Abraham and the Test of Faith: Commitment, Undivided Heart – Gospel in Life

Abraham and the Test of Faith: Commitment, Undivided Heart

Tim Keller |  October 30, 1994

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  • The Bible
Hebrews 11:17-19
RS 53-08

Abraham’s Test: Hebrews 11:17–19

The story of Abraham willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as told in Hebrews 11:17–19, highlights Abraham’s deep faith and trust in God’s power to bring life back from death. Looking at Abraham’s test can help us learn how to live strong and resilient lives. The secret to a satisfying life is understanding, navigating, and relying on God’s tests.

1. Understand that tests exist

God’s tests are there to help us grow and understand ourselves better. They are not meant to discourage us like some school tests can. The story of Job in the Bible shows us that God’s tests can change people for the better, even when they are going through tough times. These tests may be hard, but they help us look inside ourselves and grow. They can lead us to a life of righteousness and peace, just like we see in Hebrews 12.

2. How God’s tests work

God’s tests often look like commands that don’t make sense when we compare them to His promises. These tests really start when what we think is right is not the same as what God is telling us to do. At these times, we need to trust in God’s power to bring life from death. We should let God’s will be more important than ours, instead of trying to make God be what we want Him to be.

3. Why we have these tests

God uses tests to challenge our wills, much like the whole burnt offerings in the Bible that represent complete surrender to Him. We can get into trouble if we let good things, like Abraham’s love for Isaac, become the most important thing to us. We end up feeling lost when these things are threatened. If we want to win at life, we need to make God our number one priority. This means we need tests to help us focus our hearts on giving ourselves completely to Him.

4. How to pass these tests

Abraham’s choice to sacrifice Isaac was a deliberate act of obedience. He believed that God could bring his son back to life. Abraham’s story shows us that trusting in God, even when it seems to make no sense, is wise. We should look to Jesus, represented by the Lamb, to understand this. In the end, obeying God is the path to redemption and glory.


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