Friend of God, The Altars of Abraham: The Altar of Faith
ABRAHAM: FRIEND OF GOD
Israel=servant “Governed of God”
Jacob=Chosen even with all their issues, God chooses Israel
Abraham=friend, a special union with God
Jehoshaphat knew Abraham was a friend of God 2 Chronicles 20:7, James knew Abraham was a friend of God James 2:23
We are friends of God through our relationship with Jesus HOWEVER Jesus qualifies our friendship by connecting to our faithfulness John 15:14-15. How is your friendship with the Lord?
Abraham’s altars show us the path that he took, which garnered him the name FRIEND of God! These four altars mark the unforgettable peaks of Abraham’s spiritual experiences in the pathway of faith. Altars were built to show devotion, submission, and obedience to God. They served as places of sacrifice and atonement. They served as places of worship and remembrance.
THE ALTAR OF FAITH
Abraham is called by God out of the land of Mesopotamia, and after his idol worshipping Father, Terah, dies, God makes His plan very clear to Abraham. Notice in vs. 1-3, the unconditional covenant that God makes with Abraham. Hearing the words of God, by faith which was accounted to Abraham for righteousness (Romans 4), he leaves and makes his journey toward the heart of this new land.
It is here the Scripture makes a great revelation, without revealing it. The Scripture record doesn’t say that Abram pitched a tent, erected an enclosure for the animals, dug a water well, or sat down to rest. No, the first thing he did was build an altar. It is an altar of FAITH and an altar that each of us must erect in our lives if we are to be friends of God.
The Bible speaks of different types of faith…doctrinal faith, daily faith, decisional faith, demonic faith, and even dead faith! What type of faith do you have and what areas do you need some work in? Abraham’s first altar shows us the first way marker along our journey of friendship with God.
I. THE TESTIMONY OF FAITH vs. 1-6a, Hebrews 11:1, 6, Romans 4
Note: Many, today, only believe in what they see or what they experience. Faith has nothing to do with sight or experiences. According to Hebrews 11, we find that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith is simply our response the absolutes of God’s Word.
A. The Reasoning of Faith
Valley of Moreh (teacher)
Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerazim (mountains of blessing and cursing)
B. The Response of Faith
responded with worship
responded with work
II. THE TRIAL OF FAITH vs. 6b
A. The Adversaries of Faith–Canaanites—a culture of idolatry and immorality—a faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted—first adversaries of God!
B. The Activity of Faith—faith stands in the face of its adversaries. Abraham boldly plants the flag, so to speak, in the heart of Canaan! He puts God’s adversaries on notice!
III. THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH vs. 7
A. A Faith that is Boldly Decided Inwardly
B. A Faith that is Boldly Declared Outwardly
How is your faith? How is your friendship with God? Let’s start this revival the right way! Confess your sin, confess your lack of faith! Trust God!
Remember, it was here at Schechem that years later Joshua would call the people of Israel together and challenge them about who they would serve? He boldly declared his and his family’s faith, like Abraham had done years before! Will you stand up and declare your faith?
Will you declare your faith in Jesus as your Savior? Will you come and boldly identify with Christ’s resurrection and be baptized? Will you stand, in the face of your adversaries, and boldly proclaim that faith in Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven?