Gen 12:3                   The Call of Idolatrous Abram                              7/15/2007      ßà   

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Call to Separation (Gen 12:1-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Who Is the Seed of Abraham? (Gen 12:7, Gal 3:13,14,16,28,29)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Were We Better Than Abraham? (Rom 3:10-12,19, Eph 1:3-4)

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 11:26 (2X). We have now come to the third great section of Genesis. The first section of Genesis, which took about 6000 years after Adam’s sin, was briefly outlined in Gen 4 and 5. The second section of Genesis lasted about 3000 years, and was beginning with God’s commandment to Noah to build an Ark. This second period of Genesis described in Gen 6 through 11 gives us the genealogy from Noah until Terah. Terah lived in Ur, in the land of the Chaldeans, located in the southern tip of the fertile area between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Terah had a son by the name of Abram. And God chose to call Abram. We read in Gen 11:26,

Ge 11:26-27  And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.   Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Ge 11:28  And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Ge 11:29  And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Ge 11:30  But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Ge 11:31  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran (the city), and dwelt there.

Ge 11:32  And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

This might be a little confusing. Haran is the name of a city as well as the name of a son of Terah. But Haran died before the family started to migrate out of Ur, toward the city that is called Haran. From the birth of Abraham until the family of Jacob settled in Egypt was a period of about 300 years. These 300 years are the third section of Genesis, and they are described in 39 chapters of Genesis. Two chapters for the first division of 6000 years, six chapters for the second division of about 3000 years, and 39 chapters for the third division of about 300 years. This tells us where God placed His focus in Genesis. And why was this period of about 300 years so important in the eyes of God? It was, because Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob represented the beginning of God’s dealings with a group of people, a congregation. Before this time God dealt primarily with individuals. For example, Noah and Job were such individuals who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And here Abram found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Joshua, Jos 24:2 (2X). You find Joshua right after Deut. The first five scrolls of Moses are Gen, Ex, Lev, Num, and Deut. Then Moses died and he was followed by Joshua. Did God choose Abram because he was such a good man? No! Not at all! Abram was a worshipper of Idols. Abram was an idolater like his father Terah. We read in:

Jos 24:2-3  And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.       And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the

flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

And so, you see that Abram before he was called Abraham, and before he left Ur of the Chaldees, was an idolater. He worshipped idols of wood and stone, like all the others in Ur of the Chaldees did. But God had mercy on him, and God called him to go to the land of Canaan, and separate him from his idolatrous family. And that is why the family left Ur and traveled north to go to Haran, which was the city from where travelers went south into the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. That is why the title of this sermon is, The Call of Idolatrous Abram (2X). They lodged in Haran and they liked Haran so much that they stayed there for a while. In fact, we understand from Gen 24 that Abram’s brother Nahor and his family also left Ur of the Chaldees and settled in Haran. Then Terah died.

#1.       The Call to Separation (Gen 12:1-9)

Please turn again to Gen 12:1 (2X). The call of Abram was a picture, of the heavenly calling of those whom God chose to be saved. The call of Abram shows us the starting point of the life of faith. First of all we can see that it was a call to separation. It is a separation from the world, and from our place in it by nature. Abram had become a worshipper of the one and only God of the Universe, but Terah was still an idolater. Therefore it was necessary that Terah should be left behind. Abram had failed to separate himself from his family. In this Abram showed that he did not obey God perfectly. God caused it that Terah died. And now God called Abram the second time. We read in Gen 12:1,

Ge 12:1-2  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:    And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Ge 12:3-4  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Ge 12:5-6  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.           And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Ge 12:7  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Ge 12:8-9  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.                And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

What do we see here? The time in history was about 1000 years after God confused the languages and God caused the nations to disperse throughout the world. The nations left on their own gravitated into idolatry. It was as if God had abandoned the nations. But no, He did not. God chose Abram.

This is the setting that is now before us. God singled out this man Abram, with the purpose that through him God would bring His Good News of salvation into all the nations of the world. This is the overall theme of history after the call of Abram. This is the theme we should keep in mind when we continue to read the Bible. It is a mistake to think of Almighty God as a tribal god. He is not a god who bestows his favors just on some tribes on the earth, just because they happen to be descendants of Abraham. No! Apparently God has abandoned the nations, but in fact God developed a plan to save a remnant out of all the nations in the world, through the sending of he Lord Jesus Christ, and by causing Him to die on the cross at Calvary. That is God’s objective when we read here in Gen 12:2,

Ge 12:2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

What great nation had God in mind? We read in the NT that Abraham was made the father of all true believers. And who does God consider true believers? All those who believe the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, and who worship the Triune God of the Bible, and who believe in forgiveness of their sins through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, are true believers. The nation of true believers in Jesus Christ is far greater than the historical nation of Israel. And thus, when we read Gen 12:2, we must not think that God has abandoned the nations and singled out the nation of Israel, just because they happen to be physical descendants of Abraham. In fact, God addresses them in Mat 3:9, where God speaks through the mouth of John the Baptist, and God says in Mat 3:9,

