The Life of Abraham: A Journey of Faith – Part 11
From Death to Life – Genesis 21:1-7
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – March 20th, 2022
- This morning I hope that this message from the word of God will inspire you, encourage you, and strengthen you as you continue to wait in faith for the promises of God to be fully accomplished in your life, along with marveling at what He has already done in and through your life.
- Please open your Bibles to Genesis, chapter twenty-one, as we now come to the passage where God fulfills His promise to Abraham and Sarah through the birth of the promised son, Isaac. From this passage, you will find some things that are true, and we will find some things we are to do.
Know that God is gracious, trustworthy and on time
Gen 21:1-2 NIV
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.
- God is gracious; He gives to us what we don’t deserve. “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17 NLT). Everything that is good and perfect comes to us because of the grace of God. It is also “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-10 ESV). We are saved because of His grace. We have a mind-blowing eternity and eternal life because of His grace.
- God is trustworthy; He will do what He promises to do. If He says He will do something, it will be done. For it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:16), and nothing is to0 hard for the Lord (Gen. 18:14). His promises are “yes” and “Amen” (2 Cor. 1:20).
- God is on time; He is not slow in fulfilling His promises. God does exactly what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, for His perfect purposes (see Peter 3). He is never slow, and He is always on time. So, continue to wait and trust in Him. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness (Lam. 3:23).
- Once you have received God’s promises and have put your trust in Him, walk in covenant with God.
Walk in covenant with God
Gen 21:3-5 NIV
Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
- Abraham followed through on what he was to name this son (Isaac, which means “laughter”). He also circumcised Isaac on the eighth day as God had commanded him, as a sign of the covenant. We have become God’s children through faith (Rom. 9:6-9), and we are granted the grace and privilege to walk with God according to His word to us. This is a day in and day out privilege as we walk in His light and carry His light to dispense the darkness in all reaches of the world. “Walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7 ESV). Choose to walk in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, which we will see in greater detail in our next series starting after Easter).
- Lastly, we are to marvel in the miracle of new life, both in us and through us.
Marvel in the miracle of new life
Gen 21:6-7 NIV
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
- God delights in bringing life from death. This is how God has set things up, and this is what only He can do. We are to marvel that He makes what was once dead alive, and gives us new life!
Eph 2:4-7 NIV
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
- I want you to get the gospel, and I want you to never get over it. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I am found, I was blind, but now I see.”
- We are going to marvel at this anew today, and a few of us are getting baptized. We will then renew our covenant with God through communion.
- Water in both the New and Old Testaments was a symbol of moving from death to life. Noah and his family were saved from death to life through water (Gen. 6-8). Moses passed from death to life through water (Ex. 2:10). The people of God passed from slavery to new life through water, in both the parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 14 -15), and the parting of the Jordan River (Josh. 3). Naaman was brought from death (leprosy) to life (health) through water (2 Kings 5). Jonah passed from death to life through water (see the book of Jonah).
- In the New Testament, we see John the Baptist using water as a symbol of people repenting of their sins and turning towards God (Matt. 3:6). Even Jesus was baptized, which was the commissioning of His ministry years (Matt. 3-4).
- Jesus instructed His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I commanded you to do” (Matt. 28:18-20). We see this pattern unfolding all through the book of Acts (for example, Acts 2, 8, 9, 10, 18).
- Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change (like a wedding ring), symbolizing passing from death to life.
John 5:24 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
Baptism, Communion and Conclusion
- Because of His grace, God fulfills His promises to us right on time. Walk in covenant with Him and marvel at the miracle of new life in you, for you, and through you!