Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church Experiencing Christ In Community

Let's see what each US note prints: IN GOD WE TRUST, we trust God, this is the beginning of the United States! Today we will hear what the apostle Paul said: “Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness” (Rom 4:9). He meant to say: To see Abraham's righteousness from his trust in God. Why do we need to see Abraham's righteousness from his faith? Let’s take a look at what Abraham’s faith is, what kind of action his faith includes.

1.Faith in Action

  1. Abraham’s faith is obedience to God’s commands, leaving his own place

In Heb. 11:8, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents”.

This is Abraham's faith in God. When the Word of God came to Abraham and told him to leave his family, friends, relatives and work, he began to embark on the road of God's guidance. Along the way, he encountered things he didn’t think of, and things that couldn’t be solved with his ability and wisdom. However, for his faith in God’s word, he kept going on. He didn’t argue or doubt, but fully trusted God. He entrusted his life to him and chose to follow the Lord because of this faith. Abraham lived in God’s way throughout his life.

  1. Faith in Action

Some people think that trusting in God means, they plan a thing out then pray to the Lord, "O Lord, I totally trust you, please let it be done." No! Abraham’s faith isn’t like this. We must note that it isn’t because Abraham heard of Canaan being a land flowing milk and honey, so he attempted to develop his business there, then asked God, "O Lord, I totally trust you, please let it be done. Keep me safe to reach Canaan, let me prosper there and become a big nation." On the contrary, God firstly called Abraham to go to Canaan and promised him to become a great nation. So, trusting in God is obedience to God. Trusting in God is not asking God to accomplish what we want to do and plan. Therefore, trusting in God means that we fully accept the love of God for us, entrust our lives to the Lord. We do what God commands us.

1.Faith in Action

  1. Abraham's faith is to courageously follow God's commands and sacrifice his most precious

In Heb 11:17-19, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son”. Isaac was born when Abraham was a hundred years old, his most precious treasure. However, one day God asked him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. If we were Abraham, we would argue with God: "O God, Isaac is your promised son whom I have been waiting for a long time in faith. Why do you want to take him back?" Indeed, the reasoning of human may never comprehend God's commands. But we saw him silently taking his son to the mountain according to God's commands, offering the most precious of his life to God.

1.Faith in Action

There are many more things about Abraham's faith, many legendary achievements in his life. It seems that it comes from his faith and prayers. But no indeed, it’s not what one’s faith can bring, nor what prayers can accomplish. It is the object of faith and prayers to accomplish great things. It’s saying that God, in whom we trust, accomplishes all things for us. Abraham’s trust in God is like this, he believes that God who promised him is trustworthy.

1.Faith in Action

  1. Abraham’s faith is to believe that God who promised him is trustworthy

In Heb 11:11, “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore”. From human’s perspective, these couples are already more than 90 years old and cannot give birth anymore. In Rom 4:19-22: “Without weakening in his faith…Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’”

1.Faith in Action

Why was Abraham full of faith in God's promises, because he knew that this promise wasn’t from a great man, a wise man or his own feelings but from the trustworthy God. No matter how a promise seems unrevealing or unbelievable, we only need to keep in mind that if the promise comes from God, we should believe that it is true. Faith is to hold on to God's grace, and to do what human cannot do. By God's guidance, make it come true as God is a trustworthy Lord, everything is possible.

Between our trust and the one whom we trust, our prayers are fundamentally related to the one who listens to our prayers. The characters of the one making promise are behind all promises. Whether a person would keep his promise relates to his ability and particularly his faithfulness.

1.Faith in Action

If a scoundrel asked you to do something & promised to give you $1m after you succeeded, would you believe him, take risks and sacrifice according to his order? Or, you said that others had no confidence, but I did. I was willing to take risks and sacrifice. In the end, would you get the $1m that he’d promised because of your great confidence and sacrifice? We know that it wouldn’t happen, because his ability and his trustworthiness are limited, which makes him unable to honour his promise.

