Summary: Lent 2(A) - Faith is fed by God’s word as FAITH BELIEVES in God’s word and as FAITH RESPONDS to God’s word.
OUR FAITH IS FED BY GOD’S WORD (Outline)
March 4, 2007 - LENT 2 - Genesis 12:1-8
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INTRO: Faith – believers know the definitions. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This definition is from Hebrews 11. This is a good chapter to read as it talks about the heroes of faith. Abraham is our hero of faith in today’s text. Faith is God’s gift of grace to each one of us. Like any gift we want to nurture it, take care of it, and treasure faith. That is what we are going to study and learn in God’s word. "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good"(1 PETER 2:17). Each of us has more than tasted that the Lord is good. Each of us has feasted on the rich banquet of God’s word for most if not all of our lives. God has blessed us. We are reminded again how to nurture God’s free gift of faith.
FAITH IS FED BY GOD’S WORD.
I. Faith believes in God’s word, and;
II. Faith responds to God’s word.
I. FAITH BELIEVES IN GOD’S WORD
A. God asks Abram to take a leap of faith in verse 1. God tells Abram to leave.
1. Abram is to leave his country, people, and father. Each one is more difficult to leave
2. Remember that Abram did not have access to modern communication methods.
3. Leaving meant being cut off. Leaving could mean never seeing loved ones again.
B. The Lord God gives Abram his reasons why he should listen to the Lord’s request.
1. In verse 2 God promises blessing for Abram and his name, and for others as a great nation.
2. In verse 3 God promises to be with Abram on his journey to protect him.
3. The end of verse 3 adds this crowning blessing: All nations will be blessed = the Savior!
C. There is only one reaction on the part of Abram. His faith believes in God’s word. Verse 4.
D. Simply put, faith believes in God’s word and his promises and his truth. Sadly, many today have a misplaced faith that is no faith at all. Many have faith in a God who they picture as a kindly, old grandfa-ther sitting in his rocking chair who helps them when they call upon him. Many have faith in their own good works. Some have faith in their own righteousness. They think if they just live good enough lives and try hard enough that will satisfy God. Faith is not fed on our opinions, musings or definitions of what we think God may or may not be like. Faith is fed on God’s word alone. God’s word does not always tell us what our self-esteem might want to hear. "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away"(ISAIAH 64:6). During our windy springs this a fitting verse to recall. True, we do not want to hear that all our righteous acts are tainted with sin. But they are. Our sins DO sweep us away.
E. Letting our faith be fed by God’s word is the only to realize that we need help. We simply cannot save ourselves. We can never, ever do enough to please our righteous God. We cannot work our way into heaven. We cannot buy our way into heaven. Certainly, not a single one of us deserve to be in heaven – on our own merit or worthiness. God’s law tells us that we are lost and condemned creatures. What are we to do? God’s gracious gift of faith has the answer. "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit"(ROMANS 3:14). God’s gospel reminds that we are sinners who are saved.
F. Faith believes in God’s word. It doesn’t always make sense according to human reason or thinking. But that is the definition of faith. One example is from the night Jesus was betrayed. Jesus changed the Passover meal (old covenant) into the Lord’s Supper (new covenant). Each of the four Scripture accounts record how Jesus stated – simply and clearly: This is my body…this is my blood. Some still teach today that this is impossible because Jesus’ body is in heaven not here on earth. God’s word says this is and it is true. Even more amazing, Jesus gives us the reason for this blessed sacrament for believers. "Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ’Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’"(MATTHEW 26:27,28).