The Faith Of Abraham
THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM
1. As Christians, we are called to live by faith. Rom 1:17
2. Faith in God is faith in His Word.
a. Faith is agreeing with God.
b. Faith is believing God which means believing His Word.
3. Faith involves three elements:
a. Knowledge: of God's will (revealed in His Word).
b. Choice: You choose to accept what God has said as true no matter
what other evidence tells you (circumstances, feelings, logic).
c. Action: You express your agreement with God by the way you talk
4. Faith is a general attitude toward life which we use in specific situations.
a. General faith = moment - to - moment attitude toward life which says:
1. I am what God says I am.
2. I have what God says I have.
3. I can do what God says I can do.
b. Specific faith = called mountain moving faith or the prayer of faith.
Mark 11:22-24; James 5:15
1. Used to change a specific situation or condition (most often used
for physical healing).
2. It is not used everyday or in every situation.
3. It is used in situations where it is clear from God's Word that a
physical situation needs to change.
5. In this lesson, we want to look at these two kinds of faith in greater detail.
B. Let's first make some more general comments about faith.
1. God works in our lives through His Word.
a. He sends His Word (gives us His promise), and where He gets the right
cooperation from us (faith), He fulfills His Word (brings it to pass in our lives).
b. Salvation is the clearest example of this.
1. God sends His Word (the gospel), and where it is believed and
acted upon, God saves people. Rom 10:8-13
2. Rom 10:14 gives us the pattern for faith = hear, believe, speak.
2. God's provision for us begins in the unseen realm where He dwells. II Cor
a. His Word reveals that provision to us.
b. When we believe His Word, He brings that provision into the physical
3. Faith is believing God's Word without any physical evidence to confirm it.
a. Faith accepts what has not yet been revealed to the senses, but has been
revealed to us by the Word of God.
b. God then fulfills that word = brings it to pass in the realm where we
can see / feel it.
4. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it is not real (perfume,
a. Sight does not take into account all the facts (behind the scenes
information revealed in God's Word).
b. Sight can be inaccurate. (bug in the corner)
5. Walking by sight means you base what you believe only on what you see.
a. There are times when it is appropriate -- you look out the window, see
it raining, and put on a raincoat.
b. There are times when it is inappropriate -- when what you see
contradicts God's Word.
c. Sight must always be subject to the higher reality of God's Word.
6. Faith makes unseen / invisible things "real" by opening the door to God's
power to create the reality in the realm where we can see and feel.
7. Both the faith we are to live by (general faith) and the prayer of faith
(specific faith) have some principles in common:
a. Both are based on the evidence of God's Word.
b. Both are used when we cannot see with our eyes that what God has
said is true.
c. Both are expressed through words and actions.
d. Both have a past, present, and future element:
1. God has spoken = past
2. Because He has spoken, I will see / feel = future
3. Right now, it's as good as done, as far as I am concerned =
C. The story of Abraham illustrates these principles of faith.
1. Remember Abraham's story. Gen 12-22
a. God called Abraham out of his home land in Mesopotamia and led
him to Canaan.
b. God promised to make Abraham into a great nation.
c. God promised him personal blessing, national blessing, and spiritual
d. When Abraham and his wife were too old, God gave them a son.
2. As Christians, we are to walk in the faith of Abraham. Rom 4:11,12
3. He walked in both general and specific faith.
a. Specific faith = he believed he would have a son
b. General faith = he lived his life praising and trusting God
c. Let's consider some highlights in Abraham's life and see what they
show us about faith.
4. In Gen 12:1-3 God made some general promises to Abraham.
a. Abraham demonstrated his belief by an action = he left his home. v4
b. He exercised general faith = just started walking / living in agreement
c. We read these promises and know exactly what God meant by them,
but Abraham didn't have a clue.
d. He just did what he knew to do = general faith = walk in agreement.
e. We could compare God's general promises to Abraham to the ones He
makes to us:
1. I have a place for you. I Cor 12:27
2. I have a plan for you. Jer 29:11
3. I have a purpose for you. Eph 2:10
f. We need to walk in agreement with God.
5. As Abraham walked in agreement with God:
a. God got him to the right places -- Egypt during famine. 12:10
b. God met his needs. 13:2; 14:23; 24:35
c. He got greater understanding of God's instructions to him -- separate
from your family. 13:9
d. God revealed more of His plans to Abraham. 13:14-18
e. v17 Just keep walking.
f. God helped him defeat his enemies. 14:13-16;20
g. He had divine appointments. 14:18
6. In Gen 15:2 Abraham presented his specific need to God = a son.
a. God promised Abraham it would be done. 15:4,5
b. And, Abraham believed God (whole heartedly committed himself to
c. In Gen 17:5 God changed Abraham's name from Abram to Abraham
= father of a multitude.
d. Every time he introduced himself, Abraham was expressing his
agreement with God's promise.
e. 17:10; 23-27 demonstrated his agreement (faith) by taking the physical
sign of the covenant.
7. The end result of all this was that Abraham had a son when he and his wife
were too old. 21:1-5
8. In his faith walk, Abraham did some things right and some things wrong --
let's look at them.
D. The NT gives us insight into what Abraham did right.
1. Heb 11:8-10 comments about Abraham's general attitude, his general faith.
a. v8,9 -- He took God at His Word, not fully understanding it.
b. v10 -- As he walked to and through the land of promise, he looked
beyond it to the unseen realm. II Cor 4:18
2. v13-16 give us characteristics of the great men and women of faith listed in
the chapter, as well as Abraham.
a. We are what God says we are = pilgrims and strangers.
b. We have what God says we have = embraced the promises.
c. We can do what God says we can do = reach the heavenly city.
3. Notice what they did:
a. They expressed their belief in God and His promise by the way they
talked and the way they walked.
b. They agreed with God -- and that's faith.
4. Rom 4:18-21 gives us insight into Abraham's specific faith.
a. When there was no hope, he took God at His Word, without any
physical evidence. v18
b. He didn't deny his physical circumstances, he just didn't take them as
the final word. v 19
c. He praised God for what he knew He would do. v20
d. He believed God would do what He promised (past, present, future).
5. In Hebrews 11:17-19 we get more insight into Abraham's specific faith.
a. He was willing to sacrifice Issac because his confidence in God was not
in the son he could see, but in God's Word to him.
b. Back in Gen 22:1-14 we see that faith in action.
1. Obedience to God's Word even when it made no sense. v1,2
2. v5 We will come back to you.
3. v8 God will provide.
6. Notice, we see words and actions that agree with what God said.
E. Let's look at what Abraham did wrong.
1. As we read his story, we find two main problems with Abraham's faith walk.
a. He got into fear (tried to pass Sarah off as his sister). 12:10-20;20
b. He and Sarah tried to help God out through impregnating Hagar. 16
2. God dealt with both of those problems in Abraham through His Word to
a. The basis of faith is knowing the character of God = what He is like;
what He wants to do for you. Ps 9:10
b. God repeatedly presented Abraham with His Word and His promise.
Gen 12:1-3,7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-27; 22:15-18
1. Note how many times God repeated His promise to Abraham.
2. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Rom 10:17
3. Faith grows. II Thess 1:3
c. Gen 15:1 God told Abraham some facts about Himself (in addition to
His promise) to increase Abraham's trust.
d. Rom 4:21 tells us that Abraham was fully persuaded that what God
had promised, He would do.
1. He was persuaded by God's Word.
2. His response to it was to accept it, meditate on it, speak it =
e. We can watch Abraham's faith grow until the point that in Gen 22 he
was willing to give up the physical proof of God's Word.
3. God also convinced Sarah to trust Him with His Word. 18:9-15
a. When she laughed at His promise, God told her "Nothing is too hard
for me". v14
b. A NT comment tells us she received that word (it produced faith in
her). Heb 11:11
4. Notice in Gen 21:1 God causing Sarah to become pregnant is called "God
doing as He had spoken".
a. That is the point!
b. God speaks to us, and when He gets agreement or faith, He fulfills that
1. Abraham is held up to us as an example of faith.
2. We could say these things about Abraham's faith:
a. It had all three elements necessary for Bible faith:
1. He knew God's will, God's Word.
2. He accepted it, agreed with it.
3. He expressed his agreement through his words and his actions.
b. He took God at His Word without any physical proof.
c. He walked by faith = he based what he did and said on what God said.
d. He had a general attitude toward God and His Word which showed up
in specific situations.
3. Abraham did mess up, but we can learn these two things:
a. There is hope for us.
b. We can do the things necessary to correct those kinds of mistakes in
our own lives.
4. We want to develop the habit of general faith = moment - to - moment
agreement with God.
a. He is leading me and guiding me.
b. He has a plan and a place for me.
c. He has made me His child, a new creature, fully capable of doing His
5. As we walk in general faith, we can begin to develop specific or mountain
a. Find out God's will concerning your physical needs.
b. Begin to feed your spirit and renew your mind with the Word in areas
where you are weak.
c. Become fully persuaded of God's promises as Abraham was.