SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Monday October 7, 1996

God's Covenant with Abraham
(Gen. 15:1-18; 17:1-14)

At the heart of God's covenant with Abraham was a revelation of the Messiah's sacrifice for the sins of the world. (Compare Heb. 9:13-15.)

On what basis did God count Abraham righteous? Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-3.

As "the father of all those who believe" (Rom. 4:1 1, NKJV), Abraham received God's righteousness. Complete trust in God is the power behind the religious experience of the church and each believer. God's true followers are those who base their entire understanding of life on His teachings (John 14:21-23). They recognize that by His word He created, upholds, and orders all things (Heb. 1:1-3).

With Christ as your Saviour. The Lord bestowed righteousness upon Abraham before his circumcision (Gen. 15:3-6; Rom. 4:8-16) because "faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners.... When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then according to His unfailing promises, God par- dons his sin and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness."-Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1073.

Faith is the means of salvation for all, whether Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised. In Abraham's day, circumcision was the token of the covenant, not its substance. Since Calvary, baptism has replaced circumcision as the token of Christ's covenant with us (Col. 2:10-13).

What is the significance of God's changing Abram's name to Abraham? Gen. 17:4,5.

The change of Abram's name, meaning "exalted father," to Abraham, "a father of nations or multitudes," indicates the worldwide blessing God would bestow through him and his descendants.

When we accept Christ, we also receive a new name-that of Christian. This new name- Indicates the blessing God desires to work through as. Of what does this blessing consist? How can you be a blessing to your family, friends, and acquaintances?