Summary: What can we learn from Abraham and his faith?
1. Abraham faced a dilemma. Just like we do from time to time.
ABRAHAM HAD A PROMISE FROM GOD & SOME TIME PASSED.
• IT didn’t come to pass immediately.
• Flip over to Genesis 17:1-8 (Promised reaffirmed)
• Did you hear that 99 years old! His wife not too far behind!
• It was a few years earlier when they took things into their own hands with Hagar and Ishmael appeared on the scene.
• But he did not fulfill the PROMISE, he was a not God’s gift.
• I am going to make you a father of many nations Abraham.
• And it LOOKS IMPOSSIBLE! Really, it didn’t just look impossible but it WAS completely IMPOSSIBLE!
SO here it is… the crossroads between the PROMISE OF GOD and the DEPTH OF OUR FAITH IN GOD, THE PROMISE GIVER.
APP: I have to say that my faith doesn’t always measure up to the glorious promises my Jesus has given to me.
• I’m prone at times to doubt, to waver, to wonder!
• It’s so common for us to be there!
• But Abraham, faced with this IMPOSSIBILITY becomes a wonderful picture for us of faith that we all want!
• I mean, I want v20 to be me, my life, my ministry!
So what can we learn from Abraham & his faith?
NOTE: Well, We’ve already seen that his life is a practical example of what it looks like for a person to be saved by faith.
• He was saved apart from any works.
• He was saved apart from the Law.
• He was saved before circumcision was given.
• Simply put, “He believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
AND NOW Abraham becomes a wonderful example of what faith looks like as it’s lived out in a real life.
• We’ll see at least 7 things that we can tuck away in our hearts as we grow in God’s wonderful grace and love!
I. (4:17-22) FAITH IN REAL LIFE
#1 – (v17) HE BELIEVED IN THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE!
• He didn’t have faith in the rampant paganism around him.
• In fact, it was from that paganism that Abraham was delivered.
• Abraham was a friend of God and knew of His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, infinite love, grace, & mercy.
• Notice Paul describes him in v17, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did!
• He had faith in a all powerful, all loving God who is in control of the universe and knows everything in advance!
SO The question becomes “HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?”
• We can either have a BIG God and little problems, or BIG problems with a little god.
• Abraham’s faith was in the GOD of the UNIVERSE.
#2 – (18) HE BELIEVED GOD’S WORD.
• All Abraham had to go on was God’s Word, His promise.
• God spoke to Abraham. He listened. He believed!
• So, he lived his life based on the promises of God.
• He believed that God keeps His word.
NOTE: Here’s what happens with us: We read or hear or receive God’s Word and we’re excited about it.
• God is giving us direction, providing confirmation. THEN…
• You hit a few road bumps along the way.
• A trial here. A question there. Some time passes. Faith fades.
Abraham it says lived CONTRARY TO HOPE.
• You know what his big bump was? AGE.
• Can you imagine how hard it must have been for this 75 year old man to wait 25 years for a son… and still come up empty?!
• It was CONTRARY TO HOPE!
• But He was still hoping in God and still believing His Word!
APP: That’s our lives. We believe God’s Word.
• Now, for us, it’s not verbal, but in writing.
• We can go back to it and read the promises of God over & over.
• They are unchanging, unmovable, unending!
• Let’s turn over to Isaiah 55:10.
• It’s awesome. God says my word goes out and it’s not coming back empty. It will work. It will happen!
• You don’t have to make the Word of God happen, it’s there, alive, powerful, and trustworthy.
Romans 1:16 (NKJV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
NOTE: THE Bible, in the Holy Spirit’s hands, is a powerful thing.
• That’s why at the end of a bible study we have 100’s of people walking out of this room hearing different things.
• Oh they heard the same word, it had the same effect, but God is calling out a DIFFERENT response. Why?