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Summary: Abraham’s life testifies that it is our FAITH that pleases God. But our FAITH must be tested, forging our character and refining our trust to prepare us for the day when our FAITH will become sight.

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FAITH THAT IS TESTED

Genesis 22: 1-14

Good News Christian Fellowship

BUCAS, Daraga Albay

October 22, 2006

INTRODUCTION

A. About last week’s message.

1. Last week we have learned that trusting the Lord brings:

• Deliverance

1. saved us “out from horrible pit;” from helplessness and desperation.

2. saved us “out of miry clay,”; God moved us from desperation to a sense of security.

• Joy

1. Joyful obedience

2. Joyful testimony

• Faith

1. Deliverance

2. Salvation

B. Today we will have to take a look on the ultimate test in Abraham’s life. It was told that perhaps more than any other Old Testament character, Abraham repeatedly emerged in the bible as a model for strong faith. How can Abraham who lived from antiquity teach us anything about FAITH?

C. Abraham’s life testifies that it is our FAITH that pleases God. But our FAITH must be tested, forging our character and refining our trust to prepare us for the day when our FAITH will become sight. As Apostle Paul said in Second Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”

D. Genesis 22 records Abraham’s greatest trial and the greatest revelation of the gospel which God made to Abraham. God has brought Abraham to the series of test back in Genesis 12. Now in Genesis 22, Abraham faced his supreme test, a rigorous final exam at the hand of God.

E. Now lets look what lesson we can learn from him. But before we go to his final test, let’s first take a look at Abraham’s crises in life recorded in Chapter 12, 13, and 17 of Genesis that led up to Abraham’s final test.

HIS CRISES IN LIFE

A. Called To Depart From Ur. – God Told Abraham, a native of Ur, to leave his hometown and his family, and go to the land of his inheritance. He was seventy-five when Abraham forsook his boyhood dwelling for a new and unfamiliar dwelling – the land of God’s promise. Nevertheless, Abraham trusted in God’s promise to make his descendant a great nation through whom all people on earth be blessed. So Abraham bid goodbye to his family and friends, and willingly turned his back on Ur forever.

B. Separating From Lot (Genesis 13) This chapter gives an account of strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot (vv.5-7), impelled him to separate from Lot. The land could not simply sustain both families. So to avoid strife, Abraham set aside his personal needs and offered Lot the choices land (vv.8-9). In this situation, Abraham trusted God and waited once again for Him to reveal His plan.

C. Giving up His Cherished Plans for Ishmael (Genesis 17) This chapter treats of a covenant made with Abram, sometimes called the covenant of circumcision, the time when God appeared to him, and promised to make it, and did, (17:1); the change of Sarai’s name, and a promise made that she should have a son, to the great surprise of Abraham, (Gen.17:15). Remember that Abraham had another son named Ishmael, who was born of Hagar (Genesis 16:15) However, this was not God’s plan. God had determined that the child of His promise would come from Abraham and Sarah, and no one else (Genesis 17:15-16, 19-21). God said to Abraham, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac…”

God told Abraham to give-up or relinquish his plans for Ishmael. Look at Abraham’s petition to God in verse 18: “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!”

John Gill commented:

“…that he might enjoy the favour of God, his gracious presence and communion with him; that he might live a holy spiritual life here, acceptable and well pleasing to God, and possess eternal life hereafter ..”

Abraham’s concern for Ishmael is very evident in his impassioned entreaty to the Lord. Despite of His deep love for Ishmael, Abraham determined to follow God’s way and not his own.

A FAITH CONFIRMED (Genesis 22)

A. Revelation of the Test. Unbelievably, in the fourth and final crisis, God commanded Abraham to take Isaac, his long- awaited son, and offer him as a sacrifice.

Read verses 1-2.

“And it came to pass after these things” - After all the other trials, hardships, heartaches, and difficulties he had already endured, perhaps Abraham had begun to think, “At last, the storms are over.”

So, this man, Abraham after have been:

• Called To Depart From Ur

• Separated From Lot

• Giving up His Cherished Plans for Ishmael

• This is the man who had to wait 25 years for God to fulfill his promise - Isaac.

Abraham must have thought to himself, after all that he had been through, “Now the worst is over. Now I will live in peace. Ishmael is gone Lot is gone. Hagar is gone. Now, I have Sarah and Isaac. I might now receive the promise of God through Isaac. Through him, and him alone, God would fulfill His covenant (Genesis 15).

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