A Foreigner In The Land Of Promise (Genesis 23) by Ptr Xley Miguel

Many times in twitter, Elon Musk, has given statements giving hints he will purchase, he’s gonna buy twitter. Of course Elon Musk is not a fan of the canceled culture na ginagamit ng canceled culture na platform itong Twitter so read someone from the outside like Elon Musk..ayaw niya ng mga ganung klaseng kultura. So, kaya gustung-gusto ng karamihan, like Ben Shapiro and many more, who hate canceled culture. Gustung-gusto nila na talagang bilhin ni Elon Musk, at makapasok siya doon sa, sabi ng iba, parang land of promise kasi it’s been promised by Elon Musk before na kukunin niya iyon, and then, at last! Voila! Pumasok siya sa HQ ng Twitter, dala-dala ang sink, saying let that sink in. Ayan, so ibig sabihin, nagkatotoo na. Nakapasok na siya sa promised land ika nga.

Ganun din sa Genesis chapter 23. If you read chapter 23, we have Abraham who had that relationship with God and we know that God has promised Abraham, not just descendants but also the land. And now we see in Genesis chapter 23 and in many more passages. Clearly in this chapter nakikita natin slowly na naa-attain na, ‘no, of course in his time, hindi nya fully maa-attain iyong promised of the land, but we see hints of it, na siya, someone na hinirang ng Panginoon ay tunay na foreigner doon sa land of promise. We will see that as we read Genesis chapter 23. Turn with me there as we will read the entire chapter.

Genesis chapter 23, I’ll be reading from ESV.

Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites,“I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” The Hittites answered Abraham, “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us.

Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead.” Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. And he said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as property for a burying place.” Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites, and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” Ephron answered Abraham, “My lord, listen to me: a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.” Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants. So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites.

Last week we talked about the death of Sarah. And so now, Abraham’s looking for a burial place for Sarah. And of course, knowing that God has promised the land of Canaan for Abraham and for his descendants, saan pa ba ililibing ni Abraham ang kanyang asawa? We have to understand also that the land of Canaan was, at that time, a promise to Abraham, right? Yes he lives there now, but he hasn’t really, fully, possessed it yet. Because there were many different nations inhabiting the land. Sinasabi sa atin sa Genesis, Hittites, Canaanites, napakarami pa. Okay. There were many nations. Of course, one of them were the Hittites and we have to understand also that the land of Canaan, ay inhabited ng napakaraming mga pagan nations nang mga time na iyon.Pinromise ng Panginoon kay Abraham yung nation na iyon. Yes, nakatira doon si Abraham pero hindi pa niya sakop halos ang kalahatan. He was still, you can say; in fact siya na nga ang nagsabi, he was still a sojourner, and a foreigner among you, sabi niya. He still recognised iyong kaniyang status although he knew that God has given that land to them, right, To him and his descendants. But he also knew na foreigner pa rin siya. Hindi pa niya fully nakukuha iyong promise na iyon. In fact, even sa kaniyang anak na si Isaac, sa anak ni Isaac, si Jacob and even Moses, lived their lives na hindi nila naabutan, hindi nila fully experienced iyung promise of the land until of course iyung time ni Joshua. Okay. It was Joshua who finally saw it fulfilled. I mean speaking of the land. But see, there’s also something that Abraham did not see in his lifetime. And if you remember we’ve been talking about how these promises ultimately point to Someone. We’ve been talking about that many, many Sundays, many, many months. This is the second year of our study in the Book of Genesis. These promises find their “amen” and yes, and none other than Jesus Christ the Messiah. The promise of a Messiah, the Savior of sinners, was older, iyung promise na may darating na Messiah ay mas matanda pa mismo kay Abraham. He was even older than Abraham himself. And when Abraham lived, just like the promise of the land, hindi niya nakita iyung promise na Messiah. Hindi niya nakita how the promise of the land will be fully fulfilled in the lives of the descendants of Abraham. Hindi rin niya naabutan iyung pangako ng Diyos na ang Diyos ay magpo-provide ng Kaniyang Anak who will crush the head of the serpent. Malinaw Iyan sa Hebrews chapter 11 verse 13. Abraham was just one of those people he rose in faith in the time of the Old Testament na hindi naabutan. God has given them promises pero hindi nila mismo nakita at naabutan ng kanilang buhay. Sabi sa Hebrews chapter 11 verse 13 – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. And then verse 16 of Hebrews 11, sabi doon – But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. So, Abraham lived his life by faith knowing that God will provide a better inheritance. Hindi niya naabutan iyon, ng life niya, but he knew, na iyon ay darating, ‘no? Yes, we’re talking about the land of Canaan. But that’s not just the land of Canaan. Sabi sa Hebrews 11, they’re also in fact waiting for a heavenly one, a heavenly one, heavenly city in fact. And if the land of Canaan will be given if Abraham, and his descendants were obedient to God, the better, and heavenly promises, the heavenly one, hindi iyong land of Canaan,these things will be given on the account of the obedience of the Promised Messiah. And so, now we know that this Messiah, Jesus Christ, was indeed obedient.

