Lesson 3: "A Born-Again Experience" Genesis 28:10-22
"He had a dream in which he saw a stairwayÖ" Genesis 28:12
Godís Special Place
Remember all the deceptions that have occurred. Jacob is here because of it. Abraham built an altar near here (12:8). But, Jacobís spiritual disciplines had probably long since disappeared.
Notice how many times the word place is used (v. 10-19) This was a special place.
Godís Special Presence
Godís direct revelation came in a dream. (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, Cornelius)
A stairway to heaven ® a way to get from heaven to earth, and back again
The angels of God ® the way to God was accessible
God Himself ® grace, covenant is not for material gain (Matt. 19, Luke 9, Mark 10)
Godís Special Promise
First, God wanted Jacob to know who He was (v. 13). Then, the promise is repeated (v. 14)
There are 3 parts to the promise; land, many descendants, and a blessing
God also promises his constant presence, needed for a lonely man on the run
Godís Special Provision
God had made the same promises to Abraham, several times in fact. But in wasnít till Abraham faced the reality of childlessness that he experienced salvation (15:5,6; Romans 4:18-5:1) At that time, God told Abraham to count the stars, so would his offspring be
Here, Jacob may have looked up at the night sky and experienced the same thing
Itís clear that Jacob was deeply moved by being near to Godís presence (v. 16,17)
One of the disciples Jesus called was Nathanael (John 1:43-51). Nathanael did not have a high opinion of anyone who came from Nazareth (v. 46) But Jesus saw him while he was still under the fig tree (v. 48), and most importantly, Jesus called Himself the stairway! (v. 51)
Faith That Works
True faith demonstrates itself through action (James 2:17)
Jacob built an altar, and called the place Bethel ("House of God")
Jacob made a commitment and took a vow (v. 20-22). He couldnít do it alone.
#1) All people everywhere need to personally experience Godís redemptive grace
True conversion involves knowledge of why we need to be saved, we need a "Bethel Experience"
Though we are saved by grace and not works, we are "Godís workmanship" (Eph. 2:10)