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Summer Hebrews Series 2012 – Study 4

12/08/2012

Heroes in Hebrews – Abraham.

Text: Hebrews 11:8-10

We have been looking at Hebrews chapter 11, and we have noticed that it contains a list of OT heroes.  We have seen that these OT characters had two great qualities:-

  • They were PILGRIMS AND STRANGERS in this world. They had done something which was distinctively NT, in that they had placed their treasure in heaven, and were thus partakers of the promises of the Gospel, long before Christ came into this world.
  • They had FAITH!  This was not something that they worked up in themselves, or something which they needed to have before they could appropriate God’s blessing, for we learned that faith is God’s gift.

In this study we look at what Hebrews has to say about the first of Abraham’s great tests of faith, his journey of faith.  Abraham believed God, and he forsook everything for God and he went where God directed; he considered himself a stranger and he looked for a more permanent, more fixed more abiding habitation!  Consider:-

1. Abraham’s Belief in God! By faith Abraham

Abraham believed God! Romans 4:3: In fact Abraham has been often referred to as the ‘father of the faithful!’  Paul wrote to the Galatians, Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3:7.  His confidence in God was so full and so unshaken that was known as the friend of God.  How good it is to have the kind of faith in God that Abraham had!  To believe all that God has said in his word, to obey him without question or without regard to personal cost.  To have complete trust in him through everything that life might throw up!

2. Abraham’s Break from the World!  when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went

Abraham forsook EVERYTHING to follow God!  Interestingly God’s call to Abraham to leave all and follow Him was so definite and strong that God called him twice!  He was called in Ur.  (Gen 11). Acts 7:2-3  He called him again in Haran. Genesis 12:1  Now see Abraham’s response!

  • He gave up what he had for that which was promised!  Now Abraham had possessions.  He had dwelt with his father in Ur of the Chaldees, and he had journeyed with him to Haran, where his father died.  Abraham was his son and heir, and was in a secure position.  Then God spoke to him!  Genesis 12:1.
  • He gave up the present for the future!  Abraham gave up everything in this world, to gain the world to come!  Why would God ask Abraham to give up all the things that mean so much to a person?  Was the world becoming too precious to him?  Was his home, his position in society hindering him in his walk of faith?  We would do well to consider this too.  Mark 8:36

Do you know that there is a cost to following Jesus?  Salvation is God’s free gift, but accepting God’s gift makes you a discipleship, and discipleship costs dearly!  In fact, Jesus warned a great multitude of nominal followers that they should count the cost of discipleship BEFORE they accept Him!  Luke 14:25-35  I really don’t think we really catch on what this means in the western church today.   Are we prepared to give up anything for Jesus?

 

3. Abraham’s Behaviour in Canaan!

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  Abraham obeyed the Lord, and went to where God told him.  He sojourned in the land of promise!

  • He went out, not knowing where he was going. He put himself into the hand of God, to send him anywhere he pleased.
  • He sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country. This was an exercise of his faith.  Matthew Henry writes:-
    • Notice that Canaan is called the land of promise, because at this time it is only promised, not possessed.
    • How Abraham lived in Canaan, not as heir or a landowner, but as a sojourner only.  
    • He dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.  
    • He had good company with him, and they were a great comfort to him on his heavenly journey.  All the saints are heirs of the same promise.

The promise is made to believers and their children, and to as many as the Lord our God shall call. And it is pleasant to see parents and children sojourning together in this world as heirs of the heavenly inheritance.

4. Abraham’s Beholding of Heaven!

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:8-10

Now, what do we learn from this land to which Abraham was travelling?

  • Heaven is a city! The description given of heaven: it is a lasting city, compared with the cities of this world. It is built on the promises of an everlasting covenant it is a city whose builder and maker is God. He drew the plans; he built the city, and he has provided the way into it, and he has prepared it for his people.
  • Heaven is a city to be sought after!  Do you see the diligence of Abraham here?  He looked for this heavenly city! He believed there was such a place and he waited for it, and in the mean time he claimed his right to it by faith; he had exalted and rejoicing hopes, that in God’s time and way he should be brought safely to it.
  • Heaven influenced his earthly life!  Throughout all the trials of his journey, Abraham had the comfort and support of the knowledge that he would one day be in heaven!   That knowledge helped him patiently to bear all the inconveniences of the way, and to faithfully carry out all his duties to his God!

Abraham looked for heaven! What are we looking for?  Jesus said, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

From → Hebrews 11

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