Abraham knew this well. He didn’t blindly trust in a great man, an elder, a wise man. His prayers weren’t empty. He knew what he believed was the God who reigned over the universe, raised the dead and created things from nothing. He based his faith and encouragements on God's infinite strength and faithfulness. Through the characters and ability of the person making promises, we can assess problems by faith.

1.Faith in Action

Abraham clearly understands that we although can see our own needs that are often just a small piece of our lives. But what God sees is our whole lives. God can see our future after 10, 100, 1000 years. Therefore, he wholeheartedly trusted in God and believed that God would provide his needs according to His promises. This is also the lesson we should learn: remember when you say: When I trust in God, your faith should not be placed on prayers, but on the God of your prayers.

1.Faith in Action

Abraham always puts his faith in God. Although from common sense, leaving his country alone, living in a foreign country, different languages and cultures, different religions, losing network support from family, relatives and friends are not only difficult but also very dangerous. However, Abraham’s faith wasn’t fixed on these things but on God who called and commanded him. So, he went out and embarked on a journey full of unknown and danger. From common sense it’s impossible for couples who are nearly a hundred years old to have children. He also clearly realized that his life was withering. But his faith transcended his incompetence, only saw the almighty and faithful God. In the end, Sarah really gave birth to a son as God's promise was fulfilled. From common sense, if he sacrificed Isaac as a burnt offering, he’d lose his only son. It was also not in accordance with God's righteousness and love. But he still followed God’s commands. As a result, he was like having his son back from death. Why? Because the object he trusts is the God who can raise up the dead.

1.Faith in Action

What kind of God do you and I worship and trust today? Some people view Jesus as a great doctor. They come to Jesus to be healed. Like the nine healed people with leprosy, they left after being healed. They didn’t understand that he was the Lord of redemption with authority to forgive sin. Thus, they lost the opportunity of getting a greater grace. Some people think that God is a strict master, always supervising people, finding people's faults, judging and punishing people. Certainly, they don’t dare to get close to God.

Some people say, “I know God is the Lord of the universe. How great is God, how lowly am I, how could God be bothered to care of me?” These people don’t think God will care about little things of personal lives. But the Son of God says (Luke 12:6-7), “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

1.Faith in Action

The Lord tells us that God the Father is so loving, gentle, good and merciful. Although we are ordinary, God still cares and loves us, even sent his son Jesus to die for our sins such that we should have been punished. Even the most high God is willing to let us be his children. Jesus also explains God’s generosity with references to fathers: (Matt 7:9-11) “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Can you imagine if a son asks his father for bread, the father will give him a stone or a snake? Even the earthly fathers aren’t perfect but won’t do this. Our heavenly father will certainly not do it. The love of our heavenly father is multiple of the love of our earthly fathers. The loving God in whom Abraham trusts is also the God you and I worship today.

1.Faith in Action

Normally parents very love their children, willing to do so much for them even to sacrifice their own. Parents always say that when looking at my sick child suffering, I would rather suffer on their behalf. Some parents are even willing to donate their healthy organs to their children. A newspaper once reported that a 39-year-old mother committed suicide for her two sons. Why? Because her two sons were blind, the doctor said that her sons could see again by having corneal transplant. At that time, her sons were already 17 & 14 years old, nearly adults. But their parents still had no money to pay for their surgeries. The desperate mother decided to commit suicide, leaving her will to give her own corneas to her two sons. Despite such breathtaking maternal love, there are still times of helplessness like by time, space, finance and ability restrictions.

1.Faith in Action

The love of God for us is not limited by all these restrictions, because God's love is everlasting, his strength is endless. Our God creates things from nothing as in the universe. God speaks, then things get created. Abraham had nothing, but God could make Abraham, as good as dead, have a son. His descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. He became a father of many nations. Now we know that God having raised up Jesus Christ will also raise us up with Jesus to heaven. How blessed are we with such promising God behind all his promises to us.

