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12 1-9 From Carnality To Christianity How Do We Get There

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                                                  liberty bible church          3/11/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“From Carnality To Christianity”

How Do We Get There?

Genesis 12:1-9

introduction

Illus. of the SS teacher quizzing the children. “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?” "NO!" the children all answered. "If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?" Again, the answer was, "NO!” "Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my wife, would that get me into Heaven?" I asked them again. Again, they all answered, "NO!" "Well, I continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?" A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!"

Well, there’s a lot of confusion in our world today concerning Heaven and how one gets in. How is it that we can go from carnality to Christianity? Tonight, we can learn from Abram who goes from Pagan to Patriarch.

OPEN to passage.                                       

                                               

Prop. In this passage, we see how to enter and maintain a right relationship with God.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Much happens in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Creation, the fall, expansion, evil, the flood, more evil, and more expansion; all to get us to where we are tonight. We have set the foundation for the what God is going to do through His chosen people. That begins with Abram. Abram came out of a pagan background, yet God made some amazing promises to him. The NT talks about Abraham being a man of great faith. He was very wealthy, yet by faith left everything to follow the call of God. How is it that God could use a man such as Abram? How is it that God can use us? For God to use anyone…  

 i. we must be open to the truth vs. 1-3

Illus. of screening calls at home. 800 numbers, unknowns, sometimes don’t get answered. Many times we do this to God. He uses various means to call us and we fail to answer the call. If we want to be used of God, we have to be open to God’s call. These 3 verses record the call of God to Abram. There are two commands to this call.

a. leave your old life

V 1      1. He was being asked to leave everything familiar. His country, his family, his home; all for something new. Along with these two commands came 3 promises if he would be obedient.

V 2a     2. Abram would leave everything behind, but there was something greater for him. God would make him a great nation. What this meant, Abram could not fully comprehend. To this point he had no children, which makes his faith even greater.

V 2b    3. God would bless him. We know now that this was in many ways.

V 2c     4. He would have a great name. Indeed he does. The second command is next in verse two.

b. Be a blessing  

V 2d    1. In most translations, this phrase is rendered incorrectly. It should be “Be a blessing.” This is not a prophetic statement, it is a command. Illus. of God does not bless us so that we can kick back and enjoy life. He blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. And so it was with Abram. If he was obedient, he would be blessed and in turn was to bless others. His obedience would also lead to three more promises as he was a blessing to others.

V 3a     2. Whoever blesses Abram, in turn God would bless them. I believe this still holds true today, in spite of the fact that Israel has yet to recognize her Messiah.

V 3b    3. Likewise, anyone who curses Abram, he too will be cursed by God. I believe this also is true today.

V 3c     4. Israel has blessed the world in many ways and still does today. Of course, ultimately, this has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ and salvation through His sacrifice for sin.

Trans. To be truly saved and used of God, as Abram was, WE MUST BE OPEN TO THE TRUTH. Second, as Abram did…

           

ii. we must obey the truth vs. 4-9

Knowing the truth about Jesus is not enough. We must respond to it in the way that God prescribes; by faith. And faith, as James tells us, is demonstrated by works; some of the same works mentioned in our opening illustration. Abram, by faith, obeys.   

a. Abram obeyed the first command to leave

V 4      With no details of his new home, he obeys God and leaves everything behind, except Lot. This is a great demonstration of faith.

b. Abram obeyed the second command to be a blessing

V 5      1. You’ll recall that they stopped in Haran and it was here that his father was buried. Cf. 11:31-32

            2. The term for people here is souls. Many souls were acquired in Haran. Some believe that people were convinced to follow Yahweh at the testimony of Abram and his family.

V 6-7   3. Here, God appears to Abram to confirm His promise and reward Abram for his faith. Abram was shown the land his family would inherit from God. Abram builds an alter here and worshiped God.

V 8      4. He sees more of the land and finally arrives at Bethel. It is here that he “calls on the name of the Lord.” Luther translates this verb “to preach.” Abraham was a witness for Yahweh in the land of Canaan.

V 9      5. But, it was not for Abram to possess this land. When he died, his only property was his own burial place, cave. Cf. Gen. 23:17-20 So he journeyed toward the desert in the south.

conclusion

To be truly saved and used of God, as Abram was, WE MUST BE OPEN TO THE TRUTH. Second, as Abram did, WE MUST OBEY THE TRUTH. If we want to be saved, go to Heaven, and experience the blessings of God on earth, then we must respond to God in faith as did Abram. What does this mean for us today?  

1.      How does God speak to us today? That’s why it’s critical to know how to read and study the Word. We have to be open to what it says, not change what it says. Heb. 1:1-2

2.      How does God want us to respond? We believe by faith in Christ to be born again. Eph. 2:8-9; Jn. 1:12 GOSPEL

3.      How does God want us to live? He wants us to leave our old lives. 2 Cor. 5:17

4.      We are to be witnesses in a land of pagans. Acts 1:8 We do not fully possess the world as we will someday, but we are ambassadors for Christ and need to be lights for Him.

In seeking to obey God, we need to be careful of legalism and performing. One described the difference this way:

Illus. of Obedience or Performance?

Obedience is seeking God with your whole heart. Performance is having a quiet time because you'll feel guilty if you don't.

Obedience is finding ways to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Performance is quickly scanning a passage so you can check it off your Bible reading plan.

Obedience is inviting guests to your home for dinner. Performance is feeling anxious about whether every detail of the meal will be perfect.

Obedience is following God's prompting to start a small group, Bible study, or relationship. Performance is reluctance to let anyone else lead the group because they might not do it as well as you would.

Obedience is doing your best. Performance is wanting to be the best.

Obedience is saying yes to whatever God asks of you. Performance is saying yes to whatever people ask of you.

Obedience is following the promptings of God's spirit. Performance is following a list of man-made requirements.

Obedience springs from a fear of God. Performance springs from a fear of failure. (or man)

To really be used of God, WE MUST BE OPEN TO THE TRUTH and WE MUST OBEY THE TRUTH. We will then be blessed and more importantly, we will be a blessing to others.

pray

                                                  liberty bible church                   3/11/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“From Carnality To Christianity”

How Do We Get There?

Genesis 12:1-9

introduction

There’s a lot of confusion in our world today concerning Heaven and how one gets in. In this passage, we see how to enter and maintain a right relationship with God.

 i. we must be                                                                        to the truth vs. 1-3

2- commands

a. 

b.   

           

ii. we must                                                                          the truth vs. 4-9

a. Abram obeyed the first command to ____________________________

b. Abram obeyed the second command to ________________________________________

conclusion

What does this mean for us today? 

1.       

            Heb. 1:1-2

2.       

            Eph. 2:8-9; Jn. 1:12

3.       

            2 Cor. 5:17

4.       

            Acts 1:8


 

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