Father Abraham Had Many Sons Galatians 3:6-18 (NKJV)

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1 Father Abraham Had Many Sons Galatians 3:6-18 (NKJV) We continue in the doctrine of the gospel of grace today. Last we got through the first 5 verses of chapter 3, where Paul spoke to us about faith. Faith opens the door for salvation, for miracles. By faith we can endure suffering, it can even increase our faith. Today we will pick up from where we left off. Looking at the father of the faith, Abraham. The one who was called the friend of God. Notice how righteousness was attained Vs. 6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. Notice, belief was the requirement for righteousness. Faith came prior to Abraham becoming righteous. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) Faith, the vehicle that God uses to bring us into a relationship with His Son; without it we won t go anywhere with the Lord. We read about Abraham s first encounter with God s promise in Genesis 12 Now the LORD had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 1

2 acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, To your descendants I will give this land. And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:1-7 (NKJV) When the Lord appeared to Abraham He gave him the promise, I will make your name great, I will bless you. I curse those who curse you and through you all the families of the earth will be blessed. And did you notice Abraham was in his 70 s at this time. In his retirement years he s in the vintage ministry. Let me just remind you it s never too late to fulfill the call of God on your life. It s never too late to give your heart to the Lord. Last week we baptized 7 years olds and a few 70 years olds, it was awesome. Some of the best years of ministry can be in our senior years. By then we worked out a lot of issues in our faith. At this time in Abraham and Sarah s life they are without a child, without someone to carry on the name. The Lord speaks to Abraham about not only making his name great, but also reminds him that his descendants were going to be great. And by faith Abraham takes God at His word; so he leaves his hometown to start a venture of faith with the Lord. Believing for those things that had not yet happened. It s what real faith does. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 (NKJV) Abraham s faith moved him to action. The action was not prior to the faith, but a fruit of his faith. It s what James reminds us For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 (NKJV) Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 2

3 Abraham put his faith in the Lord and that faith moved him to action. Real faith always works that way. It s not faith plus works; it s faith that works. Real faith will always move us out in obedience to our Lord, but it might move you out of your comfort zone. And at times it won t make sense to those looking in because you have the faith for what the Lord has called you too and they don t. When Wendi and I heard the Lord 17 years ago to plant this church I was in a good church, a growing church as a student pastor and the youth group had really taken off. I had 30 plus youth staff and couple hundred students, we were seeing a lot of students coming to Christ weekly. I shared with some people close to us that we believed the Lord had put it in our hearts to plant a church here in Yucaipa. They didn t see it like we did, they saw what we had and it made no sense to leave it all and start a new work. Even my senior pastor was not all that happy about it, wanting me to wait a few years to get some training. But Wendi and I had heard the Lord. Every day my passion and vision for Wildwood grew stronger and we took the leap of faith. We moved to a small rental in Cherry Valley and started a home fellowship in the Wildwood canyon. Look at what God has done, He is so good. The promise came, Abraham put his faith in the Lord to fulfill that promise and it moved him to action In Genesis 15, here Abraham is given the promise again. Notice the discussion that he has with the Lord. After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. But Abram said, Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? Then Abram said, Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir! Then He brought him outside and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. And He said to him, So shall your descendants be. And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:1-6 (NKJV) Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 3

4 Abraham is wondering, Lord You said You would make my name great, how will that happen unless I have a son? If I don t have a son then my name isn t going anywhere. And the Lord then said, Abraham look up, look up at the stars. See how many there are in the sky? So shall your descendants be And what was Abraham s response? He believed in the Lord. He put his faith in the Lord to do exactly what he said he would do. When that happened the Lord made him righteous. How was Abraham given a righteous standing? When he put his faith in the Lord? Now, let s read on in Galatians. The Holy Spirit is going to give us insight into all that was taking place when God was giving this promise to Abraham Vs. 7-8 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed. What the Lord was giving to Abraham was not just a promise of a son, but through his son would eventually come the Son of God. The One who would take away the sin of the world. For both the Jew and the gentile. The Lord was preaching the gospel to Abraham. The Lord was shooting out in the future, thousands of years down the road pointing to One who would be the Savior of the world and that Savior would come from Abraham s seed. Let s read that again - Vs. 8 - and the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed. Before anything had been done, before Abraham even had a child he believed that through his son would come the Son of God who would take away not only his sin, but the sin of all those who would believe, that the nations could be saved. The faith of the fathers was directed at the Christ who was to come, and while ours rests in the Christ who has come. Martin Luther Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 4

