Community Bible Chapel
Sunday, May 27, 2018
A place to grow.... where everybody is somebody and Jesus Christ is Lord.
10/31/10     “The Miracle Birth” Genesis 21
Last week we spent our time looking at the faithfulness of God through the fulfillment
of the promise of Isaac being born to Abraham and Sarah.
          -The distinction we all need to learn is that  
God is never obligated to be faithful to our desires,
but He is faithful to His promises.
          -If we are looking for God to be faithful to our desires, we will be disappointed.
          -But if to His promises, then we know what to expect and we gain the joy
of the Lord.
 Today I want to pull the Abraham study bus, off the side of the road
and stretch our legs of a growing faith.
          -I want to spend a little time looking at how the birth of Isaac points to Christ
 as well as then looking to see ourselves in it.
          And so God’s Word has two important aspects that we don’t want to miss.
It’s like a window in which we see Him through
and it’s like a mirror that we see ourselves in.       
READ Genesis 21:1-7
X God’s Word has many “types of Christ”
-I believe that the entire body of Scripture all points to Christ.
-We see Him in the account of the flood as the ark
that carried those on board to safety.
          -When God closed the door only those that were in the ark were saved.
-We see Christ in the “manna” that God provided Israel in the desert.
          -Manna was miraculous food for the body and Christ is the miraculous
food for our soul.
-The burnt offering of a lamb without blemish is a type of Christ.
         -They chose a perfect lamb to be the sacrifice to take away sin for the year.
          -Jesus is that lamb of God, come to take away the sins
of the world forever.
          -Moses was sent by God to lead the people out of Egypt into the promised land.
          -Ruth reveals the idea of the “kinsman redeemer”.
          -David was a shepherd who endured the wilderness trials and became king.
                   -Jesus is the King who became our shepherd, “tempted in every way as we
 are”, and leads us into salvation.
-These are a small sampling of the many ways Christ is revealed  
all through the Old Testament.
          -And I love reading though these rich accounts that help us understand
the fullness of Christ.
-It’s easy to get lost in all the genealogies or laws and totally
 miss what they all point to.
-So many miss the point of Scripture as they read about all the giants of the
    faith, but the Scripture is not about how we have to relate to God in order to be
 spared from His wrath . . .  it’s about how God has related to us
to draw us into relationship with Himself.
-The Scripture is about God.
-It’s about God revealing Himself to people.
          -In it, God reveals His perfect attributes to us.
          -In it, God reveals His plan to save sinful people from the
                   destruction of sin.
          -In it, God reveals how He gave Himself to bring us into an eternal
relationship with Himself.
-And because of God’s purpose for the Scripture,
the entire Bible is like a huge arrow that points to Jesus Christ.
                   -Christ is the central figure that all of history looks to.
                   -The Jews looked forward to His coming and we look back on His coming.
-And in the account of the miracle birth of Isaac, we see a foreshadowing
of the miracle birth of Christ.
X The Window of God’s Word - Isaac and Christ
 X 1. The Promised Birth.
          -As we have been studying, for over the 25 years of Abraham’s growing faith,
God’s promise of Isaac is given many times.
-First coming at God’s call on his life to leave Ur and go.
-But many times after that, reminding Abraham of this birth
and the nation that would be built through him.
          -And in the case of Jesus, God’s promise was given many times, starting in
 Genesis 3:15
                        “And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
                   and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,
 and you will strike his heel."
          -That promise narrowed down as it came to Abraham,
where the promised birth of Isaac and Jesus intersect.
                   “all peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.”
          -The promise then passed through David in Psalm 89:3-4
“You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
                     I have sworn to David my servant,
                   'I will establish your line forever
                             and make your throne firm through all generations "
-And many other prophecies that relate to the coming Christ.
-So we see this type of Christ and foreshadowing
in the promise of the child being born.
 X 2. Promise Delayed.
          -The promise of Isaac being born to Abraham was given 25 years ahead
of when it was fulfilled.
-But from the time the promise was given, Abraham began to look
for its fulfillment.
-And even tried to bring it about in his own strength.
-From his perspective, it was delayed way beyond his abilities to bring about.
          -The promise of Christ coming was first made in Genesis 3.
                   -Adam and Eve might have thought that Cain or Able was
the one to crush Satan’s head.
                   -Satan might have even thought that as he worked to destroy
the possibility through Cain murdering his brother Able.
                    -But neither of them was the fulfillment of the promise.
-It would be thousands of years before the promised Christ would come.
    3. Doubting the Promise.
                   -When Sarah heard the promise from the tent, she responded in Genesis 18
                             “Will I really have a child, now that I am old?” 
          -And when Mary was visited by the angel, who told her that she would
have a child, she responded in Luke 1 . . .
                   “How will this be . . . since I am a virgin?”
          -The same doubting question and the same re-assuring answer is given
                   to Sarah, the Angel of the Lord said
 “Is anything to hard for the Lord?”
                   -And to Mary the angels said
                             “Nothing is impossible with God.”
          -But we have the same human element of doubt to the promise.
4.Fulfilled in God’s Time
          -We read in Genesis 18:10 “at the appointed time”         
          -And we read in Galatians 4:4, concerning the birth of Christ.
                 “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman . . .?”
