Faith's Demands

Genesis 12:1-9
Hebrews 11:8-10


God finds the sinner.

Notice where God found him (Abraham).

In Ur of the Chaldees—far from the promised land.

“Ur” means flame—“Chaldee” means destruction.

God found Abraham in the place of a flame and in the land of destruction.

This is where God finds every sinner.

In Adam we are alienated from God, we come under His judgment, and live on an earth destined to destruction.

Ephesians 2:12—“That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

Abraham was a sinner—He was an idolator, he came from a pagan country, from a pagan home, He and his family worshiped other Gods.

Yet, this was the man that God chose by his sovereign grace. God purposed to save him through His grace and because of his faith.

Romans 4:3—Abraham believed God and it brought him into right relationship with God.

If we are going to get right with God, we must believe as Abraham did.

God not only chose him but because of his faith He justified him.

How can a man be justified before God?

How can a person be brought to stand in God’s sight without a trace of sin?

1. By sovereign grace—Romans 3:24. “Being justified freely by his grace.”

2. By precious blood—Romans 5:9. “Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

3. By faith—Romans 5:1. “Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    O joy of the justified, joy of the free

    I’m washed in that crimson tide opened for me

    In Christ my Redeemer rejoicing I stand

    And point to the print of the nails in his hand.

    Oh Jesus the crucified, Jesus is mine;

    Tho’ once a lost sinner, yet now I am Thine;

    In conscious salvation I sing of His grace.

    Who lifts now upon me the smile of his face.

Does God see you as He saw Abraham? Yes, He does, says someone. What shall I do? Jesus Christ is mighty to save, able to save to the uttermost, able to save you. You have to believe this and trust him unreservedly. And you will be saved.

Incomplete Obedience

God not only saved Abraham, but he called him to leave his old life, and to walk by faith, trusting God.

Abraham obeyed, and went out, not knowing where, but he trusted God for every step—Hebrews 11.

Abraham set out for the “Promised Land.” They had gone about half the distance when God stopped him at Haran.

Now “Haran” means dry, parched, fruitless, defeat; the opposite of “Canaan” which stands for fruitfulness, and victory.

Abraham dwelt there for six years—wasted years. He built no altar, he never prayed, there is no record of any communion with God—no victory, no progress, no spiritual growth.

Is this a picture of you?

Off on a burst of enthusiasm, but grinding to a stop halfway to God’s best for you. Instead of victory in Christ, God has to cleanse you.

What was the reason for the wasted years at Haran?

Abraham had believed God, and had gone out of Ur of the Chaldees. He had left the city of land and the land of destruction. So far so good.

But Abraham had not obeyed completely.

What were God’s instructions? See Genesis 12:1—“Now the Lord said unto Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.”

11:31 shows us where Abraham failed. He took with him his father, Terah and his nephew, Lot.

God’s implicit instructions were:

1. Leave your country.

2. Leave your friends.

These would represent “the world” and “the flesh.”

These must be left behind. Lay aside every weight.

Abraham took his relatives with him and got bogged down in Haran, the dry, parched and fruitless county.

He had never learned the important truth of separation—from the world and the flesh.

One of the great needs of the believer today is to learn the lesson that separation from the world and the flesh is essential to spiritual growth and progress.

Terah, Abraham’s father, died in Haran. See 11:32.

Terah means “delay.”

For approximately six years Abraham had lived with Terah in Haran.

Now notice what happens after Terah’s death.

Read vs. 4-5—Abraham is on the move. Before Abraham realized God’s perfect blessing in Canaan (the “Promised Land”) two things were necessary:

1. Renouncing the world

2. Renouncing the flesh

Paul says that “the scriptures that were written aforetime were written for our learning.”

Paul perhaps has this incident in Abraham’s life in mind when he writes in Ephesians 4:22, “Put off, crucify the ‘old man’, of nature which is corrupt. And put on the ‘new man’ which is created in God.”

This is not an easy thing to do, sometimes it is painful.

Abraham later on had to separate himself from Lot, then he had to sacrifice his own son Isaac, and finally Sara his wife had to be buried.

Many believers need this experience today. They need to be liberated from the chains of fleshly slavery, and emancipated into the perfect freedom in Christ.

God promised to bless Abraham—12:2-3.

The journey of Abraham from Haran to Canaan is recorded in vs. 6-9.

First of all Abraham came to Sichem, the place of strength. Then he came to Moreh, the place of instruction. Then on to Bethel, the house of God, where he built an altar to the Lord, and called upon his name.

His obedience to God’s will has brought him back into full fellowship with God.