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Obedience to the Ordinances of the Gospel PART 4

August 9, 2009 by Ben Tanner

What is it?
Our Heavenly Father made a special covenant with Abraham. It can be found in Gen. 17:4–5;Gen. 48:19. A more detailed account can be found the Book of Abraham that was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith. (Abr. 2:10-11)

This covenant was between Abraham and God. A covenant is a two way contract. Both parties are expected to fulfill promises towards each other. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a covenant is entered into through the ordinances of the gospel.

The bible dictionary says:

Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation). Then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood, and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase. Finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity (D&C 132: 29-50; Abr. 2: 6-11). Included in the divine promises to Abraham were the assurances that1Christ would come through his lineage, and that2 Abraham’s posterity would receive certain lands as an eternal inheritance (Gen. 17; Gen. 22: 15-18; Gal. 3; Abr. 2). These promises taken together are called the Abrahamic covenant. It was renewed with Isaac (Gen. 26: 1-4, 24) and again with Jacob (Gen. 28; Gen. 35: 9-13; Gen. 48: 3-4).
The portions of the covenant that pertain to personal salvation and eternal increase are renewed with each individual who receives the ordinance of celestial marriage (see D&C 132: 29-33). Those of non-Israelite lineage, commonly known as gentiles, are adopted into the house of Israel, and become heirs of the covenant and the seed of Abraham, through the ordinances of the gospel (Gal. 3: 26-29).
Being an heir to the Abrahamic covenant does not make one a “chosen person” per se, but does signify that such are chosen to responsibly carry the gospel to all the peoples of the earth.Abraham’s seed have carried out the missionary activity in all the nations since Abraham’s day. (Matt. 3: 9; Abr. 2: 9-11).
To fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham – having particular reference to the fact that the literal seed of his body would be entitled to all of the blessings of the gospel (Abr. 2: 10-11) – a number of specific and particular things must take place in the last days. The gospel must be restored, the priesthood must be conferred again upon man, the keys of the sealing power must be given again to mortals, Israel must be gathered, and the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the gentiles. All this has already taken place or is in process of fulfillment.


Pre-dates Abraham

The Abrahamic covenant actually is just another name given to the original covenant given to Father Adam. It it also called, “The New And Everlasting Covenant.” In short, this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes all the teachings, principles, and ordinances associated with the Gospel.
This covenant was given to father Adam and passed down.
In each dispensation, the Lord has used prophets or in one case Himself to renew and restore the new and everlasting covenant. The term “New Testament” refers to the “New Covenant.” Or better said, “New and everlasting Covenant.”
What are the blessings associated with it?
The main blessings connected to the Abrahamic Covenant are:
1. Abraham’s seed would continue in the earth so that he would be the father of many nations.
2. His seed would have access to all of the ordinances of the Gospel like Abraham had.
3. Abraham’s seed would eventually become as numerable as the stars.
4. The Holy Messiah, Jesus Christ would be a descendant of Abraham.
5. The Gospel of Jesus Christ would be preached by his seed to all the world.
6. Because of what Jesus would do, and because of the preaching of the Gospel, the whole world would be blessed by Abraham’s seed.

The Abrahamic covenant in the New Testament
Apparently, by the time of John the Baptist there was a false doctrine circulating that twisted the original meaning of the covenant. Some believed that being a descendant of Abraham made a person better than others who were not. There also may have been those who believed that since they descended from Abraham they were pretty much guaranteed salvation without the need to repent. Lastly, the people of that time were aware that baptism was associated with the covenant of Abraham. Some may have twisted the doctrine and believed that if they were descended from Abraham, they did not need to be baptised.
John the Baptist refuted these ideas when he said:
Luke 3:8
Bring forth therefore afruits bworthy of crepentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, dWe haveeAbraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

John is making it clear that:
1. To be counted among Abraham’s seed you must repent. (simply being born into it won’t do)
2. You must be baptized. ( You have to enter into the covenant yourself through baptism)
3. God can raise up seed to Abraham from any source He wants. Literal seed is not required..

Jesus said that in order to be Abraham’s seed you must do the works of Abraham:
John 8:39
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were aAbraham’sbchildren, ye would do the cworks of Abraham.

Paul taught that Abraham’s blessings were actually the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The law was given for transgression:

16 Now to aAbraham and his seed were the bpromises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as
many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was afour hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the ainheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
In other words, inheritance of the Abrahamic covenant actually comes through obedience to the ordinances of the gospel.
The covenant shows the importance of Ordinances

The Abrahamic covenant contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The ordinance of Baptism is the ordinance of Salvation. But what of Exaltation?

It’s clear that the promises of the Abrahamic covenant include a multitude of children both in this life and the next. This requires eternal marriage. The ordinances in the temple include this blessing. They are simply the ordinances of exaltation.

Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and the Apostle Paul all pointed to the Abrahamic covenant to show the importance of both the first principles and ordinances of salvation, and the ordinances of exaltation which includes eternal marriage. Obedience to the ordinances of the Gospel enters a person into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. They allow one to be an heir to the promises given to Abraham. They give you access to the atoning sacrifice and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you would like to become an heir of the promises given to Abraham, please talk to missionaries today.

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