Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Father's Day 2005, a week late. by John

Father’s Day 2005 a week late
Genesis 22:1-19

1. When our son John Mark was four, I preached on this Scripture. God laid a question on my heart: Would you give your son to God to die for the sins of the world?
2. My mind immediately turned to the cross: Would I be willing to send my beautiful, little redheaded son to the cross?
3. I knew in my heart that I could not humanly do such a thing!
4. Then the thought came into my mind: These three children are not yours! They already belong to God! He can and will take care of them. Still...I don’t think I could give my son to die as a sacrifice for mankind!
5. Abraham didn’t have the Bible, but he did have direct conversations with God.
6. He didn’t know about Jesus. He just knew that God was real! And he worshiped God, and he lived like God wanted him to live, not perfectly, but he was godly!
(1) We don’t have to be sinlessly perfect to be godly.
(2) It’s a relationship, not a legality!
7. I think Abraham knew that. I am sure he knew because Abraham knew he was a sinner!
(1) Abraham lied to Abimelech in Genesis 20. Isn’t a lie a sin? (Technically, he told the truth, but used an obscure truth to hide the truth. [Sarah was his sister. We would call her a “half-sister,” and Abraham told Abimelech only that she was his sister, not his wife.])
(2) He even allowed her to be taken into Abimelech’s harem!
(3) If we saw someone do such a thing in a movie, we would cry out, “You spineless creep!”

I. God recognized Abraham as godly.
And that’s important!
1. It’s one thing to see yourself as godly, and it is something else for God to see you as godly.
2. He was strong in many ways.
3. He was weak in some others.
4. If we feel compelled to condemn Abraham, we should compare him with ourselves. Don’t most of us have the same faults Abraham had?
5. Remember what happened when men came to arrest Jesus?
(1) The disciples were willing to fight for Jesus!
(2) When He told them not to resist, they ran for their lives.
(3) One who ran was John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark.
(4) He was a young man at that time clothed only in a linen garment.
(5) He fled! Someone grabbed his clothing, and he ran away naked! Mark 14:52.)
6. I think not many of us are any braver than these men.
7. The important thing for us to realize is that God knows everything about every person, and He saw Abraham as godly. If Abraham seems anything but godly to you, you don’t see things as God does!
8. Ask God to help you see others as He does.

II. Abraham in this instance was a prophecy of God offering His Son!

1. God honored Abraham by using him to show the world that He was going to give His One and only Son to die for the sins of mankind!
2. Isaac, Abraham’s son, became exhibit A for the world to see Christ!
(1) He went willingly because he loved, and respected his father.
(2) He always obeyed his father.
(3) He never complained.
(4) He trusted his father!
3. Aren’t those all true of Jesus.
(1) In John 3:35, 5:20 and 17:24, Jesus told us His Father loved Him and gave Him gifts to share with us.
(2) In John 8:29, Jesus said of His Father, “I always do what pleases Him.”
(3) Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
(4) The whole 17th chapter of John shows how completely Jesus trusted His Father!
4. Isaac was an excellent example and prophecy of the coming, and the death of Jesus for our sins.

III. After the altar was built, Isaac shows the salvation of mankind.

1. As far as we know Isaac had committed no great sins, but all men are sinners, so he fits that category well.
2. Hebrews 9:27 citing a verse from the Old Testament says, “Just as a man is destined to die once, and that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, and he will appear a second time not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
3. Isaac represented all of us! And just as God provided Christ to die for us, God provided a male, a ram, to die in Isaac’s place.
4. When Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb for the sacrifice was, Abraham told him God would provide a lamb! That became a prophecy of the coming of Jesus provided by God to take away the sins of the world!
5. People, not only is there no other way to be saved, but if you refuse to take God’s Gift in Jesus, you dishonor God by your refusal!

Conclusion:

1. God knew Abraham’s heart, and the Bible says that He counted Abraham righteous!
2. He knows your heart, too.
3. He allowed Abraham to represent our heavenly Father. He showed us ahead of time what He planned to do. He would send His Own Son to save us from our sins.
3. Isaac became a prophecy of the coming and dying of Jesus.
4. Then Isaac became a prophecy of the plight of sinful mankind!
5. Because of our sins, we are already condemned to death! We deserve to die! But even if we are at death’s door like Isaac was, with the knife raised to strike, God has already provided salvation for us in His Son Jesus.
6. Do you believe God? Then trust Jesus! He will give you eternal life! No one else can do that!

Emmanuel Community Church June 26, 2005

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