THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 40214
THEME: Abraham, the Friend of God
TOPIC: How Faith Conquers Fear
Genesis 15: 1-6
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi
In our previous sermon we narrated how prayer works. This was explained through the words of the man called, Matt Slick thus: (1). A solemn request for help or expression of thanksgiving addressed to God. (2). A religious service at which Christians gather together in order to pray faithfully and honestly to the Almighty Father. Matt Slick went further by saying,
“Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of every Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord . . . etc.”
After the above narrated statements we also talked about how Abraham interceded for the sins of Sodom. This was also emphasized thus:
“And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18: 23ff).
- FAITH & FEAR
In today’s sermon we will focus on the statement that says: How Faith Conquers Fear. First and foremost, what does “Fear” really mean? The Scripture says:
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV).
The Scripture continues saying;
In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, 13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God in the light of the living? (Psalm 56:11-13 (NKJV).
7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began (2 Tim. 1: 7-9 (NKJV)
Brethren, the phrase “not to fear” means to depend on the Lord because He is on your side no-matter your perseverance, agony, discouragement, sorrow, or perplexity. Waite on the Almighty God because He is always there for you.
Now after explaining the word “Fear,” What does “Faith” really mean? This could also be interpreted thus:
1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith at the Dawn of History
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 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.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Hebrews 11: 1-7).
If you take a closer look at the ministry of Jesus, you will see that He honestly responded to those who received their healing with the phrase that says: “Your Faith has Made You Whole.”
Let us carefully analyze our Lord Jesus Christ’s healing miracles:
(A). THE WOMAN DISEASED WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace (Luke 8:43-48 (KJV).
(B). YOUR FAITH HAS SAVED YOU!
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5: 34 (NKJV).
(C). THE WOMAN WHOSE SINS WERE FORGIVEN
You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:45-48 (NKJV).
(D). JESUS CLEANSES A LEPER
When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” (Matthew 8: 1-4).
(E). YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WHOLE
40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. (Luke 18: 40-43 (NKJV).
These are not only the miracles that Jesus Christ did but many more. What a wonderful Lord, who knows our sorrows and He is able to solve them. How often do you wait and trust in Him?
- THE LORD, OUR GREAT RE-WARDER
Our Almighty God is not just our shield in times of trouble, but He is also our protector in times of sorrow and tribulation. In order words, He is our dearest treasure and the only genuinely satisfying joy we must trust in and depend on. Be assured that we are spiritually inadequate, but He is more than adequate and He will keep His promise toward us. A man by the name Charles Wesley said;
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees
And looks to God alone
Laughs at impossibilities
And Cries: It shall be done!
Our Lord presents only one way for our salvation, and that is through faith alone. The Apostle Paul puts it thus:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph. 2: 8-10 (NKJV).
This could also be seen in the Book of Genesis that says:
God’s Covenant with Abram
15 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.” 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 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.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:1-6 (NKJV).
The Book of Hebrews also narrates the story of Abram and Sarah his wife, thus:
8 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. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child[a] when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:8-11 (NKJV).
Brethren, be assured that Abram and Sarah cannot earn God’s favor, but they can only receive it by faith as a free gift of grace. Do you really understand what Abram said to the Lord when he narrated it as indicated below?
But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir (Gen. 15: 2-4 (NKJV).
By faith, Abram and his wife Sarah, gave birth to a son, for the Scripture says, “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child[a] when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11 (NKJV).
The name of Abram & Sarah’s son is in Genesis 21: 1-8. It is written thus:
Isaac Is Born
1 And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” 7 She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.
Hagar and Ishmael Depart
8 So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned (” (Gen. 21: 1-8 (NKJV).
Dearly beloved, what about you? Where is your faith in that Almighty God, our Father? How often do you depend on Him, trust in Him, obedient to His command, and believing that with Him on your side, victory is certain?
There is a Yoruba song that says, “Emi o gbekele E, emi ki y’o beru.” The Book of Isaiah emphasized it thus:
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation (Isaiah 12: 2 (NKJV).
Gbekele e Onigbagbo, bi ja naa tile pe
Iwo ni y’o saa segun, Baba y’o ja fun o
Egbe Saa gbe….kele E
B’ okunkun tile su
Saa gbe……kele E
Ile fere mo na
Gbekele E laaarin ewu, danwowa ni toosi
Laaarin wahala aiye, y’o maa samona re.
Jesu to lati gba wa, Ore tooto l’O je
Gbekele E Onigbagbo, saa gbekele E d’ opin.