Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the series "Unlocking The Doors To Freedom". We are saved by faith, not our works.
Series: Unlocking The Doors To Freedom [#7]
THE DOOR OF YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE
Abraham had 2 sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael’s mother was Hagar and Isaac’s mother was Sarah.
The 2 sons illustrate our 2 births:
Physical birth that makes us sinners.
Spiritual birth that makes us children of God.
Isaac illustrates our spiritual identity.
Galatians 4:21-31 (NIV)
“Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband." Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”
Key #1: He was born by God’s power.
God waited 25 years before Sarah had Isaac. Why? Isaac was “born by the power of the Spirit” and so are Christians.
John 3:1-7 (NIV)
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.'”
Isaac came into the world through Abraham (who represents faith) and Sarah (who represents grace). Christians are born by grace through faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Key #2: He brought joy.
Isaac means “laughter”. He brought joy to his parents. Salvation is an experience that brings joy.
Key #3: He grew and was weaned.
Genesis 21:8 (NIV)
“The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.”
Salvation is the beginning, not the end. After we are born we must grow.
1 Peter 2:2 (NIV)
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
Part of maturity is weaning; we must lay aside “childish things”.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
Key #4: He was persecuted.
Genesis 21:9 (NIV)
“But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking.”
Ishmael (the flesh) caused problems for Isaac, just as our old nature does for us. Ishmael created no problems in the home until Isaac was born, just as our old nature did not create problems until our new nature was born.
In Abraham’s home we see the same basic conflicts that Christians face:
Hagar vs. Sarah= Law vs. Grace
Ishmael vs. Isaac= Flesh vs. Spirit
We must be born again and grow. We must walk in the Spirit. We are free!