5 Faith was the vehicle that God uses to bring justification into our lives. Nobody could say we are linked to Abraham genetically and that makes us special in the eyes of God. Notice what verse 7 says, Only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. Remember the song, Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you, so let s just praise the Lord. Notice verse 9 says. Vs. 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. Who are the one s who are blessed? Those who are of faith. Not those who followed the law, who kept the Sabbath or who had the perfect sacrifice at the alter. But those who put their faith in the sacrifice of the Son. Now notice verse 10, Paul will reminds us what the law does Vs.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. When you are relating to the Lord through the law it will always bring a curse into our life, why? James tells us why For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10 (NKJV) That s why Paul here also quotes Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law to observing them. Deuteronomy 27:26 (NKJV) Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 5

6 Both the Old and New Testament are saying the same thing, if we do not keep all things in the law, if we blow it at any point then we are cursed. When I was in high school I was employed by a Jewish accountant. It was my first encounter with a Jewish family; we didn t talk about our faith much. But one evening they invited me over for dinner. I sat down and there was an extra seat all done up. I kept wondering whom the seat was for, thinking that someone was going to show up. I finally asked them, Is there someone else joining us? They all looked at each other, the elephant was in the room, and the father spoke up and said, That s reserved for the Messiah. I said, You mean Jesus? They said, No we are still waiting for the Messiah. It s tradition to set up a place for him in hopes that one day he will visit our home. I said to the family, Dude I know the Messiah, He has already come. Skip the plate He lives in my heart. He went to the cross, He resurrected three days later. He then said, Well that s what you believe we believe he is still yet to come. It got quiet for a while and I couldn t help but wonder. I asked, If you don t believe in Jesus, then you don t believe in the Gospel. Then how is that you are saved? How are your sins forgiven? What is your hope for going to heaven? He then lead me to the hallway where he pointed to the ten commandments and said, We follow these to the best of our ability and hope that by following them we will earn our way to heaven. What an impossible burden to carry. Something the Lord never wanted anyone to carry. And for those who might think they can, Jesus would take it to another place all together. It s really a knock out punch for anyone thinking they could earn heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca! shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, You fool! shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:21-22 (NKJV) Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 6

7 You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 (NKJV) In other words, you may not commit the act of murder physically, but if you did it internally or mentally your also guilty. That guy that cut you off on the freeway or that person who shot through the red light. That student that hurt your kid at school or maybe that guy that broke up with you back in the day. The spouse that bailed out on you, you wish they were taken out. This only proves to us that we are sinners, it curses us. So Paul reminds the church. Notice Vs But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for the just shall live by faith. Yet the law is not of faith, but the man who does them shall live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree ) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, how? When He went to the cross He became the curse for us. He did for us what we could not do. He redeemed us from the curse of the law. Redeemed: To buy up, to rescue from loss. One thing we really enjoy in Yucaipa is a good classic car show, seeing the old cars that have been restored. If you talk to the guys it s amazing how much money and work went into the restoration. Quite often they started with a rust bucket. They rescued that car from being a total loss, from the junk yard, redeemed it. So you and I, in our sin we were on a road to a Christ less eternity. Cursed by the law and Christ reached out and rescued us, invested in us and now have been redeemed. Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 7

8 That s why Paul calls it the blessing of Abraham. Notice, and we finish Vs. 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. That we might receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. Abraham could see it from a far and he put his faith in the fact that God would bring it to pass. Today we put our faith in the One who has brought it to pass. We rest in the One who has redeemed us from the curse. And in doing so we are linked with the father of faith, Abraham. Copyright 2014 Chris Fraley 8

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