And because of Him, all who believe in Him can definitely expect to receive and experience the blessings that He has accomplished.

If Abraham lived by faith knowing that his inheritance is the land of Canaan, and that God will provide it to him and his descendants.

‘Dito ko ililibing ang aking asawang si Sarah, kasi ito ang inheritance ng Panginoon sa akin, ito ang pinromise Niya eh!’ Na itong land of Canaan will be mine and will be owned by my descendants. O, saan ko pa naman ililibing, Eh di sa land of Canaan. So he has such faith, he lived by faith, knowing na ang Diyos ay ibibigay Niyang inheritance niya of a land to Abraham. We too as Christians must live by faith, knowing naman sa atin that our inheritance is far better. And we’re sure that our inheritance will happen, if that happened, and also will happen in the future. We’re so sure about that because the reward, the inheritance is not contingent upon the obedience of Abraham or kung sinuman kundi kay Kristo. And so ang calling sa atin bilang mga kristiyano to live by faith ay mas heavier, may mayroong meaning for us, right? We must live by faith knowing that our inheritance has accomplished His purpose, will accomplish the completion of His purpose. We must live by faith, knowing that our inheritance is Jesus Christ. That is my message this afternoon. Mamuhay tayo nang may pananampalatayang ang minana at mamanahin ay walang iba kundi si Kristo. Live by faith knowing that our inheritance, Christ, has already come! …and will come! And that everything that He has accomplished, we also inherit! Kaso, habang naghihintay tayo sa Kaniyang pagdating, we are to live in this world as foreigners, katulad ni Abraham. He recognised his being a sojourner, he recognised himself being himself a foreigner, kasi alam niya na iyong land na iyon ay mapapasakanya at mabibigay sa kaniyang mga descendants. However, na-realise niya hindi pa fully given iyon sa kaniya. And so he lived as a sojourner. He lived by faith, knowing that it will happen. Pero tayong mga kristiyano, ganoon din tayo. We must live by faith. Pero not on the account, hindi ibig sabihin na hinihintay natin iyong promise, ‘Naku, mangyayari kaya iyon?’ Oh, mga kapatid, nangyari na! Si Kristo ay dumating, Siya ang inheritance natin, that’s why we live by faith, knowing that our inheritance is Jesus Christ. That is our message this afternoon. But again, dumating Siya, but He will return, and while we are waiting for His return, we wait as foreigners in this land.

First point natin, kagaya ni Abraham, he was a Respected Foreigner; that is our first point. And second, like Abraham as well, having, while living here, having The Right Foundation

Let’s consider the first point, The Respected Foreigner. So, Abraham had negotiations, ‘no, may bargaining na nangyayari dito with the Hittites, who were so willing, sobrang willing ang mga Hittites to give to him what he wants. In fact, tinatawag nga ng mga Hittites si Abraham, our lord, right..our lord..master ang ibig sabihin noon. At ano pa? In- acknowledge siyang prince of God, okay. He was a prince of God among them so his reputation as a faithful believer of God elevated him to a status of a “prince of God” in the eyes of pagans, in the eyes of the Hittite nation. A status that clearly shows na may favour, ‘no? That he was favored by the Hittites. The Hittites assured him that he could choose a burial place that he wants. ‘Sabi nila, oh, sige, mamili ka kung ano’ng gusto mong burial place.

Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. We have lots of tombs here, oh, mamili po kayo, ano po diyan, parang ganoon, right? So, ano pa sinabi sa kanya? In-assure siya..In-assure siya ng Hittites, ‘none of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead. Ano’g pipiliin mo diyan, ibibigay talaga namin sa iyo. Kita ninyo ang pabor? Iyung favour na binibigay kay Abraham dito, right? Hindi pa tayo nag-uusap ng presyo dito huh. Nasa sales pa lang po sila okay. And so Abraham made a choice. Clearly dito sa text na ito, he wants the cave of Ephron, okay? Marahil pamilyar kayo kay Ephron, right? Sa Genesis, okay. Baka ibang Ephron ang inyong iniisip. And Ephron, si Ephron po ay nandoon sa crowd. Nakinig siya; narinig niya. Now, may ibang offer si Ephron. Sabi niya sa verse 11 – No, my lord, hear me, pakinggan mo ako: I give you the field, you’re looking for a cave, no, I’m gonna give you the field., right? Cave lang ba hanap mo? Actually, field ang io-offer ko sa iyo, okay. I give you the cave and the field that is in it..a, sorry, I give you the field and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead. May mga witnesses. I’m ready to give this to you.

Ephron wanted to be released, heto ang reason niya, kasi meron pong Hittite law, okay. Kapag si Abraham ay binili lang niya iyong kuweba, wala siyang babayarang tax, okay? Pero dahil mayroong field, pati ang pag-maintain noon ay nakasalalay na kay Abraham, okay? So, ganoon ang nangyayari dito, okay. Gustong ma-release ni Ephron doon sa Hittite law na iyon of paying taxes, okay? So huwag lang ang kuweba ang bilhin mo, pati iyong buong field, okay. Pati iyong mga puno around it. So si Abraham na iyong magiging obliged to pay the tax, okay. Mag-maintain noon, In fact, nakakatulong iyon sa kanya. Kasi we know, that in the future, the cave will also be the place where himself will be buried.

Sino pa? Pati anak niya. Pati si Leah, pati si Rebecca. And so, again, makikita natin iyung pabor, iyong pabor na nakikita natin sa isang foreigner, sa isang sojourner, sa isang land of pagans na pinromise ng Panginoon na ibibigay Ko ito sa iyo..Ibibigay Ko pati sa nga descendants mo, In Genesis chapter 23, we see such favour, right? We haven’t really, he hasn’t really experienced the fullness of it, but we can see glimpses of that. Of the favour of God in the life of Abraham and in his family.

