RECEIVING GOD'S PROMISED BLESSING HAS ALWAYS REQUIRED REAL FAITH--THE KIND OF FAITH THAT LOOKS BEYOND NATURAL OBSTACLES TO FIND STRENGTH IN GOD'S POWER AND FAITHFULNESS
(The illustration of Abraham / the application to us today)
1. Faith Makes Sense Because of Who God Is (:17b) (the Nature of God)
a. He is the God of Resurrection Power "gives life to the dead"
b. He is the God of Sovereign Faithfulness "calls things that are not as though they were"
2. Real Faith Looks Beyond Natural Obstacles -- Believing Against Hope
a. Obstacles facing Abraham -- God's gracious promise seemed humanly impossible
1) condition of his own body
2) condition of Sarah's body
b. Obstacles facing us -- a test of faith -- How can a holy God truly justify sinners apart from any merit or works?
important to face the facts and yet not allow our faith to be weakened;
how is our faith strengthened?
3. What are the Foundations of Our Faith?
Real Faith Finds Strength in God's Resurrection Power and Sovereign Faithfulness
4. Real Faith Will Always Receive God's Promised Blessing