Grace Protestant Reformed Church

God Encourages Abram and He Believed

Date: PM
Text: Genesis 15:1-6
Psalters: 226, 398, 87, 248
Series: Abram
  1. Fear relieved.
    1. God addresses Abram with “Fear not.”
      1. It is “after these things,” i.e., the disappointment of Lot not coming back, but re-settling in Sodom, so he is still alone.
      2. The next verses imply that Abram was very concerned about the lack of children (Genesis 15:3).
    2. God gives Abram two reasons for not being afraid.
      1. One, “I am thy shield” which is defense against present attacks.
      2. “And thy exceeding great reward” over against the reward of the spoils of the battle just won.
      3. The knowledge of this spiritual reality is to overwhelm us, so the present afflictions and tribulations are put in perspective.
  2. The way in which God is Abram’s shield and reward is the declaration that He will fulfill His promise to give him a son.
    1. During the ten years of waiting for the promise to be fulfilled, Abram began to think of other possibilities.
    2. Amazingly, God assures Abram that his heir will “come forth out of thine own bowels” (4).
    3. God gave an added assurance by pointing to the stars (Genesis 15:5).
    4. This promise is the gospel promise of humanly impossible gift of Jesus Christ.
  3. Abram believed and God blessed Abram’s faith (this verse is quoted in Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23).
    1. Abram “believed in Jehovah.” He believed that God would keep His promises of a son (what he could not see).
    2. And God “counted it to him for righteousness.” (“counted” Rom. 4:3; “accounted” Gal. 3:6; “imputed” James 2:23).
      1. Abram “believed,” i.e., he performed the act of saving faith when he believed on God Who graciously justifies the ungodly.
      2. “Righteousness” is to be right in God’s sight; to be 100% in harmony with God’s law in his inner and outward life.
      3. God gives to a man credit for faith, for believing, as if it were righteousness. God declares that faith righteousness.