Sabi ni Ephron, ano ba naman ang 400 shekels sa iyo, sa isang katulad mo. Abraham was known to be a wealthy man, right? But in this chapter, he is known to be a wealthy, godly man, okay. He was the prince of God, a well-respected foreigner in Canaan, and bilang maayos na believer at follower si Abraham, he did not appeal, he recognised the favour of God, he accepted it. He paid 400 shekels, he got the cave, not just the cave, the entire field, and all the trees that are in it, right. We see there a stranger, sojourner, foreigner living in the land that is still occupied by his inhabitants. He’s respected by the people. Living as foreigners in the land obviously here includes having such dealings like that even with unbelievers, even with pagans.
And just like Abraham who was a sojourner, a stranger in the land of Promise, we too brethren. If you are in Christ, you are also a foreigner, you are in fact called..we are exiles, pilgrims for Christ. If you are in Christ, you have been made a foreigner. Because of Him, our hometown, our address has changed. You maybe living in Batangas, Pampanga, pero really, strangers tayo dito, kapatid. We are not locals anymore, we are foreigners and pilgrims. You were following the course of this world before, as a local. But when you were made alive together with Christ, you’re a new creation, and you live in a new community, the church, waiting for the completion of the things new. So if you are not in Christ, kaibigan,let me tell you that you remain to be a citizen of this world, you remain to be citizens of Babylon, remained to be a citizen of Sodom. So repent now of your sins and come to faith in God’s provision, so that your address can be changed. So that you can be a new creation, living with a new community, living the newness of life. Because if not, then you will be a local of this world. You will still be part of the kingdom of the world. Let me tell you, the kingdom of the world will soon to be the kingdom of Christ. Repent now of your sins and believe in God’s provision of salvation. If you are not in Christ, kapatid, kaibigan, you’re not saved! You will die in your sins. And you will not feel like a foreigner. In fact, sobrang nababagay ang iyong lifestyle dito sa kamunduhan na ito. You will not feel different, there will no coviction to change. Marahil, yung sarili mong konsensiya, alam mo iyong tama morally, you know the Lord’s in your heart, but there is no enabling grace for you to turn away from your sins. But take this opportunity now, ngayon, to repent of your sins and come to faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who alone can save you from your sins. And if you are in Jesus Christ, you have been made a foreigner, we are sojourners in this world. Sabi ni Peter, first Peter chapter 2 verses 11 to 12. Sabi niya – Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to what? If you really are sojourners, here’s what you need to do – abstain from the passions of the flesh, because if you do not abstain and you will be like the world who do not abstain from the passions of the flesh..sabi dito – which wage war against your soul. Sabi pa niya – Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, that is something a characteristic of a sojourner, having in mind, God in His providence, goodness, allowed you to live in the world, but not to be of the world, not to be identified to be of the world and that would require you living peaceably with everyone, sabi nga ni Paul if possible, right? Kagaya ni Abraham, made such dealings with pagans; and in fact even the pagans respected him, right? And in fact, the pagans did not identify Abraham just like a Hittite, no. The prince of God among us, right? Again, doesn’t mean, living with them, doesn’t mean toleration of their sins, it doesn’t mean toleration of their unbelief. Again, living peaceably with all, and upholding the name of Christ by our lips, by our mouths, by our deeds, by our testimonies. Na- remind ako ng Ephesian church, kung kanina, natutunan natin yoong response ni Paul, iyung joy ni Paul, hearing the reports from what’s happening in the church of Thessalonaica, ganun din ang kaniyang when he heard reports from Ephesus. In fact, even in the church in Rome. Sabi niya sa Ephesians chapter 1 verse 15 – For this reason, Ephesian church, ang paligid ninyo ay punung-puno ng pagans. Maraming false religions diyan. And yet, sabi ni Paul, for this reason, because I have heard, in fact, narinig daw ni Paul sa isang land na puro pagano, may false religion, and yet, narinig ni Paul from the outside, I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints. Para kay Paul, kahit na napapaligiran ka ng mga pagans, nandiyan kayo sa isang pagan land, dinig na dinig ko ang ingay, ang ingay ng pagmamahal ng inyong pagsigaw, ng pag-proclaim ninyo ng faith sa Panginoon Hesus. Pati ang pagmamahal ninyo sa bawat isa, Dinig na dinig ko, sabi ni Paul. Ibig sabihin, hindi ko kayo nai-identify na para kayong sumasamba with the pagans in Ephesus, He’s saying, you’re so different from these pagan religions in the city of Ephesus. I can actually, I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. People will know that…people knew, Paul knew, rather that they are indeed Christ’s. Because of their faith and love toward one another. This is something the locals of this world will not do. So as strangers in this world, our proclamation of the gospel, sabi ni Christ, you keep my commandments if you love one another, oh, they will know, you are mine! Strangers in this world, our proclamation of the gospel, even our love for one another, yan ang testimony natin sa mundo. is our testimony to the world. And again, part of our testimony is to live peaceably with everyone.

When you go to a different country, kailangan ninyo ng passport that would identify you kung anong citizenship mo. Alam nila na ikaw ay galing sa Pilipinas. Pinakita mo ang iyong passport, kunwari ikaw ay nasa South Korea, kunwari ikaw ay nasa China, nasa Israel, o kung anumang bansa, alam nila, ikaw ay Filipino citizen. Ganun din po tayo. Our proclamation of the gospel, our love for one another, and I would even add, our inclusion to the body of Christ. Iyan po, iyan po talaga ang ating passport bilang mga kristiyano. I mean, we can say naman kasi na parte tayo ng church and yes, that is our passport. However, if we don’t love one another, pero sabi ni Christ, identified tayo na disciples tayo ng Panginoon kung ika’y nagmamahal sa iyong kapwa. So proclamation mo ng gospel, your faith, ang iyong pagmamahal sa iyong brethren,

covenantal love with them, it is your duty, inclusion mo sa church, passport mo Iyan, kapatid na ikaw ay tunay na foreigner ng land na ito. In fact, ikaw ay earthly pilgrim and at the same time, heavenly citizen, dual citizen. So ang challenge ko po sa lahat, be faithful witnesses, katulad ni Abraham na siya’y naiiba sa mga Hittites, and yet the Hittites respected him, still knew that he’s a faithful witness to the gospel to God. So iyon po ang challenge ko sa lahat..be faithful witnesses to the gospel lest we cause others to discredit Christ in their eyes! We need to guard our hearts, and our lives so that we don’t fall into such sins that would cause others, that would cause our families, our friends to discredit Christ in their eyes. If we want people to be saved, we do not compromise. We do not compromise, rather we become more faithful.

Ang prublema kasi iyung pag-compromise.The problem is if we compromise and agree in their sin just so they would believe. Family member’s wedding, kapatid, anak, kamag-anak, imbitado ka, pagan wedding, roman catholic worship wedding – ang matrimony sakramento ito form of worship ito, bilang mga kristiyano, that’s a totally different worship, and yet because we love the person, oh, we would compromise, just this time. Sa tingin ba natin, mas makikilala nila ang sin sa pag-worship ng mali kung tayo ay magco-compromise? Hindi ba’t mas makikita nilang kasalanan yun kung hindi tayo magcocompromise? Many times you’ve heard, “Sunday is family day”.. “today is Sunday you should be with your family.” If we compromise and not heed the call of God to worship Him in the Lord’s Day, do you think we can effectively persuade them to worship God if we compromise? How about our personal lives, mga kapatid? Are we in a situation wherein we are tempted to compromise our faith? Are we in sin and do other people see us in our sin? Be careful, let us guard our hearts lest we cost others to discredit our beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Ingat po tayo mga kapatid.

If you read the Meet the Puritans ni Mark Jones, nag-lista sila doon ng mga Puritans. Isa doon, pinakita nila iyong ang buhay ni John Bunyan. Noong na-convert daw si John Bunyan, deacon kaagad siya. Deacon siya, and you know John Bunyan na sobrang persecuted siya noong time niya, right? Now, he was known to of course, bago siya maging christian, kilala siya na talagang makasalanan siyang tao. In fact, noong Siya’s naging kristiyano, sabi doon sa Meet the Puritans, his conversion became the talk of the town, tsinismis pa siya. Tsinismis si John Bunyan. However, God used that. Iyong testimony niya na bilang siya’y kristiyano. Siya’y nagpatuloybilang faithful witness of the gospel, sabi doon sa book ng Meet The Puritans, describing iyung mga, kaniyang mga kapaitbahay, people were converted, right? I mean, it’s not the work of John Bunyan.

