A Sermon on the Human Will
A. Preliminary points about tests
Gen 22:1-2 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
1. Certainty of tests
Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.
Deuteronomy 6:16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test …
2. Builds Character
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
3. Increasing Intensity
B. Why does God test us?
1. To see the Expression of our Faith in Him
5. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”
7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
Genesis 21.12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.”
19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
1 Peter 1:7 so that the proof of your faith … even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Ps 135.6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
2. To see the Enhancement of our Fear of Him
Genesis 22:12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Exodus 20.20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”
3. To see the Extent of our Fondness for Him
Genesis 22: 12, 16 you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.
Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
John 21 - do you love me more than these.
C. Synchronous Wills
1. Abraham and God – God and I
v.2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
2. Abraham and Isaac - God and Jesus
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
The Father’s choice:
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
The Son’s choice:
John 10:11, 17 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.
Luke 22:42… yet not My will, but Yours be done.”