Acts 7:1-8(NKJV) – 1Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2And 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, 3and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’ 4Then 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. 5And 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. 6But 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,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.’ 8Then 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.
Introduction: The Apostle Paul is on trial. He begins his defense with reference to the Word. He begins with the call of Abraham and the covenant.
- “The God of Glory”
- Abraham was in a heathen city
- Abraham was in a idolatrous home
- Something striking, unmistakable, is manifested
- It is different from the other gods
- Something happened that changed the man’s entire life!
Isaiah 65:1(NKJV) – 1“I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am, ’to a nation that was not called by My name.
ILL: Paul on the road to Damascus
Romans 3:11(NKJV) – 11There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
ILL: The sheep do not seek the shepherd but the shepherd seeks the sheep
- This Call Requires Absolute Confidence and Full Obedience
Two kinds of call!
- Proverbs 8:4(NKJV) – 4“To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men.
Matthew 20:16(NKJV) – 16So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
- Luke 14:16-24(NKJV) – 16Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”
- Abraham’s Failure
Genesis 11:31-32(NKJV) – 31And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Isaiah 51:2(NKJV) – 2Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.”
Why Abraham’s Failure is Not Mentioned in Hebrews 11? Answer: Grace!
Absolute perfection in this life is not possible. I look back and wonder how many times did I miss it? Thank God for Grace!
Genesis 12:4-9(NKJV) – 4So 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. 5Then 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. 6Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. 7Then 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. 8And 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. 9So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
Conclusion: Grace never sets aside the requirement of righteousness!
ILL: Abraham’s failure to fulfill his calling to Canaan did not block God’s purpose! I often wonder if I missed God in stopping for seven years at the country church before coming to Greensboro. I tried to go to New Orleans to seminary and to pastor. But within 24 hours I “chickened out” and stayed in a church filled with tobacco farmers, bootleggers, and KKK. But to tell the truth I enjoyed my ministry there. We built a new sanctuary, education building, souls were saved, and I developed some life-long friends. Excuse me, but Jesus’ friends were not men who wore dresses, picked hats, kissed rings, virgins and had lights on their heads but were bearded men who drank wine, slept in the open, and ate fish and leg of lamb.
2 Peter 1:5-11(NKJV) – 5But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.