An Expression of His Grace

The drama of Scripture is initiated and unveiled by displaying God as the Creator of the heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1). As Creator, God holds complete authorship, authority, and rule over all creation. The creation account is unpacked in detail in the first two chapters of Genesis. Out of all creation, Adam and Eve were made in a distinct and unique way—according to God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6). They were designed and fashioned to reflect His character, attributes, and dominion over all the earth.

In the second chapter of Genesis, we read of a tragic event—the fall of mankind. This happened due to man’s disobedience and rebellion. The following chapters unfold three major events that display man’s failure and sinful nature—the fall, the flood, and the Tower of Babel. These major events occured as a result of man’s sin and its curse that was brought upon humanity and the earth as a whole. But there’s great news, the story does not end there. God, by His infinite mercy, would bring an anecdote to sin and provide a remedy for His people.

Primeval History (Genesis 1-11) demonstrated that man’s intentions were (and still are) evil and wicked (Gen. 6:5; 8:21). The only hope for humanity was for God to do something—to intervene and rescue them. The Creator of the universe is by nature, a savior and a redeemer. Once again He would show His infinite and unconditional love by bringing a solution to the problem—salvation for the people. We get a glimpse of the ‘gospel’ or good news in Genesis 3:15, where God promises redemption through Eve’s seed.

The next key character that would play an important role in the redemptive plan of God is a man called Abram (Gen. 11:27). God displays His grace by selecting Abram—a Babylonian gentile from an idolatrous family (Josh. 24:2). Abram was not a godly person at all, for he was born and raised in a polytheistic culture and society.

Out of all the people God could have chosen, Abram was the last person fit for the job, but God chose him to be an instrument of His purpose and plan. God’s missionary plan of salvation would involve establishing a covenant, or a binding agreement with Abram, whose name changed later to Abraham for specific and obvious reasons. Abraham would be an important contributor to God’s missionary plan.

The Abrahamic covenant is in fact one of the most important themes in Scripture. God’s plan of salvation has its roots and beginnings in this covenant. It’s no mere coincidence that Abraham gets a greater portion in Genesis. Abraham is the main character and patriarch in the spotlight of chapters 12-24. The Abrahamic covenant is the seed which gives birth to the central message and story of the nation of Israel. The foundational truth of the Pentateuch is developed and orchestrated through the lenses of the Abrahamic covenant. Its message and significance is carried throughout the Old and New Testaments.

The Abrahamic covenant is referred to, pointed back to, often quoted, mentioned, and reflected upon, in many places and by various authors in the biblical narrative. It’s essential, for our understanding of the Abrahamic covenant, to develop a biblical theology of it in order to grasp its magnitude, weight, and immense value in the whole canon of Scripture.

The choosing and electing of any individual throughout Scripture, was not due to his or her good looks or good deeds; they were chosen by the grace of God to be world changers in their time and culture. Abraham did not deserve to be saved and used by God, and yet again, neither do you and I.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

Let’s live each day in light of God’s inexplicable grace. Let’s remember who we once were, what we used be enslaved to, and where God saved us from. May we be conduits and instruments in the hands of God to carry on this legacy of grace to the ends of the world.

By His grace,
Jonnathan Menendez

Abraham: A Key Figure in God’s Redemption

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Man’s real meaning for existence was to have a relationship with God and to live his standard of perfect living. Unfortunately that is not what happens. The fall of man occurs due to his disobedience to God. Three major events in Genesis that demonstrate man’s failure and sinful nature are: the fall, the flood, and the tower of Babel.

The original couple, progenitors of the ​whole human race, failed the test of obedience that God had designed for them. ​Because they yielded to the temptation of the tempter in Eden, a curse fell not ​only Adam and Eve, but also on the ground, its products, the created order, and all ​humanity. (Walt Kaiser, Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations, 16)

So man sins and there is curse brought upon humanity and creation. The story does not end there. God would bring an anecdote to the curse. We get a first look at the “gospel” the good news in Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Here’s a guarantee that this coming Man of promise, from the male descendants of Eve, would bring the remedy to save humanity from its bondage to the curse brought by sin.

The next step in the redemptive process God would choose a man named Abraham from a city called Ur in Babylon. The missionary plan is once again displayed when God made a covenant with Abraham.

God promises to Abraham three things: land, descendants, and blessings. God said to Abraham:

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 in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)

God calls Abraham to leave everything he has and follow God by faith alone. This is the beginning of the most important mission of God to bless the nations. God promises redemption to mankind.

The Old Testament is centered on this promise and is it fulfilled in the New Testament coming of the Messiah. Jesus Christ is the one who brings the remedy to the curse brought by man’s sin. Thus he delivers humanity from sin’s bondage and starts a new creation.

What God started in Abraham, he finished in Christ by bringing salvation to the world—ultimately blessing all the families of the earth.

Reflection
Abraham was a man of faith. He trusted God his life, his material belongings, and his future. Ultimately, God used Abraham in a great way.

Put your faith and trust in God today and be part of his mission—to bless all the families of the earth by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ!