Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
The great tension of the Old Testament is the seemingly ambiguous status of God’s covenant with His people. Sometimes God speaks as if He will bless Israel irrespective of whether or not they keep the statues of His covenant. Other times the blessing appears to be conditional upon their obedience. This deep tension is resolved through the cross. Jesus takes upon Himself the curse for breaking the covenant. Meanwhile, all of us who have disobeyed the covenant receive—through faith in Christ--the reward that Jesus deserved for keeping the covenant.
We are smothering under our small ambitions. Our hearts and minds were made for nobler things. God does not bless Christians merely to fulfill their individual needs, but sends them out on mission to display Jesus and to meet the needs of others.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: John 4:13-14; Isaiah 6; Genesis 12.
It is much easier to believe in God than to trust in God. God calls Abraham to live a life of faith, but Abraham struggles. He asks God how he knows that he can trust God. God responds with a demonstration that is one of the clearest pointers to the Gospel in the Old Testament. In so doing, God enables Abraham to truly live a life of faith.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 22:2; Hebrews 6:17-19; Jeremiah 34:17-20; Mark 15:33-34; Isaiah 53:8.
The reality of meeting God changes you into a person of mission: one who is willing to leave what is comfortable in order to love and serve others. As you take risks to bless others, you will find yourself receiving not only the gifts and resources necessary to do so, but the greatest blessing of all - His presence in your life.
Abraham, in his intercessory prayer for Sodom, engages in the first priestly action of the Bible. His intercession implies a corporate responsibility in which righteousness as well as sin can be ascribed to a people, and his actions point to Christ, the great priest, and our role as the royal priesthood
Through Abraham we see how God's personal call graciously challenges every aspect of our lives, by giving us entirely new lives with a radical new purpose. God's call to Abraham presents him with the opportunity to find his true self, and to rely on the ultimate security that comes from trusting Him.
It is our nature to seek our identity in the praise of others and in the praise of self. But the praise doesn’t last, and we are never satisfied. God has provided, through Jesus’ death, a new identity to all who know him. This new identity is built on Jesus’ performance rather than on our own; we receive the praise that He deserved. The more we know God, the more our new identity is strengthened and our old identity dies away.