Forgiven Therefore Free: The Promise Came First

October 1st, 2020

God gave his people a promise.  Four hundred and thirty years later, God gave the law.

The promise came first.  The gospel promise was not a backup plan; it was always the plan.  The people of the Old Testament looked forward to when the promised Messiah would come, while we look back on that promise fulfilled and forward to when He will come again.

God proclaimed his promise over and over again to people.

The first words Adam and Eve heard from God while they were attempting to cover their shame with shriveling fig leaves was gospel.

While the fig leaves they had sewn together were dead and shriveling and their shame and nakedness became more and more apparent, God was giving them words of hope.  He told them of Christ.  The One who would come through childbearing.  The One who would be struck in the heel by the serpent who had deceived them.  The One who would appear He was defeated at his death.  The One who in the end would crush the head of the serpent when He rose again.  

Genesis 3:15

Noah was not found righteous because his good outweighed his bad.  Noah was found righteous because of who he had faith in.  He was not saved because he built a boat.  He was saved because of the faith God gifted him.  Without faith, he would not have built that boat that saved him and his family.   (Genesis 9:8-17)

God called Abram to go from his own country to a new place.  He tells Abram He will make him into a great nation, bless him, he will be a blessing, and every person on earth will be blessed through him.  Genesis 12:1-4

Abraham did not hear of the promise God was making with him only once.  During one telling of the promise, God makes a covenant with Abraham.  Usually a covenant would be made between two people while they were awake, signifying the two sides of the promise must be upheld.  During this promise, Abraham was sleeping.  God passed through the animals alone to show He would be doing the work of holding up both ends of the promise.  Abraham, you, and I rest while God is at work.  Genesis 15:1-21

The promise did not end with Abraham.  If the fulfillment of the covenant would have been dependent on Abraham, it would have needed to be completed before his death.  The covenant was and is dependent on the work of God.  He used Abraham, He used Isaac, and He uses us.  The promise does not lose hope when the life of a believer ends.  Hope remains because the promise is based on the work of God not on people. (Genesis 26:2-5)

People do foolish things.  The foolish things we do can sometimes appear that they would thwart or end God’s will for us or humanity.  Foolish actions only have the appearance of lost hope.  Jacob stole the birthright from his brother.  While he was on the run, God gave him the promise that His promise and covenant would continue through him.  God was going to use Jacob just as He had used Abraham and Isaac.  (Genesis 28:13-16)

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