> 00:13:24.960 that were given to them, and that's the place that I want to start 153 00:13:24.000 --> 00:13:31.509 this morning. Who Were these patriarchs? What distinguished them from any other father? 154 00:13:33.629 --> 00:13:39.029 The word there that Paul uses is potter father. Indeed, you could 155 00:13:39.110 --> 00:13:43.860 translate it father, and if you do that it might bring a kind of 156 00:13:43.940 --> 00:13:48.580 confusion, which is why English translations use the Word Patriarch. Because if you 157 00:13:48.740 --> 00:13:52.740 say to them, belong the fathers, well, what's so important about that? 158 00:13:54.659 --> 00:13:58.210 Who of us here doesn't have a father? All of us do, 159 00:13:58.730 --> 00:14:03.210 all of us have fathers. To all of us belong a father. So 160 00:14:03.330 --> 00:14:07.610 what does Paul mean when he says to them belong the fathers? He has 161 00:14:07.649 --> 00:14:13.519 a particular group of people in mind, and he has in mind the people 162 00:14:13.840 --> 00:14:18.159 that Stephen spoke about and that we heard about as he recounts this history, 163 00:14:18.720 --> 00:14:26.389 particularly Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What was important about these people? What 164 00:14:26.590 --> 00:14:33.429 is it that distinguished them from all the rest? Well, as Steve and 165 00:14:33.549 --> 00:14:37.659 puts it, it was these promises. It all begins when God goes to 166 00:14:37.779 --> 00:14:43.740 Abraham and speaks to him and God calls him out of the land he belonged 167 00:14:43.899 --> 00:14:50.139 to into another land, and he promised Abraham many things, many things. 168 00:14:50.500 --> 00:14:54.529 He promised him children, he promised him land. He promised that he would 169 00:14:54.529 --> 00:14:58.529 be great, that God would make him a blessing to all the nations. 170 00:14:58.690 --> 00:15:05.169 He promised these things to Abraham and he promised them in a kind of unconditional 171 00:15:05.289 --> 00:15:09.600 way. He said, Abraham, I'm giving these things to you. And 172 00:15:09.799 --> 00:15:13.200 then, even in a vision, God, I'm goes through a kind of 173 00:15:13.399 --> 00:15:20.120 ceremony where these animals are cut apart and God walks through them and essentially as 174 00:15:20.240 --> 00:15:26.149 saying, if I don't fulfill these promises, may these cut animals represent what 175 00:15:26.190 --> 00:15:30.309 will happen to me? Of course that's not going to happen to God, 176 00:15:30.470 --> 00:15:35.500 because God keeps his promises. Well, this is what he says to Abraham, 177 00:15:35.580 --> 00:15:39.340 but it's not just to Abraham, as I mentioned, it's to Abraham 178 00:15:39.379 --> 00:15:45.940 and his offspring. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament we see that 179 00:15:46.059 --> 00:15:52.490 it's Abraham and it's offspring, Abraham and his offspring. You might understand the 180 00:15:52.610 --> 00:15:56.409 significance of that if you imagine what it would be like to be born into 181 00:15:56.450 --> 00:16:00.889 the most powerful family in a small town. Imagine you're born into a town 182 00:16:00.929 --> 00:16:07.639 where your dad owns the grocery and he's the president of the bank and he's 183 00:16:07.679 --> 00:16:11.000 been serving as mayor for the last fifteen years, and your uncle is in 184 00:16:11.120 --> 00:16:15.639 charge of the feed store and your other uncle is in charge of of the 185 00:16:15.759 --> 00:16:22.429 postal system and every aspect of the town your family is involved in and you're 186 00:16:22.789 --> 00:16:26.590 born into that. What does that mean? That means you're born into all 187 00:16:26.629 --> 00:16:33.019 kinds of privilege and blessing and inheritance and power. That's what it meant to 188 00:16:33.220 --> 00:16:38.940 be a child of Abraham. Imagine if Your Dad, Imagine Your Isaac and 189 00:16:40.139 --> 00:16:44.220 Your Dad. You're growing up and as you you grow up, your parents 190 00:16:44.299 --> 