The message today is based on a story that is familiar to most of us.
I. Abraham’s Test: Genesis 22:1-14
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
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. 7 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?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 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. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 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.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there 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 offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
The test that was given to Abraham was very difficult. He was asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Now, we know that Abraham had another son, Ishmael, but Isaac was the son of the promise. The language of ‘only son’ is important for further understanding.
Abraham believed God, trusted God and was obedient to God. He knew that he had heard from God and he was obedient. This was before the Mosaic Law had been given to the Israelites, so Moses had no frame of reference, only his ability to hear from God. Today, we would wish to compare the voice of God’s Spirit to the revelation of His Word for confirmation.
God is able to provide. Ultimately, God did provide the lamb for the burnt offering. God did not want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, rather God wanted to point to the sacrifice that He Himself would one day make for the world.
Whatever test God brings our way, He will provide the resources to complete that test.
II. The Lamb of God: John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
The test of Abraham pointed toward the day when Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God would be offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Truly, God did provide the lamb for the ultimate sacrifice.
III. Death to Life: Ephesians 2:1-10
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We were dead in our trespasses and sins. It is only because of the grace of God that we may have new life.
We have been made alive in Christ, not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done for us.
It is by grace, through faith, for good works. It is important to keep the correct order. If God did not reach out to us, we would remain dead in our sins. He has reached our to us by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ and given us the opportunity to respond with faith in Jesus Christ.
This faith in Jesus leads to the new life. We do not remain as we were, we become the people of God. Our lives are changed, not because of our efforts but because God is working in us.
Thanks be to God!
To Him alone be the glory!!
These are the sermon notes from 2/19/17. All scripture quotes are from the New Kings James Version of the Bible. Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress. I do not have any control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.