Temple Baptist Church - 8-6-2017
Hebrews 11:8-10; James 2:21-23
A. The Book of James sets forth a faith that works! In chapter 2, James—through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—called Abraham “the friend of God.” Not “a friend of God,” but the Scripture used the definite article “the.”
James 2:21-23 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
B. This tells me a couple of things about Abraham:
1. Abraham loved the Lord. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
2. Abraham stuck close to the Lord. Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
C. Abraham was not a perfect man. God wants us to be perfect but that perfection is personal merit man. God honors a faith that glorifies Him and not the man! It was Abraham’s faith, not his works, that made him the friend of God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
D. This morning, we are going back to about 2000 BC. Over 4000 years ago, God brought a man out of a heathen land and, by faith, made him the father of many nations.
E. This is worthy of being quoted: “A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.” I may be wrong, but I believe that a friend of mine, Pastor James Bowman, either quoted that or had it written in his bible. I now have it written in mine.
F. Abraham showed his faith in God in many ways, but I want to zero in on three instances:
1. Abraham walked with God in Faith when he left the Ur of the Chaldees. He did not know where he was goingbut he knew that God did!
Genesis 12:1-5 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (4) So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (5) And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. (Would you walk with God by faith if He called you to leave home, family, friends, and serve Him in another land?)
2. Abraham walked with God in Faith when he believed God for the Promised Seed. He knew that he and Sarah could not physically have a child but he knew that God could do the impossible! “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Genesis 15:1-6 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (2) And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? (3) And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. (4) And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. (5) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Romans 4:17-22 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (18) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (Would you walk with God in faith if He promised you the impossible?)
3. Abraham walked with God in Faith when he offered up Isaac as God commanded. He knew that death was normally final but he also knew that God would resurrect Isaac from the dead because he was the promised seed and was childless! We also must have faith in the resurrection of the Promised Seed.
Genesis 22:1-3 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. (2) And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (3) And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, (18) Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: (19) Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Would you walk with God in faith if He asked you to give Him the most important thing in your life?)
Conclusion: Galatians 3:6-9 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.