Sermon #13 Genesis Sermons
Title: Abraham - A Picture of Grace
Text: Nehemiah 9:7-8; Genesis 12:1-13:4
Subject: The grace of God displayed in Abraham
Date: Tuesday Evening - August 13, 1991
Throughout the Word of God Abraham is held before us as an example of faith. The Lord God called Abraham, “My friend” (Isa. 41:8). He was “the friend of God” (James 2:23). When Paul wanted an illustration of the believer’s faith and justification, he selected Abraham as the example (Rom. 4). And when he wrote to the Galatians who, like us, were Gentiles by nature, he declared that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are “the children of Abraham” (v.7), and that we are “blessed with faithful Abraham’” (v.9).
if there is any man in the Bible who should be of interest to you and me, that man is Abraham. So tonight I want to talk to you about Abraham - A Picture of Grace. Earlier, I read to you that part of Abraham’s history that is recorded in Genesis 12. Let’s turn now to the Book of Nehemiah, chapter 9. I want us to read that portion of the Levites’ prayer that is recorded in verses 6-9.
Now look at what these men said about Abraham, as they sought to worship the God of Abraham.
1. Thou “didst choose Abraham” - His election.
2. “And broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees” - His calling.
3. “And gavest him the name Abraham” - His conversion.
4. “And foundest his heart faithful” - His perseverance.
5. “And madest a covenant with him” - His blessedness.
Is this not exactly what God has done for you? Is this not what he has done for me? Abraham stands before us as an example of faith. And Abraham stands before us as a picture of grace. Like us, Abraham was what he was by the grace of God.
All that Abraham was, and all that he experienced, throughout the days of his life show us the grace of God.
Now, I want you to turn backs to Genesis 12 and let me show you seven things about this man, Abraham. These seven things you will find to be true of all saved men and women. If we are believers, Abraham is our father. And if Abraham is our father, we will both do the works of Abraham and enjoy the privileges of Abraham.
I. ABRAHAM WAS A CHOSEN MAN (Gen. 11:27-12:1).
Terah was one man among many. He had many sons and daughters. And there were a great many people living in Ur. But God chose Abraham. The Lord appeared to Abraham. God called Abraham. This was an act of free and sovereign grace. God’s choice of Abraham was the cause of Abraham’s faith. The Lord God is found of them that seek him not.
A. Election separated Abraham from other men (1 Cor. 4:7).
B. Election preserved Abraham until he was called (Jude 1).
C. Election retrieved Abraham from the idolatry of his fathers (1 Thess. 2:10-14).
Thank God for electing love (John 15:16).
II. Because he was a chosen man, ABRAHAM WAS A CALLED MAN (Gen. 12:1-4; Gal. 3:8).
A. The whole world around him was lying in wickedness.
By this time idolatry had engulfed the world. The religion of Nimrod and Babel had become the religion of the world. There were few exceptions. (Job and his friends, Melchizedek).
1. Polytheism - “They served other gods” (Josh. 24:2).
2. The worship of saints -(Job 5:1).
3. Astrology -
Apparently, Abraham and his family, along with the rest of the world were idolaters, before the Lord appeared to him.
B. Then, suddenly, unexpectedly, the Lord God appeared to Abraham and called him.
As the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, so the Lord took Abraham by surprise. The Lord God himself appeared to Abraham and preached the gospel to him, saying, “In thee shall all nations blessed.” Paul’s inspired explanation of Abraham’s call (Gal. 3) gives us the meaning of the word “blessed”, as it is used with reference to Abraham. The blessedness which God gave to Abraham, the blessedness to which he was called, was justification. Justification, free justification in Christ, without works, is the blessing of the gospel. With it comes all other blessings. Without it there is no blessedness.
When the God of glory appeared to Abraham, his life was radically changed forever.
A. This was a particular, distinguishing call.
B. This was an irresistible, effectual call.
C. This was an unconditional, irrevocable call. “I” who alone can bless, “will bless thee!”
“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee” (Psa. 65:4).
III. Being called of God, ABRAHAM WAS A BELIEVING MAN (Gen. 15:6).
When God called him, Abraham obeyed, because he believed God (Heb. 11:8). He might have raised many questions:
· How can these things be?
· How can I, a guilty sinner, be freely forgiven and justified?
· How can I know that the Word I have heard is indeed the Word of God?
But he did not. He simply believed God. As he walked with God, he learned more of the details of God’s promise. But in the beginning, he simply believed what God had spoken (Gen. 22:17-18). Later, God gave him a sign (Gen. 18). But in the beginning he had nothing but the Word of God. And he believed God.
Can you do that? Will you believe God? Will you take God at his Word? If you do, your faith in Christ will be counted to you for righteousness (Rom. 4:21-25).
IV. Believing God, ABRAHAM WAS A BLESSED MAN (Gen. 12:2-3).
· He was justified!
· Gad gave him a Son in whom all the nations of the world are blessed - Isaac/Christ!
· Abraham was a blessing to all his house.
· God dealt with all men as they dealt with Abraham.
We who believe are blessed of God (Eph. 1:3).
· Eternally blessed!
· Unconditionally blessed!
· Perpetually blessed!
· Universally blessed!
V. ABRAHAM WAS A TRIED MAN.
As a believer, Abraham began his pilgrimage through this world. And his faith was constantly tried and proved by many difficulties.
A. Sarah was still barren.
B. He knew not whither he was going (Heb. 11:8-9).
In our text Moses tells us God had called him to the land of Canaan. But Abraham did not know it. He did not know where he was going, how he would get there, or what his place would be. And he never once asked God to show him these things. He simply committed everything to God!
C. He had to break many earthly ties.
He not only had to leave family and friends, he had to leave them in idolatry.
D. When he got into the land of Canaan, new trials awaited him.’’
1. Canaanites were everywhere, troops of idolaters.
2. Abraham still roamed about, dwelling in tents.
3. And he still believed God (v. 7).
E. At last his daily bread began to fail him and he had to go down to Egypt (v. 10).
F. Then there was trouble with Lot (Gen. 13). (Ishmael and Hagar.)
G. Then the Lord tried Abraham (Gen. 22:1-19). “Many are the afflictions of the righteous!” (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 8:7).
VI. ABRAHAM WAS A SINFUL MAN (Gen. 12:10-13).
A. His temptation was a severe one.
B. His actions betrayed a lack of confidence in God.
C. His schemes gained him nothing.
· The best of men are only men at best.
· True saints are plagued with much sin.
· It is not our faith that merits our justification, but Christ, the Object of our faith.
VII. Though he was, like, us, a weak and sinful man, ABRAHAM WAS A KEPT MAN (Gen. 12:14-20).
The Lord God would not deal with Abraham according to his sins. Instead, he interferes to deliver him. He not only kept Sarah from Pharaoh and Abraham from death, but also turned Abraham’s evil into good.
A. The fear of God came upon favor.
B. Pharaoh and his house saw how blessed that man is who is blessed of God.
C. Abraham came up out of Egypt a richer man. He died in faith!
Application: This is Abraham - A Picture of Grace. The picture is given to teach us:
1. That salvation is by grace alone.
2. God’s saints, as long as they are in this world, are sinners still.
3. God is faithful. He will not lose his own! He will be gracious.