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Posts Tagged ‘method of interpretation’


This Sunday I’ll be preaching on Genesis 17.  It is a great passage, filled with a great many promises (as Paul Tripp calls gospel comfort).  It is also filled with the call to a newness of life (as Tripp calls gospel call).  God promises not solely justifying grace, but also sanctifying grace.

“walk before me and be blameless”

There is a great expansion of the promise, including identifying Sarah as the mother of the child of promise.  We see here the progress of revelation.  God didn’t just drop a revelatory bomb on Abraham.  He revealed his promises in pieces.  We do well to keep this in mind.

One of the phrases that comes up repeatedly is “you and your offspring”.  He will not only be Abraham’s God, but the God of his offspring (except Ishmael, which was surely a struggle for Abraham’s soul).  The covenant is not just for Abraham but his offspring.  The covenant sign was not just for Abraham, but for his offspring.  Sounds very similar to Peter’s statement in Acts 2:

37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”  (ESV)

If we take Genesis 17, as well as Paul’s discussion of this in Romans 4 [he calls circumcision the sign that justification is by faith, not bloodline or obedience], seriously, we see that God calls the children of the covenant to faith in the promise through the covenant sign (see some of the books below, and my comments.  Our method of interpretation is what drives the differences in our understanding of baptism).

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