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Christmas in Genesis (Part 5 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2020 3:00 am

Christmas in Genesis (Part 5 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 24, 2020 3:00 am

Through His covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless all families of the earth. So how is this ancient promise significant for us today? Be sure to listen as we continue our new Christmas study on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Most of us remember child on Christmas Eve and being too excited to sleep.

When God made a promise to Abraham that he would one day bless all the nations of the earth through him.

Faithful Jews for centuries lived with that sense of eager anticipation today on Truth for Life on this night before Christmas Alistair Begg illustrates the magnitude of the promise that God made to Abraham, I invite you to turn with me to Genesis, the first book in the Bible and will read just wanted to brief sections, beginning at chapter 12 and verse one now the Lord said to Abram go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you and I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse. And then you all the families of the art shall be blessed. So Abram went as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him.

Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran, and then in chapter 15. After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your reward shall be very great, but Abram said, oh Lord God.

What will you give me, for I continue childless in the air of my houses Eliezer of Damascus and Abram said, behold, you have given me no offspring and a member of my household will be my heir and behold, the word of the Lord came to him. This man shall not be your heir. Your very own son shall be your heir.

And he brought him outside and said, look toward heaven and number the stars if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, so shall your offspring be. And he believed the Lord and he counted it to him as righteousness. And then in chapter 17.

Just a verse or two again at the beginning when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to them, I am God Almighty walk before me and be blameless that I may make my covenant between me and you and may multiply you greatly. And Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations no longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations and kingdoms shall come from you.


We thank God for his word and we seek help from him and Bonnie for our understanding it and then living in the light of come down all love divine seek out this soul of mine and visited with thine own article speak Lord we prayed by your word by the Holy Spirit that Jesus may be all the more precious students for its in his name we pray. Amen. For those of you who've been present over these last couple of Sundays. Know that we set ourselves something of a task I've questioned myself a couple of times, not least of all this week about the wisdom and doing what we've done and that is seeking to discover is it where Christmas in Genesis. By that we really mean discovering Jesus in Genesis and the way in which the unfolding pattern of the Bible leads is inevitably to him we would have been greatly helped in this endeavor if we could have listened in on the instruction that Jesus delivered to his disciples after he had met with them on the Emmaus Road. The record of that is in Luke chapter 24 and if you're familiar with that passage you know that in a very ironic way those disconsolate disciples.

Following the death of Jesus were met up with by an individual who was a stranger and they were asking this stranger.

Are you the only person in Jerusalem that doesn't know what has been going on in Jerusalem. The irony being that they were talking with Jesus himself being the center of everything that was going on and very graciously and purposefully.

Luke tells us how Jesus and gave him a Bible study, and he explained to them from the Old Testament Scriptures. The way in which all of the lines leads to himself and over a period of some 14 days if you like. There was a Bible class taught by Jesus and how wonderful it would've been to have him take us through these pages by the time I finish this morning is a year would be wonderful if you could have taken us through this morning as well, but which we share that together we are aware of the fact that when he did that with those followers at their hearts burned within so they weren't simply taking notes is a work they weren't simply making discoveries that were intriguing to them know the entry of God's word fired them up and then within relatively short order. The spirit of God fill them up and then as they went out onto the Jerusalem streets.

Nobody could shut them and that is another sermon that I leave for another time. Fired up filled up and couldn't be shut out the story of the impact of the gospel in the life of the early apostles. With that said, we began in chapter 3 and in verse 15 to see how there and what is referred to as the proto-evangelion. The first indication of the gospel. We saw wrote that verse contains a ray of hope in the context of the darkness that is come about as a result of the rebellion of Adam and Eve and you may remove and remember we thought of that.

In terms of the entry of sin into the world. Last time we looked at the story of Noah and pondered how the provision of an art as a place of refuge points as to Jesus as the one who bears the judgment and is the only refuge for our souls and coming out to the section that begins in chapter 12 we realize that in just the same way as there is a sort of dark background and then the ray of hope, there is the darkness of judgment, and then the place of refuge so chapter 12 with the calling of Abraham follows on from the darkness of Chapter 11 and in Chapter 11.

We have the story of Babel and of the people saying what is not an unusual thing we hear it regularly in our day. Well, I think we can get up to heaven on our own. Why don't we build a tower that would get us up there and I why don't we see if we can make a name for ourselves and of course the whole thing comes to a crashing halt.

It is left unfinished at primeval history just just as Ensley comes to a fruitless climax and then you turn the page into chapter 12 and you discover that God's plan as he intervenes having disburse these people and having disrupted their circumstances and scattered them throughout the world. God's plan is to take an individual and instead of that individual seeking to make a name for himself as in Babel God will make a name for him and that was what we read in verse two of chapter 12 and God said to Abram, I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, by the get time you get to chapter 17.

