Sermon #14 Genesis Sermons
Title: Abraham and Melchizedek - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 14:18-20
Subject: Melchizedek - A type of Christ
Date: Tuesday Evening - September 3, 1991
Genesis 14 gives us an account of the first war in human history. When the war was over, Lot, his family, and his goods had been carried away into captivity. Bro. Lot had laid up treasures for himself upon the earth, and theives had broken through and took all his treasures. When Abraham heard what had happened to Lot, his nephew by nature and his brother by grace, he armed 318 of his trained servants and rescued his beloved brother, his brother’s family, his goods, the king of Sodom, and all his people. When Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him (Read Genensis 14:18-20.).
The title of my message tonight is ABRAHAM AND MELCHIZEDEK - A PICTURE OF GRACE.
We know that Melchizedek is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 7 makes that perfectly clear. But I cannot refrain from telling you that when I read this chapter again this morning, my first thought was - “What a blessed picture Abraham is of our Savior!” What he did for Lot is exactly what Christ has done for us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, because of his great love for us, took us to be his brethren from eternity. But we, through sin, were taken into captivity and bondage. We lost everything! Satan had thoroughly spoiled us. He held us in the dark dungeon of sin and death. When we could do nothing to help ourselves, Christ Jesus, our Elder Brother, like Abraham, came to deliver us, not with 318 armed men, but by the merits of his blood and the power of his grace.
· He defeated our enemies and took them captive who had held us captive!
· He ransomed us from the hands of God’s offended justice!
· He set us free by the power of his grace, restoring all that we had lost!
However, tonight, I am not going to use Abraham as a picture of Christ. In this particular passage I am sure that the Holy Spirit has set him before us as a repressentative, a type, a picture of every believer in this world. Abraham was the father of the faithful! And in the history of Abraham, every believer reads his own biography. Abraham’s temptations, trials, tragedies and triumphs were prophetic pictures of those things that every follower of Christ must experience. Like Abraham, all the children of Abraham must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God.
As we meditate together upon these verses, I want us to put ourselves in Abraham’s place. Abraham represents the believer living in this world. Melchizedek is a type of our great King and Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I call your attention to four things set before us in this chapter.
1. Abraham engaged in a warfare.
2. A visitation of grace.
3. A picture of Christ.
4. An act of consecration.
I. The first thing that I want us to observe is ABRAHAM ENGAGED IN A WARFARE .
Abraham was a man of peace. But he lived among men of war. And here we see him taking up arms against his godless enemies, because of the great evil they had done. And you who are the sons and daughters of Abraham know right well that so long as we live in this world believers are engaged in a warfare.
The believer is a soldier, “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” In the Word of God, the believer is compared to a soldier engaged in warfare more often than he is compared to anything else, except perhaps a sheep. He is a man of peace. Yet, he is a man of war. We have wars within and wars without. Sometimes our wars arise, like Abraham’s, from erring brethren. Sometimes they arise from providential trials. And sometimes they arise from enemies within and enemies without. But as long as we live in this world, we are at war. We must, as soldiers on the battlefield, carry our swords always drawn. We must protect ourselves with the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation, standfast having our feet shod with the gospel of peace, and march onward carrying the weapon of all-prayer. The believer must never feel himself at ease as long as he is on this side of Jordan. We are in the enemy’s hand. Expect a foe behind every bush. And at the end of everyday, if you have not fallen prey to some hellish foe, adore and give thanks to God for his almighty grace that has kept you.
Children of God, like Abraham, we are on a battlefield. Our enemies are sin, satan, the world, and error. We must fight the good fight of faith, for ourselves, for our brethren, and for the glory of God.
A. We fight against powerful odds.
Abraham had only 318 loyal servants at his command. Yet, in the name of God, he marched against and defeated the armies of the kings of the nations. He fought in God’s name, for God’s cause. Therefore, he fought in God’s strength. Failure was not even a possibility.
B. Our warfare is one that is carried on in faith.
Abraham was a man of faith. The spirit of his life was simple confidence in God. Had he gone out against the kings of the nations by any other power than faith in Christ, he would have fallen. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” And the weapon of faith is “the blood of the Lamb.”
1. We fight against our inward sins by faith, not by resolutions!
2. We fight against the world by faith, not by ingenuity!
3. We fight against heresy by faith, not by logic, history, or opinion!
4. We fight against satan by faith, not by our will!
“Live near to Jesus, rest upon the power of his atonement and the prevalence of his plea, and then go forward against every enemy without and every foe within, and you shall be more than conquerors.” - C. H. Spurgeon.
C. Our battle is right!
In this great battle, carried on by faith, Abraham had a God-given right to do what he did. The whole land of Canaan was his (Gen. 13:14-16). The kings of the nations had no business there. They were invaders. And God promised Abraham his presence to protect him (Gen. 12:3; 15:1).
1. Satan has no right to hold you (John 12:30-31).
2. Sin has no right to rule you (Rom. 6:14-18).
3. Error has no right to exist.
4. The world has no right to your heart.
5. God is with you. And in the name of God you shall be victorious (Psa. 118:11-12).
D. The warfare we are in demands deligence and the use of all means.
Abraham did not sit still and say, “Well, the Lord will deliver Lot.” That is not faith, but presumption! Believing God, Abraham called upon all his servants and went to war!
