Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


The Faith of Abraham and Sarah


Hebrews 11:8-19


Introduction:

·         We have seen so far that true faith leads to worship, work, and obedience to God

·         Abraham is known as the man of faith. He is the primary example of faith in the book of Romans, and Galatians. He is the “father” of all who believe

·         Abraham's name is found 74 times in the New Testament, beginning with the very first verse.  "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matt. 1:1).

·         All together, Abraham is mentioned 300 times in Scripture.

·         Abraham believed God.  "By faith..." (11:8).

·         Abraham obeyed God (11:8).

·         Abraham followed God (11:9).

 

I.                    The adventure and patience of faith- v. 8-10

a.      See Gen 12:1-7

b.      Gen 12:7- Abraham built an altar everywhere that God led him!

c.       The Christian has no right to ask where he is going.

d.      Most of us live a cautious life on the principle of safety first; but to live the Christian life there is necessary a certain reckless willingness to adventure. If faith can see every step of the way, it is not really faith. It is sometimes necessary for the Christian to take the way to which the voice of God is calling him without knowing what the consequences will be. Like Abraham he has to go out not knowing where he is going.

e.      Abraham's faith was the faith which had patience. When he reached the promised land, he was never allowed to possess it. He had to wander in it, a stranger and a tent-dweller, as the people were some day to wander in the wilderness. To Abraham God's promise never came fully true; and yet he never abandoned his faith.

f.        Sometimes, to wait is even harder than to adventure. The hardest time of all is the time in between. At the moment of decision there is the excitement and the thrill; at the moment of achievement there is the glow and glory of satisfaction; but in the intervening time there is necessary the ability to wait and work and watch when nothing seems to be happening. It is then that we are so liable to give up our hopes. The man of faith is the man whose hope is flaming bright and whose effort is intensely strenuous even in the grey days when there is nothing to do but to wait.

g.      Illustr- benchwarmer has to always stay ready!

II.                  Faith for the impossible- v. 11-12

a.      By faith Sarah: Sarah’s faith was not perfect. She first laughed in unbelief (Genesis 18:9-15) and then she learned to laugh in faith (Genesis 21:6).

b.      Sarah laughed God off at first, but she had to learn to believe and have faith (see Mark 9:27 help thou mine unbelief)

c.       It is difficult to leave home and family, and step out by faith, but Abraham did just that (11:8-10).

d.      It is difficult to believe God will give you a child when you are way past the age of childbearing but Sarah had faith and God blessed her with a child at the age of ninety years old (11:11, 12).

e.      This is an example of faith triumphing over physical inability

                                                              i.      Speak- Moses

                                                            ii.      Walk on water- Peter

                                                          iii.      Live according to the spirit and not the flesh- Paul

f.        God proved that there is nothing too hard for Him! If it is within the realm of God’s will, than it is always in the realm of possibility!

III.                The Pilgrim’s life of faith- v. 13-16

a.      Abraham lived as a “sojourner” in the land God promised, never owning any of it except the plots that he and Sarah were buried on. Dwelt translates the ancient Greek word paroikos, describing a “resident alien” – one who lives somewhere, but doesn’t have permanent status there.

b.      Why did Abraham hold such a light grip on real estate? V. 10- He was looking for that city whose builder and maker is God!

c.       “I feel like travelling on!”

d.      God is the architect of this heavenly city. It is a model city- without slums, pollution, and best of all without sin!

e.      Their desire: pass through the world without having the world’s imprint on them

f.        They seek a country- v. 14- Don’t get to cozy down here. We are just pilgrims!

g.      V. 13- the patriarchs did not see all of their innumerable descendants, or total occupation of the promised land- but their faith brought these promises so near that they are pictured as already embracing them!

h.      They anticipated with such joy as if they already possessed them! Application- our promises of eternity


I’d rather walk in the dark with God
  Than go alone in the light;
I’d rather walk by faith with Him
  Than go alone by sight.

 

IV.                The ultimate test of faith- v. 17-19

a.      The greatest test of Abraham’s faith was offering up Isaac

                                                              i.      Isaac was the only begotten as far as being the son of the promise!

                                                            ii.      V. 18-19- Abrahams’ great faith

b.      This is an example of sacrifice and consecration. God was seeing if Abraham was “all in.” Often faith demands that we sacrifice- relationships, possessions, desires.

c.       Some don’t like the story of Isaac- it seems to show a God who demands human sacrifice.

d.      God never really intended for a human sacrifice in Isaac. However, Abraham said in Genesis 22:8, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: God Himself would be the sacrifice- through His only begotten, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Conclusion:

·         Abraham’s life is defined perfectly in Romans 4:20,21- He was fully persuaded!

·         May we never stagger, and be fully persuaded in what God wants to do in our day!

·         These all died in faith: I want that testimony!

·         · They did not need to seek faith on their deathbed. They died in faith.

·         By faith Abraham gave up the world and rested on future promises. And by faith you must give up the world and rest on future promises. For example

·         1. If your world is the admiration of nature, of trees and hills, and the objects of the earth around you; faith helps you by opening your eyes to see a world where there are hills without their toil, suns without their burning, trees without their dying, flowers without their fading, nature unstained by sin, unvisited by death,

·         2. If your world is the praise of man, you are called to give it up; faith offers you the praise of God instead, the approval of your Saviour.

·         3. If your world is success in your earthly calling, and you are called by conscience to resign hopes of high success here, faith points through the veil of humiliation to the everlasting hills, where you shall reign as kings and priests for ever.

·         4. If your world is your family, whose affections God calls you willingly and cheerfully to resign, faith points to a re-union in heaven.

·         5. If your world is society, with its vain, empty, delusive, dissipating pleasure, faith points you to a society whose whole object is God, whose whole religion is praise, and whose whole will is obedience; a society of angels and saints, gathered from the earliest ages, and purified by the influence of the Spirit.