Following in the Footsteps of Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:01
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Sermon # 11
Genesis 17:1-27
Intro: Some fourteen years had past since God last spoke to Abraham. Not since his disobedience in the matter of Hagar had Abraham heard the voice of God. The times of His silence are most devastating when they come our way. We need to learn that our disobedience almost always brings His silence.
In this passage, the Lord speaks again. When He does it is to reveal even more of the details of His covenant with Abram. Here we have the opportunity to learn more about the faithfulness and work of God in the lives of His people. This passage allows us to catch a glimpse of The Promise That Changed The World As we look into the details of this passage, may take this opportunity to learn more about the God we serve.
May we be reminded that He is a God Who keeps His Word and works out His will “according to the counsel of His own will.”,(Eph. 1:11).

This is one of the most important documents ever written: far more important than the Declaration of Independence; far, far more important than the Mayflower Compact; far, far more important than the Constitution of the United States of America. If you understand what God is saying here, you will be able to understand the history of the world, for what God is saying here marks and colors all of the subsequent history that follows it. What God is saying here is an iron fist upon history, to say that certain things are going to be done. What God is saying here is His plan to bless you and to bless me and to bless the nations of the world. What God is saying here is going to help us to understand what is happening this day, this age, right now, as we read our newspapers, in the Middle East. This indeed is a blessing, a promise that has changed the world, and will give us understanding if we today will take the Word of God and let it speak to us as we study together.


A. V. 1 A Revelation Of His Person - For the first time, God reveals Himself as “the Almighty God”. This name is from the Hebrew name “El-Shaddai”. It carries the idea of “Nourisher; Strengthener; Satisfier.” It identifies God as being the “All-sufficient One”. There is a tenderness in this name because the word “Shaddai” comes from the Hebrew word for “breast”. Just as a baby receives strength and nourishment from its mother’s milk, so the children of God receive all they need from the hand of the “Almighty God”. (Note: Because God is “the Almighty God” He demands that His people walk before Him in “perfection”. This is a command to walk in righteousness and holiness before Him, 1 Pet. 1:16
1 Peter 1:16 KJV 1900
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XIV Consecration to God—Illustrated by Abraham’s Circumcision (No. 845)

Remember holiness is a flower, not a root; it is not sanctification that saves, but salvation that sanctifies. A man is not saved by his holiness, but he becomes holy because he is already saved. Being justified by faith, and having peace with God, he walks no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and in the power of the blessing which he has received by grace he dedicates himself to the service of his gracious God. Note then the due order of heavenly benefits, consecration to God follows calling and justification.

B. V. 2-4 A Revelation Of His Promise - God simply reminds Abram of the promises He has made to him in the past. God will make of him a great nation and He will bless Abram. (Note: God’s revelation and reminder cause Abram to fall at His feet in worship! Would to God the Lord’s people would see His blessings as a catalyst to worship and praise.)
(Note: v. 4As for me” indicates that this covenant is one-sided. God will bless Abram because He wants to! In other words, the covenant is good because it depends on God and not man! Thank God, our salvation is in His hands and not ours, 1 Pet. 1:5
1 Peter 1:5 KJV 1900
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
C. V. 5 A Revelation Of His Plan- Here, Abram receives a name change. His name is changed from “Abram”, which means “Exalted Father”, to “Abraham” which means “Father Of A Multitude”. The reason for this lies in the fact that God has made Abraham the father of a numberless multitude. Of course, to Abraham it does not appear that this is the case. However from God’s perspective, it is a done deal! Notice the words “I have made thee.” Even though Abraham couldn’t see it, God had already completed His plan through Abraham. (Note: Life is never like we think it is! All we can see are the obstacles and the trials that we face in life. However, God sees our present as well as the future that He has already accomplished.
The essence of faith is merely walking in the present, holding in your hands the things God has placed in the future, Heb. 11:1
Hebrews 11:1 KJV 1900
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Whatever you may be facing this evening, God has already taken care of it for you. You merely have to be patient until you arrive at that time where His provision is manifested. Ill. Elijah - at the dry brook and the widow’s house - 1 Kings 17.)
(Note: No wonder Abraham worshiped the Lord! If we ever got a grip on all that He has done for us, we too would glorify Him in praise, adoration and worship!)
God’s New Revelation


