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sermon: Abraham's Sacrifice (Part Three): Hope Demonstrated

Love and Obedience Produces Hope
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 03-Apr-21; Sermon #1591-PM; 76 minutes

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Obedience (in letter and spirit) fulfills the intent of the law, inextricably linking love and commandment-keeping. Consistent obedience to the law engrains God's character in all believers. Abraham, through his consistent obedience, grew in character to the point that he passed his greatest test, the call by God to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Abraham, reflecting on his knowledge of God, concluded that He was absolutely faithful in his promises. For this reason, Abraham, while he was chopping wood for Isaac's sacrifice, walking three days toward Mount Moriah, maintained a cool exterior, assuring the accompanying servants that both he and Isaac would return from worshiping God on the mountain. Abraham's resolute intent to sacrifice Isaac displayed his unreserved devotion to God's purpose for him. God's called-out ones, having no idea as to the twists and turns of their spiritual pilgrimage, must display the same kind of tenacity, based upon the same level of calculated hope which had millennia before motivated the father of the faithful. Like Abraham, God's people must sort out their past experiences with God and organize their thoughts, concluding that God has always been and always will be faithful to His covenant and the welfare of His chosen saints. Just as Abraham "figured out" that God was faithful, God's people must also prove to themselves that God never reneges on His promises, but always provides for the spiritual and physical needs of His family.

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