We must do the same. We must engage all the servants God has given us to fight the good fight of faith.
· The Word!
· Our Brethren!
E. One more thing in this regard - We must not cease from our warfare until we have gained complete victory over every enemy.
Abraham did not lay down his sword until he had gotten all that he went after and defeated every foe (Phil. 3:4-14).
My soul, give yourself no rest so long as...
1. One sin is in my heart.
2. One sinner unconverted.
3. One error in the earth.
4. One breath left in the nostrils of that old dragon, Satan.
We must bring back everything that has been lost. Everything must be brought in subjection to Christ. We cannot rest until it is! Victory shall be ours!
II. Secondly, I want you to see what happens to Abraham when he returned from the slaughter of the kings. He enjoyed A VISITATION OF GRACE.
Battle weary soldiers, engaged in the cause of Christ, may well expect and anticipate a visitation of grace. As Christ showed himself to Abraham, he will show himself to you. He knows that his warriors need strengthening, comforting, and encouraging. As he came to Shadrach, Meshech, and Obed-nego in the fiery furnace, the Son of God will come to you in your hour of need.
A. Why did the Lord Jesus now appear to Abraham under the type of Melchizedek?
We will look at the type in a minute. But for now, there are three reasons apparent in our text for this visitation of grace.
1. Abraham was weary and needed refreshing.
2. Abraham was probably flushed with victory.
Illustration: Luke 10:17-20!
a. The best cure for pride is the sight of Christ (Job 42:5-6).
b. The best cure for indifference is his presence (Rev. 3:21).
3. Abraham was about to be tried in a far more subtle way than he had ever been tried before (vv. 21-24).
Abraham had brought back these captives. He had every right to the spoils. If he had taken them, no one could charge him with any evil. But believers live by a higher rule than other men. Their concern is not for their rights or their riches, but for God’s glory.
Note: Nothing will so equip you for honoring God and strengthen you for temptation as communion with Christ (Song of Sol. 1:2-4, 12-14).
B. How did Christ appear to Abraham?
Melchizedek, the Lord Jesus in type, came to Abraham the way he comes to all his people - As a royal, kingly priest!
1. He came to Abraham as a king with power.
· Over Abraham!
· Over his enemies!
· Over all things!
2. He came to Abraham as a priest with a sacrifice - “Bread and wine,” tokens of our Savior’s blood atonement.
C. What did Melchizedek do for Abraham? - “He brought forth bread and wine.”
· The food of faith (John 6:53-56).
· The Lord’s Supper - When it is truly observed it is a spiritual feast, an act of faith.
1. Melchizedek revealed to Abraham the greatness of God.
2. He conveyed to Abraham the blessing of God.
3. He blessed God for Abraham as a priest - We cannot bless God, honor him, by anything we do. But Christ does!
4. He taught Abraham to bless God.
III. Thirdly, I want all of us to see in Melchizedek A PICTURE OF CHRIST (Heb. 7).
· Some say that Melchizedek was Noah’s son, Shem.
· Some say that he was an angelic, celestial being.
· Some say he was Christ.
Melchizedek was a man who was a great type of our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 7:3, 4, 15). “Consider how great this man was!” Christ!/Melchizedek.
A. He was without father or mother.
B. He was the priest of the Most High God.
· Not of Israel, but of God.
· Not a priest, but the Priest.
C. He was a king.
· The King of Righteousness
· The King of Peace
NOTE: Righteousness must be established before peace can be given (Psa. 85:10; Isa. 32:17; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1 - “Having made peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20).
· The Priest who is a King! (Not of Levi; but of Judah Christ came). Christ is not a priest after the order of Aaron, or Levi, but after the order of Melchizedek.
· The Levitical Priests were unclean, and, therefore, had to make sacrifices for their own sins and then for the peoples - Christ had no sin.
· The Levitical Priests were mortal - Christ is a Priest forever!
D. Christ, our Melchizedek, is indeed the Great High Priest (Heb. 7:21-25).
1. He is a Priest by God’s oath (Psa. 110:4).
2. He is a Surety of a better covenant.
3. He is an unchangeable Priest.
4. He is a saving Priest.
5. He is an abiding Priest (1 John 2:1-2).
IV. Now, let me show you one more thing in our text - AN ACT OF CONSECRATION.
Abraham gave Melchizedek tithes of all that he had.
A. It was a free, voluntary gift.
B. It was a reasonable gift.
C. The tithe Abraham gave was an acknowledgement that all that he possessed belonged to God - I am yours!
D. The title was a gift of faith - God will provide!
Hail, Melchizedek divine!
Christ, the Great High Priest is mine!
Here, before Your throne I fall!
Take not a tithe, but take me all!
1. Our cause is the glory of God.
2. Our strength is the grace of God.
3. Our King is our Priest, the Son of God.
4. Let us give ourselves alone to God (Rom. 12:1-2).