~ 4 Individuals Show The WAY ~
In Scripture there are many “types” or “foreshadows” of things to come. Some are much clearer than others. A great many of these are pictures of the coming Messiah, some present the Good News of the Messiah, and there are others.
The last 39 chapters of the book of Genesis, covering about four centuries, primarily contain a record of the lives of four men following the great flood. Each illustrates a critical component of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Abram ~ Abram was called apart from God to be the Father of the nation of Israel. Abram represents God’s great grace in God’s program of divine redemption. We read the account of Abraham in Genesis 12-50. Like Abraham all Christians are called apart for God’s specific purposes in their lives.
Isaac (Abram’s son) ~ In Isaac we see selective calling (election, predestination), of God to an individual. Isaac’s story is found in Genesis 24-26.
side note: Do I fully understand the interaction of God’s “election” of individuals and the “free will of man.” No! Many past Christian leaders have also acknowledged this lack of comprehension. One of my favorite quotes is by C. I. Scofied: “In all the Christian centuries men have endeavored to account, philosophically, for the apparent paradox of God’s sovereign election and man’s free will, but none have ever succeeded. Both are wholly true, but the connecting and reconciling truth has not been revealed.”
Jacob (Abram’s grandson) ~ In the life of Jacob in addition to grace we clearly see justification by faith. Jacob’s story is found in Genesis 27-36.
Joseph (Abram’s great grandson) ~ In Joseph we clearly see a picture of ultimate glorification. Joseph’s story is found in Genesis 37-50.
side note: Joseph’s life is also one of the clearest “types” of the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ. It is fascinating to study the parallels between their lives.
summary: In the lives of these four individuals we see the progressive steps of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Abram’s story we have picture of the separation or calling to God—which is strictly by God’s grace and grace alone. Isaac provides a picture of election or predestination by God of His children—who He knew “before the foundations of the world” would become His children. In Jacob we see that justification is by faith and faith alone—the individual’s part. Finally, in Joseph we have a picture of the ultimate glorification of God’s people which is yet future—the Christian’s future is known and secure.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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