He is regarding him as the father of a multitude because it is there that his name is changed from Abram to Abraham as speaking to the fact that he is the father of these nations now of all of the studies so far this is probably the most daunting and I have to ask for your diligence, not now, but actually at home because I've set on each occasion. We can only deal with this at a certain level, there will be inevitably many blanks while the first two studies were nothing compared to this one I assign homework for the balance of the day so that you can go out as the church in Berea did and examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so. The melodic line that runs from this point on is essentially this that in you Abraham. All the nations of the earth shall be blessed. In other words, the seed of Abraham is going to bring the blessing that has been lost as a result of the fall. The flood and the scattering.

So sin is entered into the world. God has come in judgment in the flood. There's a brand-new beginning as they come out of the yard and is there encourage once again to go forth and multiply the same expectation that it been given to Adam and Eve in the garden and then within short order.

Things begin to turn in upon themselves and so here we have man drawing attention to himself and man being scattered. It is God who is scattered them. It is God who has discombobulated their language and one day that is going to come when all of that is reunited in the picture of the confusion of Babel is a is more than compensated for in the day of Pentecost in this dramatic incident happens and people can hear the story of the gospel in their own tongue God coming to reverse that which he had put in motion all those years before and so it is that men and women today are scattered throughout the world are you coming here today. I don't know where you've come from.

I don't really know where you're going to, but I hope you know where you've come from and I hope you know we are going not just small picture. I don't mean I hope you know what you're going for lunch. I mean, I hope you know where you're going. For all of eternity. I hope you know where you've come from and I don't mean where you were born in Ohio.

I mean do you know that you were personally created by the living God who fashioned you in an intricate way in your mother's womb.

Do you know that he made you so that you might know him, love him and trust in you know these things or you just like the person is as well you know what it's Christmas Eve and go somewhere and they got as far back up so let's just go and check them check them out why I would be okay.

I was thing about all the wonders really struck me as I was reading it happens to me all the time but just in my mind I came on the line that I had a brother way back home, and he started out to Rome and last I heard he was out by Frisco Bay and sometimes when I'm feeling blue.

His old voice comes ringing through an ongoing out to meet him one fine day, but I just can't help but wonder where I am bound. I can't help but wonder where I'm bound. I just don't know where I'm going now. The reverse of that is God.

Instead of seeing our life scattered is the wonder of the gathering that he is gathering together of people a multitude that involves different colors, different backgrounds, different intelligence ratios and so on. And God, the Bible tells us is is invested in putting this together and is a wonderful picture, especially if you feel alone.

Some of us feel alone, even in a crowd we feel alone. Loneliness isn't just being by yourself. Loneliness is knowing what it is to be alone.

Even when everybody else is around and getting out and going into your car and saying I don't really know where I am or what I am where I'm going for here is the story of the Bible and is grounded in Abraham, God is gathering together a vast company, if any. Crosby, who wrote a lot of hymns in her day is a wonderful him and I was thing about it again as I was driving here this morning I was thing about gathering and I thought about the movie the gathering a part of which was short in chagrin Falls, and the disruption and family and the man who is dying and how we feel it is Christmas time and maybe we can get everything put back together again. Maybe we could gather what a wonderful story of the Bible is as regards to these gathering people he's laying his hand on an individual here in a strange person they are in the girl there and a young boy here in the University student over there and he says come on. I'm putting together this people, so it is that one day it will be an unbelievable gathering.

When the blast who sleep in Jesus at his bidding shall arise from the silence of the grave and from the sea and with bodies all celestial.

We shall meet him in the sky's what I gathering of the ransomed that will be what I gathering Abraham's children you had our reading in John eight, they said, why are you saying these things Jesus don't you realize that we are the children of Abraham.

Jesus is know if you are the children of Abraham. You would do what Abraham did that as it is externally you are in the framework, but in reality you're not there tall know the promise of God to Abraham is that in his seed all the families of the earth will be blessed will be blessed every so often people say will I bless you, are sometimes when you sneeze this a.m. blessings and so on is very nice. But what is it mean here that they will be blessed. It's not a reference to a sort of a general sense of well-being is sort of cozy feeling know what is being proclaimed here is that through the seed of Abraham, from whose seed will come. The Lord Jesus, the promise is of knowing God is of having our sins forgiven is essentially the reality of salvation, because you see, what is it that Abram believed what it says it did. Really there in chapter 15 yes, in verse six and he believed the Lord and he counted and God counted it to him as righteousness.

