A Shared Promise: The Covenant with Abraham – Genesis 12:1-3

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 3 of 14

God announces and begins to unfold his plan of redemption for the world.

A Shared Promise Gen 12.1-3.pdf                

A Shared Promise Gen 12.1-3.mp3

 

 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildrose115/27623264486

39 Books: Genesis – The Book of Origins

39 Bks Torah Scroll White

Genesis: The Book of Origins

In Genesis we see the foundations for a biblical worldview and the origin of everything.

 

 

01 Genesis,pdf                01 Genesis.mp3

Palmer St. Podcast: Faith Explained and Illustrated (Part 2)

Biblical faith is frequently misunderstood in our culture, even by those who exercise it.

  • Faith is not blind optimism.
  • It’s not something we work up through emotional hype.
  • Faith is not the belief in something despite purely contrary evidence.

Throughout this chapter we will see biblical faith explained and illustrated.

Hebrews 11b.mp3

Hebrews 11b.pdf

Hebrews 11b.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 4

Consider these pairs of Polar Opposites: Plus and Minus, Night and Day, Black and White, Light and Darkness, Win or Lose, Right and Wrong, Life and Death, Heaven and Hell.

Now let’s add one to it: Law and Grace.  Grace and Law should be treated as Polar Opposites; it’s vital that we see this difference for what it is.

Gal 3.mp3

Gal 3.pdf

Thoughts on the Life/Choice Debate

This week we are in Galatians 1:11-24.  In Galatians 1:15, Paul says God “separated me from my mother’s womb” and called him to a very specific ministry. 

This is a thread that runs all through the Bible.  Abraham, for example, was promised a son (and a whole bunch of descendants, for that matter) some 25 years before the birth of Isaac.  Jeremiah was called to be a prophet “Before God formed him in the womb” (Jer. 1:5).  And so on, we could follow this thread for a very long time. Therefore, abortion has long been frowned upon by those who take the Bible as authoritative.

There is, however, another argument in favor of a pro-life stance which does not rest on biblical authority (an unacceptable basis in American political culture these days).  Here is how it goes and I welcome all comments and counter-arguments.  Thanks to Norman Geisler for stating the case similarly (2004).

Both the right to life and the right to liberty are important values to both sides. The controversy is really only over which value applies in the case of abortion.

There is good reason for anyone to believe that an unborn child or fetus is a person. For example it has its own:

  1. Unique genetic code at conception.
  2. Blood type, which is determined genetically at conception
  3. Gender determined at conception
  4. Body: For example, heartbeat and brainwaves can both be detected by 3 and 6 weeks, respectively.

This list could go on and on.  Therefore, many would agree that such details make the unborn child, or fetus if you insist, a unique person.  This is a convincing set of facts.  Can we at least allow that it seems difficult to prove otherwise?  For example, can we prove conclusively in the face of such evidence that it was simply part of the mother’s body – and not a person at all?

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s still say the question is up in the air and we’re still uncertain. Maybe it’s a person and maybe not. Therefore, an abortion may kill a person or it may not.

In that case, the pro-life stand is still preferable to pro-choice, because it is reckless to do anything that has a 50-50 chance of killing an innocent human being.  Would you throw a bowling ball off a bridge onto a freeway because an innocent person might not die?  Remove the railing from your balcony?  Shoot a gun into a dark room?  Caution dictates that the right to life has to take priority over the right to liberty.

Where is the Lamb?

Abraham took his son to Mt. Moriah to offer a sacrifice.  He took almost everything they needed.

But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’
And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’
Then he said, ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’
And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together.”  – Genesis 22:7-8 (NKJV)

Roughly 2000 years later and 2000 years ago, John the Baptist gave the final answer to Isaac’s question. 

… John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” – John 1:29 (NKJV)

  • A lot of lambs were killed for a lot of Passovers, but there is only one Jesus.  
  • Some sacrifices were offered for individuals, others for the nation; Jesus died for the sin of the world.
  • Animal sacrifices were meaningful, but that meaning was symbolic.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” – Hebrews 10:4 (NKJV)

  • In Christ’s case all symbolism is removed as the reality of what He has done becomes evident.

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” – Hebrews 9:12 (NKJV)

Back to Mt. Moriah, roughly 2000 years later and 2000 years ago: So where is the lamb?  There He is, the Lamb of God.  Behold, the Lamb.