Mt 3:9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

In fact, all the Arab nations can also claim that they are children of Abraham, but it benefits them as little as it benefits the Jews who claim that they are children of Abraham. It benefits them nothing. And God said to Abram, “I will bless thee, and make thy name great”. How was God going to bless Abram personally? Should we see the physical prosperity of Abram as a blessing from God? O yes! But it was only a minor blessing. What was the greatest blessing that Abram received after his call from God, after the moment of his salvation? It was the blessing that God increased his faith through various trials, and the promise that Messiah would come forth out of his loins, and the blessing that God watched and cared over all the affairs of Abram, both in the physical and in the spiritual realm. And God said to Abram, “thou shalt be a blessing”. What does this refer to? It means that Abraham would be a blessing to other people around him. No, not material blessings, but spiritual blessings. Through Abraham’s witness of what the Lord has done for him his nephew Lot became a believer. And through Abraham’s witness his wife Sarah and his son Isaac became believers. And through Isaac many others were touched by the hand of God. And from Gen 24 we understand that his chief servant Eliezer of Damascus became a believer, and many of his servants became believers.

Then we read in the next verse that Abram would be:

Ge 12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Since Abram was a picture of all those who receive the heavenly calling to come into God’s glorious Kingdom, we can see that the first half of this verse, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” also applies to us. And that is true. We can be grateful that God watches over us like an eagle watches over her young.  God is our heavenly Protector and He is the Avenger of all those who intend to do us harm. And then God said something very deep and profound. He said, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”. What could God have meant by that? Certainly God speaks about spiritual blessings, for material blessings are worth far less than one soul is worth. If we look out into the world, can we see if Abraham was a direct blessing to all families, or tribes, that are on the earth? For example, what direct blessing is Abraham to the Hottentots in South West Africa? We have to say that Abraham is only indirectly a blessing to the Hottentots, through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that has also come to the Hottentots. And Abraham is only indirectly a blessing to the many Papua tribes in New Guinea, for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has also come to the Papua tribes. We can walk throughout the whole earth and we readily see that Abraham can only be a blessing to all the families of the earth through the Lord Jesus Christ who came out of Abraham. And look carefully at the words in Gen 12:3. God did not say to Abraham, “Through you shall all families of the earth be blessed”, but God said “IN you shall all families of the earth be blessed”. IN the loins of Abraham was the seed that brought forth Christ, and all those who are IN Christ are going to be blessed with spiritual blessings. It is in this way that we must understand the promise of God that IN Abraham is Christ, and IN Christ are all the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, whom God in His wisdom chose to be saved. This is how God was going to reach out to all the nations in the world. We can see this clearly in Mat 1:21, where we read,

Mt 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

How is He going to save His people from their sins? By dying on the cross. Who are “His people” in this verse? If “His people” would only refer to the Jews, then that would leave me out, and that would leave many of you out. It would mean that Jesus did not suffer and die for us, but only for the Jews. And that is an invalid conclusion, for it would contradict many passages in the Bible. You can see clearly that “His people” must refer to the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues in the world, and it is only for those people that the Lord Jesus died on the cross. He did not die for every body in the world, for then Mat 1:21 would be a lie. We can apply the same reasoning to Gen 12:7. There we read, “The LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, “Unto thy Seed will I give this land”: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him”. Who is this Seed of Abram? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 3:13 (2X). You find the Epistle to the Galatians right after the first and second Epistles to the Corinthians.

#2.       Who Is the Seed of Abraham? (Gen 12:7, Gal 3:13,14,16,28,29)

How is God going to make Abraham a blessing to all the tribes on the earth? God will reach into all the earth through the Seed of Abraham. We have read in Gen 12:7, “Unto thy seed will I give this land”. What does this mean, and to whom did God give this land? God says in Gal 3:13-14,

Ga 3:13-14  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:       That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

In other words, it took all the way from Abraham to the cross of Christ, more than 2000 years later, to make the blessing of Abraham effective to the remnant of all the nations in the world, in order “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”. The promise of the Spirit through faith is the promise of salvation through faith in the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. That promise was the promise of the blessing of Abraham that “in him shall all families of the earth be blessed”. Now, this promise clearly was not a promise just to the nation of Israel. This promise was to all the remnant chosen by grace, not only to a remnant out of the nation of Israel, but also to a remnant out of all the nations of the world. God made that promise to Himself before the foundation of the world that He would save this list of people, whose names were written in the mind of God. This was not based on the goodness of those people, for all these people were initially idolaters, like Abram in Ur of the Chaldees. In this chapter, Gal 3, from verse 13 to the end of the chapter God develops two themes. One theme is “The Covenant”, and who is in the Covenant? The second theme is “Who is the Seed of Abraham”? Essentially, the result is that “Who is in the Covenant”, and “Who is the Seed of Abraham” are the same group of people. Let us continue with “Who is the Seed of Abraham”. We read in V. 16

Ga 3:16  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.

