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Sermon #5664

By Faith Abraham

A Sermon on Hebrews 11:8


Hebrews 11:8 ESV KJV
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (ESV)

Sermon Description

When the future is unknown, how should one live in the present? Anxiety about the future leads to time wasted, frantically attempting to discover the answer to “what will happen?” It also leads to impatience. In this sermon on Hebrews 11:8 titled “By Faith Abraham,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exclaims that all of one’s thinking about the future will not affect the future. He examines the faith of Abraham who lived his life not knowing what would happen. He wasn’t preoccupied with questions on the future. In contrast, Abraham went out only with the promises of God. The early Christians were depressed and discouraged. They had reason for worry. The writer of Hebrews gives them this great picture of faith to remind them: Abraham believed God. He was a man of great faith, and needed not worry about the future. It does not matter how one will spend the next few years of their life, but how one will spend eternity. Whatever may happen in the future will not affect God and His promises to His people. If God is truly with them, they can face anything in this life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Hebrews 11:8 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."

  2. The great problem of life is how to face the future, especially an unknown future. This is the theme of the Bible.

  3. Most people think the Bible is irrelevant to practical life but it teaches us how to live and face life. The Bible gives us teaching and history, showing how the teaching works in practice.

  4. Hebrews 11 gives examples of people who lived by faith to encourage readers facing difficulties. Abraham is the preeminent example.

  5. Abraham was not concerned with knowing the future. He "went out, not knowing whither he went." This is the first secret of facing life. Do not be overanxious about the future.

  6. Being overly concerned with the future leads to impatience, either with life being too slow or too fast. The Bible teaches us to live for today, not the uncertain future.

  7. Abraham was not resigned or stoic but had faith in God. He "went out, not knowing whither he went" but he knew with whom he went - God. This is the second secret. Walking with God is what matters, not where you are going.

  8. The privilege of fellowship with God is greater than any circumstance. God's character, love, and purpose give confidence for any situation.

  9. God's promises give assurance of good purpose and eternal glory. The journey through life matters less than the destination. We can face anything with God.

  10. We can be confident in God's unchanging character, sure promises, almighty power, and working all things for good. Nothing can separate us from God's love.

  11. We must obey God as Abraham did to experience this life of faith. We must believe God's word, accept Christ, leave sin, and submit to God's leading. Then circumstances will not matter.

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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.