Summary: Faith in Christ is more than mere intellectual assent. It is believing with the heart, with the will, with adoration and with action. Abraham is an example.
Heroes of the Faith
ABRAHAM: TRIED AND TRUE
Several years ago a movie chronicling the selection of the first Mercury 7 astronauts showed in detail the many mental, physical, and psychological tests these men went through to prove whether they had the right stuff to be an astronaut. The movie itself was named, “The Right Stuff.”
To be used of God a person also needs the Right Stuff and number 1 on that list is Genuine Faith in the Almighty God.
I. GENUINE FAITH WILL ALWAYS WITHSTAND THE MOST
A. One’s Faith Will Always Be Tested (17a)
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried...”
B. The Test of One’s Faith May Involve that Which
is Most Precious to You
(17b)“...offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
“offered” (prosphero: to bring to; to offer; to present
(Heb 8:3) For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Illustration: When John Bunyan was still in jail for preaching the gospel, he was deeply concerned for his family. He was particularly grieved about his little blind daughter, for whom he had a special love. He wrote, “I saw in this condition I was a man who was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and children. Yet, thought I, I must do it; I must do it. The dearest idol I have known, what err that idol be, help me to tear it from Thy throne and worship only Thee.” (McArthur, Hebrews Commentary, p336)
C. The Greater the Test the Greater the Work God
has for You. (18)
“Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:”
D. The Outcome of the test will reveal the...
Genuineness of One’s Faith
Depth of One’s Faith
Faith in Christ is more than mere intellectual assent. It is believing with the heart, with the will, with adoration and with action. Years ago a party of visitors at the national mint were told by a workman in the smelting works that if you first dipped your hand in water, a ladle of molten metal might be poured over the palm of the hand without burning it. A husband and wife were part of this party of visitors. "Perhaps you would like to try it," the workman said to the husband. The husband drew back sharply, "No thanks," he said, "I’ll take your word for it." The workman turned to the wife, "Perhaps you would like to try it." She replied, "Certainly." She pulled up the sleeve of her blouse and thrust her hand into a bucket of water. Calmly she held her hand out while the metal was poured over it. In nature of Jesus’ parable, we might ask which of the two really believed the workman? The husband believed at one level -- but he wasn’t willing to put his belief to the acid test. The wife, on the other hand, was willing to take the kind of risk faith in Christ demands.
II. GENUINE FAITH TRANSCENDS OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING
(Gen 22:1-3) And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
A. Abraham did not try to figure God out
B. Abraham did not argue with God
C. Abraham simply trusted God
III. GENUINE FAITH IS GROUNDED ON THE...
A. PROMISES OF GOD (17)
B. POWER OF GOD (19a)
“Accounting that God was able ...
“able” (dunatos: able, powerful, mighty, strong)
C. PROVISIONS OF GOD (19b)(Gen. 22:6-8)
“...to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure”
(Gen 22:6-8) And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
“accounting” (logizomai: to reckon, to count, to compute, to calculate, to count over )
Abraham reasoned that God would provide...
• a Substitute
• a Resurrection