Baptism: The child of God, inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven


God's promise to Abraham

As you know, Jesus and his Apostles were Jews and belonged to the Jewish people.  The Jews were neither a large nor a powerful nation, but there was one thing which made them more important than all the large and powerful nations put together: God himself, the Lord of the Universe, had chosen them to be his own special people.  This actually happened about the year 2100 BC when God made his promise to Abraham: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (NRSV, Genesis 12:2,3).

By about the year 1200 BC, when they had escaped from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, the descendant of Abraham, they were already a nation; and God took the opportunity to remind them of how he had kept his promise: “…the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.  It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you – for you were the fewest of all peoples.  It was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand … from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (NRSV, Deuteronomy 7:6-8).

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