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Christmas in Genesis (Part 6 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 25, 2020 3:00 am

Christmas in Genesis (Part 6 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 25, 2020 3:00 am

God’s promises are guaranteed—even if they seem impossible. His purposes were inconceivable to Abraham and Sarah. Yet God’s declarations in Genesis are what we celebrate on Christmas and throughout the year. Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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God's people regeneration, waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. They believed in faith that he would come they trusted God that he would keep his promises to Abraham, even if it seemed impossible today on the Christmas Day addition of Truth for Life Alastair Bragg highlights the miraculous fulfillment of God's covenant promise to Abraham and what it means for us were in Genesis 17. Know the promise of God to Abraham is dead in his seed all the families of their will be blessed will be blessed. 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. Your father Abraham says Jesus to the Jews rejoiced that he would see my day and he saw it and was glad. So how can you see your day, he saw it in the fulfillment of the promise in the gift of Isaac notes what to say here is that if we here we are in Genesis is shooting us forward into the Christmas experience you say what I could see her try your very best to make that point. But keep going.

If you haven't quite got me there. Well, for example, what about the Magnificat.

What about Mary when she sings it is fascinating isn't that in that little ploy M that is heard in a little song with his first what she referred to. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever so she realizes what is going on here is tied directly to Genesis 12 Genesis 15 Genesis 17 in the same way Zachariah who has a wife who can have a baby.

She's barren.

Her name is Elizabeth Mary's cousin and when Zachariah gives voice to these things.

He says I know God.

You remember your holy covenant.

The oath that you swore to our father Abraham, and of you on the details of that oath read the second half of Genesis chapter 22 now all this and more. Besides, is there which are going to discover in 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 but the eternal counsel of God's will. As Paul writes of it in Ephesians chapter 1. 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 and in the midst of all of that the questions are inevitable. I want to show you three all from the text Genesis 17 and verse 17 Abram fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old was an amazing story because it begins when he is 75 years old when God calls and he 75 and interestingly he doesn't call in because he's a peculiarly righteous fellow.

He doesn't call him because he's identified the fact that he was a fairly pious chap or that he would be the kind of person that was interested in these things.

No, he worships pagan gods is the least likely person, God draws them out of the art of the colonies. This is a here my man, God still does that sin amazing and the surprising choice. By the time you get into chapter 16. He is 86 years old and it is at that point in the story that we have this remarkable little tte--tte between he and his wife Sarah and Cirencester and listen a remodeling this promise thing is working. Idling there is ever going to be anything here will have to take care of this ourselves and that is why she sends him into her servant made Hagar and that gives birth and Ishmael and in the context of the day. That was standard form. If you did not have an air then it was legitimate to engage in such a process and yet God says Ishmael is not the man, and that he comes to them in chapter 17.

He confirms what he said to them before. In chapter 15.

You will find a dark passage describes a flaming part of the cutting of of creatures and and and pigeons laid side-by-side you look at all or is it what is this about what it is.

It is God establishing his covenant in 17 the covenant again is put out there. And in this establishing of the covenant God gives to Abraham a sign I remember he gave to know assignment was a big sign could be seen universally and it was a sign he said it was the bow in the sky and when he saw it he would be reminded of the fact that he had made a covenant to put together a people.

Now he gives to Abram assigned this sign is not universal. This sign is personal. This sign is small. This sign will be a sign every time Abraham has our back. He will remember, God has marked me with this sign of his covenant promise, and it is in light of that, that God now speaks to, but it's a laugh is not what a laugh.

He laughed and we like to laugh and laugh at the right I will bless Sarah she will have a baby and out from her will become nations cadence people shall come from her and Abram said an excellent plan. Thank you very much indeed know know that Abram fell on his face, which is the second time in a space of just a few verses is fallen on his face that Sara begins in chapter 70 he fell on his face and he laughed and he said to himself, shall a child be born to a man who's 100 years old and the obvious answer to the question is absolutely not know know it won't it doesn't. It can go into the next chapter and Sarah's life into more laughter. She overhears the conversation. She's in the tent.

The Lord said, I will surely return to you about this time next year and serial wife shall have a son and Sarah says what she's listening in the tent door and Abram worked the chair were old. They were advanced in years, the way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. We get it. So Sarah laughed herself saying after I am worn out and my Lord is old. Shall I have pleasure we get it. The answer is categorically no no, shall we have a child. He is hundred and 99. Now is the answer to that the answer comes in the form of our second question, which is the second second to the end. In verse 18 and in chapter 14 the Lord said to Abram, why did Sarah laugh and say, shall I indeed bear a child. Now that I'm old.

