Faithlife Sermons

Stand Out: Obedience

Stand Out  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
Faith is the critical characteristic of Christians.
We are only saved by grace through faith. (, )
Faith will manifest itself in various ways in our lives. ( - Hall of Faith)
Hebrews is written to confirm that OT saints were saved by faith and not by works.
Obedience is an issue for many in our world today.
The general feel is that people want Heaven without declaring Jesus Lord…They want fire insurance…The problem is that the Bible doesn’t sell insurance.
Illustration: The word "Lord" means master. The correlative word is slave or bondservant. Our modern understanding of slavery is that a slave is one who is held against his/her will and has to do what he/she is told or suffer the consequences. However, during Jesus’ time, slavery was similar to being an indentured servant. People would sell themselves to another in order to provide food for their family and a roof over their head. A slave had but one compulsion, and that was to please and obey his master. As a love-slave of Jesus you should desire to do His will and obey His commands. Jesus must be first in every phase of your life. He must be before business, before family, before friends-even before life itself. His Lordship over you must take precedence before your wants, desires, and needs. To say that Jesus is your Lord and not obey Him is hypocritical. It was by obedience to God’s call that you became a Christian, and it is through obedience that you enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Our modern understanding of slavery is that a slave is one who is held against his/her will and has to do what he/she is told or suffer the consequences. However, during Jesus’ time, slavery was similar to being an indentured servant. People would sell themselves to another in order to provide food for their family and a roof over their head. A slave had but one compulsion, and that was to please and obey his master. As a love-slave of Jesus you should desire to do His will and obey His commands.
Jesus must be first in every phase of your life. He must be before business, before family, before friends-even before life itself. His Lordship over you must take precedence before your wants, desires, and needs. To say that Jesus is your Lord and not obey Him is hypocritical. It was by obedience to God’s call that you became a Christian, and it is through obedience that you enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Critical Issue for Christians today (Do our actions match our words?”)
Obedience is a commanded by Jesus ( - If you love me, keep my commandments)
Obedience is modeled by Jesus ( - Jesus came to give what the father commanded Him to give)
If my faith should manifest itself in obedience how can I do that and what does it look like in my life?
Aim: Abraham’s faith manifested itself in obedience to the God he believed and reveals the effect of faithful obedience in our lives today.
Sermon:
Abraham’s obedience was founded in HOPE. (v. 8) (; The test of true faith is will you obey?; - Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?; The master determines the level of hope!)
Abraham’s obedience was founded in HOPE. (v. 8) (; The test of true faith is will you obey?; - Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?; The master determines the level of hope!)
In God’s authority. ( - Creator; - Stories would have been known - Not obeyed yet)
Illustration: For centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all time, and surely he would not be wrong. Anyone, of course, could have taken two objects, one heavy and one light, and dropped them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one did until nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle's death. In 1589 Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten- pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same instant. The power of belief was so strong, however, that the professors denied their eyesight. They continued to say Aristotle was right. When the one who invented gravity and determined it’s pull says something you can absolutely count on it. God is the ultimate authority on everything.
In God’s ability. ( - Judge; - When God calls…He equips you; - Spirit Teaches)
In God’s ability. ( - Judge; - When God calls…He equips you; - Spirit Teaches)
To provide what seems impossible. (Promised Land already occupied - Nation without any children; - Camel/Needle; All things are possible with God)
In God’s sovereignty.
To preserve through what seems treacherous. ( - Seeing giants in land)
In God’s activity. ( - Salvation; God is actively involved always; - all things consist)
Abraham’s obedience affected his ACTIONS. (v. 9-10) (Necessary correlation in the life of the believer - - Like Children…)
Ready to leave. (Separated from family - - Come to me and hate father/mother)
Ready to lose. (Wealth - Americanized Christianity - Costly faith abroad - - Count it joy…)
The risk of obedience of sometimes high. (Salvation is easy but costly - - Die to self) (John Courson - The challenge of obedience is not knowing what to do; it’s doing what we know!)
The reward of obedience is often delayed. (Around 750 years Abraham - Joseph; - Apostle Paul fought fight…This is from Pilgrim’s process)
Illustration: I saw, moreover, in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand, and had him into a little room, where sat two little children, each one in his chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, of the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much discontent, but Patience was very quiet. Then Christian asked, What is the reason of the discontent of Passion? The Interpreter answered, the Governor of them would have him stay for his best things, 'till the beginning of the next year; but he will have all now: Bu Patience is willing to wait. Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of Treasure, and poured it down at his feet; the which he took up and rejoiced therein, and withall laughed Patience to scorn: But I beheld but a while, and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags. Christian: Then said Christian to the Interpreter, Expound this matter more fully to me. Interpreter: So he said, These two lads are Figures; Passion of the men of this World, and Patience of the men of that which is come: For as here you see, Passion will have all now, this year; that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world. They must have all their good things now; they cannot stay till next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, A Bird in the Hand is worth two in the Bush, is of more authority with them, than are all the Divine testimonies of the Good of the World to come. But as you saw, that he had quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags; so will it be with all such men at the End of this world. Christian: Then said Christian, Now I see that Patience has the best Wisdom, and that upon many accounts: 1. Because he stays for the best things. 2. And also because he will have the Glory of his, when the other has nothing but rags. Interpreter: Nay, you may add another, to wit, the Glory of the next World will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience, because he had his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion, because he had his best things last; for first must give place to last, because last must have its time to come; but last gives place to nothing; for there is not another to succeed. He therefore that has his portion first, must need have a Time to spend it; but he that has his portion last, must have it lastingly: Therefore it is said of Dives, In your Lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. Christian: Then I perceive it is not best to covet things that are now, but to wait for things to come. Interpreter: You say truth: For the things that are seen are Temporal; but the things that are not seen are Eternal. But though this be so, yet since things present, and our fleshly appetite are such near neighbors one to another; and again, because things to come, and carnal Sense, are such Strangers one to another: Therefore it is, that the first of these so suddenly fall into Amity, and that Distance is so continued between the second.
John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Process
Ready to last. (Sojourned = to live in area as alien; Endurance; - Jesus was alien here)
Abraham’s obedience impacted his FAMILY. (v. 11-16) (Obey and see the effect…Family structure is there for a reason)
The faith of Sarah. (First female noted in - - Promise of nation through Abraham and Sarah)
Sarah’s faith began with some struggle. (Sarah may not have initially ben as on board… - Thomas…Believe and have not seen...)
Sarah’s faith was
She scoffed. ( - Sarah laughs when God told Abraham - They were old)
She sinned. ( - Sarah convinces Abraham to take Hagar and have children - Ishmael…)
Sarah’s faith was later solidified. (Seeing God move will often change things… - Day of Pentecost)
She saw the model of her husband. ( - Called Abraham her lord…Old School)
Illustration: One Sunday morning in 1865, a black man entered a fashionable church in Richmond, Virginia. When Communion was served, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of resentment swept the congregation. How dare he! After all, believers in that church used the common cup. Suddenly a distinguished layman stood up, stepped forward to the altar, and knelt beside the black man. With Robert E. Lee setting the example, the rest of the congregation soon followed his lead. Likewise, husbands must not only be the spiritual leaders but models for both them and the children.
She saw the product of the promise. ( - Isaac is born…God had made good)
The faith of his sons. ( - Children obey parents…Meant to be read in church with both present)
Their faith was visionary. (Believed in promise of earthly land and Heavenly land…Believed )
Their faith was growing. (Confessed they were pilgrims here… - Abstain from lusts because we are exiles)
Their faith was enduring. (Never returned to Ur - Made way in land before it was theirs - - Isaac and Wives…)
Abraham’s obedience endured the TRIALS. (v. 17-19) (; Ultimate test of faith…Ultimate reward requires ultimate sacrifice!)
Illustration: If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world. If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced, not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall also say: "O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the merit of Christ!"
Martin Luther
The test seemed unbelievable. (Offering the one and only son! - - God did the same)
Consider the cost. ( - No one builds a tower without counting cost…)
Consider the consequences. ( - Don’t love the world… its all gonna burn)
Abraham’s faith becomes undeniable. ( - God will provide - Believed God’s power over death - v. 19)
God’s provision is still incomprehensible. (( - God provided the sacrifice; - Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world)
Conclusion:
Faith may manifest itself differently and different times in our lives; but, obedience must be a consistent manifestation of our faith if we have truly made Jesus Lord.
Obedience to God will have a profound effect on your life. It will produce a greater level of faith.
We con only begin in obedience by coming as repenting sinners declaring Jesus Lord and asking Him to save us.
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