1.Faith in Action

Our God is a loving father willing to give us all kinds of grace. He has enough power to fulfill all His promises. Paul said (2 Cor 9:8), “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”. Also in Eph 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. Therefore, the object of faith is the most important thing in our life of faith. What kind of God do you believe in? Is your God the God of Abraham? The eternal God? This God is now inviting you to his mercy seat, letting us draw all kinds of grace from his treasures.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

Trusting in God is really a blessing from God. He is the Lord of the universe, the most high God, willing to be our father and reliance. If we rely on him, he promises us of our lives revealing godly light, not only the blessing of our own lives, but also becoming the blessings of many people. So, we must learn and practise to trust in God. Trusting in God means that you invite God to be your God. You are determined to let God be the Lord of your life. In any case, you walk in Him. Abraham trusted in God by obeying God's word, letting God guide his life and deal with his business, stepping into his interpersonal relationships, financial and time management and marriage, even letting God take charge of his childbearing issue and his only child’s life. In short, he let God be his master under his control.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

Today, you may have already believed in the Lord for 1, 10, 30 or 60 years. Do you trust in God? Do you let God go into and rule every area of your life? Only by faith God can get the position he deserves, and it will make people stand in the right place. Charles H. Mackintosh said: “Faith greatly glorifies God, because one’s faith attests that this person believes in God's vision over own vision.”

Faith is not only to believe that God exists, but also that he rewards those who earnestly seeks him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists, which is the minimum condition. He also believes what kind of God he believes, which is related to the quality of his life. Abraham trusted in God, so he, an ordinary rich man, became the well-known father of faith, from a childless man to a father of nations. The human history has changed because of his trust in God. Jesus Christ is his physical descendant; we are all blessed through Abraham.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

The Bible encourages us to "believe that God rewards those who earnestly seeks him." If you believe that God is a loving and kind God who likes people to seek him, and is willingly merciful to people, then you will always come to Him, listen to His word, accept His counsel, seek His guidance and let him be the Lord of your life. Certainly, trusting in God doesn’t mean that we wait for things coming down from heaven, or rely on others to bear our burdens, or don’t carry out responsibilities of couples, fathers and sons, masters and servants etc. It’s like after a farmer has sowed seeds and said, “From now on, I will leave the harvest work with God. I believe him, so let him manage my harvest and its result.” By saying and doing this, it is very different from the actual meaning of trusting in God.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

Trusting in God is to face own problems and responsibilities, to do the best with full reliance on God’s gracious help and strength. Place the responsibilities on own shoulders but the “weight” of responsibilities on God’s strength. Strive to be responsible for own duties but not to worry about them. Don’t let all these duties of lives be a negative burden on our spirituality. When Abraham heard God commanding him to offer Isaac, he didn’t run away or replace Isaac with another son, Ishmael, or with a bull, a lamb as sacrifices. Even though he didn’t understand why God asked him this way and his heart was very painful, he still took Isaac at the request of God and offered his most precious Isaac. This should be like how we believe in God, do the best on our part for our own duties, but don’t worry about our own duties, and trust in the Lord’s gracious help and strength.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

Everyone has own duty and responsibility. As a child, your duty is to honour your parents and make them joyful. When your parents are getting old, support them without making any excuses. In Jesus’ time, some said, “What might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God’”, so the responsibility of supporting our parents can be waived. The Lord Jesus not only disapproves of this seemingly godly practice, instead rebukes the hypocrites, “Nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition” (Matt. 15:5-7).

In our life of trusting in God, we need to identify what God's will is, what his path is. So, we will not evade the responsibility of Christians.

  1. Implication of Trusting in God

Brothers and sisters, every life has both good and bad times. People who trust in God will see God’s control in their hard time, won’t blame others and endure hardships alone. In good time, don't be complacent and arrogant. No matter what circumstances, we must look up and trust Him, follow all His commands, and fulfill our responsibilities. Then, wait for His promises to be fulfilled in your life, he will make you a great nation, bless you, make your name great and bless others through you. Amen.


Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church
EMAIL: minister@TCPC.org.au
PH: 02 6765 2865