Becoming a Trader: Unconditional Surrender
Casey Ingold’s Sermon, Covenant Baptist Church, January 16th, 2011
As we look through the pages of the Bible we see examples of great men and women of faith. It becomes clear that one common characteristic of them all is their willingness to trade in the things of this world, often things that are good in themselves and very dear, to be obedient to God’s call on their lives. This was the theme of Casey’s message today. There may be no better place than Hebrews 11 to begin to examine this kind of faith.
Throughout this chapter, many verses begin with the words, “By faith…” Let’s look at each of these verses and determine what was given up or denied because the person trusted and obeyed God.
3 In today’s world, where Naturalism reigns supreme as the only accepted worldview, what do we need to accept by faith?
4 Why was Abel’s sacrifice better than Cain’s? How was he showing obedience to God?
5 As you read through Genesis 5 you see each person’s life summed up as, “he was born, he lived, he had children, he lived some more, and he died.” But it changes when you get to Enoch in vs. 22: “Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah…” In vs. 24 it says, “And Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.” Enoch stands out in the generations after Adam as one who chose to walk with God by faith.
7 Meditate how Noah chose to obey out of faith. How did his obedience to God likely effect his standing in the world around him? What price did he have to pay to obey?
8-12 Abraham and Sarah, while not always obeying perfectly, chose to believe God in spite of everything. What did they trade in to obey God?
Verses 13-16 examine the motivation of those men and women who choose obedience to God by faith. What are they desiring?
17-19 These verses focus on Abraham’s great act of faith that Casey spoke about this morning. Meditate again on this amazing story and on the level of faith and obedience shown by Abraham.
21 Read the blessings of Jacob in Genesis 48. How was this an act of faith?
22 How was Joseph’s “orders concerning his bones,” an act of faith?
23-29 Consider the life of Moses and all the choices he made to obey God that are listed here in Hebrews.
30 Read about the fall of Jericho in Joshua 6. What part did faith and obedience play in this story? Notice how the actions of obedience appeared to have no relationship with the desired outcome – the fall of the walls of Jericho.
31 Consider the risk taken by Rahab the harlot as she chose to obey God in Joshua 2.
Read the rest of Hebrews 11:32-40. How does all of this relate to where you are right now with God? Is God calling you to trade in the world’s goods and “The American Dream” for something of eternal value?
Hebrews 12:1-2 says:
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us [everyone discussed in chapter 11], let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
As you meditate on these verses, stop and consider at length the following words and phrases. What do they mean in this verse and how do they relate to you personally?
- lay aside
- run with endurance
- fixing our eyes on Jesus
God is calling us to a life that is abundant (John 10:10), full of eternal significance. May we all make the choice to take hold of the life He has for us as His children.