Faithlife Sermons

Father Abraham Had Many Sons

Unstoppable: The Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

Abraham's life is a study of faith. He wasn't perfect, but we learn that (1) walking by faith is about trusting who more than knowing how, (2) walking by faith means being faithful with what God has given you while you wait for what God will give you, and (3) we can walk by faith or by fear, but not by both.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Update on ministry staff searches
Vision drip: Attractive vs. Attractional
Vision Q&A Nights
Subject
2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
In , the Apostle
What does it mean to walk by faith? What does a life of trust in God look like?

Stephen’s Set Up

Acts 6:8–7:2 NIV
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. 1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” 2 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.
Acts 6:8-7:

The Story of Abraham

Scene 1 (): God calls the 75-year-old Abram to leave his home and his family, but doesn’t tell him where to go or how long he’ll be gone. He promises to make him into a great nation, to bless him, and to bless all the peoples on earth through him. So Abram went, as the LORD had told him (v. 4). God promises to give Canaan to Abram’s offspring. The only problem is, Abram doesn’t have any offspring. His wife, Sarai is infertile.
Genesis 12:1–7 NIV
1 The 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. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So 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. 5 He 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. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Scene 2: In spite of his faith, Abram makes some boneheaded decisions out of fear. He goes to Egypt during a famine and pretends that Sarai is his sister because he’s afraid they’ll kill him if they find out she’s his wife. Pharoah thinks she’s fair game and makes a play for her… this could’ve been very bad!
Genesis 12:10–13 NIV
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Scene 3 (): God came to Abram in a vision and told him not to be afraid. Abram asked how God would fulfill the promise since Abram is childless. God tells him his descendents will be as numerous as the stars. Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness (v. 6).
Genesis 15:1–6 NIV
1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” 2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Scene 4: When Abram is 86 years old, he and Sarai try to take matters into their own hands to produce offspring. Sarai gives Abram her servant, Hagar. Abram sleeps with Hagar and she has Ishmael, who is the father of all the Arabic peoples in the world today.
Scene 5 (, ): When Abram is 99 (24 years after God’s initial promise), God renews His promise to Abram. God changes his name to Abraham, which means “father of multitudes”. He also changes Sarai’s name to Sarah, and promises that the promise of a descendent who will bless the nations will come through Sarah.
Genesis 17:1–8 NIV
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Genesis 17:15–16 NIV
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Genesis 17:1–8 NIV
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Scene 6 (): The LORD did what He had promised (v. 1). When Isaac was born, Abraham was 100 years old, and he’d waited 25 years for God to keep this promise.
Genesis 21:1–5 NIV
1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Big Idea

We can walk by faith or by fear, but not by both. Our lives can be directed by either trust in God or by being afraid, but we can’t be directed by both.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have fear at all, or that if you do have fear you must not have faith. Abraham is known as the pioneer of faith, the father of all who have faith in Jesus. He’s the encyclopedia entry on faith, the dictionary definition of someone who has faith in God. Every time examples of faith are talked about in the NT, Abraham’s name is thrown in.
And yet, he had fear, he had doubt, he had worry, he had anxiety. Sometimes he let his fear get the upper hand, and when he did, he stopped walking by faith, made decisions out of fear, and screwed things up.
Faith is not the absence of all fear and doubt. Faith is trusting God in spite of your fears and doubts. The real question is: What’s going to have the upper hand in your life, faith or fear? We have to decide if we’re going to live by faith or live by fear.

Implications (credit to Pastor Jeff Kapusta)

Walking by faith means trusting Who more than knowing how. A life of trust in God means believing Him, even when we can’t see how things are going to work out.
Explanation
When God called Abram to leave everything at the age of 75, Abram went. Imagine Sarai’s conversation with him as they were packing up…
When God promised Abram his descendents would be as numerous as the stars, even though his infertile wife was past her childbearing years, Abram believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
At age 99, after waiting 24 years on a promise never fulfilled, Abraham still trusted in God.
Romans 4:18–21 NIV
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Rom 4:18-
Illustration: Carol prayed for her neighbor’s salvation for 19 years before her neighbor came to faith in Jesus…
Application
“God is accomplishing a thousand tiny purposes at any given moment around us. There is only so much we can know, but we can leave the stuff we can’t know to God and believe He has it all worked out. It may feel quiet, and we possibly even feel forgotten, but God is moving to work out His plans all around us. What is our part? Trust.” (Jennie Allen)
Don’t let the lack of knowing how keep you from trusting Who it is that is calling you.
Walking by faith means being faithful what what God has given you while you wait for what God will give you. A life of trust in God is being faithful in what’s now while you wait for what’s next.
Explanation
Abraham struggled with this. He often tried to “help God out” by taking matters into his own hands and trying to make it happen himself. When he did, he made a mess of things.
Illustration: How God brought us to LakeView…
Application
Application
“Stop asking God what His plan for your life is, and start asking Him what His plan for your day is.” (Francis Chan)
Sometimes people ask God what’s next, and God says, “How about you be faithful with what’s now?”
Conclusion

Conclusion

Conclusion

We can walk by faith or by fear, but not by both.
Explanation
This doesn’t mean you don’t have fear at all, or that if you do have fear you must not have faith. Fear of the unknown is a natural thing, but the real question is, what’s going to have the upper hand in your life? Will you be controlled by fear or by faith?
Application: A lot of people are afraid to put their faith in Jesus because they fear what others will think about them…
Communion is an opportunity to recommit our hearts and our lives to faith in Jesus…
Application: We have to decide if we’re going to live out of fear or live out of faith.
Related Media
Related Sermons