Real Confidence and the Blazing Torch – Gospel in Life

Real Confidence and the Blazing Torch

Tim Keller |  May 6, 2001

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  • Understanding the Gospel
Genesis 15:1-21
RS 129-3

Understanding Abraham’s Journey: Genesis 15:1–21

Looking at Abraham’s life helps us understand how to handle the difficulties and questions we inevitably face. His determination to stick to his beliefs, even when life was tough, shows us how to overcome problems, not be defeated by them. We can learn from his experience, understand the nature of doubt, see how God unravels it, and use these lessons to strengthen our belief and trust in God.

1. Dealing with Doubt

Abraham’s doubts help us see that questioning our faith is not unusual. This view neither condemns nor promotes doubt but sees it as a normal part of life. It critiques both strict and loose attitudes towards doubt, emphasizing the need for honesty with our feelings and thoughts in our church family. Doubt is seen as an opportunity for growth and a deeper understanding of God’s love and the Christian message. Two forms of doubt – questioning God and doubting ourselves – come from a lack of trust and confidence.

2. God’s Answer to Doubt

The story looks at the significance of written agreements and animal symbols in making promises in Abraham’s culture. Splitting an animal in two was a powerful symbol of the consequences of breaking a promise. God changes this tradition with Abraham, appearing as a smoking pot and a blazing torch, reinforcing Abraham’s trust in God’s promises. The story emphasizes God’s faithfulness to keep His promise, recognizes our human doubts, and links the promise to Jesus’ death on the cross as its fulfillment.

3. How Can We Use This?

Many people struggle with their faith, unsure about their commitment to Jesus and troubled by doubts and questions. Christianity, unlike other religions, doesn’t demand perfection before commitment. Instead, it encourages people to base their faith on God’s unchanging promise. The Lord’s Supper reminds us of Jesus’s sacrifice, helping believers strengthen their faith and face life courageously.



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