Text: Galatians 3:7-16; Genesis 12, 15, 17
Similarly, a seed reminds me of God’s promise to humanity. A promise of redemption and saving grace. This seed—this time an offspring—was already told as early as Genesis 3:15 with Adam and Eve. Then once again, a covenant is given to Abraham by God.
The Abrahamic Covenant started in the call of Abram in Genesis 12. In verse 2 of chapter 12, we know that God told Abraham that he will have a great nation and will be a blessing to the whole world. It states, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
This was echoed in chapter 13 verses 14 to 16, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.” Take note, in here, that the offspring or the promised seed is in a singular form.
Fast forward we know that this promise became true in and through Christ. The spiritual adoption made us part of this covenant family of Abraham. How and when? We will see that later on.
I. Covenant Provided
The establishment of God’s covenant became official in Genesis 15. Remember that in a covenant, two parties are signing a contract or agreement. God and Abraham representing the chosen people made a covenant with each other. The covenant was ratified after the provision of cutting the animals in halves and passing through those carcasses. That is how a covenant is made.
This is true in 2 Cor. 5:18-19, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
Indeed, God has provided His covenant for Abraham and his people to be hopeful. Looking back at the history of Christianity, Israelites, and the faithful remnants of Abraham, they all waited faithfully for the coming Messiah. Of course, many drifted away and worshipped other gods. Why? Because of the Fall, it becomes intrinsic for humanity to unlike waiting. We are impatient.
II. Covenant Expected (Waiting Game)
But most of the time, when God tells us to wait, He also intends us to be faithful in Him. That, no matter what happens, in any circumstances, God calls us to be hopeful. We ought to stay still, wait on God, pause, and pray.
Other than the busyness of our lives, we tend to forget how God shapes us at the very moment of our waiting. Our problem is we always want to skip the process. Bro. JR and I have been watching historical war movies. I realized that—and I am echoing Ptr. Jebo Banzuelo— “When there are no battles, there are no victories.” We tend to drift away from the process and looking for shortcuts.
God is working in beneath our hearts. Setting foundations for more potential growth. Don’t just focus on our growing outwardly, instead start by growing inward, deeper in His Word. (Like building a house, we need a foundation first).
Despite the presence of instant gratification that is crippling in our culture, we Christians should model how to wait. Remember that waiting is not doing anything. I realized that “to wait” is actually a verb. Meaning, an action word. Waiting is doing something. It is actively waiting. Likewise, when we wait upon the Lord’s coming, we actively wait for it. We do something as we wait.
III. Covenant Fulfilled
Through learning the covenants of Creation and Noah, we know that God is faithful and true to His words. This gives us an assurance that God will fulfill His promise just as how He remembers it very well.
The fulfillment of the covenant in Genesis chapter 17 verses 4-6 is found in Galatians 3 and Romans 4. “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.”
As I end, let us read the last verses in chapter 3 of Galatians, “26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
The promised seed is Jesus Christ. The promised covenant family or Abraham’s descendants is the Church—followers of Christ. Amen? Same as how Abraham—later Isaac and Jacob, waited for the promised seed, let us also be faithful in waiting for the coming of Christ. As we wait, let us participate in God’s kingdom.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
June 6, 2021
*This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.