Abraham was a great man of God. He was the beginning of the faith of Israel and is called the father of the faithful in the Bible. What was it about Abraham that was so great? Learn what great faith looks like as Robert explores the life of this great man of God.

ROBERT >> Abraham is well known as the father of the faithful, the father of all those who believe, Romans 4:11. What does the Bible say about the faith of Abraham? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the faith hall of fame because it speaks of many great examples of faith in the Old Testament, like righteous Abel from the beginning; and Enoch who walked with God, and God took him; or Noah, who built the ark that saved he and his household from the great flood; and then there’s Rahab, the harlot, who hid the spies; and Israel that marched around the walls of Jericho till they fell down; and the faith of the great prophets who suffered much for the word of God.

Yes, like these others, Abraham is a man of great faith. And I want you to see what it is about the faith of Abraham that made it so great that placed him in the faith hall of fame.

First of all, I want you to notice that Abraham responded to God’s call. Let’s take a look at it here in Hebrews 11:8, and let’s notice what it says together. “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.”

Here we see Abraham responding to a call. And I want you to notice that he was called by God. We read about it in Acts 7:2-4. I want you to notice here where Stephen rehearses the call of Abraham.

Here’s what he says about it, Acts 7:2, 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, and said to him, Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you. And 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.”

You see, God appeared to Abraham. He showed himself to Abraham. And he spoke to him directly these very words. At this time, there was no written revelation from God, but God would speak to the fathers, the patriarchs of old and reveal to them his will. Here you see that God called Abraham. He called him out of Ur, Ur of the Chaldees. This is where he was born. This is where he lived for 70 years. It was a highly developed and a civilized place; but it was also a land of idolatry according to Joshua 24:2. From Ur, he would travel with his family to Haran, and there they would stay five years until his father died, and they moved on to Canaan. It was when they were at Haran that God called Abraham again. And I want us to read that back in Genesis 12:1-5.

Genesis chapter 12, let’s read together verses 1 through 5. ” 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’ll show you. I’ll make you a great nation, I’ll bless you and make your name great, and you shall be blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you, I’ll curse him who curses you, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. And then Abram took Sarah his wife and Lot, his brother’s son, and all the 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.”

Yes, Abram was called by God out of Ur of Chaldees into the land of Canaan, where each city was a fortress and they were constantly at war with each other and wandering bedouins of the desert, a land that was given over to idolatry, a morally degenerate land.

You know, we are called. We’re called by God. We’re called by God not out of Ur of Chaldees into the promised land of Canaan, but we’re called by God out of the world, into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

I want you to notice a couple of passages with me. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 describes for us how we are called by God. Unlike Abraham, God never appears to us and speaks to us directly; but he has given to us his word in the scriptures, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here, the Bible says, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

You see, God today uses the gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, the salvation that we have through him. He calls us to faith in Christ, the one who died for us and who rose again, because it’s in him that we have our forgiveness, that we’re set free from sin, that we come out of this old world of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear son.

In Colossians 1:13, the apostle Paul describes how that God takes us from one place to another. Colossians chapter 1, beginning in verse 13, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

We’ve been delivered. We’ve been delivered from our sins. We have forgiveness in Jesus Christ because of his blood. Another passage, 1 Peter 2:9-10. Here the writer says beginning in verse 9, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

So we see that just as God called Abraham to another place, so God has called us to the gospel. Now, I also want you to notice that when God called Abraham out of Ur of Chaldees into the land of Canaan that he was called to receive an inheritance, as the Hebrew writer said, a possession from God. And yet we know that neither Abraham nor his son Isaac nor his son Jacob ever possessed the land of Canaan.

In fact, it was hundreds of years later after their descendants had grown into a great nation that they came to possess it. It was only in time that Canaan’s land was possessed by the descendants of Abraham. It was during the days of Joshua.

I want to go back to Joshua chapter 21, where we read about the possession of this land. You remember after Moses had delivered God’s people out of Egypt how that he brought them into the wilderness up to the promised land; but that generation refused to go in because of the giants in the land. But the next generation were led across the Jordan River into the promised land by Moses’ successor, Joshua. And conquering the peoples in the land, they were given the land to possess it. Just before Joshua was about to leave this earth, he wanted to remind the Israelites of what God had done for them.

And he says in Joshua 21:43, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around according to all that He had sworn to their fathers; and not a man of all their enemies stood against them.
The Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel; all came to pass. Well, that happened to Abraham’s descendants in the land of Canaan. But all of that just points to a greater inheritance that we who answer God’s call of the gospel today is in store for us.”

In 1 Peter 1:3-9 Peter reminds us of our inheritance, that we might come to possess it. In 1 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 3 he writes, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Yes, you see, we, too, like Abraham, have an inheritance. Not a physical land like the land of Canaan, but a greater promised land reserved for us in heaven. Having taken a close look at the call of Abraham and what that means to us today who answer the call of the gospel, I want you to notice Abraham’s response to God’s call.

