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The Call Of Abram Part 2
© 11.18.18 D. Eric Williams

This article appeared in the November 21 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle

Perhaps the most important concept we should grasp from Genesis 12:1-3 is the idea of the new creation. Throughout Scripture we see that covenant and creation are tied together. Moreover, we see that the blessings of covenant with God are intended to be mediated by the covenant head. Adam and Eve were told to take dominion which was a process of extending the borders of Eden throughout the earth (Walton, 186). Noah was the covenant had of a new beginning and had a commission similar to Adam's. And here, Abram is the "new Adam" of a new covenant. Therefore, it is necessary for God to "create a new being who will serve as a mediator of God's blessings to 'all the families of the earth.'" (Och 1988, 343). In a very real sense this is exactly what God did. To call Abram away from his family was to make him a "no man." When Abram was called to sever all ties with his family, "the command is more than a test of obedience; it is a sign of Abram's entrance into a new realm of being reminiscent of God's original intention for mankind. ...Having obeyed God's command Abram becomes "a man without a country, kindred or parental ties - a Man without a past."(Och, 343). Truly, "Abram has been reduced to a kind of 'non-being' out of which he will be re-created by the command of God, refashioned in the 'image of God.'" (Och, 343). It is only by entering into this process of new creation that the covenant promises are made available to Abram.

When Jesus commissioned the twelve disciples to go out and preach in his name, one of the things he told them was, "If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine." (Matthew 10:37). In another place, Jesus said, "everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29). In truth, this is the same thing Yahweh told Abram. He said, you must love me more than your family and home and if you do, I will give you an even greater family and home. Hence, we should expect to enjoy the same blessings of Abram. After all, Jesus is the ultimate new covenant head, the eschaton Adam. And "now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you" (Galatians 3:29). Indeed, "believers are individually God's sons and collectively the true offspring of Abraham. They are God's sons since by faith they have been incorporated into Christ, the son of God, and they are collectively the true seed of Abraham since, by virtue of their faith union with Christ, they are one person in him who is the true issue of Abraham." (Fung 1988, 177).

Each of us is called by God to separate from our past life of sin and rebellion against the Lord. We are called to turn our back on familiar sin in favor of the promise of life and life more abundantly. And God is true to his promise. If we lose family because of our commitment to Jesus Christ, we are provided with family yet again in the Body, the church of our Lord. If we suffer economic loss because of our commitment to Jesus, we know he provides for our needs in this life as we seek first the kingdom (Matthew 6:33) - and we have the promise of treasures in heaven and the confidence of eternity (Matthew 6:19-21 and more).

Our challenge is to be true sons and daughters of Abram. Even in our new life in Christ we will find there are times we must choose to turn away from things that displease the Lord or things that hold us back from a greater commitment to him. As true children of Abram, as true followers of Jesus, let us turn away from all things contrary to our new life in Christ and follow him into the promised blessings. Amen.

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