This makes an enormous difference. God does not specify here in Gal 3:16 which OT verse He is referring to. It means that all the verses from Gen 12 through Gen 48 wherever we find a promise from God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about “Thy Seed”, we should consider if this is a promise to Christ, and to all those who are in Christ, or if it is a promise to only the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And when we scan al the verses from Gen 12 through Gen 48, what we find is that from the 34 times God speaks about “Thy Seed”, at least 28 times the promise is to Christ and to all those who are in Christ. This is not an exaggeration. This is a faithful word by word study of the words “Thy Seed”. Modern translations of the Bible do not allow such an in depth study, for they have simply eliminated the connection between Gal 3:16 and all the verses in Genesis. And so, when we read about promises to Abraham and his Seed, first of all we must think of his Seed as Christ, for that is the interpretation that is demanded by Gal 3:16. And since all those whom God chose to save are also IN Christ, it follows that all those who are IN Christ are also the seed of Abraham. That is why God says in Rom 4 that Abraham is the father of all those who believe. And to cap off this idea here in Gal 3, we read in the end of the chapter that after the cross there is no more distinction between Jews and Greeks, or between Jews and Gentiles. God says in Gal 3:28-29,

Ga 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ga 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

And so, here is the capstone of the selection of the man Abram. God chose him so that God’s plan to reach the remnant in all the nations of the world could be realized through Christ, who was in the loins of Abram. And all true believers are included as the group of people who are IN Christ.

Please turn again to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 12:7 (2X). Let us continue to develop the interpretation demanded by Gal 3:16, and let us extend it to the meaning of “the land”. We read in:

Ge 12:7  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Should we now interpret this verse as a promise of the land of Canaan to the physical descendants of Abraham? But then all the verses concerning this promise should have the same interpretation. For example, please drop down to Gen 13:15 (2X), and there we read in Gen 13:15-16,

Gen 13:15,  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.

Ge 13:16,  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

The promise of verse 15 says “forever”. And whenever we read in the Bible “forever”, God really means forever. But we know that the land of Canaan will not last forever. The earth will be destroyed on the Last Day, and that will be the end of it. But which land will God give to the Seed of Abraham forever? It will be the NH&NE after Judgment Day. And so, the land of Canaan is only a picture of the Kingdom of God which shall be given to all the remnant whom God chose to save. Now, the next verse, verse 16, is in total harmony with this interpretation. Does God promise here, in metaphoric language, that He will make the descendants of Abraham as numerous as the dust of the earth? God is not speaking of the Arab nations who are descendants of Ishmael, and Midian, and Esau. God’s blessings are not measured in physical blessings, but only in spiritual blessings. Only the remnant out of all nations is referred to in verse 16. And it is only this remnant that is seen in Rev 7:9 where we rd.

Re 7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds,  and people,  and tongues,  stood before the throne,  and before the Lamb,  clothed with

white robes, and palms in their hands

Here is “a great multitude, which no man could number”, and which totally agrees with Gen 13:16, where the Seed of Abraham is so great that it cannot be numbered. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:13 (2X). And so we see that the three verses in Gen 12 and 13 that speak about “the land”, are in fact referring to the land as a symbol of the Kingdom of God, the NH&NE, that shall be given to the saints after Judgment Day. Now, this is a rather difficult concept. God spoke to Abram Did Abram understand this? Indeed, God revealed to Abram what He meant. God said in Rom 4:13,

Ro 4:13  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 understood that he was going to be the heir of the world. And since God said that he would inherit the land “forever” Abraham understood that God did not refer to this present world but that God referred to the NH&NE. Therefore we read in Heb 11:10 a reference to the New Jerusalem which is the holy city in the NH&NE. God speaks of Abraham in Heb 11:10,

Heb 11:10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God

And so we see that when God speaks in Genesis to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, about the land they and their descendants were going to inherit, we must first of all think of the land as a symbol of the Kingdom of God. This interpretation is dictated by Gal 3:16, and this will make the Bible a harmonious whole. God demands this interpretation, for His plan is not to shower great blessings on a little piece of real estate there east of the Mediterranean, but His plan is to reach out to all the nations of the world, and to make Abraham the father of all those who believe. We read in Ro 4

Ro 4:17 ¶  (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.

Ro 4:18  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.

You see how all this ties together with the Seed of Abraham? Abraham’s Seed are all those whom God chose to save, and they only are considered by God as the Seed of Abraham. All the saints, all the true believers, all those for whom Christ died, all the chosen of God, all those whose names are written in heaven, all those who belong to Christ, are all Abraham’s Seed and heirs according to the promise. Let us now look at what else the Bible says about Abraham as the father of all believers.

