Second Sunday in Lent – February 25, 2018

Texts for the Day

The Abrahamic Covenant

This is week two of the five-week series on covenants. This week we cover the covenant with Abraham. Read Genesis 17:1-14 (slightly different verses than the lection) and see if you can identify the five components of a convenient.

  • Suzerain: God
  • Vassal: Abraham and his descendants
  • Provisions: Abraham will be the ancestor of many nations.
  • Stipulations: None
  • Sign: Circumcision

There are many things that could be said about this covenant. This week, let us focus on the New Testament interpretation of this covenant. Read Romans 4. This is Paul’s commentary on the story of Abraham. There is a lot going on here, but focus on the following two points.

  • Abraham received God’s righteousness through his faith, not anything he did. Abraham received the covenant before he was circumcised, and the law was still centuries in the future.
  • Through Jesus, we share in the promise of God that was made through Abraham.

However, not all early Christians agreed with this view. Read James 2:20-24. This appears to be a direct rebuttal to Romans 4.

Questions for reflection:

  • What do you think of this? How would you interpret the Abrahamic covenant?
  • What does it mean to be the recipient of an unconditional promise of God? How should it affect the way you live your life?

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