INTRO: Abraham has been called our father Abraham (Rom 4:12), the father of all them that believe (Rom 4:10), the friend of God (Jas 2:23). His life and exploits are recorded in Genesis, but there are hosts of references to him beyond that book. Both testaments refer to him ... and his significance. He is a man loved of God and remembered with fondness by so many. But I am interested in the lessons for life which he teaches us by his own life experiences.
I. SPIRITUAL LIFE MUST OFTEN DEVELOP IN SEPARATION
A. From Ur to Haran to Canaan - Heb 11:8-10
1. Ur was a place of temples and idols
2. worship of gods of nature, the universe
3. even Abrahams father was engrossed in the pagan deities
(Josh 24:2) - and Abrahams relatives left behind in Haran continued the practice (Gen 31:19)
B. We may find separation from worldly influences becomes essential to spiritual development
1. I am not advocating monasticism
2. but the worlds influences are adverse, and will not enhance our spiritual lives
3. 2 Cor 6:17,18 or 1 Thes 2:12 or 1 Pet 4:2
II. I MAY LIVE TO SEE ALL ID LIKE TO SEE
A. Gen 12:1-3 He only saw Isaac
1. the promise was of a nation and of nations!
2. so, Heb 11:13 ... but the promises were Gods
3. what could Abraham do? live faithfully!
B. And I may not see ...
1. all of the fruits of my work in Christ
2. all of my grand children grown, etc.
3. at least I know the promise through Christ - but what about the other? live faithfully! (Phil 1:27a)
III. IN THE WRONG SITUATION INTEGRITY CAN FAIL
A. So, Gen 12:11-13 and 20:1,2 - She is my sister
1. these incidents have always perplexed me
2. one thing is certain - Abrahams integrity failed!
3. note 20:11 ... this was an unholy place where the devoted servant should not have been ... or, Abraham thought it was (all the more inexcusable?)
B. Are you stronger than Abraham? Am I?
1. to deliberately go into such a questionable situation, environment makes no sense
2. I have heard most of the rationalizing to the contrary ... and it still makes no sense
3. Prov 13:20
IV. UNHAPPINESS AT HOME IS SERIOUS UNHAPPINESS
A. Gen 21:9-11 A human plan turned sour!
1. but the problem was longstanding - Gen 16:4
2. there is little pain to equal that of marital difficulties ... and the pain can develop into all sorts of sin ... attitudinal and behavioral
3. a truth often realized after the fact
B. Abraham teaches us to stick with Gods plan
1. what Sarah proposed was socially accepted
2. but what is socially accepted too often is perversion of Gods plan ... Ps 127:1!!
3. husband and wife must observe Gods plan and engage in keeping that plan at work in marriage (a simple statement of the workings of it -
V. FAITH IS THE VICTORY
A. Gen 22:12 with Heb 11:17-19 Confident trust
1. the words now I know have always impressed me
2. now Abraham is able to totally put events into Gods hands ... victory
B. 1 Jno 5:3-5 Faith takes us past reason, logic
1. faith abides secure in the promises of God
2. faith keeps on when everything is saying Why?
CLOSE: No doubt about it. Abraham was a complex person faced with extraordinary situations. yet, the overarching lesson of his life for our lives is summed in two words: by faith.
Cecil A. Hutson
04 April 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)