The text for this lesson is Genesis 12:1–9; 15:1–6; 17.
- God chose Abram (Abraham) and gave him faith to trust His promises to save His people. God gives us faith in Jesus, our Savior.
- Law: In my sin, I doubt that God can do what He promises and do not trust Him.
- Gospel: God in His mercy carries out His promises and gives me faith in and through Jesus to trust Him.
- “Fear not, Abram.” Why would Abram fear? He had just vanquished the enemy, rescued Lot, and received the blessing of the priest of the Most High God. What was there to fear?
- Have we felt the fears of Abram?
- God speaks over and over again to Abram. Yet, His Word is always the same. He continually tells Abram that He will bless him through his offspring. Contemplate this cycle of fear/promise in the life of Abram. How is this similar to our lives of faith in Christ? Christ crucified is preached every Sunday of the year in our churches. Every Sunday, His resurrection is proclaimed. Why must we be comforted with the same message over and over again, as was Abram? What does this message say about our need to go to regular worship services and hear His merciful speaking?
- Genesis 17 is not so much about Abraham as it is about Sarah. This was her promise. Abraham had already received the promise of a son born to him (Genesis 15:4). Believing that the barrenness of Sarah was a barrier, Abraham took matters into his own hands. He had a son, Ishmael, by Hagar. God’s promise to Sarah required even more faith. How is it that she who was infertile could produce a child?
- Note Abram’s reaction in Genesis 17:17. In the midst of God’s speaking, Abram laughed. Seems a bit inappropriate, doesn’t it? Read Psalm 126:1–3. God showers His good gifts on us every Sunday. Felicity follows forgiveness, even if tempered by reverence. God found no fault with Abram’s festive feedback. How was Abram’s laughter a sign of his faith? What else accompanied it? Should we follow Abram with regard to his worship practice?
- What did circumcision signify? Read Exodus 4:24–26. How important was the circumcision covenant to God? Read Colossians 2:10–14. In which watery way are Christians to be circumcised now? Explain how this is tied to Christ’s own keeping of the Law. See Luke 2:21. How important is it to God that we receive the new circumcision without flesh? What is bestowed upon us in this new circumcision?
- John the Baptist declared that God can make descendants of Abraham out of stones (Matthew 3:9). What does this tell us about how Christians are made? What does this tell us about the hardness of our hearts before we are converted? In a discussion with the Pharisees, Jesus told them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did” (John 8:39). How was Jesus’ thought influenced by Genesis 15:6? What is it that Abraham did?