Man of faith
Summary: Being called out to leave a place of comfort, being given promises which seem unnatural, Abram (Abraham) Displays incredible faith. A “Father” worth modelling our lives on.
As Colin mentioned, we are now looking at the speech of Stephen just before his martyrdom, lets read Acts 7:2-5 To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia before he lived in Harran. 3'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.' 4"So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.
The OT scripture which Stephen was referring to here is
Gen 12:1-5 1The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. 2" I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
We can break these 5 verses in 3 sections:
1. The Call- Verse 1
2. The Promises- verses 2, 3
3. The Action – verses 4, 5
Let’s look at these 3 sections and see how the pattern remains the same today, even today there is a Call from God to us, there are Promises of God accompanying the call, and we need to respond in faith and obey the call.
1. The Call- Verse 1
• 1The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.”
• Here we now see this man: Abram, who receives this incredible call- an instruction- to leave his familiar settings to go to a Land shown to him.
• In the Old and New Testament, Abraham is named in 230 verses. References to Abraham (or Abram) in Genesis 11–25:10 disclose biographical incidents in the life of Abraham. From this point on, the 135 remaining references to Abraham point back to these historical events.
• What do we know about his past?- we know he is from Ur of Chaldeans, his father is Terah, he is married to Sarai, he had 2 brothers one who is no more and that his Nephew stays with him. He was from a pagan background (Joshua 24:2,3)
• He is successful
• He is 75 years old!!
• He obeyed and did respond to the call
2. The Promises:
God’s calls to Abram was accompanied by a few amazing promises:
a. Abram would become a great Nation (2a)
b. Abram would be blessed (2b)
c. Abram’s name would become great(2c)
d. Abram would be a blessing to others (2d, and 3a, 3c)
e. Abram would enjoy God’s protection (3b)
These promises are so important, that whenever God addresses the patriarchs in Genesis, he refers to these promises, very often amplifying or make them more specific. To grasp the importance of the promises in Genesis, look at God’s speeches in the book, there are more 10 times that these are referred to
10. 26:2-5, 24
These promises are so significant that Apostle Paul talks about these as the gospel, in Gal 3:8 “And the Scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying in thee shall all nations be blessed.
In Acts 26:6 And Now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our Fathers.
But here is Abram, he is extraordinary, he is a man who was chosen by God, a Man of Faith, whose Name meant “Noble/Exalted” father and who had no child, in the natural these promises must’ve made no sense. No Child but he would be Nation! After 75 his name would be great!
Remember he is 75 years old, he has lived his life with a name which means father and has had no children of his own, yet he believed and responded in faith. Amazing!
3. The Action – verses 4, 5
• Faith in Action: it is not just that he believed, he obeyed and acted in and by faith and left from a place where he is well settled, to go to an uncertain place
• The response which makes him a Hero of the Bible: This is what makes him a Hero, to have that conviction, that faith to do things which in the natural seem unwise or rather abnormal.
• A role model for us:
Respond to the Call of God: Just like God chose Abram and Called him, Here today is the Call of God to all of us: Turn from our own ways to THE WAY He has made, His Son Jesus Christ, to be reconciled to him, to have a covenant relationship with him. Our ways are not good enough, Rom 3-23,24 says we have all fallen short of his glory, our ways are never going to lead us to Him. John 3:16 the famous verse is God’s heart- here is my Son, believe in Him to have eternal life.
God is stretching out his Arms and Calling you into a relationship with Him, He has prepared THE WAY. Your age, your circumstances, your social status, your ‘society’ notwithstanding, the Call is for You, the Call is for all of us. If you’ve not put your trust in Him and His Way, today is the day. If you already have done that, the Call is to go deeper- Deep calls to deep- the more intimate and close relationship with God
Act in obedience- believe and be baptised. Work out our inward Salvation, Let us model ourselves on one of the greats of the Bible, a Man of Faith who responded and acted in obedience, let us also act, if we’ve not put our trust in Him, let us do it today and in action get baptised if we have already done that lets work out what's been worked in us-our salvation.
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