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by Dr. John Thomas
But out of this arises a question of considerable interest, namely, when they jointly possess the land of Canaan, what will be their relation to the world at large?
The answer to this is, that at that time their name will be great in the earth; Abram's descendants will be a great nation; and he and Christ will be a blessing, by all the families of the earth being in them.
This was stated in general terms when the gospel was preached to Abraham at Haran.
In searching out these matters, the phrases "in thee," and "in him," and "in thy seed," should be particularly attended to.
They are little words, but full of meaning.
The reader knows what it is to be in a house, and he is aware that he must pass into it before he can be in it.
This is the literal.
Now, suppose we call the house a man; and in answer to the question, "Where is he?
" we say he is in the man, this would be to speak figuratively, but still scripturally and intelligibly.
Before, however, a person or a nation, or a multitude of nations could be said to be in the man Abraham, and in the man Christ Jesus, it is equally clear that they must pass into Abraham, and into Christ.
Now although many nations may literally come out of one man, a multitude of nations cannot literally be packed into one man.
When, therefore, nations and individuals are said to be in Abraham and in Christ, it is manifest it must be in a figurative sense.
Hence, "in thee," "in him," and "in Christ" are figurative expressions, or terms of constitution.
They are things of stubborn import.
They do not express a feeling, but a relationship which is predicated on belief and obedience.
These are literal and actual things; for there is no scriptural faith without belief of the letter, or written, or spoken, word; nor any obedience without conformity to prescribed action.
To pass, or to be introduced, into a man is to sustain a relationship towards him of faith, affection, and allegiance, as prescribed.
No person, or nation, can introduce themselves into a man; their induction, in other words, must be according to prescription, and not according to their own appointment.
God, or he to whom, as His "Apostle," or Ambassador, He has committed all authority, is the only person that can prescribe the formula of induction.
Mankind are diseased, and cannot cure themselves.
"The blessing of Abraham" is for their restoration to health and happiness.
They are, therefore, the recipients of favour, and not the prescribers, or legislators, in the case.
The nature of the inducting formula is determined by the kind of subject to be induced.