Sunday, March 17, 2013

Abraham: A Man of Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 3-17-2013
Hebrews 11:8-10
A. This morning, I want to look at Abraham for a few minutes. The message will be short because, to preach on Abraham’s life, this would be the beginning of a series. Abraham was a very special man of faith as God called him His friend. It is one thing when someone says, “I am your friend,” but something entirely different when you say, “He is my friend.”
James 2:23 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. In order to understand what a friend of God is, we must look at God’s definition of a friend found in these 3 verses:
1. A friend of God loveth at all time, even in adversity - Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (We understand the concept of “fair weather friends.”)
2. A friend of God shows himself friendly and remains true to God - Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
3. A friend of God is obedient to God’s commands - John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
C. I want to look at just a few things found in Abraham’s life that show the effects of his faith. Yes, he was just a man; yes, he often failed God; but Abraham loved God and sets for us an example of faith.
1. Abraham believed God for salvation. Nothing is said about Abraham’s turning to God for salvation but he, like everyone else, had a personal experience with God. Man is not saved by either obeying or following God. Salvation in the Old Testament was through atonement and looking forward to the coming of the Seed of the Woman. Somewhere in his life, he came to know Jehovah God as the true God.
a. The Ur of the Chaldees or Ur Kaśdim was the sacred city of the moon god and the name "Camarina" is thought to be related to the Arabic word for moon qamar. The identification with Ur Kaśdim accords with the view that Abraham's ancestors may have been moon-worshippers, an idea based on the possibility that the name of Abraham's father Terah is related to the Hebrew root word for moon.
b. In Genesis 31:30, Laban (Rachel’s brother) said, “And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? (Jacob went back to the land from which Abraham was called to find a wife. In this verse, we see the idolatry that permeated that land. Abraham was raised in idolatry and, yet, we find no reference to his bowing down to or worshipping any other god than Jehovah.)
Joshua 24:2 says, “ And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.”
c. Abraham could never be a “friend of God” until he was at enmity with the world.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
2. Abraham believed God for a Country. Abraham took his wife, Sari and nephew Lot, and left the home of his birth. He left family, home, and occupation upon the call of his Lord, Jehovah God.
a. My wife and I can certainly relate to Abraham’s call. We lived in the same county with all of our immediate family, the county that we were raised in and loved. It is still home to us and always will be. We left a family that we loved with all of our hearts: moms and dads, brothers and sisters, along with nieces and nephews, cousins, etc. We did not leave them because we did not love them and have missed them sorely over the past 30 years. We “buried” our parents and family members by realizing that we would not be there when they needed us the most. I thank God for my brothers and sister who were there. We believed God for a “country” and left, not knowing where we would end up. We heard the call of God and sold out, pulled up all stakes, and left.
b. Abraham left the Ur of the Chaldees with no regrets as the Bible plainly says in:
Hebrews 11: 14-15 , “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.” There are independent Baptist churches in the area we left, but I have never felt the urge to seek the pastorate there.
3. Abraham believed God for the Impossible. Romans 4:18-21 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.
a. God promised Abraham some 25 years before Isaac was born of a child by Sarah. The years moved on and it ceased to be a physical possibility for Abraham and Sarah to have children. Abraham is now almost 100 years old and God has been silent concerning His promise. Sometimes, God’s time is slow to come and our hearts begin to give up. Abraham never gave up on God’s promise.
b. These verses say that Abraham never considered the deadness of his loins nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb. God had promised and that was good enough for Abraham! He remained strong in faith and gave glory to God in the absence of the fulfillment of a promise given. In God’s time, Sarah conceived and brought forth the promised son.
Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
4. Abraham believed God for a City. Hebrews 11:9-10 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
a. Abraham knew that he did not belong in this world. “as in a strange land” We often sing the song which says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue!” He lived in tents instead of houses because his dwellings were temporary.
b. Abraham looked for the heavenly, not earthly. No city on earth had foundations (plural). The New Jerusalem has 12 foundations. Our earthly home will soon be dissolved because we are only here for a while but, one day by the grace of God, we will be eternally home! I am looking for a city, whose builder and maker is God!

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