Summary: Tests are a big part of life. The most important one is the testing of our faith!
Hebrews 11 (NIV)
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Intro: Testing in a big part of our lives! School Exams, Medical / Laboratory testing, Yet our our scripture passage puts before us today, is the MOST IMPORTANT TEST REGARDING THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OUR LIVES. The Testing of Our Faith.
Proposition: An example of the testing of faith, in the life of the “father of faith” Abraham, will reveal to us:
1. why our faith is tested:
2. when our faith is tested;
3. how our faith is tested;
4. where our faith is tested;
5. who is ultimately tested
I. WHY is our faith tested?
1. To prove- Whether your faith is genuine or not, whether it can save you or not!
James 2: 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21a Was not Abraham our father justified
2. Justified-dik-ah-yoo – to be rendered just or innocent; acquitted, ie. saved!
James 2:21b by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
1. A saving, justifying faith is tried, tested, purified and proven as to whether it is genuine or not!
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? - complete
b) Perfect –-completed (telioo) brought to an intended end, aim, goal, purpose. In context – the saving of the soul.
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
c) This passage, is one of the most important in all Scripture, because it marks Abraham's day of salvation.
d) In other words it marks the moment that his possessing of saving faith was proven or made manifest or known!
James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
John Calvin- It is faith alone that justifies, but the faith that justifies is not alone.
James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
e) So TESTING proves the genuineness of our faith
f) And Peter affirms and puts another light on it:
1 Peter 1: 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, (nothing you posses is greater than your faith) which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.- NIV
g) IDEA - So that honor -And glory -Might not only be shown by the Provider, but also upon those who are the possessors of genuine faith!
h) ANOTHER REASON Why also is faith tested?
C) Purify it!
Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. -NKJV
D) Perfect it!
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
1. Perseverance -?p?µ???? (hypomonen) -Endurance, a cheerful endurance, a steadfastness, a constancy AND consistency.
2. Romans takes that thought a little deeper:
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.-NKJV
NASB - PROVEN CHARACTER
3. Character -d???µ?? (dokimen)
a) A tried, proven, approved character, that comes from tests!
E) Practicality of it!
a) Here is what I mean:
1. Would you allow a doctor to operate on you that didn’t pass their medical exams?
2. How about a dentist?
3. Would you board a plane with a pilot that failed his pilot’s test?
4. Get into a cab or uber with someone whose failed their drivers test?