A Gift for the World

March 5, 2023 —

Abraham is called the “Father of us all.” He is in many ways our spiritual forefather, because He is the forefather of Jesus who reconciled him, the world, and us to God the Father. “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,” Moses wrote. And Paul quoted that wonderful passage in his epistle to the Romans.

Our Old Testament Lesson speaks of Abraham. It recounts the wonderful promise God gave to Abraham which created and strengthened faith in his heart. And it speaks to us too, for God said, “All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

Paul tells us all about the call of Abraham in our Epistle Lesson when he was still called Abram.Purely out of grace, God chose one man to revive and pass on the faith in the one true God. It was God’s call and promise that created faith in Abram’s heart and empowered him to obey and follow God to a new land. There God turned him into the father of many nations, one special nation, and a world of spiritual descendants, including us.

Jesus, Abraham’s great Descendant, came to save the whole world. It was in a conversation with a member of the Jewish ruling council, Nicodemus, who came to Jesus under cover of darkness that Jesus spoke the well-known words of John 3:16 in our Gospel Lesson: God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. The Gospel reading tells the whole story of that conversation, including Jesus’ explanation of baptism and His summary of God’s plan to save the world, including you.

This Week’s Lessons:

Genesis 12:1–8

Romans 4:1–5,13–17

John 3:1–17  (sermon text)

Psalm 112