Here's the question is anything too hard for the Lord is anything too hard for the Lord asked the question, there is nothing that God has purposed to do that he cannot do that, we didn't start at the very beginning. The beginning is actually in the final ineffective verse of Genesis 11 where it says that Sarah was barren.

She had no child. Why do you say she had no child.

Why did you say she was barren. We got it figured out.

We understand what barren means.

Why is it wise the repetition for emphasis. There is no underlining, no capitals. She was barren.

She had no child, so the whole thing is a nonstarter right from the beginning, unless God by the promise of his word fulfills his purposes and actually that's what we read in Hebrews 11.

By faith Sarah herself.

This is the language received power to conceive. She had no power to conceive. Neither did Abraham have power, by means of his own.

She received power to receive even when she was past the age since she considered him faithful who had promised. So another words the answer is simply this, that it is only by God's power that God's purpose is ever fulfilled.

He spoke the world into being by his power, he who is created the universe is able for circumstances like this and the point is so very obvious. If salvation is going to come through the seed of Abraham, then it is going to come slowly on the basis of God's supernatural sovereign power. Now it is another point to some of you already getting off the bus because you say to yourself I really believe in a God begin with and even if I do believe in a God I believe in a cosmic force or I believe in an inner impulse or I believe that God and the earth are interwoven. I'm really a pantheist so you can take me along this line because I can come with you what my friends what is being conveyed here is not actually irrational.

It is super irrational. In other words, you cannot get to it on the basis of intellect alone is only by God's enabling power know what you think about that and you can continue through the story of the Bible you say, but this is a kind of repeating story is not we'd started for Samuel what it would start with we started with a lady and what was her problem. She was barren. She could have a child God gave her a child, he enabled her you get to Zachariah's wife Elizabeth. She's barren, God enables her and she produces John the Baptist, and of course he takes it up a notch thousand eight in Mary because in both of those cases, the husband they give me a call and find out they couldn't but in Mary's case. There's not even to make above, she has no husband and she is a virgin and so she's asking the same question as Sarah shall I be able to do this. She says to the angel, how will this be, since I may virgin. It is impossible apart from the sovereign supernatural power of God, the Holy Spirit will come upon you the power of the most high will overshadow you and interestingly just as an aside, or come to the end. Now, but this is how it is, not only with the gift of physical life as comes to Mary, but it is the same process in relationship to spiritual life. The Bible's description of his is not a group of well-meaning people vaguely religious, who are trying to do their best and that they can keep it up they will eventually be welcomed into his eternal glory know the Bible is much tougher picture than that. The Bible says that we are normally wanderers and where wayward and were selfish but would also dead.

So what is the possibility then of being made alive outside of the sovereign supernatural power of God. When Paul writes in Ephesians, he says it God who is rich in mercy with the great love with which he has left us even when we were dead in our trespasses, made is alive together with Christ, I sent you again this is not a rational.

It is super irrational. You will not come to it by reason alone is not to say it is unreasonable but it is to say that there is ultimately no intellectual road to God, but it is only God wakens as a and grants to his life and gives to us. This enablement so that we find ourselves saying I don't know quite why it is or how it is, but I've started to listen to this. I've started to believe some of this, I believe that I am the person that is being called out here is an amazing thing and you can read of it in relationship to this in Romans chapter 4, but our final question and this I would just raise and leave with you because it is if you like the $64,000 question which comes after the fulfillment of the promise and after the arrival of Isaac right Abraham sees Jesus day in the birth of Isaac. He's been given the name Isaac chapter 17 verse 19 you shall call him Isaac, which sounds a little bite like and you shall call his name Jesus.

Not everybody gets their name given to them by somebody else before they are actually born but you will call his name Isaac, which means he laughs. He laughs as funny in itself is not so here comes. We here comes he laughs. Hey, he laughs, have you made your bed. Hey, he laughs every day. The two of them would look at one another and when they looked in the boiler said you know we left to put any come to chapter 22. You say what in the world is God doing you can wait for all this time to fulfill the promise and give me a son, and then I wake up one morning and he says that's what I want you to do take your son, your only son, the song you love and taken to a place that I'm telling you, and sacrifice him there.

