Sermons

Summary: Abraham made it, Terah didn’t

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1. The Mission

Abraham as rightly been called

the Father of all who believe. (Rom 4:11)

The New Testament uses Abraham’s experiences as the historical basis for teaching justification by faith (Gal 3:69 and Rom 4:13).

Abraham’s faith resulted in ACTION. It was not just head knowledge.

Faith - what is it?.

Faith is responding to the Word of God.

A mnemonic for faith:

Forsaking

All (almost?)

I

Take/Trust in

Him.

In other words 100% commitment.

1. 1 Who was Abraham?

Genesis 12: 1-8 : The Call of Abram.

Abram was descended from Noah through his son Shem (Gen 11:10-27). The term Semetic which is used to describe the Jewish people comes from this Shem.

The name Abram probably means "the father is exalted" . God changed his name to Abraham as we better know him meaning "father of a multitude of nations"

His father Terah and the rest of his family were idol worshippers (Jos. 24:2)

He was living in Ur of the Chaldees, in Mesopotamia near the Persian Gulf

Let us look at the city of Ur from archaeological records:

Ur of the Chaldees

1) it was the ancient capital of Sumer

2) it was one of the wealthiest and largest cities (C.L.Wooley showed in his excavations from 1922 to 1934)

3) It was the centre of commerce. Ships came through the Persian Gulf up the Euphrates River bringing gold, ivory alabaster copper and hard wood to Ur

4) It was a centre of education. The ruins of a school having a large library of clay plates has for example been found

5) It was a centre of idolatry. The moon god Nanna was worshipped. Ruins found include a great ziggurat temple, and other building dedicated to Nanna and idols in niches of homes.

Ur was very much like Basle today, a city of wealth and idolatry.

I have a city plan of Ur. You might be interested to see how advanced it was. It even had a canal linking the west harbour with the northern harbour on the Euphrates river.

In short Abraham had every comfort he needed.

Yet God called him to leave the luxury he had in Ur to go to Canaan, the Promised Land, a journey that took him about 2,000 km.

Let us look at the journey he made

As a background note, West Semitic was the language of Ur as far as upper Egypt, so Abraham was able to communicate on his travels.

Why? Why did God call him to make this almost 2,000 km journey. And remember they had no cars or planes.

God wanted Abraham to cut off all his ties with his idolatrous past in order to enjoy communion with the true God and serve Him.

Abraham is a picture of how God wants us to live. When we become Christians, the Lord calls us to go away from all that causes us to look away from God. To bury the old life and enter the new one.

Story: I had a good friend Nick Summerhayes who had a great deal of influence on me. He mocked God and was into drugs. When I became a Christian, I found that we had nothing more in common. I knew I had to cut myself off from him and his influence.

God called Abraham to leave all this pagan influence behind and follow him.

We recall the words of Christ in Luke 9:23

1. The Mission

Abraham as rightly been called


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