It’s the work of God. Brethren, we should not FIT IN and BE LIKE the world. We don’t compromise and agree in their sin. In fact, compromising and not standing firm does discredit Christ in the eyes of people. The less we become faithful, the lesser they’d see how holy our God is. The lesser they would see how great our God is. The lesser they would see how God truly hates sin if we compromise. So be faithful witnesses of the gospel. Live a life as witnesses to Christ! Protect your testimony as Christians! Let our lives uphold the holy name of Christ! Do they know that you are indeed in the world but not OF IT? Alam ba nila? Alam ba ng iyong ka-pamilya na ikaw ay talagang nandito pero hindi ka taga-dito? Alam ba ng iyong ka-pamilya na ikaw ay kay Kristo? O hindi?

Magulang ka, may anak ka! Alam ba ng anak mo na ikaw ay worshipper ng Panginoon? May asawa ka. Alam ba ng asawa mo na ikaw ay worshipper ng Panginoon? Ayaw ba ng asawa mo na mag-worship ka? Pero alam mo na sinasabi ng Panginoon na mag-worship ka, mag-worship ka!

Now your husband, your wife will know that worshipper ito ng Panginoon. Pero ito ang hope natin mga kapatid. At the end of the day, it doesn’t depend on us. Even though we fail, and we will fail, it’s not as if something will happen to Christ because of our failures. Kung naging faithful witnesses tayo at discredited pa rin ang ating Panginoon sa mga mata ng mga hard-hearted hearts, hard hearts, rather. Matigas pa rin ang puso nila. Then that’s the will of God.We should pray that God sill save our loved ones. Hindi nakasalalay ho sa atin. Rather, God, in His goodness, heto iyung hope, can also use the faithfulness, the faithfulness of His people to call the people around us to Himself. That’s the beauty of it.

Now in this chapter, we don’t just see the respected foreigner, that is Abraham, makikita rin natin pati ang motivation niya. Let’s consider, my last point, the Right Foundation. So we read in Genesis chapter 11. If you go to Genesis chapter 11, doon, makikita natin that Abraham came from a pagan country called Ur of the Chaldeans. And then, after noon, nag-travel siya papuntang Haran. Now yung Haran ay originally pangalan talaga iyon ng kapatid niya but then naging lugar. Ganoon naman usually sa kanila, iyong pangalan nila ay nagiging lugar, right? So pumunta sila ng Haran, before coming to the land of Canaan. Nag-settle talaga sila sa Haran. In fact, Haran iyong naging ancestral home nina Abraham pati ng kaniyang pamilya. They lived in Haran. Paano natin ito nasabi? Because his father died and was buried in Haran. So, Haran was their ancestral home. And this in their ancestral home where the bodies of the deceased family members were to be buried. Ganoon po talaga ang custom doon. Kung saan ang ancestral home nila, doon dapat ilibing, right? Magkakasamang pamilyang namatay. Now, obviously we see here in Genesis chapter 23, that Abraham purchased a field and a cave and he buried his wife Sarah there. And then again, in later passages, we will see that Abraham will be buried there himself, and also his son Isaac, and then Rebekah and Leah, and then even Jacob. And so we see here a transfer of some sort from Haran being their ancestral home to now being the land of Canaan. Instead of burying Sarah in their original home, he buried her in Canaan. Abraham was treating Canaan his home already eventhough there were still inhabitants in the land – like the Hittites. Ang tanong ko, why? Why did Abraham treat this, treat Canaan as his home? Bakit? It’s because God said so. It’s because God told him that He will give him the land. Imagine ba, I will give you the land, okay, I will bury my wife there, babalik ako doon, right? And so Abraham here is standing on the promise of God, he’s resting in the promise of God.

