All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

Walking by faith

Dear Friends,
It has been very interesting to follow the life of Abram as he learns what it means to live and walk by faith. In Genesis 17:1-27 God comes to Abram and institutes the covenant of circumcision. The relationship with Abram has already been established by God’s call in Genesis 12 and then in Genesis 15 this call is reinforced by God reassuring Abram through a promise and a covenant ceremony where the Lord takes responsibility and will pay the cost to ensure that the covenant is kept. Importantly Abram believes the Lord and is credited as being righteous. Faith in God’s promises is the basis of being right with God. Now in Genesis 17 God reveals more of Himself to Abram and His purposes for Abram and also his responsibilities. IN 17:1 God uses a new name for Himself which is God Almighty. This revelation reveals His power and ability to make the covenant happen. God confirms the original promise that He will greatly increase Abram’s descendants and his name is changed from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of multitudes). Sarai which means princess is changed to Sarah which also means princess and these new names are appropriate because God promises that kings will be numbered amongst their descendants - 17:6. God then tells Abraham that He expects obedience and that every male in Abraham’s family will be circumcised. This is a sign of the covenant and it is interesting that it involves blood.The importance of blood for our entrance into the covenant is a huge and central theme which develops in the Bible. We see the need for the sacrificial system in Israel which climaxes in Jesus’ death and shed blood. Abraham immediately obeys the Lord. The covenant of circumcision was a sign that Abraham and his family belong to God. We know that in the New Testament Paul says that the sign of the covenant of circumcision is fulfilled in the circumcision of the heart - see Romans 2:29. This is what the message of Jesus’ death for our sins does as the Spirit works in us and as we respond in faith. Our hearts are set apart for the Lord and by faith we obey Him as His saved children. The sequence of Genesis is important and it teaches us that God’s promise of salvation comes first and that obedience is a response of faith. At the 5pm service we continue our series on 1John (tonight 1 Jon 1:5-2:2) and John teaches that those who are God’s children walk in the light of God’s Word and truth. It is expected that as we follow Jesus He will expose areas of sinfulness and we are to bring these to Jesus and repent of them and seek His forgiveness and cleansing. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara