Genesis 15 & Fear Not

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nEIpGwUQxI]

I probably should have preached this chapter in three segments, one on justification, one on covenant, and one on how both of these relate to Abram not being afraid.  I went straight to the third one because I wanted you to see how fear dispelling and courage generating these truths are.  Theology is for life.  We do not dive into doctrines like justification by faith and covenant to gain intellectual superiority.  We dive into it to know our God, to understand His mighty salvation, and then to live properly in light of it.  If the gospel is true then fears are stupid.  Why should Christians not fear?  God.  The more we know God, the less room there is for fear, of anything else. As Richard Baxter said, “If He be thine enemy, it is no matter who is thy friend; for all the world cannot save thee, if He do but condemn thee.”

I say your fears are stupid, my fears are stupid, not to insult you, but to free you.  If you are in Christ here these words from your sovereign heavenly Father, “Fear not.”  It is a command, but it comes so gently you don’t recognize it as one.  We will have fears, but our God speaks to us in His Word, He whispers to us of His might, faithfulness, love, sovereignty, and wisdom.  God deals gently with Abram’s fears as He tries to live in obedience.  As a father hugging his son in the scariest of moments know that the father hugs you.  The hug is soft on the inside but hard as iron from without.  You need not fear, He is your shield (Genesis 15:1).

One saint who was plagued with fears, loneliness, and depression all His life was William Cowper, a contemporary of John Newton, and William Wilberforce.   What gave Cowper hope and life was the gospel.  God spoke gently to Him, and now God speaks gently through him still through his hymns.  When full of fears and doubts, like Cowper, reflect on the cross and the blood of the new covenant.

There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
By William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way
By William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s