Since God will give this land to me and to my offspring, Isaac, and to his decendants, many descendants, so I’m gonna treat this as my home. I’m gonna bury my wife here. This will be my own burial place as well, and for my descendants’ burial place. This is my home because God will give this fully to me and my descendants. This will be my home and there’s no going back to Haran. No going back to old life. No going back to the old ways. To the old self. God will give me this land so I MUST BE IN THIS LAND. So Abraham, standing on the promises of God, resting in the promise of God. And for us in our time, as God has promised spiritual things for us, better things, in fact, in Christ. As we haave been learning many, many sermons ago, we must be resting upon His promises as well. That our decisions in life, I mean, you’ve seen the decisions of Abraham in this chapter, right? How his decisions were motivated by the promise of God? Iyong actions niya, right? Our decisions in life also must greatly depend on the promises of God, and that there should be no going back as well to the old life. And again, just like Abraham who was a sojourner, a stranger in the land of Promise, we too are foreigners in this world.

And as strangers in this world, the promises of God fulfilled in the gospel, we’ve mentioned that the promises of God find their yes in the gospel, in Jesus Christ , the promises of God fulfilled the gospel then are the very ground on which we must walk. Dahil nga hindi ito ang tunay nating tahanan, ang ating lalakaran ay walang iba kundi ang mga pangako ng Diyos na natupad sa ebanghelyo ni Kristo! The gospel is at the very foundation of the whole Christian life. We should always be conscious of that. Abraham, I’ll give you this land; your descendants will have this land. And so, ang buhay mo ay magbabago, Abraham. Lahat ng dealings mo, lahat ng way of life, way of thinking mo, should be in My promise, in this land. You shouldn’t go back there. I did not promise Haran. I promised the land of Canaan. At kung ay kay Kristo, ang promise ng Panginoon ay fulfilled sa gospel. And so ang way of life mo, way of thinking mo, hindi pwedeng labas sa gospel. Consider always the gospel in the way you think, your decisions in life. Hindi pwedeng labas ang ebanghelyo sa way of life mo. Iyon ang challenge ko po sa lahat. Let the gospel of Christ dictate your way of life and thinking! Hayaan mong ang mga pangako ng Diyos na natupad kay Kristo ang magdikta sayo kung paano ka dapat mag-isip at kung paano ka mamuhay sa mundong ito bilang dayuhan! The problem is if there are other things that dictate to us how we should live. The problem is if there’s no consideration on anything spiritual. People migrate. Why not? Because of ‘green pastures’..see, how our number one motivation is.. success in life. And yet when you ask, do you have a church? Oh, oo nga, sige, see our priorities. So how about the gospel? Aren’t you motivated by the fact that you have a church, that they preach the gospel, and YOU GROW THERE, your family grows there, and that you are sanctified by the Word of God? But no, because material things are more important, let the material things dictate my way of life and thinking. Brethren, we cannot live as foreigners in this world NOT CONSIDERING the gospel, and the effects of the gospel in our lives, and the ministry of the gospel around us. Hindi pwedeng, tignan natin ang buhay ni Abraham. Nagpatuloy Siyang namuhay sa loob ng promised land. Bakit? Kasi ang Panginoon, pinromise iyung land sa kanya. So he lived by faith. Nilakaran niya ang mismong promise ng Panginoon sa kaniya. Ganun din tayo. Knowing na tayo’y iniligtas ng Panginoong Hesukristo. Kung ikaw ay kay Kristo, hindi pwedeng balewala na sa iyo ang ebanghelyo. Hindi pwedeng mamuhay ka mula ngayon hanggang sa rest of your life naa hindi mo kino-consider at all ang gospel. In fact, it must dictate your way of life and thinking.

