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Sermon #2069

Abraham Believed God

A Sermon on Acts 7:1-4


Acts 7:1-4 ESV KJV
And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and …

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Sermon Description

The Christian life is one of faith and action. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims in the sermon “Abraham Believed God,” this is clearly seen in the life of Abraham. Perhaps there is no better example of this than the life of Abraham, the father of all the faithful. The apostle Paul uses him as an example of what it looks like to believe and trust in the promises of God. James, the brother of Jesus, also uses Abraham as the example of what a life of good works looks like. In Abraham is seen what it looks like to believe in the promises of God and to have faith in them. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds, Abraham is also an example of putting faith into action. What some may try to use as a contradiction is actually a great complement as a heart of genuine faith will always demonstrate itself in a life of biblical action. Works flow from a transformed heart as daily practice moves ever closer to a heavenly position.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Stephen is on trial for preaching Jesus as the Son of God and savior. He begins his defense by going back to the call of Abraham.
  2. God called Abraham out of Mesopotamia and told him to go to the land He would show him. Abraham obeyed and went out by faith.
  3. Abraham believed God's word even though everything seemed contrary to it. He considered his own body and Sarah's womb as dead, but still believed.
  4. Abraham believed God could do what He promised. He gave glory to God and was fully persuaded God would fulfill His word. His faith was counted as righteousness.
  5. Abraham is an example of justification by faith alone, not works. His story shows God's way of salvation, which is the same in both the Old and New Testaments.
  6. The Jews believed they were justified through Abraham as their father, but misunderstood his story. Stephen shows Abraham was justified by faith, not works.
  7. The real issue the Jews had was with Jesus as the way of salvation. But Abraham's story shows Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise of salvation.
  8. God called Abraham out of a sinful world under judgment, just as He calls us out through faith in Christ. We must leave our own worldliness and works behind.
  9. Abraham simply believed God's word and acted on it. He had nothing else to go on but God's bare word, yet he obeyed in faith. This is how we are saved—by believing God's word about Christ.
  10. True faith results in action and obedience. If we believe God's word, we will act on it, just as Abraham did. Mere intellectual belief is not enough. Faith without works is dead.
  11. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works. But true faith will produce works. Paul and James do not contradict each other. They address two different issues.
  12. Abraham is an example for us. His story shows how we can be justified and saved. We must believe God's word about Christ and His work, leave behind trust in self, and obey in faith.
  13. The message of the gospel seems foolish to human wisdom. But we must believe God's word about Christ, even when all else seems contrary. We have nothing else to stand on but God's word.
  14. The world sees Jesus as merely a good man and moral teacher. But God's word says He is the Son of God, born of a virgin, who died for our sins and was raised to life. We must believe this by faith.
  15. We can add nothing to Christ's work. We come just as we are, and are clothed in His righteousness by faith. All we can bring is faith in His word.

The Book of Acts

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.