Old Testament Lesson 7: The Abrahamic Covenant

Testing the words of LDS leaders with Biblical Truth:

February 2010

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual

* Are LDS Church members the “seed of Abraham”? (page 28):

Explain that all Church members are the “seed of Abraham,” which means we are his descendants. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: “The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph. Those who are not literal descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and confirmed they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and privileges as heirs” (“How One May Become of the House of Israel,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1923, 1149).
• As the seed of Abraham, Church members are heirs to the blessings and responsibilities of the Abrahamic covenant. How do we become heirs to this covenant? (When we are baptized into the Church, the Abrahamic covenant’s promise of salvation is renewed with us. When we are sealed in the temple, the Abrahamic covenant’s promise of exaltation is renewed with us. To receive the blessings of the covenant, we must fulfill the associated responsibilities and live worthily.)

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

Even if all Church members were the descendants of Abraham through Ephraim this gains them nothing. Lineage does not entitle you to be heirs of Abraham’s promise. Abraham received his promise through his faith, just as all people are adopted into God’s family. Many literal descendants of Abraham are not heirs to the blessings of Abraham because of unbelief. The Apostle Paul explained that many who are the “seed” of Abraham are not the children of God. He testified that Abraham received the promise through faith, and faith is how every person becomes a child of God:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.” Romans 9:1-9

Only those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” Romans 8:14-16

Abraham received the promise of righteousness through faith:
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of 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 four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Galatians 3:6-18

Abraham believed God and his faith was counted as righteousness. This was not written for his sake alone, but also for you:

“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 4:17-5:1

Do you believe, like Abraham, that you are credited with righteous through faith? It is only through faith in God’s promises that you receive the blessings of Abraham’s covenant. To learn how your Savior lived worthily for you and fulfilled all the necessary responsibilities, go to this blog Post: “Why is the Cross the Symbol of Christianity?” written August 10, 2009; or, Click here:

Link to LDS Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-7-the-abrahamic-covenant?lang=eng