Message Three: The Seed for the Fulfillment of God’s Purpose
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  • 2013-12-29,
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JL    Hymns  538, 403
 
Scripture Reading: Gen. 12:7; 13:15-16; 15:2-6; Gal. 3:7, 16, 29; Rom. 3:24; 4:2-5
Gen 12:7        And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, To your seed I will give this land. And there he built an altar to Jehovah who had appeared to him.
Gen 13:15      For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed forever.
Gen 13:16      And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed can also be numbered.
Gen 15:2        And Abram said, O Lord Jehovah, what will You give me, for I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?
Gen 15:3        And Abram said, Since You have given me no seed, therefore, a servant in my house is my heir.
Gen 15:4        But then the word of Jehovah came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who will come out from your own body shall be your heir.
Gen 15:5        And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be.
Gen 15:6        And he believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness.
Gal 3:7           Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham.
Gal 3:16         But to Abraham were the promises spoken and to his seed. He does not say, And to the seeds, as concerning many, but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
Rom 3:24       Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom 4:2         For if Abraham was justified out of works, he has something to boast in, but not before God.
Rom 4:3         For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
Rom 4:4         Now to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due.
Rom 4:5         But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness.
 
 
I.     For the fulfillment of His purpose God must have the seed— Gen. 12:7; 13:15-16; 15:3, 5:
Gen 12:7        And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, To your seed I will give this land. And there he built an altar to Jehovah who had appeared to him.
Gen 13:15      For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed forever.
Gen 13:16      And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed can also be numbered.
Gen 15:3        And Abram said, Since You have given me no seed, therefore, a servant in my house is my heir.
Gen 15:5        And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be.
A.     The seed is first the individual Christ and then the corporate Christ, composed of Christ as the Head and all the believers as the Body— Gal. 3:16, 29; 1 Cor. 12:12.
Gal 3:16         But to Abraham were the promises spoken and to his seed. He does not say, And to the seeds, as concerning many, but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
B.     As the seed of Abraham, Christ became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit so that the believers in Christ, who are Abraham’s seed, may inherit the consummated Spirit, the consummation of the processed Triune God, as their divine inheritance—their divine blessing for eternity—15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 3:14, 29; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:14a.
1 Cor 15:45b  … the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
2 Cor 3:17      And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Gal 3:14         In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
Acts 26:18     To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.
Eph 1:14a      Who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, …
C.     Christ is the unique seed of Abraham; in God’s eyes, Abraham has only one seed, that is, Christ— Gen. 12:7a; 13:15; 21:12; 22:17; Gal. 3:16b:
Gen 12:7a      And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, To your seed I will give this land. …
Gen 13:15      For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed forever.
Gen 21:12      And God said to Abraham, Do not be displeased on account of the boy and on account of your maidservant. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her voice, for in Isaac shall your seed be called.
Gen 22:17      I will surely bless you and will greatly multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
Gal 3:16b       … but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
1.      Christ is the seed, and the seed is the heir who inherits the promises—v. 16.
Gal 3:16         But to Abraham were the promises spoken and to his seed. He does not say, And to the seeds, as concerning many, but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
2.      Christ is not only the seed who inherits the promises but also the blessing of the promises to be inherited by us.
D.     As the seed of Abraham, Christ in His humanity was crucified and became a curse on our behalf, being forsaken by God, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit as the greatest blessing—vv. 13-14.
Gal 3:13         Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, "Cursed is everyone hanging on a tree";
Gal 3:14         In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
E.      As the seed of Abraham, Christ became not only our Redeemer and Savior but also the life-giving Spirit; the life-giving Spirit— the Spirit as the consummation of the processed Triune God— is a transfigured descendant of Abraham—v. 16; 1 Cor. 15:45b.
Gal 3:16         But to Abraham were the promises spoken and to his seed. He does not say, And to the seeds, as concerning many, but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
1 Cor 15:45b  … the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
F.      In order to be the seed of Abraham, we must be in Christ and be one with Christ— Gal. 3:29:
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
1.      Since Abraham has only one seed—Christ—to be Abraham’s seed we must be of Christ, be a part of Christ.
2.      Because we are one with Christ, the unique seed, we too are Abraham’s seed.
G.     On the one hand, the seed is the One who fulfills the promise; on the other hand, the seed is those who enjoy the promise, which has been fulfilled—vv. 16, 29:
Gal 3:16         But to Abraham were the promises spoken and to his seed. He does not say, And to the seeds, as concerning many, but as concerning one: "And to your seed," who is Christ.
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
1.      In the matter of fulfilling the promise, we have no part; only Christ, the unique seed, is qualified to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham.
2.      In the matter of enjoying the fulfilled promise, the seed becomes many—the many sons of Abraham—v. 7:
Gal 3:7           Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham.
a.      In order to enjoy the fulfilled promise, we must be one with Christ—1 Cor. 6:17.
1 Cor 6:17      But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.
b.      Outside of Christ, we cannot enjoy the fulfillment of the promise given by God to Abraham.
c.      For fulfillment, the seed is one; for enjoyment, the seed includes all those who believe in Christ— John 3:15-16.
John 3:15       That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 3:16       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
 