What but I thought we had a promise.

I thought we had a plan.

I thought through the seed that you've given me. We would lead to the one who would provide salvation. How can this be know when you read Old Testament narrative.

Often we as readers know more than what is being discovered by the actual participants in the event we seen that in Samuel and so here we know from the opening verse that God sets out to test Abraham.

He said them out on a test.

The test is not to see if Abram has faith.

Abram has faith he's giving Abram an opportunity to show that the faith that God is engendered in him is the same faith that will enable them to be obedient even in the midst of all these trials and the command of God is unvarnished, it is straightforward this is for you to do.

No benefits attached to it. No explanations given just simply do it. Take your son, your only son. Read the story for yourself early in the morning they set out early in the morning. He was keen not icky couldn't sleep. One of those times when you look at our lawn three or four times ago, while I might as well get up were going to have to go anyway. And as they put things together and they begin to look ahead they could see nothing 45 miles on the third day he will look up and he will see the mountain to which he has been sent the same mountain, on which the temple would be built in the days of Jesus. And as they move towards that with Isaac with the burden of the sticks on his back and with Abram holding the the flint and the knife in his hand. He knows this question is, father. We had a fire we got the stuff, but we don't have the land and Abraham says God himself will provide the land myself, and then it says and it was around caught in the thicket has always troubled me silly city would provide a lamb, then this is a rent and I know you know you know what I think. I think his prophetic word goes beyond Mariah's prophetic word goes right into the cradle in Bethlehem when the shepherds come around and they located in the sea and the stairways and faces are looking in at the scene and one says he just looks like one of our little lap's little did they know it would take John the Baptist to stand up on the stage of history and say if you will look over there, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and here's the story. It's the story in sketch for its charcoal sketch of a dramatic picture.

It is happened in real time. Abram has survived. Isaac is survived, but it is pointing us to the day when God will do with his son.

What Abraham did not have to do with his son because there was a substitute who died in Isaac's place, but on that day God will lead his son out he will lead us on up the hill. It will be on bad son shoulders that the word for the sacrifices born and it will be in the hands of Almighty God, because it was the will of God to bruise him and to pressure what is this love ones. This is the story of salvation.

This is the reality of what is happening and that manger can only be understood in light of the cross.

Amazing love how can it be that thou my God would die for me when I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count Bud Larson for contempt on all my pride love so amazing show divine, demands my soul, my life I'll remind you of God's amazing promise to Abraham. Jesus given to us your listing to Truth for Life with Alistair Begg message called Christmas in Genesis part of our series called Christmas in the beginning, and Alister will be back in just a minute with a closing thought so please keep listening your Truth for Life. We teach the Bible every day of the year with the desire to be both clear and relevant. We do this so that unbelievers can come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, so that those who already believe will gain a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and so that pastors and church members will be encouraged in their ministry. When you donate to Truth for Life. That's the mission you're supporting and when you give a gift of any amount we want to invite you to request a copy of a devotional book called exploring the Bible together. This is a 52 week family worship plan that will help your family establish the regular practice of family devotions teaching the Bible even to our children can be challenging it can be difficult to find the right resource and then to stick with one of the reasons we love the book exploring the Bible together. This is a one year plan that takes you through selected readings from Genesis all the way to Revelation. Don't get nervous. The plan calls for reading just a few verses each day, and it combines the Scripture reading with discussion questions key spiritual lesson and then there's a closing prayer exploring the Bible together helps you lead your kids through God's word and it's perfect if you're a busy parent and you're looking for a way to have quality time in daily worship in our offices are closed today. Our staff's home celebrating the birth of Jesus with family, but you can request your copy of exploring the Bible together when you make a donation online at or by tapping the image you see on the mobile app and with the we can just ahead. Keep in mind you're invited to watch Alister teach from Parkside church each Sunday when the services being streamed live to find out if Alister is teaching this weekend. Check the schedule a now here's Alister with a Christmas greeting will thank you. I think all that remains for me to say this essentially this is good news of great joy for all the people into which we enter personally and which we want to share as widely as we can. And so on behalf of all of us here. I want to wish you a very blessed Christmas wherever you are right now. Particularly, perhaps, if you find yourself alone. How good to be reminded that Emmanuelle is God with us, promising never to leave us or forsake us. True Christmas joy.

Thank you, Alister and Bob Lapine, Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by truth for line Learning is for Living

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