Summary: Three things that should be found in the life of any man or woman of faith: An altar of dedication to the will of the Saviour A tent of detachment from the ways of society A well of dependence on the Word of the Spirit.
THE FINISHING OF FAITH
Hebrews 11 could be called "The Saints Hall of Fame", "The Westminster Abbey of Scripture", and "The Honor Roll of the Old Testament Saints." It deals with the excellency of faith.
We observe faith worshipping, walking, working, waiting, warring, and faith winning. We note in this chapter that is a must to obtain a good report with God and to please God.
This morning I want us to look at Isaac who is mentioned in Hebrews 11 and consider three things that should find their place in the furnishings of faith of any man or woman.
The furnishings of faith
Three things that should be found in the life of any man or woman of faith:
I. An altar - speaks of DEDICATION TO THE WILL OF THE SAVIOUR.
Altar was a place upon which men offered sacrifices.
A. Altar had been erected
First, instance of any altar building done by Isaac. Many erected by his father. The building of an altar was an act expressive of one’s personal devotion. Has there been any altar’s experiences in your life? Are there any altars where you have yielded yourself to do the will of God? Has there been any altars erected where you have surrender your person and plans?
Isaac was offered up to God years before on an altar built by his father Abraham! However, God did not want Isaac; he wanted Abraham. In the life of Abraham, the offering up of Isaac meant surrendering to God his attachments, his affections, and his aspirations.
Quote Romans 12:1,2
A pig and chicken were wandering past a church when the chicken noticed the words on the marquee in front of the building announcing a ham and egg breakfast next Sunday before the morning services. The chicken said to the pig, "Is not that just grand. Both of us are involved in next week’s breakfast."
The pig quickly replied, "That is easy for you to be excited about. Your part will just be a contribution, but mine will be a sacrifice."
B. Altar had been neglected
The word altar does not appear very much in the life of Isaac. I wonder if this does not explain the mediocrity, which marked his life?
When I study the life of Lot that I find no altars mentioned in his individual life. Could this be the reason he got into the mess he got into?
I think we need to do as Elijah did on Mount Carmel. We need to repair the altars of dedication and faithfulness that are torn down.
A wife or a husband who is 85% faithful to their mate is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus.
II. A tent - speaks of DETACHMENT FROM THE WAYS OF SOCIETY.
A tent is very easily moved. A house is solid and built into its environment, but a tent can be moved at a moment’s notice. A tent proposes that one is a stranger and pilgrim. It suggest that one is just passing through.....that one is not going to settle down. A tent is a type of transient dwelling. A tent implies a spirit of detachment.
A good soldier must not allow himself to get entangled with civilian interest, when all his energies are supposed to be devoted to the war. A good soldier will have to give up certain things, certain interest, certain habits, certain amusements, and even certain friends - not because any of these are wrong in themselves, but because they are a snare, an entanglement to him. They get in the way of his success as a soldier. He needs to be detached from certain things that he might be totally committed to the one who he serves.
I read recently about a Civil War soldier who happened to be a watchmaker. One day the bugle sounded, and the men were told to break camp. "But I can’t go now." the soldier complained. "I have a dozen watches to repair." He was a soldier entangled and not detached from the things of this world.
The tent in the life of Isaac suggest the same thing
A. Needs to be a spirit of detachment from the pleasures of this world
As we pass through things temporal, we must be careful not to lose sight of the things that are eternal. The temporal may become the enemy of the eternal.
I John 2:15-17 The world draws away our love from the Father. "Demas hath forsaken me, d this present world."
If the church of Jesus Christ were as afraid of worldliness as it is of holiness what a difference would be made.
The world’s pleasures drain our energies, deplete our resources, demand our time, and divert our mind.