II.   Through faith in Christ Jesus, the unique seed, we are all sons of God and sons of Abraham—Gal. 3:7, 26, 29:
Gal 3:7           Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham.
Gal 3:26         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29         And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
A.    Faith in Christ makes the New Testament believers sons of God, a relationship altogether in life — 4:7; Rom. 8:14; Heb. 2:10:
Gal 4:7           So then you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, an heir also through God.
Rom 8:14       For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Heb 2:10        For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
1.      Faith in Christ brings us into Christ, making us one with Christ, in whom is the sonship— John 3:15-16.
John 3:15       That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 3:16       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
2.      We must be identified with Christ through faith so that in Him we may be sons of God.
3.      When we believed into Christ, the divine life with the divine nature —in fact, the Divine Being of the Triune God Himself—entered into us, and we were born of God to become sons of God—vv. 15-16, 6; 1 John 3:1.
John 3:15       That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 3:16       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
John 3:6        That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
1 John 3:1      Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and we are. Because of this the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
B.     Our true status is that in Christ and by the organic union we are both sons of God and sons of Abraham— Gal. 3:26, 7:
Gal 3:26         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:7           Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham.
1.      Christ is the sphere in which this takes place —1 Cor. 1:30; John 15:4-5.
1 Cor 1:30      But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
John 15:4       Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5       I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
2.      We and Christ have been joined in a marvelous organic union; because of this union, we are sons of God and sons of Abraham—1 Cor. 6:17.
1 Cor 6:17      But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.
 
III.  “The word of Jehovah came to him, saying,…[He] who will come out from your own body shall be your heir. And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be”—Gen. 15:4-5:
A.     The seed needed for the fulfillment of God’s purpose could not be anything that Abraham already possessed (Eliezer—v. 2) or could produce out of himself (Ishmael—16:15).
Gen 15:2        And Abram said, O Lord Jehovah, what will You give me, for I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?
Gen 16:15      And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
B.     Only that which God worked into Abraham could bring forth from Abraham the required seed.
C.     Likewise, only what God works into us through His grace can bring forth Christ as the seed to fulfill God’s purpose — Gal. 1:16; 2:20; 4:19; Eph. 3:17; Phil. 2:13.
Gal 1:16         To reveal His Son in me that I might announce Him as the gospel among the Gentiles, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood,
Gal 2:20         I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Gal 4:19         My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Phil 2:13        For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure.
D.     In order to fulfill God’s purpose, we need to receive God’s grace so that Christ can be wrought into us as the seed— John 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:10.
John 1:16       For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
1 Cor 15:10    But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me did not turn out to be in vain, but, on the contrary, I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.
 
IV.  Abraham “believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness”—Gen. 15:6; cf. Gal. 3:6; Rom. 4:2-3:
Gen 15:6        And he believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness.
Gal 3:6           Even as "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
Rom 4:2         For if Abraham was justified out of works, he has something to boast in, but not before God.
Rom 4:3         For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
A.     Believing God was Abraham’s spontaneous reaction to God’s repeated appearing to him; his believing was the springing up within him of the element that God had transfused into him—Acts 7:2; Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-17.
Acts 7:2         And he said, Men, brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,
Gen 12:1        Now Jehovah said to Abram, Go from your land / And from your relatives / And from your father's house / To the land that I will show you;
Gen 12:2        And I will make of you a great nation, / And I will bless you / And make your name great; / And you shall be a blessing.
Gen 12:3        And I will bless those who bless you, / And him who curses you I will curse; / And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
Gen 13:14      And Jehovah said to Abram after Lot had separated from him, Now lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;
Gen 13:15      For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed forever.
Gen 13:16      And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed can also be numbered.
Gen 13:17      Rise up; walk through the land according to its length and its breadth, for I will give it to you.
B.     In Genesis 15:6 Abraham did not believe God to obtain outward blessings for his own existence; he believed that God was able to work something into him to bring forth a seed out of his own being for the fulfillment of God’s purpose:
Gen 15:6        And he believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness.
1.      This kind of faith is precious to God and is accounted by Him as righteousness—Rom. 4:3.
Rom 4:3         For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
2.      Abraham was justified by such a faith—vv. 2, 5.
Rom 4:2         For if Abraham was justified out of works, he has something to boast in, but not before God.
Rom 4:5         But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness.
C.     God’s reaction to Abraham’s believing was to justify him, that is, to account him as righteous— Gen. 15:6:
Gen 15:6        And he believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness.
1.      Abraham believed God’s word in a definite way, and God accounted it to him as righteousness—Rom. 4:2-5.
Rom 4:2         For if Abraham was justified out of works, he has something to boast in, but not before God.
Rom 4:3         For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
Rom 4:4         Now to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due.
Rom 4:5         But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness.
2.      God’s justification is not a reward (wages) for our good works (labor); it is grace freely given to us through Christ’s redemption—3:24; 4:4:
Rom 3:24       Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom 4:4         Now to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due.
a.      Since God’s justification is reckoned according to His grace, it is not based on or according to our works— vv. 4-5.
Rom 4:4         Now to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due.
Rom 4:5         But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness.
b.      Our works can by no means replace God’s grace; God’s grace must be absolute —3:24.
Rom 3:24       Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
3.      For God to justify Abraham means that God was happy with Abraham and that Abraham was in harmony with God.
D.     Abraham’s being justified by God was not related to sin; rather, it was for the gaining of a seed to produce a kingdom that will inherit the world— 4:3, 13:
Rom 4:3         For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."
Rom 4:13       For it was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham or to his seed that he would be the heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.
1.      Romans 4 indicates that justification is not merely for us to be delivered out of God’s condemnation but even more for God to gain many sons to constitute the Body of Christ as the kingdom of God for the fulfillment of His purpose—8:29-30; 12:4-5; 14:17.
Rom 4           (be omitted.)
Rom 8:29       Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
Rom 8:30       And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 14:17     For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
2.      Justification enables Abraham and all his believing heirs to inherit the world and to exercise the dominion of God on earth— 4:13.
Rom 4:13       For it was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham or to his seed that he would be the heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.
3.      The purpose of God’s justification is to have a reproduction of Christ in millions of saints, who become the members of His Body; the Body then becomes the kingdom of God on earth—12:4-5; 14:17.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 14:17     For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
 
 
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