Sunday, 28th June 10.30am Sunday Club Family Service

WELCOME

HYMN 258 Holy holy, holy holy

1Holy, holy, holy, holy,

holy, holy, Lord God almighty!

And we lift our hearts before You

as a token of our love:

holy, holy, holy, holy.

2Gracious Father, gracious Father,

we’re so glad to be Your children, gracious Father;

as we lift our heads before You

as a token of our love,

gracious Father, gracious Father.

3Precious Jesus, precious Jesus,

we’re so glad that You’ve redeemed us, precious Jesus;

and we lift our hands before You

as a token of our love,

precious Jesus, precious Jesus.

4Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,

come and fill our hearts anew, Holy Spirit! –

and we lift our voice before You

as a token of our love,

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit.

5Hallelujah, hallelujah,

hallelujah, hallelujah –

and we lift our hearts before You

as a token of our love,

hallelujah, hallelujah.

CHILDREN’S TALK and S. CLUB BOOK PRESENTATION

READING GENESIS 17

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 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; your name will be Abraham, 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. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

SERMON Blessing for the Nations

This morning we will see that God always had plans for the blessing of the whole world. And that blessing would come through Abram’s family!

The 17th chapter has a simple pattern — vv 1-8 Abram’s name is changed, 9-14 the law of circumcision is established, 15-22 Sarai’s name is changed, 23-27 the law of circumcision is carried out.

One of the key words of the chapter must be Covenant. Twelve times the word crops up — and innine of these God calls it MY covenant. The whole OT is about the Covenant (or promise) of God — it is the theme which underlies almost every page.

Look at the names used of God in these early verses. In verse I. He is the LORD (Yahweh) — the covenant God — the God of promises, and later in this 1st verse He is revealed as God Almighty (El Shadai) the God Who is all powerful — in vs 3 God’s name is given as elohim. Thiswe may take to refer to Him as the King over ALL the nations.

As to Abram’s and Sarai’s new names, they both reflect their faithfulness to God. They also point to the new destiny and mission that awaits them as the parents of God’s Covenant people.

What was Abram’s task in all these years of waiting?

God tells him (vs 1) Walk before me and be blameless.

Each of the three partners in the Covenant had obligations laid upon them — always depending on God’s help, of course:

4-8 as for ME. (God)

9-14 as for YOU (Abraham)

15-16 as for Sarah

vs 5 we read that God will make Abraham the father of many nations,

See what the Psalmist says (Ps 87:4-6)

Ps 87:4 “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me – Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush – and will say, This one was born in Zion.'” Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.” PS 87.6 The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”

Selah

The spiritual significance of this comes out most

clearly in the NT — e.g. Rom 4:16,17

RO 4.16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

And in Galatians 3:15-19, this theme is developed a little by Paul. We are meant to see that Abraham is the father of ALL God’s faithful — ourselves included!

Now we need to look a little at this new rite of circumcision.

They had the privilege of being born into God’s Covenant people — they were, from birth, the apple of God’s eye, His special chosen ones. But equally, that came with the responsibility of living as children of the King of kings — walking blameless lives — lives with a mission to reach out to all the world. Gen 12:3 — ALL the nations were to be blessed through the Israelites — their mission & their destiny.

Now, that raises for us the connection between circumcision and baptism. Paul in Col 2:11,12 brings these two rites together:

“In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Baptism speaks of what GOD has done rather than what WE are doing I

Abraham and Sarah would have many significant descendants — but everything pointed to just this one King — the King of righteousness and Prince of Peace. He it is we worship today : Jesus Christ – OUR KING.

PRAYER

HYMN 3465His Name is wonderful

1His name is Wonderful,

His name is Wonderful,

His name is Wonderful,

Jesus my Lord.

He is the mighty King,

Master of everything,

His name is Wonderful,

Jesus my Lord.

2He’s the great Shepherd,

The Rock of all ages,

Almighty God is He.

Bow down before Him,

Love and adore Him,

His name is Wonderful,Jesus my Lord.

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