00:16:48.129 tell them tell you things, important things, things that have happened in their 191 00:16:48.250 --> 00:16:52.129 life, things that are meaningful to you. Imagine that your father, whatever 192 00:16:52.210 --> 00:16:56.330 his name may be, imagine that your father sat you down at the dinner 193 00:16:56.330 --> 00:17:02.360 table and said, son, I need to tell you something important. I 194 00:17:02.480 --> 00:17:06.799 know we're living in tense and I know there aren't very many children here, 195 00:17:07.839 --> 00:17:14.440 but God has promised to me to give us this great land and that's going 196 00:17:14.559 --> 00:17:18.710 to be yours, and God has promised to be our God and to protect 197 00:17:18.789 --> 00:17:22.789 us and to watch over US and to keep us and bless us forever and 198 00:17:22.990 --> 00:17:27.549 ever. I would change your life, wouldn't it? Even more than if 199 00:17:27.630 --> 00:17:30.019 God had said to you or if your father came and said to you, 200 00:17:30.539 --> 00:17:36.299 son, I want to tell you that we're millionaires, we're going to be 201 00:17:36.500 --> 00:17:41.019 okay and you're going to be okay. It's much bigger than that. It's 202 00:17:41.019 --> 00:17:45.890 a much bigger announcement than that, because Abraham is given not just temporary earthly 203 00:17:47.009 --> 00:17:51.769 blessings, but eternal, everlasting spiritual ones. That's what it meant to be 204 00:17:52.089 --> 00:17:56.170 an Isaac and a Jacob and a Dan and a Reuben and a Levite, 205 00:17:57.250 --> 00:18:00.799 all of these men, all of these Patriarchs, who are born under this 206 00:18:02.039 --> 00:18:07.480 great promise. That's why Paul is proud to be a Jew, rightfully so, 207 00:18:07.480 --> 00:18:11.200 and that's why in Romans Nine, when he speaks to the Jews, 208 00:18:11.240 --> 00:18:19.589 he says this belongs to you. The Patriarchs belong to you. In America, 209 00:18:19.750 --> 00:18:25.029 especially if you've been here for many generations, we often don't think in 210 00:18:25.150 --> 00:18:30.539 these kinds of terms, or if we do, the it's not often seems 211 00:18:30.579 --> 00:18:37.059 like nation and and nation. Often trump's a family or race. At least 212 00:18:37.140 --> 00:18:42.730 in some instances here, family and race are focused on. He's saying, 213 00:18:42.849 --> 00:18:47.730 not only are you a nation that I've covenanted with, not only have I 214 00:18:47.809 --> 00:18:51.970 given you a law and a worship and these promises, but you are a 215 00:18:52.369 --> 00:18:59.759 family. You belong to a father other to you, Jews Belong the Patriarchs. 216 00:19:03.200 --> 00:19:11.190 To them that meant that they were themselves the blessing God promised Abraham Children. 217 00:19:11.230 --> 00:19:15.670 And if you're a Jew here, you are you are the present, 218 00:19:15.150 --> 00:19:19.390 you are the gift. It also meant to be recipients of the blessing, 219 00:19:19.589 --> 00:19:26.299 inheritors of God, of the land of the promised Christ. It also meant 220 00:19:26.339 --> 00:19:32.940 to have us right to spiritual blessings. Out of all the peoples of the 221 00:19:32.980 --> 00:19:37.259 world, God chose this particular people and he gave them this sign of circumcision. 222 00:19:37.420 --> 00:19:44.650 Stephen Mentions that sign is important because it's a cleansing sign. It's a 223 00:19:44.730 --> 00:19:48.529 sign that the Bible talks about as one in which sin is cut off. 224 00:19:48.329 --> 00:19:56.160 Its symbolizes cleanliness, a lack of defilement. Why is that important? It's 225 00:19:56.240 --> 00:20:02.400 important because all the peoples of the world were defiled ever since Adam. All 226 00:20:02.559 --> 00:20:07.430 had fallen into sin they'd already gone through the Noah's flood to be judged for 227 00:20:07.549 --> 00:20:11.109 that sin, and following the flood, they had sinned throughout the world and 228 00:20:11.390 --> 00:20:18.589 fallen into all kinds of other transgressions. Now here. God selects a people 229 00:20:18.630 --> 00:20:23.819 and he cleanses them. He gives them this sign of cleansing. He's rescuing 230 00:20:25.059 --> 00:20:30.940 them out of sin. He's rescuing them out of the sin and misery of 231 00:20:30.059 --> 00:20:38.650 humanity. Paul tells us that this is what it means to be an Israelite. 