          -Both birth’s were under God’s supervision and came at exactly
His appointed time.
5. Miracle Births
          -The birth of Isaac was a miracle in that this elderly couple had
 reproductive power restored, or even for the first time.
                   -Sarah understood that she already passed well beyond
the fertile years of her life.
-Which is why she laughed at the promise of God
when she was 89 years old.
                   -It’s funny to me that many who accept that miracle work discount the
 greater miracle of Christ.
                   -Mary was in a different point of life, but the miracle of the birth of Jesus
                             was that it required conception without a human father.
                             -Thus the virgin birth.
                             -And the dual nature of Jesus as both God and man was the result.
                   -Both birth’s were the miraculous answer to the question
                             “is anything too hard for God?”
Isaac’s miracle birth is the foreshadowing of the birth of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.        
-And in the coming weeks, as we get to chapter 22, we will see the similarities
 between Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac and God’s act
of the sacrifice of Christ.
Now Isaac is a foreshadowing of Christ for us to see, almost as if we were looking
through a window of Scripture to see Him. 
          -And as much as the Scripture is a window that reveals Christ,
it is also like a mirror which reveals us.
-And in the birth of Isaac, we see . . .
X The Mirror of God’s Word - Our New Birth in Christ.
   And we can turn to Romans 4:18-25 to gain a greater understanding
of the narrative in Genesis and how we can see ourselves in the mirror.
READ Romans 4:18-25
In Paul’s inspired commentary on Genesis 21,
we see our own reflection in the miracle birth of Isaac.
    X Humanly Impossible
          -At 100 years old Abraham considered himself unable to father a child.
-And Sarah at 90 was also not physically able to conceive and give birth.
          -And it’s stronger than not being able to produce new life,
                   -it’s that he considered himself and Sarah dead in that area.
                   -We don’t know when Abraham was married to Sarah, but more than likely,
their efforts to have a child went beyond the 25 years since
the promise was given.
-Let’s be conservative and say they were married at age 50.
-That’s 50 years of going to fertilities doctors and trying every conceivable
 technique to have a child.
                    -Until he came to the conclusion that if God wanted them to have a child,
it would have to be an act of God to bring it about.
          -And we look into the mirror of God’s Word and see ourselves.
                   -Spending lots of time trying to earn our way into God’s grace.
                   -Trying to do good to others, trying to be spiritual, trying not to sin,
                             trying to convince ourselves that we will make it.
                   -But getting to heaven by our own works is like a dead person willing
 themselves to come back to life.
                   -But the reality is that we are “dead in our sin” as Eph 2 tells us.
                   -There is no way we can regenerate ourselves physically or spiritually.
                   -Romans 6:23 tells us “the wages of sin is death”.
                             -And that death leaves us separated from God.
                   -Just like Abraham, until we realize that if God wanted us to be in His
    presence, it will take an act of God to save us from the results of our sin.
                   -Do you see yourself in the mirror? 
                             -Are you alive because of your good works?
                             -Are you alive because you have more good than bad?
                   -The mirror of God’s Word shows a different reflection.
                             -It says we are all born with this sin nature,
and it will take an act of God to give us new life - eternal life.
                             -And that is the new life that Jesus Christ came to bring us.
                   Romans 6:4
. . . just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of
the Father, we too may live a new life.”
-We may ask with Mary and Sarah “how can this be?”,
and we hear God’s answer “nothing is impossible with God”.
    X New Life Comes through Faith
          -Against all hope in human reason and strength, Abraham believed.
                   -His faith was in his God and His ability to bring about His promise.
                   -He might not have known how it was going to happen,
but he did not waver through unbelief in God’s promise.
                   -Abraham was fully persuaded that God had the power to do what
He promised.
                   -And that faith, the Scripture tells us, was credited
to Abraham as righteousness.
          -And as we look into the mirror of Scripture, we see our need for faith.
                   -Against all hope and human effort to earn peace with God,
we need to believe.
                   -Saving faith comes by believing that God has the power to do what
He has promised to do.
                   -He has already given us His grace, He has already done the work on
the cross to bring forgiveness of sin.
                   -But it’s not ours until we believe.
                   -As it says in Eph 2:8
          “For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith”
              -And when we believe, our faith is credited to us as righteousness.
          The passage in Romans goes on without a break into chapter 5
          Romans 5:1-2
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
    So we understand that it is impossible for us to save ourselves and we believe that
the death of Jesus brought forgiveness for our sin.
          -When we believe that, we are justified in Christ, our faith is credited to
 our account as righteousness, and we are at peace with God.
-It was a miracle that Abraham and Sarah had a child.
          -Are you in need of a miracle today?
          -Only a miracle spiritual birth in Christ can save you.
          -Place your faith in Him today ABC
-If you have already made that decision - faith begets more faith.
          -There are other area’s to grow in faith in this new life in Christ that
force a crisis of faith.
          -And they seem foolish to our nature . . .
-like doing good to those who harm you.
                   -like trusting in God to provide when you can do it better yourself.
                   -like loving others with actions, even when you don’t feel like it.
We see how God has done all this through the window of His Word
 as He reveals Himself.
And we see ourselves in the mirror of His Word and grow to know ourselves.
          Every act of faith grows our faith in He who is faithful.
-Turn to Him in faith today.

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