Summary: Abraham’s story was unique in many ways, but as we look at his faith journey, we can see 5 parallels to our own faith journey.
Old Testament Encounters with Christ
Part 4: Abraham Meets Our God
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Dec. 14, 2011
*We have been talking about Christ in the Old Testament. There are hundreds of references to Jesus in the Old Testament, including prophecies, symbolic things and people who point to Jesus in significant ways. But we are focusing on the Old Testament appearances of Christ, those times when the pre-incarnate Christ revealed Himself to man.
*Tonight we will start to look at God’s appearances to Abraham. What an important story! Abraham’s story is so important that God devoted 25% of Genesis to it.
*John Phillips explained: “Abram was 75 years of age and had another full century to live. When one thinks of all that has developed for mankind as a result of the 100-year period that now opened in Abram’s life, it has to be marked down as one of the most significant centuries in all history. (1)
*Abraham’s story was unique in many ways, but as we look at his faith journey, we can see some close parallels to our own faith journey.
-How are we like Abram? -- There are 5 truths that apply to us today.
1. First: We are lost without the Lord.
*God’s Word gives us a clue to Abram’s lost condition in Genesis 11:27-28:
27. This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot.
28. And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
*The clue here is the city of Ur. Abram was lost without God when he lived in Ur of the Chaldees. That word “Ur” means “flame.” And John Gill explained that the city was so called because it was a wicked, idolatrous place where fire was worshipped. (2)
*John Phillips described lost Abram as a pagan idolater of Ur, and Phillips said: “Abram had already done very well for himself. He was successful in business, happily married to an outstandingly good-looking woman, well established in the affections of his servants, and with a lineage that could be traced right back to Adam. But rich as he was, respected and religious as he was, when the story of Abram opens, he was a poor lost sinner hurrying on to a lost eternity. (3)
*People without the Lord are lost! -- Lost as they can be, -- lost forever.
-Just like us, Abram was lost without the Lord.
2. But God took the first step to save us.
*As we explore the story of Abram’s faith, we will see that, as always, God took the first step. The Lord reached out to reveal Himself to Abram.
*Abram did nothing to deserve God’s call or direction. God’s appearance and call to Abram all flowed out of the Lord’s sovereign grace.
*Genesis 11:31-32 shows us the family on the move.
31. Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.
32. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
*But Genesis 12:1 gives us the clue that God had already revealed Himself to Abram back in Ur: “Now the Lord HAD said (i.e. the Lord had already said) to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you.’”
8. . . Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
10. And they (the unbelievers) were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
*So they arrested Stephen and put him on trial for trumped-up charges. Stephen was stoned to death for the cause of Christ, but in Acts 7, the Bible records his defense before the high court in Jerusalem. And there He confirmed the fact that God first revealed Himself to Abram in Ur.
2. And he (Stephen) said, "Men and brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,
3. and said to him, `Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.'
4. Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.