You see, when Abraham was called by God, he obeyed. This is what faith does. It does what God says to do. Faith obeys. Abraham’s faith was not a dead, lifeless faith, but an active, living, working, obedient faith.

This is the only kind of faith that will save our souls. This is what the apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:6: Faith working through love.

James also makes this abundantly clear in several passages in James the 2nd chapter. Notice here what he says beginning in verse 14. ” What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him?”

Not that kind of faith. Not a dead, lifeless faith, not faith without works, without action, without obedience. We see in verse 17 where James writes, “Thus also faith, by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Look a little bit further. Notice what it says at the end of this chapter. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

The Roman writer describes for us the faith of Abraham this way in Romans 4:12, where he says, “Walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had.”

I’m reminded of the hundreds of steps over hundreds of miles that Abraham walked from the Ur of Chaldees to Haran down into the land of Canaan. He’s not telling us to traverse that same land, but he’s telling us that like Abraham, we must be obedient to God, we must walk in the steps of the faith that our father Abraham had.

I know that there are some that make fun of the steps of salvation, of those of us who would talk about the steps of faith necessary for our salvation; but there are steps that we must take, steps of faith in order to be saved. There is a decision of faith. It’s where faith determines to turn away from sin, to live for God. The Bible calls it repentance. There is a declaration of faith where we confess our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. And there is a demonstration of faith: Baptism, an immersion in water for the remission of our sins.

In Mark 16:15-16, I want you to notice what we read here. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believed will be condemned.”

Yes, Jesus told his apostles to go preach the gospel; but then he told us the steps we must take in response to that gospel. He that believes and is
baptized will be saved. We see the same kind of thing in Acts the 2nd chapter when they went forth and for the very first time preached that gospel in its fulfillment, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ. And the people that were listening were cut to the heart because they realized they had called for the blood of Christ in the streets of Jerusalem not many days before, saying, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

They wanted to know, as it says in Acts 2:37, “What shall we do? And then listen to the answer that was given. Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

You see, they were not told just believe. No, they were told to repent and to be baptized for the remission of sins. There are steps that we are to take in response to God’s call of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that’s just the beginning. Having believed on Christ, turning from our sins, confessing our faith in him, being baptized into Christ, we’re raised to walk in newness of life, Paul said in Romans 6:4.

John puts it this way in 1 John 1:7: “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of His Son cleanses us from all our sins.”

Yes, you see, we must continue to walk in the steps of faith, faith in Jesus Christ. He promises in Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful unto death, and I’ll give you the crown of life.”

Abraham answered God’s call. He was obedient to the call of God, going from Ur of Chaldees into the promised land. In doing that, he had to go out of his own home country. And so the Bible says there in our text in Hebrews 11, He went out.

Imagine with me for just a moment leaving your comfortable home, leaving family and friends. That’s what Abraham did. He had to make a clean break with all past connection. And this is very much what God asks every one of us to do.

When we’re ready to answer the call of the gospel, when we truly believe on him and trust him for our salvation, to turn from our old life, from the evil ways and habits and evil companions in our life, even family who might stand in our way and come between us and God, to turn from other gods or anything that controls our life that’s got hold of us; to repent, as the Bible says in Acts 3:19; and “turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.”

So Abraham obeyed, and he went out. And our text in Hebrews 11 says, He did not know where he was going. You see, God led him into the land of Canaan, a strange, foreign land, totally unknown to Abraham. Abraham took God at his word, not knowing where it might lead him. He gave up a certainty for an uncertainty. He surrendered the seen for the unseen. That’s the kind of faith that made Abraham so great, and why he’s called the father of the faithful. That’s the kind of faith that we must have.

If you look back in Hebrews chapter 11, notice how the chapter of this great faith hall of fame begins. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Abraham had great hopes, and he had not seen the promises of God, but he trusted in them. He had a faith that stood under his hope, the substance of things hoped for. He had a faith, a faith that was founded in the word of God that provided him the evidence for the things that he could not see.

Like a child walking, holding his father’s hand, so by faith he followed God’s word wherever it led him. So must you. So must I.

As the Bible says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.”

God wants to lead us out of sin, to lead us out of the darkness of this world, to lead us into the light of truth, to set us free from our sin, to give us hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Do you hear his call today?

Do you believe it?

Do you trust him with your soul’s salvation?

Will you turn to Jesus Christ with penitent faith, confessing him as the Christ, the Son of God?

Will you be immersed in water for the remission of your sins so that he can give you a new life?

Will you continue to walk with him each day?

Though sometimes you do not understand, and though you’ve never seen him, and though you’ve never seen the heavenly reward he has for you, will you hold on to hope in faith?

Will you walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had?

SINGING>> Years I spent in vanity and pride
caring not my Lord was crucified,
knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan;
oh, the grace that brought it down to man;
oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.
SINGING>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
the battle belongs to the Lord.
He’s raised up a standard, the power of his blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage, my friend, your redemption is near.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

ROBERT >> Want to thank you for watching our program today. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils
that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

%d bloggers like this: