THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 40214
THEME: Abraham, the Friend of God
TOPIC: The Legacy of Abraham, A Man of Faith
TEXT: Genesis 11: 27-32
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi
In our first sermon in December 2012, we narrated the story of Prophet Elijah also called Elisa, been interpreted as “Yahweh is my God.” He was known to be a devoted, faithful, and righteous man from Tishbeh in Gilead, who prophesied against worshiping of Baal and idols after the death of King Solomon before King Ahab was ordained as the King.
In the second sermon we also focused on Elisha, the son of Shaphat of Abel-Meholah. He was an obedient servant of Prophet Elijah, and he later became a great prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was very dedicated and obedient to his mission during the reign of King Joram, King Jehu, King Jehoahaz, and King Jehoash.
The third sermon was titled “Hatred and Opposition.” This was explained that the first thing in dealing with hatred and opposition is to acknowledge God’s hand in any matter. In reference to the man called Michelle, “acknowledging” could be viewed in different ways such as:
- To admit the existence, the reality, or the truth of something.
- To recognize as being valid or having force or power.
- To express recognition of a friend’s smile
The theme of today’s sermon is, Abraham, The Friend of God, while the topic is, The Legacy of Abraham, A Man of Faith.
- The Birth of Abram
In reference to Ray C. Stedman, the man Abram was born in the Chaldean city of Ur in Mesopotamia. During that time, Ur was one of the largest cities in the world with a population of about fifty thousand people. It was a city of great wealth and culture, also known as a land of darkness, a place of great weariness of soul, a realm of spiritual hunger and death. The City was located at Tell el-Mukayyar Iraq, on the South Bank of the Euphrates, which was a short distance from modern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. The people of Ur were highly devoted to commerce, learning, and pagan worship of the moon goddess.
Then man Abraham was formerly called Abram but later changed to Abraham. Around 2000 B.C., the Lord spoke to Abram and said,
Promises to Abram
1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh.[a] And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South (Genesis 12: 1-9).
At age 75, Abram left the land of Haran and went to the land of Canaan with his wife, Sarai, his nephew, Lot, his slaves, and all their possessions. The man Abram responded with an obedient and left the idolatrous city of Ur and ventured out in faith.
The Call of Abraham
Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?”2 And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’[a] 4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.
5 And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession and to his descendants after him. 6 But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years. 7 ‘And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,’[b] said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.’[c] 8 Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs (Acts 7: 1-8).
Brethren, what wonderful, marvelous, and interesting news that the Lord took an initiative in reaching out to Abraham. This could be viewed as the Lord’s pattern of interacting with human beings. Be assured that it was God that sought for Abram and not Abram that sought for God. This is also true of your life and mine. God sought for us while we were still strangers and enemies to Him. In order words, in our relationship between God and human-beings, our God is the initiator. The phrase “Initiator” means, a person who rules or guides, or inspires others.
- The Decision We Must Make
What does the word “Decision” mean? In reference to the man Paul Tillich, the word “decision” could be explained thus:
(A) An act of processing
(B) A determination that arrives after good consideration
(C) To arrive at a better choice
(D) To bring to a definitive end
The phrase or word “Decision or Decide” comes from the Latin word “Decidere” which means to cut off. We need to understand that the word “making a decision” is not just about the actual act of selection or choice, but, it is about everything that leads to that moment of choice. When discussion, deliberation, analysis, considerations, possibilities, consequences are all ‘cut off,’ we come to a choice and a decision has been made.
The Lord commanded Abram to do three things which are; to leave his country, to leave his kindred, and to leave his father’s house. The reason why the Lord said this is because the city of Ur he was living was a city of idolatry, commerce, political power, and a place of pleasure. The Lord is also calling us to leave our old life that is full of ambition, rebellion, and worship of wealth, power, and pleasure. Our Almighty Father is calling us to turn our backs on the dying and condemned social system of this world which its humanistic values are satanic philosophies. We should not allow the surrounding culture to shape our thinking, our altitude, and our behavior. Instead, we must begin to walk and depend on the Lord, our heavenly Father, who can do through us what we cannot do by ourselves. This was the same case with Jesus Christ our Lord, no one who met Him remained the same or neutral. If we are truly living Christ-like lives, we will have the same effect with the people we encounter. This is the reason the Apostle Paul says:
15. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many,[a] peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ (2 Cor. 2: 15-17).
Dearly beloved, be assured that our heavenly Father committed a great mission into the hand of His chosen son, Abraham. And, His chosen son, Abraham, was very faithful, obedient, dedicated, and honest to that great mission by going from one city to another. Are you really sure you have been called by that God? If yes, are you really faithful to God’s mission entrusted into your hand? If no, when will you give it a second thought and turn back to God’s mission entrusted into your hand? This is the only way you can bring the lost people to faith in Christ Jesus.