THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-17-12
LESSON TITLE: “BY FAITH ABRAHAM…”
Paul told the Galatian Churches, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
We welcome you to our program this Lord’s day morning. What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God’s Living Word. We are happy you have chosen to be with us today and are excited about this opportunity we have together to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer.
Think for a moment about all of the wondrous promises of God. How wonderful it is to be a child of God so that we are recipients of all of these promises. This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us just how blessed we are. So, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing the first song of the day, it’s called, “I Will Sing The Wondrous Story!”
(SONG # 1)
When was the last time you thanked God for all He has done for you? More specifically, when was the last time you thanked Him for your brethren in Christ? I often think we forget just how blessed we are to not only have an earthly family but to also have an earthly church family. In fact, many of us are as close to our church family as we are our literal families in this life!
I love what Paul said along these lines as he was writing to the Thessalonian brethren in 2 Thessalonians 1:3! There we read, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,” We find here that Paul was thankful for his brethren, but why? He went on to say that the reason he was thankful was because of their great faith. Also notice here what Paul said was demonstrating their faith - “Love for one another!”
You see, we are well blessed when we show the proper love and care for one another as Christians. Because it will benefit us now in this life with relationships that will last forever, but even more so it will benefit us in the eyes of God. This is how He and others know we are truly of Him. Isn’t that what Jesus said in John 13:35? There we read, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Even Christ Himself said that we are truly known as God’s followers by how we treat one another as brethren.
On the other hand, have you ever heard of someone saying they don’t like or hate a fellow brother in Christ? I have! Notice what John said in 1 John 4:20 concerning this statement. There we read, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” We must love our brethren!
So, let’s all remember the great need we have to love one another in Jesus Christ. Remembering that this is how we are encouraged and helped in this life, as well as this being a way that God and others see our true faith. Do you love your brothers and sisters as God commands?
Today we will continue with our series of study concerning Faith. Our specific lesson this morning will focus on, “By Faith Abraham.” This is our next lesson in our series entitled, “But Without Faith It Is Impossible To Please Him.”
This morning we have a guest speaker with us. We are again happy to have Brother Kevin Patterson with us. Brother Kevin is the minister for the HWY 13 Church Of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank him for being with us this day and in a few minutes brother Kevin will return and lead us in our thoughts of the Day. Now it’s time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “All The Way, My Savior Leads Me.”
(SONG # 2)
BY KEVIN PATTERSON
But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Thank you for staying with us this morning, we always appreciate your prescience during this time of worship and praise to God. We are in the middle of a series of lessons that come from Hebrews 11, what we often call the faith chapter, and it is entitled “Without Faith It Is Impossible To Please Him”. Coming of course from the verse of scripture that I mentioned just a moment ago verse 6, which talks about how absolutely imperative faith is if we want to be found pleasing in the sight of God. Thus far in our series we have taken a look at verse 1, which gives us the great biblical definition of faith, it reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And from there we have taken a look at a few of the characters who by faith did or accomplished great things in service to God. We looked at verse 4, “By faith Abel…” verse 5, “By faith Enoch…” and then verse 7, “By faith Noah…”
This week we take a look at a great biblical character, someone who comprises much scripture and is talked about more than any other character in this great faith chapter of Hebrews 11. We’re going to take a look at Hebrews 11:8-19 talking about, “By faith Abraham…” Read with me if you will verse 8, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Now this is a reference back to Genesis 12:1-5 when Abraham, then known as Abram, found himself in a place called Haran. We read, “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people who they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.”(Genesis 12:1-5) And in verse 7 of that chapter, “Then the appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your decedents I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.” You know a lot of times when we are told to do something we usually ask why, children are notorious for this when their parents tell them to do something, give them an instruction, assign to them a particular task, or chore around the house. Kids often say “Why?” instead of just doing it we sometimes want to know why? This is one of the great lessons that we learn from the life of Abraham, was because when God said I want you to leave the land that you’re in and I want you to go to another land that you have never seen, Abraham didn’t question God he simply obeyed.
There is a great story in the book of Matthew 8:5-13 of a Centurion who came to Jesus and he had a servant that was paralyzed, dreadfully tormented we read, and Jesus actually says to the Centurion I’ll come and see him, “I’ll come and heal him.” “The Centurion answered (in verse 8) and said, ‘Lord I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’” And of course he goes on to heal the Centurion servant. The lesson here is that the Centurion didn’t need Jesus to go with him; the Centurion didn’t need him to lay his hands on his servant. He said you are such a great person, he recognized the greatness in Jesus Christ, that all you had to do is utter the word and I know my servant will be healed. What a great faith and that is the type of faith we read in the story of Abraham. Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” That’s the attitude we should have as followers of the Lord today.
Well, back in Hebrews 11:9-10 we read, “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Now notice in there we mentioned Abraham’s son Isaac and Abraham’s grandson Jacob. It is through this lineage that we would read a great story, a great story of the Bible that gives rise to Jesus Christ. But in the time of Abraham and his son and his grandson we read them in this land of promise dwelling in tents not in a home, not in a house, but in a temporary structure. Moving around from place to place as it would be from time to time in a temporary structure. In Genesis 12:8 we read that, Abram pitched his tent with Bethel on the West and Ai on the East. We read in Chapter 13:18 that Abram moved his tent and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron. We read in Genesis 26:17 that his son Isaac pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar. In chapter 31:25 Jacob pitched his tent in the mountains. One of the things that we recognize in the story and why I believe this is mentioned to us in Hebrews 11 is the attitude that Abraham had. The attitude that seems to be revealed to us that he understood where he was, was temporary. Peter would teach us in 1Peter 2:11-12, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoer, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” It says “I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims” I beg you as visitors of this world, this is not our home. We sing that song “This world is not my home I’m just passing through.” We are looking forward to another home; this is a temporary dwelling place. The body in which we live is a temporary vessel for us. In Hebrews 13:14, the Hebrews writer would tell us, “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.”
Back in Hebrews 11:11, “By faith Sarah herself also receive strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” Now the story is told of us in Genesis 17:1-9 when Abram was 99 years old, and he is told that he is going to have children, that God is going to multiply his seed. That he is going to be not only the father of a great nation, he is going to be the father of many nations. Well, in Genesis 17:15-17 when God reiterates this to Abraham and mentions to Abraham that his wife Sarai, who will be known as Sarah, she is actually the one who is going to have a child, she being ten years younger than Abraham. We read in verse 16 that God says, “I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Now we often talk about how Sarah laughed but in verse 17, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’” Well of course, the story is told to Sarah as well and Sarah does laugh and it makes us wonder, what is this passage in Hebrews 11 talking about when we talk about the great faith of Sarah? Well, we can only imagine that this is eluting to what great faith Sarah would develop when she realizes at an extremely old age that she is carrying a child within her, that has been made available to her by the glory of God.
In verse 12 of Hebrew 11 we read, “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude - innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.” In Genesis 22:17 we read concerning God’s words to Abraham, “blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” I can count on one hand how many children I have and it doesn’t take too much for my father and mother to count how many grandchildren they have. But Abraham is told that he will have descendants through Sarah, and through his son Isaac, and through Isaac’s son Jacob, and through Jacob’s sons, and the tribes of Israel. He is told that he is going to have so many descendants that they will be countless like the stars of the sky or like the sands of the seashore.
We continue to read in verses 13-16 that, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off where assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” In Genesis 23:4, Abraham would call himself a sojourner and a foreigner among the people of Canaan among the people of this world. But Jesus would say in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Jesus is eluting to the fact that Abraham was looking forward, Abraham was looking at the big picture if you may. Abraham was looking at that time that would come where the nations of the earth would be blessed through his seed and that blessing would come in the form of Jesus Christ. Jesus who said in John 14:1-3, that he has gone to prepare a place for us and when he comes again to his disciples he will receive them to himself that where he is there we might be also.
In verses 17-19, we read, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.” This is of course probably one of the greatest parts of the story of Abraham because Abraham waits so long for a child and then in his extreme old age. When he is given that child Isaac, and as Isaac is growing and maturing from a toddler to a young man he receives the instruction that he is going to take his only son and sacrifice him on an altar to the Lord. It was interesting the story is told to us in Genesis 22:1-13 that these instructions are given to Abraham and we read that Abraham took his son Isaac and they went off on a journey with some servants and then they leave the servants behind and they go on head alone. We read in verse 6, “So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’” Isaac didn’t know what the offering was going to be. “And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him: for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me. Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and their behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offerening instead of his son.” There is a passage of scripture in Romans 4:3 that reads, “For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’” But it wasn’t and empty belief, it wasn’t simply a statement of belief, it was a conviction that whatever God told Abraham to do, Abraham believed in God so much that he was willing to do it.
We read in James 2:21, the following question, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works and by works faith was made perfect?” Let’s be like Abraham, Let’s be like this great man who believed but who believed so deeply that whatever God told him to do he was willing to do it right then and right there.
(SONG # 3 - “Is It For Me Dear Savior!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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Thanks be to God for great example of faith like Abraham. May we all strive to learn from this important man of faith! So what about you, will you have a greater faith for your God, and will you put Him first in all things?