232 00:20:38.690 --> 00:20:42.569 This is what it means when he says to you belong the Patriarchs. 233 00:20:42.609 --> 00:20:49.880 It means that God has blessed you above all other people. He has given 234 00:20:49.960 --> 00:20:56.319 you these gifts. To Be born a Jew is to be born into a 235 00:20:56.519 --> 00:21:04.750 special relationship with God, a holy relationship. It's a similar thing for you 236 00:21:04.950 --> 00:21:11.670 children who are here that have been born of parents who are believers. The 237 00:21:11.789 --> 00:21:15.910 Bible says that if even one of your parents are holy, you are considered 238 00:21:15.950 --> 00:21:22.900 holy. You are born into a family children, you're born into a family 239 00:21:22.059 --> 00:21:29.460 that already has a relationship with God. God places his mark on You, 240 00:21:29.619 --> 00:21:33.529 he makes his promises to you. But there's an important thing that we have 241 00:21:33.609 --> 00:21:37.369 to understand, and we get it from Stephen's speech and Paul's going to go 242 00:21:37.529 --> 00:21:42.930 on to explain this further in Romans nine. And that's this, that in 243 00:21:44.130 --> 00:21:49.720 order to receive those blessings, especially the spiritual ones, in order to enjoy 244 00:21:51.000 --> 00:21:55.640 walking with the Lord, enjoying his companionship, in order to be a true 245 00:21:55.799 --> 00:22:02.150 child of Abraham, we must believe, you must receive those promises and you 246 00:22:02.190 --> 00:22:06.910 must receive them by faith. The great example of this is, of course, 247 00:22:06.950 --> 00:22:11.430 Abraham. We have this, I think overused phrase, stepping out in 248 00:22:11.589 --> 00:22:15.900 faith. It sounds to me so cliche that I try not to use it, 249 00:22:15.299 --> 00:22:22.500 but with Abraham he really does that. He literally steps out of one 250 00:22:22.619 --> 00:22:32.450 land into another. Imagine you are Abraham and imagine the things that you would 251 00:22:32.450 --> 00:22:37.569 be required to do and believe. Trusting in God, you are required to 252 00:22:37.690 --> 00:22:44.920 leave your country, your people, your family, your father's you're required to 253 00:22:44.960 --> 00:22:51.000 leave your culture behind to a place that you don't know where you're going yet. 254 00:22:51.720 --> 00:22:53.359 Now, later God would reveal this to him, but for some time 255 00:22:53.759 --> 00:23:00.430 Abraham's just walking, following the Lord wherever he tells him to go. Abraham's 256 00:23:00.589 --> 00:23:04.829 just going. Most of us, especially as planners among us, don't like 257 00:23:06.069 --> 00:23:10.029 this kind of thing. We like to know where we're going, when we're 258 00:23:10.029 --> 00:23:11.470 going, how we're going to get there, what hotel we're staying at, 259 00:23:11.509 --> 00:23:14.779 how much it's going to cost, how much money we're saving, and on 260 00:23:14.859 --> 00:23:18.700 and on and on. Even those of us who don't like to plan must 261 00:23:18.740 --> 00:23:22.619 like, how must, I imagine, have some desire to know what's coming 262 00:23:22.660 --> 00:23:29.769 up, something to look forward to. Abraham certainly had that, but it 263 00:23:29.890 --> 00:23:33.569 was very vague. God didn't spell it all out to him. He just 264 00:23:33.650 --> 00:23:42.200 said get because I'm going to give you something wonderful. We often think about 265 00:23:42.240 --> 00:23:48.000 our relationships with God and such as the opposite way. If God will reveal 266 00:23:48.160 --> 00:23:51.079 to me what he's going to do, well then of course all believe him, 267 00:23:51.119 --> 00:23:55.319 of course I'll trust in him. That's not faith, though. Sometimes 268 00:23:55.359 --> 00:23:57.910 God does reveal these things, and as time goes on, more and more 269 00:23:59.109 --> 00:24:03.109 is revealed to Abraham. But faith is trusting in not the promises that are 270 00:24:03.230 --> 00:24:10.460 received, but in the promises that are given, promises. It's trusting not 271 00:24:10.579 --> 00:24:14.660 in the things that we get from God, but in trusting in God himself. 