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s20050109msap_The Gift Of Righteousness

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Sermon Application Pyramid

Title: The Call Of Righteousness        Scripture: Genesis 15:1-6                                Date: January 9, 2005

1. People:Who are the people in this passage and how are they like us today?  Abram and Jehovah are the two persons in this passage. Abram is like me in this context because he his afraid. Abram has had a very eventful life up to this point. He’s been asked to leave Egypt because of his lie about Sarai. He’s grown very rich with his nephew Lot. Because the land could not support both Abram and Lot’s growing sheep and cattle herds there had broken out a range war between their ranchers. Lot moves to Sodom where he becomes one of the elders of the city. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah rebel, and are defeated in battle. Lot is taken captive with all his family and goods. Abram rescues him and returns to Salem where he offers a tenth to Melchizedek king of Salem and priest of God. Melchizedek blesses Abram, and the king of Sodom tells him to take the good but give him the people. Abram refuse lest the king of Sodom say he’s made Abram rich. It is after these events God tells Abram not to be afraid. Why would Abram be frightened? First fear comes from personal failures. He had lied. Second fear comes from having great possessions. Thirdly fear comes from conflict with those you love. He and Lot had to separate. Fourthly fear comes from physical danger. He had just fought a battle. And fifthly fear comes from people you don’t trust. How sincere do you think the king of Sodom really was about his offer? I think Abram in chapter 15 is stewing on all these things. He’s probably thinking is this what I get for following God. This isn’t the ideal promised land I envisioned. Now where is that child God promised me? When you are afraid and disappointed you doubt your most basic of all relationship which is the one with God. Abram is very much like me.
2. Place:What is the setting and what are the similarities to our world? The setting is the land of Canaan. During a time of tremendous change for Abram. His conflict with Lot and the war with Ched-or-laomer would have been very stressful. Stress always creates tension and fear. Like our own world. We live in times of conflict and war. From within ourselves, our families, and in our nation.
3. Plot:What is happening? Is there any conflict or tension? How would I have acted in that situation The conflict I’ve previously described created within Abram fear. Specifically Abram was going through a lot of stuff and he was afraid that he would never have the child God promised him. God knowing this speaks his word to Abram in a vision. Inspired words to a human heart that’s full of doubt and tension. God tells him don’t be afraid because I’m your shield and your reward will be very great. Abram gets to the heart of his fear. In verse two he asks, God what will you give me? I remain childless. God I’m rich enough. God I’m accomplished enough. God I’m famous enough. In other words God I’m sated with your blessings, except for the one thing that matter most to me. The reason I started on this journey which is a child. The only thing I have is Eliezar to be my heir. God’s inspired words do three things for Abram. 1st they inform him that human plans will not accomplish God’s promise. 2nd they point him to vast realms of power above human power. He is the unseen God of all creation. 3rd they reassure and convict him of God’s promises. Abram believes God and God inputs or reckons righteousness to him for that which is not righteous. To count something can mean to enumerate, but it can also mean to take it for something else. Abram should have been without fear. He should not have wavered an inch in his faith. But he had and now he renews faith which is not righteousness but is taken for righteousness by God.
4. Point:What was the intended message for the first people to hear this passage? What did God want them to learn or feel or do?  The intended message is that God wants to have a relationship with Abram, and that the requirement of that relationship from his point of view is faith in His inspired word. God will give to Abram something he does not have in order to have that relationship. He takes Abram’s faith in the place of Abram’s righteousness. That is the gift that God blesses us with. Now that gift of righteousness is seen in three ways. 1st is justification Rom 4:1-8. 2nd is sonship with Abraham (Gal 3:6-8). 3rd it is and active friendship with God. James 2:21-23.
5. Principles: What are the timeless truths?  1.      God promises us protection and great reward when we are afraid.2.      God speaks to us fearful humans through his inspired words to create faith.3.      God’s protection and great reward is that our faith his reckoned as righteousness.a.       This reward and protection means I’m justified.b.      This reward and protection means I’m his son.c.       This reward and protection means I’m his friend4.      God confirms our righteousness by covenant.Righteousness Calls to Us when we:1.      Are afraid: Because God encourages us through His word. V12.      Question Because God listens to our doubts. Vs 2-33.      Hear: Because God directs us to his promises. Vs4-54.      Believe: Because God counts our faith as our righteousness. V.6
6. Present: How is this relevant in our world today?  I am often afraid and questioning of God. So I really do need to hear Him to have the faith that makes me justified, his son, and friend.
7. Parallels: Where does this truth apply to my life? At home, at work, at school, in church, in the neighborhood.  This truth applies to how I respond to the world around me. It is a question of will I live my life trusting God’s word or be directed by fear and doubt.
8. Personal: What attitude, action, value or belief needs to change in me?  I need to change any lingering hesitation about trusting God’s word.

| 9. Plan:What would be my first step of action? | #. Trust that God’s word is meant to encourage me.

  1. Accept that God’s word will answer my doubts.
  2. Listen to God word for an active faith.
  3. Follow God’s word to be reckoned as righteous.

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