Summary: This the first of a series on Abraham, the father of Faith. Learn from his life how God has designed todays Christian to walk in the footsteps of faith.
LIVING BY FAITH
Romans 4:12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Paul in writing to the church located in Rome was using Abraham as an example of how the Christian life is lived not by works, such as the Jews mark of circumcision, but by faith. He uses the life of Abraham to prove his point in saying that Abraham walked in the footsteps of the faith before he was circumcised.
This sermon will examine Abraham’s life and the spiritual lessons we can learn from it.
Abraham’s life begins to unfold in Genesis 11, a pivotal chapter to understand, for it describes the rise of man and his own ways, culminating in the building of the tower of Babel. God’s displeasure, destruction and ultimate scattering of man across the world as a result, followed by Abraham’s introduction as God unfolds how He has designed man to live by faith in God alone.
The First step:
LEAVE THE PAST
Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
Genesis 11:31-32 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
Terah means delay - Haran means parched, barren - Until Abram left his past his life was characterized by delay and barrenness - just as it is with us.
Acts 7:2 tells us that God appeared to Abraham firstly in Ur of the Chaldees and instructed him to leave his life as it stood and head for Canaan. This speaks to us as the first step in our Christian walk, to become saved we must leave our ways for God’s ways and acknowledge Him as the only One who can bring us to salvation.
To leave our land etc, in a practical sense, is really saying put God first above all things. Abraham walked in partial obedience he headed out in the right direction but relationship with worldly things delayed him in Haran where he suffered drought. Partial obedience to God and His word always leaves us parched and in drought.
God did not speak to Abraham again until he fully obeyed His voice and entered Canaan.
The second step:
LEARN GOD’S WAYS
God blessed Abraham. Yes God does want to bless the Christian but fullness of that blessing only comes when we learn His ways and walk in them.
Genesis 12:6-8 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
BETHEL = House of God - AI = Heap of Ruin - MOREH means teaching - SHECHEM means burden bearer.
Here is the key then to blessing. Allow yourself to be taught from God’s word. Abraham sits under the tree of teaching. The names describe the lessons being taught, Jesus is our burden bearer, following Gods ways builds Gods house of presence and blessing. Following mans ways brings us into ruin!
CHOICES DETERMINE DESTINY
Joshua 24:2-3 ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac.
Joshua 24:15 choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD
Joshua speaks to Israel. Guess where? At Shechem and he repeats the lesson that Abraham had learnt. Choose to obey God and all will be okay. Deuteronomy 28 is a great chapter on the principles obedience and disobedience and their consequences. Blessing and curses are not some mystical spell cast or spell to be broken over someone’s life but simply results of living or not living for God.
The third step: