The God of Covenants
A Sermon on Acts 7:1-8
And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said:
“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. (ESV)
God will always keep His promises! His great plan of redemption of the whole world through the work of Christ Jesus is enacted through covenants. Listen in this sermon from Acts 7:1-8 as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows us how these great redemptive events form the background of the work of Christ. This redemptive work is both for the salvation of individuals and the resonation of the whole world. This was planned before the foundations of the earth to glorify His name. This great and sovereign plan is important because it exalts God and humbles man. It was this sovereign call that brought Abram, a pagan to come and worship the true God and made him righteous. God has planned both the beginning and the end of all things, and he works in history to bring about his plan. Christians should rest in this great truth; God’s plan will be brought to pass. In this outworking of God’s great plan of salvation he chooses to make covenants with men. He made a covenant with Noah after the flood and promised he would not flood the world again. He made a covenant with Abraham and gave him the sign of circumcision. It is Jesus who comes and brings a new covenant, the fulfillment of all God’s promises. It is this great truth that the early church proclaimed. It is salvation in Christ as the fulfillment of God’s great plan.