[8] Abrahamic Covenant
Steve McKenzie

Series: Story of God
Scripture: Genesis 15
Preacher: Steve McKenzie

Sermon Summary

In today’s message, we explored the profound narrative of God’s covenant with Abram in Genesis 15, which serves as a cornerstone for understanding the nature of faith and God’s unwavering faithfulness throughout history. We began by reflecting on God’s interaction with humanity, from creation to the spread of sin and His response of justice and mercy. We then focused on Abram, whom God chose to be a blessing to all nations.

Abram’s story is about a man who chose to believe in God’s promises despite uncertainties and the passage of time. We delved into the moment when God reassured Abram not to be afraid, for He is his shield, and his reward will be great. This was a pivotal moment in which Abram’s internal struggle with fear and doubt was met with God’s affirmation of protection and promise.

We examined the significance of God’s covenant with Abram, particularly the moment when God instructed Abram to bring animals for a sacrifice. This scene, marked by a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passing between the divided animals, symbolizes God’s commitment to His promises. Unlike typical covenants where both parties would walk between the pieces, God alone moved through them, signifying that He alone was responsible for fulfilling the covenant.

This covenantal act points to the heart of the gospel: that we are saved by faith in a faithful God who is sufficient in Himself to save us. It is not our faith’s magnitude but our faith’s object—God Himself—that secures our salvation. This truth is echoed in the New Testament, where we are reminded that even if we are faithless, God remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

As we closed with a responsive reading from Psalm 36, we were reminded of God’s faithful love that reaches to the heavens and His righteousness that is over the upright in heart. Our hope is not based on the amount of our faith or our own goodness, but on God’s faithfulness and the righteousness credited to us through faith in Jesus Christ.

Key Takeaways:

– God’s covenant with Abram in Genesis 15 is a powerful illustration of His commitment to His promises, independent of human effort or merit. This covenant is a precursor to the New Covenant established through Jesus Christ, where God’s faithfulness is the foundation of our salvation. [49:33]

– Faith is the vehicle that transports the knowledge of God’s faithfulness from our minds to our hearts. It allows us to trust in God’s promises even when our emotions and circumstances suggest otherwise. Faith is not about the quantity but the quality of trust in God’s character and His word. [37:30]

– The story of Abram challenges us to confront our own fears and doubts with the certainty of God’s promises. When we feel inadequate or question our faith, we must remember that our relationship with God is not contingent on our performance but on His grace and righteousness given to us through faith. [38:09]

– Questions and doubts are a natural part of the faith journey. Like Abram, we can bring our questions to God with a heart turned toward Him. Engaging with a community of believers who are also seeking God’s truth can help us navigate our uncertainties and grow in our faith. [28:59]

– The act of God passing through the divided animals alone is a profound demonstration of His grace. It signifies that God’s promises are based solely on His willingness and ability to fulfill them, assuring us that our salvation is secure in Him, not in our ability to uphold our end of the covenant. [36:00]