Jesus Has Greater Faith

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Theme: Faith is Trusting God will Provide. Purpose: That we trust God to provide when he asks for difficult things. Gospel Connection: Abraham's Trusting in Sacrificing Isaac points to Jesus' Trusting the Father in his Sacrifice. Mission Connection: Stories of Faith Grow our Faith.

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Genesis 22:1–19 NIV
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Introduction: A Knights Tale Clip
God gives a similar test to Abraham, except it is not, “Do you Love me, but Do you Trust Me.”

Our Faith is Tested.

Stories of Faith Tests
Abraham’s Faith Test
Story of God’s Promise to Abraham.
Tower of Babel - They wanted to make a name for themselves, and be united, then there would be nothing they could not do.
Abraham’s Calling - Blessed to be a Blessing to all nations, and made into many nations.
Problem - He is childless at 100, and his wife is barren at 90, but God promises a son through whom this promise would come.
Distrust God - Hagar and Ishmael,
God delivers on his promise - Isaac is born.
Strengthen’s Abraham’s Faith - God can do the impossible, He can see to it that the details of His promise are carried out.
So, when God Asks Abraham to sacrifice his son what is the test?
Is God more important than his son? Yes, Kind of, but more.
Is God more important than the promise he gives.
And Can God accomplish His promise when the only visible sign of that promise is taken?
Jesus’ Faith Test
It is the ultimate Ethical Dilemma - God hates Child Sacrifice and Killing and God has given a promise, yet God explicitly commands Abraham to sacrifice his son.
Stories of Faith Tests
Quitting my Finance Job
Paying for Hannah’s College
The Renovation Project
Missional Communities
Any Situation Where there is a sense that God is calling you to do something difficult. - to Marry, or Not to Marry, to Go to College, not Go to College, which college, To buy a house, rent, move. Anything where you are on the fence on whether it is God’s Will or Not.
I would not be so calm as the text represents Abraham in this passage, Why?

Faith is Trusting God will Provide.

Revealing Statement: vs. 8 - Abraham’s Answer - “God will see to it.” - In other Words Abraham believed that God was in the details.
The Story is told in a strange way - No emotion, It gives the appearance that neither Abraham nor Isaac struggled with or showed any emotion about this seemingly un-reasonable request.
The answer, “God will see to it.” Gives us a hint to what Abraham was thinking.
God is good - He abhors child-sacrifice (maybe Abraham does not know this at the time)
God is Faithful - He will fulfill his promise. If he did it before, he can do it again.
Therefore, God will “Provide a way” or see to the details of how this will get worked out.
Hebrews 11:17–19 NIV
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, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Abraham Knew It Was Only a Test – The Rabbis may have thought that Abraham fully trusted that somehow God would save Isaac and fulfill his promises to him. (This fits with the Genesis Rabbah text in the previous section, where Abraham uses his obedience to extract a promise of protection from God for his offspring.) Perhaps, their opinion was similar to the one expressed in the New Testament Epistle to the (ca. 60-69 C. E.):
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your descendants be named’ [].  He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.[22]
Saadia Gaon offers a similar thought in his commentary on Genesis: Abraham trusted that God in any case could resurrect Isaac in order to fulfill his promises to him. Indeed, some Jewish traditions even suggest that Isaac was actually killed and resurrected.[23]
Turning Abraham Silence into a Merit for Future Generations The Rabbis were aware of some of these questions.  Thus, Genesis Rabbah 56:10 affirms that Abraham said to God:
רבון העולמים בשעה שאמרת לי קח נא את בנך את יחידך היה לי מה להשיב, אתמול אמרת כי ביצחק וגו’ ועכשיו קח נא את בנך וגו’ וחס ושלום לא עשיתי כן אלא כבשתי רחמי לעשות רצונך, יהי רצון מלפניך ה’ אלהינו בשעה שיהיו בניו של יצחק באים לידי עבירות ומעשים רעים תהא נזכר להם אותה העקידה ותתמלא עליהם רחמים,“Sovereign of the universe! When you did order me, ‘Take your son, your only son’ (), I could have answered, ‘Yesterday you promised me: “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named” (), and now you say: “offer him there for a burnt offering” ()?’  But, God forbid, I did not handle it so, but suppressed my feelings of compassion in order to do your will.  Even so, may it be your will, O Lord our God, that when Isaac’s children are in trouble, you will remember that binding in their favor and be filled with compassion for them.”[18] 
Thus, some Rabbis were aware that Abraham did not struggle with God, rather he suppressed his feelings and completely controlled his thoughts.  By doing so, Abraham is investing in his progeny’s future, assuming he knew or believed he would ever have progeny or that Isaac would somehow come out of this ordeal alive.
Prof. Isaac Kalimi -
How does this function in the Bigger Story of Redemption?
God provides a substitute for Abraham’s Only Begotten Son - (the Lamb), so that God’s only Son may be a substitute for Isaac (the son of promise) and us.
This story points to Jesus-
1. Both Isaac and Jesus are promised children, “miraculously conceived. … [Both] are explicitly identified as their father’s special ‘one and only son.’ … [Both] were to be sacrificed by their father. … Both … were to be sacrificial lambs to God. … Both … carry the very wood up the hill that they were to be sacrificed on. …. Both … submitted to their father’s will to be sacrificed, without resisting” (“Does the Sacrificing of Isaac Prefigure Jesus?,” Belief Map, accessed August 30, 2017,
The one difference - Isaac is not sacrificed and raised, Only Jesus is sacrificed and raised.
In this sense Jesus’ Faith is greater...
So what does this mean for our life of Faith?

How Does Jesus Strengthen Our Faith?

Both Abraham, but especially Jesus....
God will see to it. - A Faith of a God who works in the big picture and the details.
Conversations of Conflict - I worry…If I do this, they will do that, If I do that, they will do this. Then I have the conversation and God does something completely different and better than what I could imagine.
It is important to note that this applies to knowing God’s promise, his will. - Quote from Circle Prayers -
What if the Church Dies - Another Church is re-born.
We in Church leadership seem to be in fear over the decline of the Church - Jesus said his Church will prevail and the gates of Hell will not overcome - Why do we believe trends more than Jesus.
Abraham and Jesus also remind us that the test ultimately is whether we have made an idol out of the promise - Do we love God more than what he can give?
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Chatechism: Q&A 19, 20-23, 26, 53, 61 Belgic Confession: Articles 13, 17, 18, 22 Canons of Dort: Head I, Articles 2-6; Head II, Articles 6-7; Head III & IV, Articles 13 & 14
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