272 00:24:14.740 --> 00:24:21.819 Abraham had to walk out to the Promised Land before he knew where it 273 00:24:22.140 --> 00:24:26.210 was. Abraham had to live his life before God. Abraham made love to 274 00:24:26.289 --> 00:24:30.009 his wife, waiting for a child year after year, with nothing happening, 275 00:24:30.089 --> 00:24:37.970 being told you will receive a promise Sarah. Sarah gets so desperate because things 276 00:24:37.009 --> 00:24:41.400 are not happening that she says, here, Abraham, take my slave, 277 00:24:42.640 --> 00:24:47.799 maybe you can have a child by her. He does and he takes this 278 00:24:47.960 --> 00:24:51.279 child and he goes to God and says, well, here my slave is 279 00:24:51.319 --> 00:24:56.390 able to bear children. Take Ishmael. God Says No, you will have 280 00:24:56.630 --> 00:25:03.509 a child through Sarah, and Abraham and Sarah are called to go on and 281 00:25:03.309 --> 00:25:10.660 wait. There's so many things Abraham does that, if you imagine it when 282 00:25:10.740 --> 00:25:15.099 he's doing it, it would be hard if you were not someone else in 283 00:25:15.180 --> 00:25:18.900 the situation. I think it would be hard to not imagine him as sort 284 00:25:18.940 --> 00:25:23.609 of an ancient near eastern version of Don Quixote, just kind of chasing things 285 00:25:23.769 --> 00:25:29.490 and running after things that don't really exist. Here's this man acting and moving 286 00:25:29.529 --> 00:25:36.200 and transferring his family and when he's an old man, but he's doing it 287 00:25:37.759 --> 00:25:45.039 not tilting it when mills, but trusting in the promises of God. Abraham 288 00:25:45.240 --> 00:25:49.349 was no fool. He had faith. That's why he did what God told 289 00:25:49.349 --> 00:25:55.710 him to do. For Abraham, life under the Covenant was not so much 290 00:25:55.710 --> 00:26:02.069 about receiving the promises as it was by living by them. I'll give you 291 00:26:02.109 --> 00:26:06.019 one more story. No, no, just a reminder, kind of like 292 00:26:06.220 --> 00:26:11.859 Stephen was doing. You remember the sacrifice of Isaac, after five finally being 293 00:26:12.140 --> 00:26:18.809 given the Sun. God tells him to take him up, take him up 294 00:26:18.849 --> 00:26:23.170 on this mountain and sacrifice him, and David did so, I'm sorry. 295 00:26:23.170 --> 00:26:30.369 and Abraham did so willingly. He did it because he was not trusting in 296 00:26:30.490 --> 00:26:36.000 the promises received, but in the very word of God. He was living 297 00:26:36.160 --> 00:26:44.799 by what God had said. As a Jew, this is a wonderful thing. 298 00:26:45.799 --> 00:26:51.990 This is your dad, this is your father Abraham, this great man 299 00:26:52.230 --> 00:26:55.390 of faith. Now, sure, he had errors, he fell into sin, 300 00:26:55.549 --> 00:27:03.740 he was not perfect, but he believed and he trusted God and God 301 00:27:03.940 --> 00:27:07.220 gave to him all of these things. Isaac was very similar. Jacob a 302 00:27:08.299 --> 00:27:17.529 little more complicated. Jacob was a rebellious person, a sinner, a trickster 303 00:27:18.130 --> 00:27:21.890 of the any ways, a very evil man. But we see in God's 304 00:27:22.009 --> 00:27:27.289 electing sovereign purposes that he will do what he wants to do, in choosing 305 00:27:27.369 --> 00:27:34.240 Jacob, in loving him, in wrestling him to the ground and causing him 306 00:27:34.799 --> 00:27:41.079 to have faith. All these things is what it meant to have the Patriarchs, 307 00:27:41.319 --> 00:27:45.309 it meant to belong