Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Abraham part 1

Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Abraham part 1

 

Baby Dedication 5-20-12

Hebrews 11:8-12; 17-19

Psalm 127:3

 

Our children tip our hand. In other words our children will do what we have taught them to value. By and large. No doubt, they are sinners and have the potential to follow evil rather than good. Ultimately, this is not our decision. However, what is our decision is the front-end training. Our children are arrows that take our effectiveness or lack thereof far beyond our days.

 

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:3-4 ESV)

 

Each child is not just a toy to be had to placate some empty spot in our souls because we refuse to surrender that “empty spot” to the Lord. Children are a heritage from Father. Our charge is to make sure that they represent his heritage well. In order to do this we must represent his heritage well.

 

It is not our job to indoctrinate our children into our westernized set of values. It is our job to train our children in Father’s heritage with his values and his mission.

 

We have sought to plant a heritage in the lives of our children. Each family receives a gift of money from TRCC to place in an account with the responsibility on the parents to add to it in order that when the children reach appropriate age their first trip to unreached people groups remaining is already paid for.

 

In 15 years there is going to be a mighty movement to the nations from Rome, GA. Believe it. Live it. Reach for it. Take hold of it.

 

How do we believe it, live it, reach for it and take hold of it?

 

This is what we are trying to do when we dedicate / offer our children to the Lord.

 

Very briefly I want to draw a couple of examples from Abraham’s life that will help us in the offering / dedication of our children.

 

When offering our children, remember:

 

1. Abraham was operating by faith with eyes on the coming King and his Kingdom (11:13-16)

 

Therefore, we too, must offer our children with eyes on the King and the Kingdom. We can’t operate in Gospel faith if our eyes are on our kingdom and us.

A. We can’t rightly offer our children if we are not greeting the Kingdom while here

1. Living now like what that kingdom will fully be (don’t forget you will be raised!)

B. We can’t rightly offer our children if we believe we have reached “home”

1. Live now in light of the metanarrative

C. We can’t rightly offer our children if we are double minded

1. Live radically and make radical Kingdom decisions

a. Radical – arising from and connected to the root source (John 15)

If you and I read our bibles and obey them we will be considered

nut cases by those who are intoxicated by this kingdom’s lies and

deception

 

llustration: What if rather than finding a job then doing that job as a Christian one began early in life thinking with Gospel purpose, because they were trained to do so, and they chose a vocation with purpose and intentionality to engage that domain of society with purposeful job skills and purposeful living in order to transform that domain of society with the Gospel?

 

Rather than just getting a job as a Christian and trying to do evangelism we made niches in markets as well-trained and highly skilled followers of Jesus who have been in training for years to use that domain of society as a platform for global transformation with the Gospel.

 

If we have eyes on the King and his Kingdom, we will seek to be intentional in preparing our children for the King and his Kingdom.

 

A. Dads are the priests of the home

1. Imitate Father and operate with bible open and Kingdom in your sights

 

B. Children are taught through example and lesson to love Scripture, Father, Son, Spirit

and Gospel

C. Children are taught to love the church, Jesus’ bride, and be a vital part of the church in using their gifts for the King              and the King’s mission and the King’s people

 

D. Children are taught to see the grand story, the Metanarrative, of reality, the Gospel, and live

in it with expectation that this reality defines all things and will burst into completion when the

Great Commission is completed.

1. This is a challenge because children are concrete thinkers not abstract thinkers; this

is also a challenge because they are blinded by sin from seeing the light of the Gospel

so use story to capture their imagination (Chronicles of Narnia; Lord of the Rings; Bible

stories)

 

2. Abraham was operating by faith with eyes on eternal life (11:19)

 

Father had promised that Abraham would bless the nations through his offspring, Isaac. Abraham considered that if Father were in the least faithful, he would have to raise the dead; therefore, he could obey without hesitation and trust Father perfectly. Of course, Father does not ask for human sacrifice, this was a test to prepare and train Abraham for continuing to trust Father.

 

Abraham was being taught that Yahweh “sees”. Abraham did not yet know this about Father. So, Father placed Abraham in a situation in which his option was to look to what he did know by faith and that was that Father can raise the dead, therefore, it was no stretch to bleed his son and it was not irrational.

 

When we “dedicate” our children to the Lord, we must operate with eyes on eternal life (Knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ who he has send, John 17:3) not on temporal life here. We have to remember that Father can raise the dead.

 

A. Dedication is not a commitment to pursuing life long safety

1. Dedication is surrender to Father’s mission and means

 

B. Dedication is a commitment to pursuing the Kingdom regardless of safety

1. Dedication is surrender to the façade of safety

 

C. Dedication is being willing to let Father have our children for his purposes

1. Dedication is surrender to vocation given by Father not vocation handed down

by us

 

D. Dedication is saying that we trust Father’s ends and means with our children

1. Dedication is not a magic bullet for salvation but a declaration that Father is good

and his ways are perfect.

Closing:

Join me in praying that we will raise radical followers of Jesus and that we would never fall to the temptation to distrust Father’s goodness as our children advance the Kingdom in his chosen means of doing so on the backs of our children as they fulfill their good works prepared for them to walk in.

Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Sarah

Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Sarah, Hope in Father

Hebrews 11:11; Genesis 18:12-15; 1 Peter 3:1-6; Proverbs 31:10-31

In a day in which motherhood is threatened by the fall in what seems to be more overtly than in my short history, mothers have the constant battle of motherhood in front of them.

Motherhood is a battle because it seems moms are bombarded with the thought of “am I being a good mom”.

From the “homeschool only or you and your kids are going to hell” to the “I waste my life by dropping the kids off for someone else to educate and having lunch with my friends” type of mom there is a scattered multitude of examples that may not be dead on.

However, each mom seems to be tempted to want to be one that she is currently not.

There is sometimes this weird and very westernized idea of the Christian mom that floats around and it has a tendency to make moms feel guilty and believe they are failing.

1. They stay at home. Literally they stay at home. This mom does nothing outside of the home.

2. They are wealthy, and therefore, able to have all necessary tasks hired out.

3. They have lunch with their girlfriends, and when they miss those dates they feel like Satan is

attacking.

4. They have the most up to date clothing (which if sold could keep a missionary on the field for

their term) and are constantly adding more.

5. They possess debt up to their eyeballs to present their children as well dressed but lacking in

character

6. They look down with condemnation on the mom who needs to work to do what is necessary to

make things happen

First, don’t be like this.

Second, read your bible and imitate the women of Scripture, I promise they don’t look anything like this.

Third, don’t look at this and envy it. Find your hope in the Lord

1. Locate your hope in Father, Son and Spirit

Hebrews 11:11; Genesis 18:12-15

Sarah hoped in the Lord. She looked away from herself and her barrenness and her age and banked on Father for the fulfillment of his promise that she would have a child and be the mother of many nations.

This didn’t come easy for Sarah. In fact, when she heard the Lord make the promise to Abraham, she laughed to herself and did not believe (Genesis 18:12).

But then the Lord rebuked her for the laughter of unbelief, and said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14–15).

And the next thing we hear from Sarah is praise to Father when Isaac is born. She says,

“God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me… Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:6-7)

She gives Father the glory for Isaac, and so we may assume, with the writer of Hebrews, that Father’s rebuke and the reminder that nothing is too hard for the Lord restored Sarah’s faith and caused her to hope in God.

So women who hope in God are women who look away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and they focus their attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever he pleases.[1]

A. Hoping in the Lord is made available in salvation, but grasping it is a discipline

1. To hope in the Lord rather than your own ability or your own foresight runs against

the grain of the fall in our ladies.

a. Stay in Scripture

b. Listen to your godly leadership (husband, dads, mentors, pastors)

c. Don’t act on your fallen impulses of emotion (do not trust your heart)

d. Obey Scripture’s mandate on who and what you are to be not the culture

around you

e. Wait on the Lord!!!

Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

(Psalm 25:3 ESV)

2. Be like Sarah, adorn yourself with a gentle and quiet spirit that fears no challenge

1 Peter 3:1-6

A. Be gentle and quiet not rough and obtrusive

The fall reversed the tendency of women be gentle and quiet in submission to godly leadership to “your desire shall be for your husband”. The fall made the tendency of the woman to be to take over the headship of the home.

1. Submit to your husbands (if you are not married submit to your dad, or older mentor

or the church body to which you belong)

a. Submission is not a bad word.

b. John 5:19, Jesus submitted to Father

c. John 14-16, Holy Spirit submits to Jesus

d. Submission is imitating Trinity

2. Submit to the Father

You ever been in the store and watched the difference between and quiet and gentle mom and an off the chain woMAN? You usually see this at Wal-Mart. The immediate churning of the stomach that makes you know that something is just way off with that. That is because it is way off.

B. Be fearless at the challenge of mothering with the less than ideal challenge in front of you

4. Work hard obeying the demand of the Gospel and your home

Proverbs 31:10-31

A. No room for laziness in the Kingdom

B. Obey the Lord’s call on your family and don’t compare your call to others

C. Fill your home with gospel purpose and fill your day with the strategy to accomplish that

purpose and don’t look back (obey the Lord and don’t let anyone condemn you for your

obedience)

D. Encourage one another in your holy and precious job of mothering


[1] Piper, sermon on “Women who Hope in God”

Gospel faith in the Old Testament: Noah

Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Noah, faith leads to action that saves and condemns faithless inaction

1. Gospel faith comes from Father and is given to us 11:7a “being warned by God”

A. Father saves not by works but by grace Genesis 6:8

1. God did not save Noah because Noah was good. Father saved Noah because He is

gracious and kind and had purposes unspoken in the text from which he acted. We are

left to trust Father’s good purposes, as in the garden. Father did not explain all things to

our parents; Father just acted and gave instruction. Father does not explain why he chose

Noah; Father just acts in grace and we are left to trust he is good when its clear all man

is in sin.

B. Father graciously gives faith for salvation

C. Father graciously sustains faith in salvation

2. Gospel faith looks forward, by Father’s grace, to events yet unseen 11:7b “concerning events yet unseen”

A. Gospel faith always has a forward look to the work of Father in the future

1. This is why Jesus gave us glimpses of what is to come surrounding his coming

B. Gospel faith that looks forward, based on the dictates of Scripture, affects ministry

1. Eschatology affects ministry

3. Gospel faith responds in awe to Father’s gift 11:7c “reverent fear”

“Reverent fear” is one word. Fear is supplied in the translation because of the connotation of the definition of the word “eulabetheis” which means reverence and awe with some degree of fear in some instances; it also means “pious reverence”. This word is also a verb and also passive in voice which means the reverent fear/awe is an action that is coming due to faith acting on the subject, in this case Noah, producing a response of awe/fear because the Lord had transformed him and engaged him, given him faith and caused him to act

A. Gospel faith will worship in all appropriate ways

It seems that this reverent fear, this awe-struck amazement did not culminate on itself.

4. Gospel faith saves, creates awesome fear and leads to action 11:7d “constructed an ark for the saving of his household”

A. Faith is always, in the Bible, belief leading to action

1. John 2 and 6 is an example of belief that does not lead to action and thus shows man’s

lostness

B. Do not be idle!

5. Gospel faith condemns faithlessness and inaction 11:7e “By this he condemned the world”

“katekrinin” – to pronounce sentence against, to declare guilty

Ezekiel 2:1-5, 33:33

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.

(Ezekiel 2:1-4; Ezekiel 2:5 ESV)

(Here, Ezekiel is prophesying that Jerusalem will be destroyed if they don’t repent)

When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

(Ezekiel 33:33 ESV)

A. Acting in faith, based on the dictates of Scripture, will always draw out the haters

B. Acting in faith, based on the dictates of Scripture, will draw attention to sin and inaction

C. Acting in faith, based on the dictates of Scripture, will highlight the worthiness of Father, Son

and Spirit

6. Gospel faith makes us heirs of Father 11:7f “and become an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith”