6th Sunday after TRINITY, 11 July 2021 Anno Domini, THE Anglican orthodox Communion Worldwide
Prayer of Collect Sixth Sunday after Trinity
O GOD, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:13-25)
I hope to enlighten our hearts today on that great faith that has been the seal and signature of true Christian believers from Abraham to the present day. God has not changed His ‘modus operandi’ from the beginning until our time, and that plan and work of God will remain inviolate even until the last trump is sounded. The modern church professes a faith that reflects modern social values, giving the modern-day mores of society greater weight than the clear Word of God especially as it relates to sins that suddenly become “acceptable.”
The Prayer of Collect for this day stresses a very distinct and singular element of our faith – LOVE! Love of God has a fundamental dependence upon FAITH. If we do not know or believe that someone, or something, exists, love for that person or thing cannot exist. Of course we could further narrow the field to a’ person’ since we cannot truly love a ‘thing’ though we may be very fond of it. Our degree of love for God is directly proportional to our degree of faith. The greater the faith, the more intense the love!
Since the fall of our Primal Parents in the Garden at Eden, God’s provision for our salvation has ALWAYS been by the way of grace qualified by Love. Even before the fall, God’s provision was the same. He gave our first parents a choice – grace or law. They chose law and, being imperfect, could not satisfy righteousness thereby. So the first death occurred when God found it necessary to slay an innocent animal (probably a lamb) to cover their nakedness in the Garden. That covering was a precursor of the covering exemplified in the Lamb of God sacrificed from before the foundation of the world for our sins. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:8)
In the process of time, God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations who would believe by grace through faith – not the Jewish nation alone, but true Israel that would bear the fruits of faith instead of reliance upon their own righteousness under the law. The old nation-state of Israel was not that spiritual Israel embodied by the faith and promise made to Abraham and his spiritual progeny. From the passing of Abraham to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, there had been two streams of Israel: the one that vainly sought to achieve righteousness through the dictates of the law and good works, and those who looked forward to the Redeemer to satisfy their salvation through the law of Grace and not works. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Abraham and Sarah were well up in years when Sarah conceived by way of the miraculous intercession of God. God had PROMISED a son and when all things are impossible for man to satisfy a promise of God, God will intervene to bring about the fulfillment. Abraham was near 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born. Isaac, therefore, was the son of promise through which the blessings of God, in mercy and grace, would be extended to all who believed the greater Promise of the coming Savior. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
It was not the blood that flowed through the veins of Abraham that promised his salvation, but the faith he possessed in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to redeem him and all who believed in that promise of God fulfilled in Christ. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to Go. It has forever been the case. God does not choose a people for His own contingent upon their bloodlines, but their faith-lines. Therefore, out of every nation, tongue and tribe we see the true seal of faith – the true descendants of Abraham by faith. This is the true Israel decided by faith and not bloodlines. The Christian faith of Abraham was a tremendous faith because it presumed the coming event to which we look back upon by faith and empirical evidence. Any person, or persons, who renounce the Son will have no part with God. Abraham, my friends, was a Christian whose faith exceeds that of the common mold today. Many churches today flatly refute this truth in their teaching. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (John 8:56) The true doctrine of salvation was held by Abraham and all true seed of promise from then until now. Moses too was a member of our Christian faith: This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt. (Acts 7:38-39)
Remember that Isaac was the son of Promise of immediate grant of God, but that same Isaac was a fore-shadow of the true Seed of Promise realized in the only Begotten Son of God. When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son whom he loved, God withheld the dagger on the altar and promised to provide “…Himself a Lamb for the sacrifice.” Isaac was a type and figure of the greater sacrifice to come. My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (Gen 22:8 – KJV) It is interesting to note how the corrupt NIV blurs the distinction of the Lamb as God Himself: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Gen 22:8) Will God provide Himself to be a lamb for the offering, or just some old ordinary lamb? The hostility toward Christ as the Son of God is everywhere evidenced in these newer versions based on inferior manuscript evidence.
So who is Israel? Is the Israel of God determined by blood and DNA? Or is it by the DNA of faith? The True Seed is Christ. Abraham himself was a foreshadow of the same. All who are born again are born into the promises of Christ: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Gal 3:16) Let us allow Paul, in the Book of Romans to clarify the full promise of God: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (Romans 9:6-8) This flies in the face of worldly religion, and men – even clergy – are constantly laboring to make the Word of God conform to their worldview instead of amending their own worldview to conform to the Word of God.
If you have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are indeed the children of Abraham and the children of true Israel today. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb 13:8) Jesus was not only the same one day ago, but all yesterdays and an eternity of yesterdays. He was the same in whom Father Abraham placed his faith, and the same Lord in whom we trust today and forever after. Just as our Lord suffered and died for our sins, and arose the third day, so shall all who believe in His promise of salvation be raised likewise from the grave and ascend with Him. Do you have that faith in the Seed of Abraham – the Lord Jesus Christ?