Why Can I Rely On God?

Sermon from CCM:City Centre


This sermon was preached by Alastair Barrie at the CCM:City Centre site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 17th February 2019.



This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Fallowfield in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Genesis 21:1-13.

The Birth of Isaac

1The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

God Protects Hagar and Ishmael

8And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. 10So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.”



  • God had made Abraham promises of offspring who would live in the land and who would be a blessing to the nations.
  • The birth of Isaac was a miraculous fulfilment of the promise. Abraham and Sarah were way too old to have a child – this was well known in both their culture and ours.
  • Through frustration and impatience they try to take matters into their own hands and Ishmael is born.
  • Children were important in that day for keeping the family name going and caring for their parents in old age.
  • God makes clear that his promise still stands and that the offspring will be numbered through Isaac.
  • We should trust God with the promises that he has made to us.
  • Abraham and Sarah’s sinful lack of trust in God resulted in real hurt to real people. 


  • When our plan messes up, God has an amazing and perfect plan to bring life and redemption.
  • Paul makes the point that the promise to Abraham wasn’t referring to plural ‘offsprings’ but a singular offspring, and it is fulfilled in Christ.



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