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June 21, 2022 7:00 am
Now, what exactly does it mean to be a Christian. Well, the Bible says that it means that six primary things number one means we been born again by the Spirit of God means number two that Almighty God has forgiven our sin number three. It means that we have the absolute assurance of eternal life. Number four. It means we have a personal relationship with God. Number five. It means that God the Holy Spirit indwells and finally number six.
It means that we live a transformed earthly life that is number six that I want us to talk about today in the Gospel of John chapter 10 verse 10 Jesus said I came that day. That is, Christians might have life and that they might have it abundantly.
So as Christians. If Jesus came to give us life abundantly, then why do so many of us live defeated and powerless Christian lives.
Well, this is what we want to talk about today. As we continue our verse by verse study in the book of Genesis.
So are we ready to talk about this and I were Genesis chapter 21 but we have a little bit of background to do in Genesis 18. If you remember the Lord Jesus appeared to Abraham in human form and promised him that his wife Sarah would give birth to a son within the next 12 months, but there were couple obstacles. Not only was Sarah child lists up to this point, but also remember she was 90 years old and is Romans 419 says her womb a was dead.
There was a second obstacle and that is Romans 419 Abraham's body was also as good as dead since he was 100 years old and yet despite all of this, God promised them a song so with that little bit of background let's pick up noun Genesis 21 and see what happened here we go. Verse one now the Lord took note of Sarah, just to see it said in the Lord did for Sarah Jost as he had promised so Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age. At the appointed time that God had promised admin. Don't you love this, but you love this, no matter how impossible it may look no matter how big the obstacles may be when God makes us a promise.
God has the power to keep it a man. How awesome is that.
Well, verse three Abraham called the name of his son, whom Sarah bore to him. Isaac and when Isaac was eight days old Abraham circumcised him, just as God had commanded. Now Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born to him and Sarah said God has brought laughter.
That's what the word Isaac means God has brought laughter to me.
For everyone who hears about this, will laugh with me for who would've said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children yet.
I have borne him a son in his old age. Okay so far so good right yeah but there's trouble brewing watch per se, and the child Isaac grew and was weaned or and Abraham held a great feast on that day, but Sarah saw Hagar son Ishmael, who was now 16 years old mocking Isaac. Let's go back to be sure we've got the context here back in chapter 16. The Bible says Sarah had an Egyptian maidservant a slave whose name was Hagar so Sarah said to Abraham, Lord has kept me from having children so please go sleep with my handmaiden. Hagar perhaps I can obtain children through her. So Abraham slept with Hagar and she conceived, and had a son named Ishmael and that's the young man was mocking Isaac are back to Genesis 21 verse 10 so Sarah said to Abraham, throw this bondwoman and her son out for the son of this bondwoman shall never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac for Abraham.
You know the man was trying to do is have a nice party and suddenly he's got a Civil War on his hands.
Well, verse 11 in this matter distressed. Abraham greatly because of his son Ishmael.
Certainly, part of the reason Abraham was distressed was because he had grown to love Ishmael over 16 years but there's a lot more here than just that. You see with Sarah was asking Abraham to do was illegal. We have recovered many thousands of tablets from a city named New Zealand it's a city in northern Mesopotamia and from this these tablets, we learn what the laws were that were in force at the time of Abraham and Sarah. In fact, this area around news is the area that Sarah and Abraham originally came from before they emigrated to the promised land and what these tablets tell us is that it was legal for barren wife like Sarah to give her a bondservant or slave like Hagar to her husband for the purpose of having children. However, if the wife later went on to have natural children of her own. It was illegal for her to disenfranchise handmaiden son and throw him out, but this was exactly what Sarah was asking Abraham to do murder longer. Who wrote the book archaeology. The Old Testament said and I quote it is clear in light of the data from newsy why Abraham was reluctant to agree to Sarah's demand it was breaking the law and there's no doubt that Abraham would've refused to do it had not God commanded him to."
Verse 12 God said to Abraham, do not be distressed about the boy and the bondwoman listen to what Sarah tells you because it will be through Isaac that your descendents will be call that we just need to stop there for a moment to make sure we understand what God is saying here to Abraham.
God is telling Abraham that he is limiting the Jewish people.
The people from whom a Messiah will come the people to whom God will fulfill all the promises he made to Abraham, to whom God will give the promised land that he's limiting this group of people to only Abraham's descendents through Isaac. This is very important for us to get actually if you read the Bible you will find Abraham had a total of eight songs before it was all over. Not just Ishmael and Isaac. And yet, even out of those eight sons, God said, I'm limiting only to the descendents of Isaac my promises to the Jewish people. Does everybody understand that you got here's where God does that. Everybody understand that okay good verse 13 God says, yet I will make the sum of the bondwoman that is Ishmael into a great nation to because he also is your offspring so Abraham rose early the next morning and took bread, and a skit of water and put it on Hagar shoulder. Then he sent her away with the board so she went on her way and wandered in the desert around Beersheba. This is even farther south more in the desert from where they were living in Garrard and when all the water was used up, Hagar put Ishmael under some shrubs.
Then she went and sat down nearby about a bow shot away for she said, I cannot bear to watch the boy.she began to sob and God heard the boy crying and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her what sailing you Hagar do not fear for God has heard the voice of the lad lift the boy up and taking by the hand and I will make him into a great nation. Then God opened her eyes and she saw well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink and God was with Ishmael. As he grew up and he lived in the desert and became an archer, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt, and as we all know Ishmael became the father of the hundreds of millions of Arab peoples in our world today. So did God keep his word to Abraham that he was going to make Ishmael into a great nation will of course he did. Yeah I know that's the end of our passage and normally we would just move right on, except that the New Testament tells us there is a deeper spiritual lesson here in Genesis 21. That is obvious at first glance, and the apostle Paul explains that deeper lesson to us in the New Testament in the book of Galatians chapter 4 so let's go there and let's look you going to have to put your thinking With Me Now or I and Let's Follow What Paul Says so Here We Go. To Understand Paul's Letter to the Galatians, We Have To First Understand What the Problem Was with the Issue Was. The Issue Is That the Christians There in Galatia Were Relying on Human Works Not to Get Say, but to Live the Christian Life. Once They Were Saved. You See, False Teachers Were Telling the Galatian Christians. Yes, You Get Saved by Faith in Jesus Christ Alone. Completely Apart from Human Works, but Once We Are Saved. These False Teachers Were Telling Them Living the Abundant Christian Life Is Based on Doing Religious Human Works and Some of These Are Actually Mentioned in the Bible Keeping Kosher Celebrating the Sabbath, Celebrating Other Jewish Holidays, Being Circumcised, and a Whole Host of Other Religious Activities.
In Other Words, What They Were Teaching Was We Get Say by Faith. But We Live the Christian Life by Works, Religious Works, but by Works. So Paul Writes the Book of Galatians to Tell the People There That This Approach to the Christian Life Is Totally Bogus Look.
Look What He Says. Galatians 4 Verse Nine Paul Says Now That You've Come to Know God by Faith. You Got to Say You Been Born Again. How Is It, Paul Says That You're Turning Back to Those We and Worthless Things That Is Human Works to Which You Were Once Enslaved. Paul Says, Trying to Please God by Human Effort and Human Works Is Slavery, Its Bondage, Verse 10, You Observe Special Days the Sabbath and Special Weeks, Jewish Fees and Months and Years.
I Fear for You Les, I Have Labored over You in Vain for in Christ Jesus Neither Circumcision nor on Circumcision Has Any Value When It Comes to Living the Abundant Christian Life. I Might Add. Neither Does Keeping Kosher or Saying the Rosary or Singing in the Choir or Put Money in the Offering Plate Are Being Baptized Are Fasting for Lent or Church Membership or Teaching Sunday School. Now There's Nothing Wrong with Any of These Things, but They Are Human Works and Human Works Cannot and Do Not Produce the Abundant Christian Life That Jesus Was Talking about in John 1010, Paul Says the Only Thing That Counts. In That Regard Is Faith. Paul Says What Produces the Abundant Christian Life Is Living by Faith That Is Relying on God the Holy Spirit's Power and Not Our Own Power.
And Paul Says in Galatians 4 I Told You Guys This When I Was There You Were Running Well When I Left, Paul Says, Who Has Hindered You from Obeying the Truth and I Love This. This Is Key. So Paul Says, Because This Approach to Christian Living Doing It by Works Did Not Come from Him Who Called You, That Is, He Did Not Come from God.
Now to Reinforce His Point. The Apostle Paul Now Refers Us Back to the Events of Genesis 21 That We Just Study Watch Galatians 422 for It Is Written, Paul Says, Where Is This Written Genesis 21 We Just Study That Abraham Had Two Sons, One by the Slave Woman Hagar and One by the Free Woman Sarah, Abraham's Son by the Slave Woman Was Born According to the Flesh Was Born As a Result of Human Works.
Paul Says, but His Son by the Free Woman Sarah Was Born in Accordance with God's Promise.
In Other Words Isaac's Birth Was Born by Abraham and Sarah, Trusting the Promise of God by Faith Instead of by Human Works. Verse 24 Now These Things.
Genesis 21 Contain an Allegory for the Two Women, Hagar and Sarah Represent God's to Covenants, Hagar and Ishmael Stand for the Mosaic Covenant Given at Mount Sinai. A Covenant Solely Based on Human Performance in Human Words, If We Perform Correctly under the Mosaic Covenant We Earn Our Way into Heaven If We Perform Incorrectly under the Mosaic Covenant, We Miss Heaven and since No One Can Possibly Perform Correctly As a Sinner.
Therefore, This Covenant Is a Covenant of Slavery and Bondage Is a Death Trap. Sarah and Isaac on the Other Hand, Paul Says, Stand for the Covenant That Jesus Established for Us on the Cross, a Covenant That Is Not Based on Human Words but on Our Relying on God by Faith. It's a Covenant of Freedom Listen to What Paul Said in Romans 83 for What the Mosaic Law Could Not Do Because It Was Based on Human Effort. God Did by Sending His Own Son. He That Is the Lord Jesus Made Me Free from the Mosaic Law of Sin and Death. Galatians 430. What Is the Scripture Say Paul Says in Genesis 21 It Says Cast out the Slave Woman and Her Son for the Slave Woman Son Will Not Share in the Inheritance of the Freewoman Song Cast out the Covenant of Works in Religious Effort. Paul Says and Live in the Covenant of Freedom and Faith in God and in His Promises. The Understand What Paul Saying Here with Me. The Point Is, God Rejects All Human Works. Systems. This Is Why He Had Hagar and Ishmael Cast out God Only Accepts Systems That Rely on God by Faith. Now We Understand That When It Comes to Salvation, Whom We Understand That You Can Only Grow Come to Christ and Salvation by Relying on the Work of Christ on the Cross, Not by Human Works. But Don't Miss This. What God Is Teaching Us in Galatians Chapter 4 Is That Not Only Has He Rejected Human Works As a Way to Be.
Say He Has Also Rejected It As the Way Where to Live. Once We Are Say to Summarize Human Works Has No Place Whatsoever in God's Spiritual Operating System and Casting Hagar Al in Genesis 21 Is Meant Allegorically Symbolically to Make Sure That We Understand This Time. That's a Fairly Complicated Argument.
You Got It Right, You Followed Me through This Okay Good Then You Know What Time It Is Now Say Yes Time to Go Home. No Idea Why. Right Now It's Time for Us to Ask Our Most Important Question so You Ready All Right, All You Guys Allow Them and All You Guys in Prince William and Everybody Out Of Bethesda. Everybody's Ready on the Internet. Here We Go Nice Allowed on 3123 Day Right Is There While a Honda Yahoo That Was Pretty Intense There, but I Don't yet Was so Odd. Well Friend You Know It's My Observation That Most People Feel That Their Christian Life Is Pretty Much of a Failure That That Most Christians Experience Very Little of the Peace, the Joy, the Power over Sin.
The Spiritual Victory. The Abundant Christian Living That Jesus Said He Came to Give Us, and after Many Years of Trying and Struggling in Failing. A Lot Of Us Simply Throw up Our Hands and Give up Assuming That Something's Wrong with Us. We Look around at Other People to Church and They Seem to Be Doing Fine and Got a Big Smile on Their Face, They Always Come and Go Imprison and We Go While It's Working for Them Is Not Working for the Must Be Some Wrong with Me Where What You Don't Know Is They're Looking at You and Say It Must Be Working for You in the End It's All Just a Façade. It's Not Working for Most Christians I Meet and Let Me Tell You What the Problem Is the Problem Is, in Most Cases Not the Problem.
In Most Cases Is That We Were Taught to Live the Christian Life in Correctly to Try and Live It by Religious Human Works Just like the Galatians Were Trying to Do You Know If I Just Study the Bible and up If I Just Praying up If I Just Fellowship and If I Just Witnessing up If I Just Teach Sunday School Enough If I Just Sing in the Choir and up If I Just Leave a Small Group in the Etc. Etc. Etc. It Will Produce in Me Abundant Christian Living. But That's Not Right. Some Folks the Christian Life Lived Correctly Is a Supernatural Life and It Cannot Be Produced by Natural Human Effort, Even Religious Natural Human Effort. I Got a Fan Here and Is a Great Illustration of How We Live the Christian Life Incorrectly. We Say Okay, Ready Bible Study, Prayer, Witnessing Fellowship Teaches Sunday School You Put Money Offering Plate Be Idler Been a Small Group What What Else Can I Think You Will Be Baptized around. We Go Church Attendance Church Membership Round We Go Round We Go and See What Happens Then We Turn on the Electricity Look at This, Look at This Is Beautiful. What Am I Doing Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, All I'm Doing Is Keeping the Electricity Going to the Fig. That's All I'm Doing Nothing Now. This Is All about How You Live the Christian Life You Say with Electricity, No, No, Not with Electricity, No the Electricity Is All It Stands for Represents the Power of the Holy Spirit Flowing through That Man.
That's What Drives That Van Not You Standing There Turning the Blades in Your Own Human Effort That None Were and It Doesn't Work in the Christian Life Either. My Friends Do You Understand What I'm Saying Now Let Me Put It Another Way to You That Maybe I'll Help You Think about It. Now the Christian Life Begins by Relying on God to Do for Us What We Can't Do for Ourselves through We Say Lord Jesus, Please Save Me from My Sins, and Forgive Me and Make Me Your Child. I Can't Do It Myself with My Own Effort. You Gotta Do It for Me Okay Now through the End of the Christian Life the Christian Life. Aaron's with Me, Relying on God to Do for Me What I Can Do for Myself What I Don't Know Where Heaven Is. And Even If I Knew Where Was I Couldn't Get There by Myself Anyway If I'm in a Get There but Lord You Going to Have To Take Me There.
Okay, so If the Christian Life Begins, and If the Christian Life Ends with God Doing for Us What We Can't Do for Ourselves As We Trust Him to Do That. Why Would God Change Systems in the Middle, Will the Answer Is It Doesn't Folks God Has To Do It All for Us and Salvation. He Has To Do It All for Us in Going to Heaven and God Has To Do It All for Us in Living the Abundant Christian Life Every Day. The Abundant Christian Life Is Live by Letting the Holy Spirit Live His Life through Us by Letting the Electricity of the Fan Go through Us, Our Only Job Is Not to Grieve the Holy Spirit.
So the Electricity Can Keep Flowing. They Sat on the Lawn. You Put Some Handles on This for Me so I Can Make It through Practical I Can. This Means Walking Out Of Your House Every Day Say Lord of the Patients I Need Today. The Self-Control I Need Today, the Power to Forgive People on the Beltway I Need Today That the Peace of Mind. I Need Today in My Troubles of the Love for Other People.
I Need Today, the Contentment I Need. Today, the Victory over Sensuality. I Need to Date the Boldness to Share Christ. I Need Today. Lord, I Don't Have It so I'm Walking Out Of My House Work Relying on You to Be the Electricity for Me Today to Produce These Things Supernaturally in Me Today and Ron the Fan of My Life Today.
And Even If You Turn to the Lord. 50 Times A Day and Say Lord I Need to Renew That Trust. You Need to Do This.
Lord, You Need to Do This I Need Your Help Again to Do This A Lot That's Fine. Turn Doing 50 Times A Day and Depend on His Power to Give Us Victory in Our Life and Not Our Own.
Now Some of Us. This Is an Entirely New Approach to Christian Living an Entirely New Concept, but It's a Biblical Concept. It's a Biblical Approach to Christian Living, and It Will Set You Free from Your Imprisonment to Living a Stable Insipid, the Powerless Christian Life. You Dogs Don't Know Lawn. It All Sounds Too Easy to Me a Minute. It Sounds Too Simple Friends. Why Would God Want to Make Living the Christian Life Hard. He Wants to Make It so Easy a Little Child Can Do It a Little Child Gets His Principal. Why Can't You Don't Be Educated beyond Your Intelligence, This Is Easy. Let Me Tell You Something Else. The Beauty of Living the Christian Life by Faith like This Is That Your Bible Study and Your Prayer and Your Witnessing in Your Fellowship in Your Serving the Lord. It'll All Take on an Exciting New Energy and Exciting New Effervescence Because It Will Now Become the Overflow of a Spirit Empowered Life Instead of a Futile Attempt on Your Part to Produce the Spirit Empowered Life in Your in Your Heart You're Living the in Spirit.
The Spirit Empowered Life Because You're Relying on the Spirit to Live It Manually to Study the Bible Because You Want to and Because It's Exciting and When You Pray the Lord Will Be Revealed to You. It'll Change Your Whole Christian Experience. I'm Telling You, so I Have a Suggestion As We Close My Suggestion Is Take This Week Taking One Specific Area of Your Christian Life Where You Struggle.
You Say Will Lawn I Got A Lot Of Them. Okay. Pick One Pick One and Stop Trying This Week to Go out Every Morning and Got It out and Beat It in Your Own Human Energy and Flesh You Know Walking out the House: I Will Not Love, I Will Not Eat. I Will Not Draw Will Do That.
That's How We Go down Every Day. Walk Out Of Your House Plugged into the Electricity and Said Instead Walk out the House and Just Say Lord I Will Do All Those Things I'm Not Supposed to Do, but I Won't. If You Are Energizing and Empower Me and Giving Me the Self-Control and That's Where I'm Going to Depend on You That Did This Week. Today in My Life. You with Me so When That Woman Walks by. You Just Need to Say Will Help Me Jesus Help Me, Jesus Not to Look at Her Not to Think about That Lord Just Overcome That in My Life When They Pass the Éclairs around after Lunch Who You Just Need to Say Help Me Lord Help Me Lord and All You Know I Don't Know Lord Just Give Me the Self-Control to Say No When the All Your Coworkers Are Standing around the Water Cooler Gossiping and Ripping People up. You Just Need to Say All Help Me Jesus Walked Right by That Conversation and Just I Know I Want to Get in It. But Lord, I Don't Belong It.
Help Me Walk Right by.
When All the Little People in Your House Have Exhausted Your Patience and You Just Ready to Absolutely Lose Your Mind. Help Me Lord, Give Me the Patient's on the Lord Jesus to Understand How We Live This Life You Understand and and and I'm Not Asking You to Eat the Whole Elephant One Week to Start with One Area and Then I Promise You You'll See Such a Difference If You Do This That You Will Say All Man This Is Some and Then We Expanded to a Secondary and 1/3 Area for Theory until It Becomes the Habitual Way We Live Now Listen to Me Carefully. The Abundant Christian Life Is Possible If It Weren't Jesus Wouldn't of Said It Is It's Possible so Don't You Dare Give up on Trying to Get There Just Give up on Trying to Get There the Wrong Way Human Effort Has Never Been Honored by God Is Not What Runs Christian Living, Even If It's Religious.
Don't Do with the Galatians Stride and Paul Rebuked Him for It and Said No. This Did Not Come from God. This Is Not How You Do and We Shouldn't Try to Do It That Way Today. Let's Pay What You Say Everyday, Turn on Electricity. We Say Fan Runs a Whole Lot Better Government, a Man (Heavenly Father.
Thanks for Talking to Us Today about Real Life and You Know That There Are so Many of Us Here.
Our Heart Is Right and We Are Trying Hard to Live the Way You Told Us to.
We Want the Abundant Christian Life. But the Way Were Going at It like the Galatians Is Simply Never Going to Work Human Effort Natural Effort Cannot Produce a Supernatural Life. Only the Supernatural Spirit Can Do That.
So Help Us Learn to Live Based on His Power Depending on His Power Relying on His Power Each and Every Day in Our Lives, Moment by Moment 50 Times A Day. We Have To Renew That Matter and Make Us Men and Women Who Have the Joy of Experiencing Life Abundantly in Christ More. Thanks for Talking to Us Today. Change the Very Way We Live Because We Were Here. We Sat under the Teaching of the Word of God. We Pray This in Jesus Name. What Are God's People Say a Man