to this family, to have these people as the 308 00:27:45.390 --> 00:27:49.029 head, to follow their example and to know in all of it that God 309 00:27:49.109 --> 00:27:56.589 had chosen you and your race in this special electing way, that he was 310 00:27:56.829 --> 00:28:02.779 in love, sovereignly watching over every aspect of your life, over your family 311 00:28:02.859 --> 00:28:07.019 life. So you can see why Stephen, echoing the thoughts of God, 312 00:28:07.819 --> 00:28:17.369 is so frustrated with them when he says you stiff necked people, you uncircumcised 313 00:28:17.569 --> 00:28:27.640 people, Whoa to call the Jewish people uncircumcised is to say that they have 314 00:28:27.960 --> 00:28:33.519 rejected the covenant of God, to say that they have stood outside of the 315 00:28:33.640 --> 00:28:40.000 covenant. And that's exactly what they were doing. The proof is in his 316 00:28:40.200 --> 00:28:45.630 words. These Fathers, the Patriarchs, they sold Joseph into slavery, they 317 00:28:45.750 --> 00:28:52.470 didn't listen to Moses. When God is revealing to them, pouring out blessings, 318 00:28:52.750 --> 00:28:56.180 bringing them into their promises, what do they do? They make a 319 00:28:56.339 --> 00:29:00.779 calf, they make sacrifices, they go after other gods, molech and all 320 00:29:00.819 --> 00:29:06.900 the rest. This is what the fathers did. Now Paul would. He 321 00:29:06.980 --> 00:29:11.890 gives Romans nine, four and five in particular. He doesn't have this quiet 322 00:29:11.930 --> 00:29:15.329 in mind yet, the NITT this negative aspect, but he will move on 323 00:29:15.490 --> 00:29:19.849 to this. He says to the Jewish people and US gentiles on the outside 324 00:29:19.890 --> 00:29:23.359 listening, and he says to us, look, you've been given this great 325 00:29:23.400 --> 00:29:30.559 thing, but you must believe like Abraham believed. You must receive these promises. 326 00:29:32.720 --> 00:29:38.869 You can't crucify the Messiah, you can't reject the promises, you can't 327 00:29:38.869 --> 00:29:45.789 turn away to false gods and your own ways and expect to just be a 328 00:29:45.869 --> 00:29:51.630 child of Abraham. That's not what it means. In other words, Paul 329 00:29:51.750 --> 00:29:55.819 says, Steven says, God says, that to be a child of Abraham 330 00:29:55.980 --> 00:30:02.420 is not just to be a child biologically. What's most important of all is 331 00:30:02.579 --> 00:30:08.809 being a child spiritually. Now, Steven attempted to be a wakeup call and, 332 00:30:08.970 --> 00:30:14.569 like the prophets before him, he was put to death. This man 333 00:30:14.690 --> 00:30:19.529 of Saul, man named Saul, giving approval, tearing Christians from their homes, 334 00:30:21.210 --> 00:30:26.799 receiving the clothing of Stephen, approving of it all. But in Saul's 335 00:30:26.960 --> 00:30:36.349 example we come to see how great the love of God is Matthew Nine. 336 00:30:36.470 --> 00:30:41.670 We read God says that he can raise up children of Abraham from stones. 337 00:30:42.230 --> 00:30:48.910 That's an amazing thing. And Saul, who was a child of Israel but 338 00:30:49.099 --> 00:30:53.900 acted like he was not, was so proud that he belonged, thought he 339 00:30:55.059 --> 00:31:02.099 belonged as so firmly in the promises, but he didn't. Sure he was 340 00:31:02.220 --> 00:31:07.170 born to good families, sure he participated in worship, sure he tried to 341 00:31:07.250 --> 00:31:12.569 follow the law, but he forgot the element of faith until God saved him. 342 00:31:12.650 --> 00:31:17.809 Saul failed to grasp the most essential thing of it all, the thing 343 00:31:17.930 --> 00:31:21.559 that he will go on to explain to us in Romans nine, that no 344 00:31:21.680 --> 00:31:23.720 matter how many good works you do, no matter how much zealed you have, 345 00:31:25.160 --> 00:31:29.720 no matter how firmly you are imbedded biologically in the family, it does 346 00:31:30.039 --> 00:31:37.470 not save. Because Abraham wasn't saved that way, Isaac wasn't saved that way, 347 00:31:37.509 --> 00:31:44.109 Jacob wasn't saved that way. Saul sought to establish his relationship to God 348 00:31:44.950 --> 00:31:49.220 biologically through good works, through zeal, but the Covenant of Abraham was not 349 00:31:49.339 --> 00:31:56.299 about that. It was about receiving what God gave, especially this promised child 350 00:31:56.420 --> 00:32:04.970 who would come to rule and save the world. God can certainly raise literal 351 00:32:05.130 --> 00:32:09.690 stones and make them children of Abraham, and he can do it figuratively too. 352 00:32:10.769 --> 00:32:17.359 He took this rock hard, stony heart of Saul, who was persecuting 353 00:32:17.519 --> 00:32:22.279 a man like Stephen and people, Christians who are following after the Lord Jesus, 354 00:32:22.559 --> 00:32:27.799 who are entering into all of these promises of Abraham. He took a 355 00:32:28.000 --> 00:32:34.630 heart that was that hard and turned it into the heart of Paul, the 356 00:32:34.789 --> 00:32:40.029 heart that we have been hearing pouring out these gospel promises. He can also 357 00:32:40.150 --> 00:32:46.980 take gentiles who are outside of these promises, worshiping false gods, and bring 358 00:32:47.140 --> 00:32:54.099 them in. Paul took this man. Are Sorry. God took this man, 359 00:32:54.339 --> 00:33:00.849 Paul, whose heart was as as hard as a stone, and he 360 00:33:00.930 --> 00:33:06.410 changed him. And then he took that Paul and he sent him and all 361 00:33:06.450 --> 00:33:12.880 the world to preach to hardhearted gentiles like you and me, and through him 362 00:33:13.440 --> 00:33:21.920 we have this personal invitation to all the world to belong to Abraham, to 363 00:33:22.039 --> 00:33:27.869 become children of the promise, and that all who believe in their children, 364 00:33:27.910 --> 00:33:32.509 along with them, would now belong to this family. You Imagine, for 365 00:33:32.630 --> 00:33:37.630 example, in your mind a family tree, a big chart, Abraham, 366 00:33:37.710 --> 00:33:40.390 Isaac Jacob, the twelve tribes, all going down throughout history, all these 367 00:33:40.430 --> 00:33:45.619 people. Now, next to that family tree, imagine all of these other 368 00:33:45.779 --> 00:33:49.700 family trees, all of these gentile family trees. What over here? What 369 00:33:49.819 --> 00:33:53.740 over here one? This one I'm from, this one you're from. You 370 00:33:53.819 --> 00:33:59.329 know what God takes. He takes those and through trusting in Jesus Christ, 371 00:33:59.410 --> 00:34:05.210 he joins them together, joins them together, joins them together in such a 372 00:34:05.289 --> 00:34:12.639 way that we connected in Christ. Now go I belong to Abraham. Father 373 00:34:12.760 --> 00:34:19.360 Abraham had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham. I'm one of them, 374 00:34:19.679 --> 00:34:25.070 and so are you. So let's all praise the Lord. We teach 375 00:34:25.110 --> 00:34:32.030 our children that song because it's true, because in Jesus Christ we belong to 376 00:34:32.110 --> 00:34:38.380 him and all the promises that are poured out on father Abraham belong to us. 377 00:34:42.219 --> 00:34:52.059 We're called to receive them by faith as members of that tribe. Kids, 378 00:34:52.139 --> 00:34:55.570 this means that your parents, who believe if, brought you in, 379 00:34:57.809 --> 00:35:01.849 made you part of the family by birth, but it also means that, 380 00:35:01.969 --> 00:35:08.000 as Abraham's children, you must personally receive these promises by faith, or else 381 00:35:08.039 --> 00:35:10.880 you end up just like the Jews, who were a Jew but not a 382 00:35:10.920 --> 00:35:19.599 Jew circumcised, but not on but not circumcised or uncircumcised. Each of us 383 00:35:19.599 --> 00:35:23.309 are called to receive these promises by faith. God pours them out on the 384 00:35:23.349 --> 00:35:29.110 world. He pours them out and offers them to us. This is the 385 00:35:29.150 --> 00:35:36.340 greatest invitation that has ever been made, and it's all made possible by this 386 00:35:36.579 --> 00:35:44.739 one who was murdered and crucified and put on the Cross. Jesus Christ is 387 00:35:45.019 --> 00:35:50.289 that promised child of Abraham. He is the one in whom all the blessings 388 00:35:50.409 --> 00:35:55.570 are poured out on humanity. When you hear his name, rejoice in God, 389 00:35:58.170 --> 00:36:02.769 rejoice that you belong to a family that is privileged and powerful. Rejoice 390 00:36:02.889 --> 00:36:07.920 that you belong to family in which you will receive the inheritances of God. 391 00:36:09.440 --> 00:36:16.159 And be patient and wait. Abraham had to wait in the promised land without 392 00:36:16.239 --> 00:36:21.230 even having a foot's length of it. He had to buy the land for 393 00:36:21.349 --> 00:36:30.670 his own burial. We wait as well. We are privileged, we are 394 00:36:30.710 --> 00:36:35.460 powerful in God, we are given inheritances and blessing, but he calls us 395 00:36:35.500 --> 00:36:39.659 to trust in him. We wait for the Lord's return to bring all these 396 00:36:39.739 --> 00:36:45.860 things to their great and consummated end. Until then, let us walk by 397 00:36:45.980 --> 00:36:54.969 faith. Let us believe and let us pray. Our heavenly father, we 398 00:36:55.090 --> 00:37:01.360 thank you for being our great patriarch, for watching over US and calling us 399 00:37:01.519 --> 00:37:07.239 your own children. The way in which you have worked this out in time 400 00:37:07.480 --> 00:37:13.639 and space is truly astounding. When we consider the large the the big picture, 401 00:37:13.719 --> 00:37:19.989 the great overview of history, we see how um each moment and every 402 00:37:20.150 --> 00:37:25.429 turn, despite the obstinence and sin of your people, you continue on steadfast 403 00:37:25.550 --> 00:37:32.659 to your promises to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You never let go, 404 00:37:34.460 --> 00:37:37.780 you never drop the ball. Despite our sin, you are always there, 405 00:37:38.099 --> 00:37:45.289 doing right and doing well. We ask, Lord, that you would help 406 00:37:45.329 --> 00:37:51.690 us to believe you when you say that these things you give to us. 407 00:37:52.769 --> 00:37:54.849 We asked that you would help us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, 408 00:37:55.369 --> 00:38:00.039 in the salvation that we have through him, by believing, even as Abraham 409 00:38:00.159 --> 00:38:06.000 believed, in the promises that you have made. We thank you for our 410 00:38:06.079 --> 00:38:10.119 Savior, are our elder brother, who brings us into this family, who 411 00:38:10.320 --> 00:38:15.030 brings about the reason for our very own adoption. We thank you that we 412 00:38:15.150 --> 00:38:22.869 are children of Abraham and that in him, in Christ, we are blessed. 413 00:38:23.309 --> 00:38:27.070 We ask, Lord, that you would help us to understand these things 414 00:38:27.260 --> 00:38:31.500 and to distinguish them in our minds. We asked that you would cause us 415 00:38:31.539 --> 00:38:37.579 ought to go to the Old Testament often and to look for you there, 416 00:38:37.500 --> 00:38:42.570 to hear of your revelation, to see the ways that you work, in 417 00:38:42.690 --> 00:38:46.210 the ways that you keep your promises, and we asked that you would keep 418 00:38:46.210 --> 00:38:51.809 us in them. If it were not for your work, for Your Almighty 419 00:38:51.929 --> 00:38:59.440 and irresistible grace, we surely would be astray, as many, many have 420 00:38:59.639 --> 00:39:04.159 been. Help us not to take for granted the promises that you have given 421 00:39:04.199 --> 00:39:07.519 to us. May We teach them to our children and our children's children, 422 00:39:07.559 --> 00:39:12.869 and we ask that the Lord Jesus would come again soon. We pray this 423 00:39:13.070 --> 00:39:13.670 in his name.

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