#DailyDevotion You Are New Creations In Christ Jesus
Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16 When Abram was 99, the LORD appeared to him. “I am God Almighty,” He told Abram. “Live before Me and be perfect. 2And I will make My covenant with you, and I will make you the father of very many people.” 3Then Abram bowed down to the ground, and God told him: 4“This is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations, 5and you will no more be called Abram [High Father) but Abraham [Father of Many], because I made you a father of many nations. 6I will give you very many descendants and make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7I will keep My covenant with you and with your descendants after you in their generations — an everlasting covenant it will be. I will be your God and the God of your descendants…17Abraham bowed down to the ground and laughed. “Does a man have a child when he’s a hundred years old?” he said to himself. “And is Sarah going to have a child when she’s ninety?”
Sometimes we may wonder if Jesus died on the cross for our sins why do I need to keep asking for forgiveness. Then we may also wonder why we need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. We may ask ourselves why do we need to go to the LORD’s Supper often for the forgiveness of sins or why do I need to keep going to church if I already have been forgiven. The answer lies in this, why did the LORD keep repeating the covenant he made with Abraham, now the fourth but not the last time? I can only think the LORD knows we need to hear it regularly for like the Israelites we are a stiff-necked people. Our sinful flesh, our circumstances, and the world make us doubt at times or forget sometimes all of God’s promises to us. I am certain, with the number of times Abram lied about his wife Sarai to kings, he forgot as well.
Now in this particular rendition of the covenant the LORD makes with Abram he changes the names of both Abram and Sarai. We see in this rendition of the covenant the LORD changes Abram’s name to Abraham and he changes Sarai’s name to Sarah. Now I have heard, but I don’t know if it’s true that the LORD, i.e. YHWH, when he makes his covenant here with Abraham and Sarah that he is giving him part of his name, in particular an H from YHWH. If true this is similar to when the LORD Jesus Christ gives us his name when we are baptized, of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Abraham and Sarah are now new people in the LORD hence a name change. When you enter into a covenantal relationship with the LORD you get a new name. You become a new creation. In the New Testament we see Simon become Peter and Saul become Paul. Up until recently, when you were baptized you received your middle name, your Christian name, signifying you have become a new person. Paul writes in 2 Cor. 5, 17“So if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. They have become new.” In Revelation 2 and 3 the LORD Jesus Christ promises us a new name and his new name if we are faithful to the end. We are new creations now having received the name of God in baptism. We have a new spirit, new mind and the like. Then we will be completely renewed, body and soul. And just like Abraham who needed to hear the covenant repeated to him, we need to hear Jesus’ covenant with us repeated in all its form to remain faithful to be transformed by it.
Heavenly Father, as you gave Abraham a new name when you made you covenant with him, you also in Christ Jesus give us your name and new name as you remake us into Christ’ image. Continually hold forth your covenant with us before our eyes so we may be faithful to the end. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.