What is the church? And what can we continue to liken it to in Genesis 15?
"And he said to him, “Take
for me a three-year-old heifer, and a three-year-old female goat, and a
three-year-old ram, and a turtledove and a young pigeon.” And he took for him all these and cut them in pieces down the middle. And he put each piece opposite the other, but the birds he did not cut."
"And after the sun had gone down and it was dusk, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between those half pieces. On that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram..."
All through the Word, from In the Beginning to In the Last Days, God is making promises to us, to man, to men. To Adam and Eve He says, 'This is all yours, I'm giving you everything you need. Just don't eat this one thing off this one tree.' To Cain He says, "If you do what is right, will i not accept you?" To Noah He says, 'Do this and I will save you,' and 'Look, I have saved you, all this is yours, I'm not going to wipe it all out like this again.' To Abram He says, "...I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing. And
I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse.
And all families of the earth will be blessed in you.” And so on down the line through the Mosaic covenant and the Davidic covenant and finally to a covenant that is only hinted at here. All saying essentially the same thing, "I AM your God. Obey me and I will bless you."
You see, covenants are not sworn, they are cut. They are literally sealed with blood. "Thus shall I do and let me be as these if I should break this covenant!" Says anyone who passes between the carcasses of the animals. And who does Abram see passing between the halves of sacrificial animals? Who is making this promise? "...behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch,"! Light and Light hidden in a clay vessel! The one which shall keep the promise and the one which, though he keeps the covenant, shall be cut off for those not keeping it! And thereby save those whom God has every right to judge. The one, the seed of Abram who shall bless "all the families of the earth."
The church are the heirs of Abram. The heirs of the promise of God. The heirs of the covenant.