What did he believe while he believed the promise was the promise. The promise was that he would become the father of many nations.

How is that going to start with a child, let me tell you what he believed. He believed the gospel. That's what he believed. If you doubt that you need to do what we said earlier, and that is go to the back of the Bible where you'll find many of the answers and in Galatians chapter 3, Paul actually expounds Genesis chapter 15 in verse six and this and this is what he said just as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Know the end that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham and the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles, that is a people who did not have the promises of God and all of this by way of background, that God would justify the Gentiles by faith.

Notice here's the phrase preached the gospel beforehand. Abraham, saying in you shall all the nations be blessed. So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

So what you have really in Abraham is that he's a bit like the people that Peter mentions in his first letter he says that the folks that wrote these prophetic passages were like men standing on tiptoes and they were looking trying to see what it was that God was going to do. He actually includes the Angels and their needs as that if you imagine the Angels there sort of looking down from the parapet of heaven longing somehow or another to understand what the answer to this question is and it is of course in the gospel. Your father Abraham says Jesus to the Jews rejoiced that he would see my day and he saw it and was glad to.

So how can you see your day, he saw it in the fulfillment of the promise in the gift of Isaac notes were trying to say here is that if we here we are in Genesis is that shooting us forward into the Christmas experiences a work I can see her try your very best to make that point. But keep going. If you haven't quite got me there.

Well, for example, when you come to the birth narratives as someone will probably read the record of Simeon. This wonderful fellow Simeon and what will be read will read this Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel assembled and we sing about that here we say about this morning. Israel's strength and consolation joy of all the earth. Thou art visit ours with thy salvation enter every trembling heart.

That's what we say no.

We may not have understood what we say and we nearly enough men what we say. But that's what we say. So we are actually singing silly and so now all this and more. Besides, is there going to discover your homework. It is a significant plan. It is a picture of God's plan from all of eternity is the story of God's eternal counsel of God's will. As Paul writes of it in Ephesians chapter 1. This this, you see is is the answer to our Stephen Hawking's question at the at the end of his book on time and an end at the end of that I mentioned in one of the concerts. Hawking Hawking says in going into those black holes in going into a physics ends and gravity and things that I don't even understand this is a what were really trying to do is see if we can find a unifying pattern that will explain the observable realities of the universe and he says and if we can come up with that then it will be the greatest discovery for rational man and we will, he says, know the mind of God. Despite the fact that he doesn't believe in God but how else is he going to explain this. So what I'm saying to you is that although this idea of Christmas in Genesis may seem far out and gone from you think. Only this, that that English promise God is assembling a great company. He is calling out individuals by name in the same way that was happening 4000 years ago and 2000 years ago and is is and is happening now listing to Alistair Begg in the series called Christmas in the beginning Truth for Life. As Alister mentioned, we are discovering Jesus in the book of Genesis, recognizing how the entire Bible points to him from the very beginning Truth for Life.

We believe the Bible is like no other book.

It is the very word of God and has the power to change hearts and lives. We often hear Alister invite us to open our Bible. That's because our mission here at Truth for Life is singular and straightforward to teach the Bible we want to clearly read and explain the text just as God has given it to us without adding anything to it, or taking away from it so that those who listen can come to trust its truth rely on its promises and be transformed by its power. Now if you're a parent we hope you recognize the immense spiritual value of reading the Bible together with your children and praying with them every day.

There's really no substitute for gathering as a family together to worship, but it is not easy to know where to begin. For most of us it can be challenging to have a plan that is in place that we are able to stick to. So with 2020. Coming to a close. We've selected we believe is an easy to use year-long devotional plan that is designed to help you and your family spend a few minutes every day in God's word.

Throughout 2021.

The title of the book is exploring the Bible together. One of the reasons we love this book is because it lays out for us a program that is easy to manage. Each day you read about five verses and by the time you get to the end of the year. Your family will have read verses from Genesis all the way to Revelation. There's an entry for six days each week. Each entry includes a couple of discussion questions a key spiritual lesson from the text we read and there's a closing prayer. If, as a parent you found yourself struggling to have a time of daily family worship, exploring the Bible together is a perfect resource is also a great book if you're a grandparent time in God's word with you. Bring your youth leader or Sunday school teacher.

We think you'll find this is a helpful book as well in our offices are closed today so that our staff can be home to celebrate perceive with their family, but you can request a copy of exploring the Bible together when you make a donation online at or by tapping the book on the mobile app from Bob Lapine on behalf of Alister and all of the staff you recruit for life. One wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific

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