LCF’s Jan 29, 2017 message was titled: “Abraham Obeyed & Was Blessed! To Become The First Family of Faith.”
It was based on Heb 11: 8 – 16, which in th ESV reads:
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
OVERVIEW Heb 11: 8 – 16
Vs 8a = Abe obeyed & inherited the gift of the blessing of God to be His chosen people, who will be the blood line to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vs 8b Abraham obeyed (exercised faith) though he did not know where he was going.
Vs 9 = Abraham sojourned, lived as a foreigner in the land of promise.
Are we living on earth a foreigner, or as one who is friendly & familiar with the ways of the world? (Like Abe, the territory & souls God gives us currently is occupied, and must enter an obtain it. This means it must be taken or snatched from enemy hands.
As Abraham, we are called to walk separately with God. We can’t live in familiarity with the world, because the Holy Spirit makes us out of synch with the ways of the world.
James 4:4 Friendship with the world is enmity (hostile animosity) with God! 1 John 2:15 love not the world, John 3:16 God loves the world, so He wants us to be in but not of the world! John 15:19 – the world does not love us because we are not of it. The world may need and want what we can provide, but it is at odds with us because our values and views come from an outer worldly place called heaven – The Kingdom of God!
Vs 10 = Abraham looked to the city that has foundations (everlasting consequences that result from faith in God, which is like a foundation laid in the soul upon which is built fuller and richer knowledge of saving truth) whose designer (craftsman/architect) and builder (framer of the higher course of things) is God.
Vs 11 = Though Sarah could not conceive children, and was too old by human standards to accomplish what God called her and Abraham to do, she considered God faithful to (would work through them to bring to pass) what He promised
Vs 12 There are two types of children of Abraham – a) stars & b) sand
Heb. 11: 8 Echos Gen.12: 1-3
8By faith Abraham obeyed (listened and acted under the authority of God, Who spoke) when he was called (summoned and invited) to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.
The nature of Abraham’s obedience is that he went out, not knowing (without full understanding of) where he was going (where he specifically would end).
Abraham did not know the end result of his obedience. He, nonetheless, trusted in the character of God to be good, righteous and holy, and would bring him to a good place.
Walking by faith and obeying God can make our carnal natures feel rather insecure. It’s like walking backwards. You don’t fully see the way ahead, but you certainly often can see the past positive results of the steps you’ve taken.
Gen 12 1 – 3 Abraham’s Call
Gen 12: 1 1Now the LORD saida to Abram, “Go from your countryb and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”c
Heb. 11: Gen. 12: 1 Abraham’s call – leave where you are for the promised lan
In Gen. 12: 1-3 God calls Abe to
- 1“Go from your country/land
- your kindred and your father’s house
The first two parts of this command are to leave what is Familiar
- to the land that I will show you.”c
Are our lives camped out in our own private version of sin-city that we need to leave to live a different way, trusting God to fulfill us and make us whole, though we do not know what the end result of that will be?
Abraham first had to leave what was familiar and comfortable and strike out by faith before he got the specific instructions of where to go and how to enter into the promised land of fulfillment.
We too faithfully must leave what is familiar!
What keeps us from leaving what is familiar is
- Sentimentality – excessive feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia (self-indulgent longings for the past)
- Failure to forsake the sins our parents taught us.
One of many examples of this is provided in 1 Kings 22:51-53 51Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.52He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.53He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.
Math 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
- Rebellion (open resistance to God’s authority) – which in 1 Sam 15: 23, which is spoken to Saul. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination (witchcraft), and presumption (arrogance, stubbornness, insubordination, defiance) is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”
Heb 11: 8 – 16 The promise that accompanied Abraham’s Call Mirrors God’s promises & calls on our lives.
In Genesis 12:2, God calls Abe to a five fold blessing:
- 2And I will make of you a great nation, and
- I will bless you (confer favor upon you) and … you will be a blessing. (We bless others with that which God gives us.)
- I will make your name great, (3 religions claim Abe as their patriarch, Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
the promise & consequences that accompanied Abraham’s call
In Genesis 12:2, God’s call on Abe’s Life includes blessings and curses:
- 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse,
- God’s favor accompanies those who respect what God has done through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But also, Dis’ the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and God dis’s you!, and God dis’s you!)
- in you all the families/people’s of the earth shall be blessed.”c
- (All people groups and ethnicities will find God’s favor through Christ, the Savior who has come through the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!)
Heb. 11: 9 Abraham Sojourned Under A Temporary Visa
9By faith Abraham focussed on the promise, (that which is fitting” based upon God’s spoken word and which is guaranteed by His Own Eternal Being).
Once Abraham answered the call, he became a citizen of Heaven, and a subject of God, who became his King. Earth then became to him what Hebrews 11:9 calls “a foreign land.”
Evidence of Abraham’s status as a sojourner (one who has a temporary stay) is that he and Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise, lived in tents (temporary, easily moveable dwellings).
VISA an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country.) with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
Heb. 11: 10 While Sojourning Under A Temporary Visa Abraham Focused On A City With Foundations
10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations (deep everlasting consequences that result from faith in God, which is like a foundation laid in the soul upon which is built fuller and richer knowledge of saving truth), whose designer and builder is god. (whose is the designer (craftsman/architect, builder and framer of the higher course of things).
Gen 11:30 – “AND SARAH WAS BARREN” Heb. 11: 11 – But Received Power to Bear A Child
Before God called Abraham to make him into great nation, it was a well established fact that Sarah was barren, sterile, unable to bear children.
Barren means …
- to be unable to fulfill her desire to produce offspring
- to be denied the distinct privilege to carry forth the lineage of both her’s and her husband’s families.
- to feel unfulfilled in her desire to have children.
11By faith Sarah herself received power (enabled with the ability) to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
For this to happen, Sarah, who laughed and lied about it in Gen. 18:12, and had to repent and believe with at least the mustard seed faith of Luke 17:6 and Matt 17:20, so she could receive God’s promise 11By faith Sarah herself received (to lay hold by aggressively and actively accept what is available by assertive volition)
Heb. 11: 12 Sarah Became The Mother of Stars & Sand
12Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. (Gen 15:5 & Gen 22:17)
Get 15: 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Gen 22:17 I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore.
God always gives two analogies because sand is a metaphor for our Adamic, carnal nature and stars are a metaphor for our Born Again, Christ-like nature. (1 Cor 15: 45-49 & Dan 12:3)
1 Cor 15: 45 – 49… 45…“The first man Adam became a living being”;e the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 47Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shallf also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Dan 12: 3 Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.
Heb. 11: 8 & Gen. 11:30 Abe is a man of great obedience & faith
Abraham is a great man of obedience because he left not knowing where he was going.
Abraham is a great man of faith because he took his barren wife with him.
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Abraham is a great man of faith who
- had conviction of things not seen
- affirmed evidence that was real, but was not yet realized
- the only way for God’s promise for Abe to become a great nation to be fulfilled was for his wife Sarah’s barrenness to be overcome, so she could become pregnant and conceive.
Our Goal Is To Exercise A Faith That Qualifies Us To be Commended by God as spiritual stars in the kingdom of God! In “Communion” we Bring Our Bareness to God Who will commune with us to bear fruit.
To view the recorded message, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85fIaOPsYE