A. V. 6 Concerning His Fruitfulness - God promises Abraham Children, Crowds and Crowns. God promised him things that, at that moment in his life, he couldn’t even imagine!
(Note: Sounds like us doesn’t it? Think of where He found you, what He has done in your life and where you are headed. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? The farther I travel down this road, the sweeter His promises become to me! I am thankful that every single one is true!
1 Corinthians 2:9–12 KJV 1900
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
By the way, He will make your life fruitful for His glory if you will abide in Him, John 15:5
John 15:5 KJV 1900
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
B. V. 7-8 Concerning His Faithfulness - God promises not only to bless Abraham, but his children and all the generations of Abraham’s seed as well. This is a covenant that is as good as the Name of God and that will endure as long as God endures.
(Note: Thank God that we can count on His faithfulness! Ill. Lam. 3:22-23
Lamentations 3:22–23 KJV 1900
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Thank God that He is faithful and true. He will not renege on His promises. He will not fail us. We may fall short, but He never will! He is ever faithful!) (Note: God promises to be a personal God to the seed of Abraham. Friend, it is a blessing to serve a God that desires a personal relationship with the likes of you and me! I praise His name that my walk with Him does not hinge on what you do! It is personal and it is everlasting! What a blessing!)
C. V. 15-22 Concerning His Future- God’s promise to Abraham is extended to Sarai also. She is to have this child of promise and she is to be the mother of multitudes. Her name is also changed from “Sarai”, which means “My Princess” to “Sarah”, which means “Princess”. When Abraham hears this he laughs. It is not a laugh of doubt, but of joy at what the Lord is about to do in his life. He is so excited thinking about the power of God that he prayers for God to bless Ishmael also. This prayer is heard and answered by the Lord! (Note: Here is a man who was looking at a bleak future when the day began. Now he is thrilled by the possibilities. I just want to remind us this evening that no cause os hopeless when it involves the Lord. Your future is as bright as the size of your faith! When we involve God in the situations of our lives, the impossible becomes immediately possibly, John 6:1-13. Remember the God we serve holds today and tomorrow in His hands, and He is greater than both!)
God’s new revelation
God’s new Reassurance


A. V. 9-11 The Nature Of This Requirement - Here, Abraham and all his descendants are required to be circumcised. They were to be identified as followers of the Lord by a mark in their bodies. Submitting to circumcision was a statement that “this person is part of the Abrahamic covenant, and the promises of God are his.” This mark was both painful and private. Whether anyone else knew of it or not, the person circumcised and the Lord knew about it.
The New Testament speaks of a “circumcision of the heart” that must be performed before a person can enter in to a personal relationship with Almighty God, Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 5:6; Col. 2:11; Gal. 6:15.)
B. V. 12-13 The Nationality Of This Requirement - Every male in the nation of Israel, whether they were young or old, bond or free were required to observe this rite, if they were to be allowed to be part of this covenant of promise. Without it, they were left out. (Note: While physical circumcision is not required for a relationship with the Lord, spiritual circumcision is! Without it, not person can ever hope to enter the presence of God, or go to Heaven when they die, John 3:3
John 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:36 KJV 1900
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 14:6 KJV 1900
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Ill. God’s perfect, precious plan of salvation!)
C. V. 14; 23-27 The Necessity Of This Requirement - Without being circumcised, no one could enter into this covenant relationship with the Lord. They were out of the covenant.
(Note: As has already been said, spiritual circumcision is necessary for a relationship with God. This is accomplished only through coming to Jesus Christ by faith.)
(Note: Many in our day think that rituals are still how one approaches God. “Ex. Ash Wednesday”
Nothing could be farther from the truth! Works can never save the soul, Eph. 2:8-9
Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
It takes faith to please God, always has and always will, Heb. 11:6
Hebrews 11:6 KJV 1900
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
It took faith to follow God and carry out this command, which Abraham did without hesitation, v. 23-27!)
(Note: Have you experienced that spiritual decision that forever changes your life and your destination?)
Conc: I am thankful this evening that we serve a God Who is interested in His people. I am thankful that when we exercise minute faith in His Word, that He honors that with blessings which cannot be calculated for value.
I wonder, what are you trusting Him for this morning?
Is there a dark spot on your today or on your future?

We serve a God Who keeps His Word! What He has promised that will He do!

Bring it to Him, fall down before Him and worship Him like Abraham did and He will bless your life!
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