Let us go back a few verses to Rom 4:11 (2X).

Ro 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Ro 4:12     And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only,   but who also

walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

In other words, Abraham is called the father of all the Gentiles who became believers, because when he was called by God he was still uncircumcised, like all the uncircumcised Gentiles who became believers, and Abraham is also called the father of only those Jews who became saved, who walk in the steps of the faith of their father Abraham. And thus all these believers, Jews and Gentiles, are called the Seed of Abraham. Please drop down now to verse 16, Rom 4:16,

Ro 4:16  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,

And so you see, we do not have the faith of Christ, like some of you might be thinking, but we have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. And remember that the words “us all” do not refer to all mankind, but to “all of us” who became true believers; for God gives “us all” the faith of Abraham. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 8:39 (2X). We have here a disputation between the Lord Jesus and a hostile audience of Jews, who were proud that they were children of Abraham. Abraham is not called the father of the Gentiles who remain unsaved, and he is not called the father of the Jews who remain unsaved. The Lord Jesus spoke to them in John 8:39,

Joh 8:39-40  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.      But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

This fully agrees with Rom 4:12, as we have read before. And now drop down to verse 44,

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.

The Lord Jesus said plainly in their face, “Ye are of your father the devil”. You think that Abraham is your father, but in your hearts you have murderous thoughts, and your unbelief shows that you are not Abraham’s children. “Ye are of your father the devil”. And so, what has been developing before our eyes, while you were listening to this sermon, is a Biblical view of God’s program for the salvation of the remnant out of all nations. God’s program for the nation that prides itself in being circumcised, and following the Law, and being the custodians of the oracles of God, and being called Israel, only extends to the moment that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross. From that moment on forward, that nation that calls themselves Israel, but does not believe in Christ as their Messiah, is no longer called Israel by God, but is called “Ye are of your father the devil”. In its place God established a new nation called Israel, which consists of a remnant drawn from all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. And this is the interpretation we should see in the words “Thy Seed” when we read the story of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis, for Gal 3:16 demands it. And since this is a drastic difference from the view held in most churches, I will continue to develop it and prove it from the NT. And thus next week we will return to the NT and see what it shall teach us in this matter.

Now let us consider another matter that arose while we were reading the story of Abraham.

#3.       Were We Better Than Abraham? (Rom 3:10-12,19, Eph 1:3-4)

Abram was a worshipper of idols. What an abomination! But what about us? Were we any better than he? Did we in the past send up prayers to Mary, the mother of Jesus, or to any other saint? That is idolatry. Did we in the past knock on wood? That is superstition, and it belongs in the category of idolatry. Did we in the past read our horoscope? That is witchcraft, and it too belongs in the category of idolatry. Did we in the past drink ourselves drunk? Could the genie in the alcohol do more for us than the God of the Bible? That is idolatry. Did we in the past sow our wild oats, and have sex before we were married? That is fornication and harlotry, and according to the Bible it is punishable with death. Did we in the past attend a Roman Catholic mass? That is idolatry. Did we believe in a Jesus who died on the cross for all people, and who is waiting for us to take the next step of accepting him? That is idolatry. Did we believe that God is still speaking today through the mouths of saints? That is idolatry. Did we believe that God is still bringing divine messages today in dreams, and in visions, and in angel visitations, and in the phenomenon of speaking in tongues? That is idolatry. Did we believe in a Jesus who is all love, and does not condemn people to Hell? That is idolatry. And so, we do not have to look for a boat or an RV on the driveway to find some idols. Those are external idols which are less powerful than the internal idols which are in our heads. We look down on idolatrous Abraham but are we really so clean? If God would count our past sins, they most certainly reach into the ten-thousands if we are still young and into the hundred-thousands if we are old. Listen to what God says

Ro 3:10-12  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:     There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.                 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

In other words, in God’s eyes there is not one good person on earth. And God says in Rom 3:19,

Ro 3:19 ¶  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

All the world is guilty before God. And so, if the Bible is true, we can read there that we have a God who is merciful, and God delights in mercy. That is very Good News. If God was fair He would cast every one of the human race into Hell. But the God of the Bible is not fair; He is merciful. But God does not extend His mercy while we are worshipping idols. God does not extend His mercy while we are worshipping in an idolatrous church. God extends His mercy when we seek His face, when we seek to know the God of the Bible, or when we are under the hearing of the true Gospel. God extends His mercy to those who humbly admit that we all have fallen into sin, like Adam, and like Noah, and like Abraham. We are all sinners. And by God’s mercy He transforms us into saints. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:         According as he hath chosen us in him before

the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him. (Eph 1:3-4).

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.

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