Maraming manifestations ito. In your daily life. Mahalaga ba sa iyo ang gospel? Kung mahalaga ang gospel sa iyo, then gustung-gusto mo itong marinig because you know that this will strengthen your faith. This would refine your faith as well. And so you need the entire day to be sanctified by God by His Spirit with His Word. So you need it! And so ano ang ibig sabihin noon? Sobrang magbabago ang preparation mo sa buong buhay mo, Monday to Saturday, will now become a preparation for the Lord’s Day. See how the gospel dictates the way of your life and your thinking. O baka naman meron tayong other things that would dictate our life. But when we speak of our own lives? How appreciative are we of the provisions of God in the gospel every Lord’s Day? That your life is so shaped by the gospel that you’d do EVERYTHING just so you’d be a recipient of the graces of God? Imagine if Abraham again, ‘no? If he buried his wife there in Haran? Did God promise Haran? So he’s outside of the borders of the promised land and that he lived by faith. Oh, God will give this to me. So we’re gonna live here. In fact, I’m gonna bury my wife here and my family here. Ang buhay ko mula ngayon ay naka- angkla sa sa ebanghelyo ng Panginoon. Doon mo makikita ang pagiging foreigners natin. Unless bumalik ka sa dati mong buhay. Then you’ll be again a local of this world. There should be a change brethren. There should be a manifestation of the true change that the Spirit did in your heart. Na, ano, visibly, iyang pagbabagong iyan, ano? You live by faith having the gospel of Christ dictate your way of life and thinking.

Nabanggit ko kanina si John Bunyan. Kilala siya who wrote Pilgrims Progress. Alam natin na ang character noon ay si Christian who walked, journeyed, having in mind the celestial city. We have that, si Christian bilang a pilgrim, dahil siya’y tunay na citizen ng Celestial City. His movements, his thinking are so motivated by the fact that he must reach the celestial city. Tayo ba ay motivated ng gospel? Brethren, let the comfort and joy brought by the gospel continue to give you hope while experiencing the hardships in this world. Let the assurance of Christ’s unending love found in His gospel bring refuge in our weary souls. Let us be so involved in His church knowing that it is in the church where Christ showers us with graces that strengthens us. Let us be accountable to the church knowing that Christ saved us to be in His body and we experience His love, His extended loving arms, in the protection of the church! Ganun ba ang buhay natin ngayon? Or not? This is how we should live, not going back to our old selves, but rather living the newness of life where our lives are so marked by the gospel! Mga kapatid, we have been blessed by God by the gospel. Imagine if Christ did not die for our sins, that we would remain to be locals. Locals who have no.. wala man lang conviction sa puso but whatever we’re doing wrong. Whether it is sin or not, but thanks be to God for His grace and mercy in our lives that because Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose again from the dead. We have hope as true foreigners. We are, if we are believers of Christ, we are indeed foreigners here in the world and yet we are also citizens in heaven. That brings comfort for us because as earthly foreigners, pilgrims, we can enjoy Christ now fully living by faith letting the gospel dictate our way of life and thinking. Enjoy Christ now by faith. And at the same time, iyon iyung beauty ng dual citizenship natin, mamuhay tayo by faith, enjoying Christ now, but at the same time we anticipate the consummation and completion of His promises when He returns.

May the Word of God enrich our knowledge of Him, and may it stir us to live in light of these truths. Let us pray. Panginoong Diyos, maraming- marami pong salamat sa Inyong kabutihan sa amin. Oh Lord, salamat Panginoong Diyos for Your grace and mercy. For saving us oh, Lord.

Salamat Panginoon sa assurance oh Lord, na while we are living as pilgrims here, oh Lord, we can definitely live by faith, enjoying oh Lord all the promises in the gospel that we are indeed justified, we are indeed saanctified in Christ that there is comfort and joy in Christ but at the same time oh Lord, there is that great anticipation. Bilang kami mga heavenly citizens talaga Panginoon. When Christ returns oh Lord, Lord, what a joy it is to know that there will be no sins. And so Lord, we are truly grateful for your grace and mercy in our lives. Lord, tulungan Mo kami bilang mga strangers, bilang mga foreigners dito sa mundong ito, na talagang hahayaan namin Panginoon ang ebaanghelyo ang talagang maging anchor namin. That we would let the gospel of Christ dictate our way of life, oh Lord, and thinking. And Lord, nawa’y bigyan Mo rin kami Panginoon ng napakagandang testimony Panginoon Diyos. Ultimately ang testimony namin ay Ikaw ang ma-glorify. But Lord hayaan Mo kaming faithful witnesses of the gospel. Lord, sa aming mga gawain, sa aming mga salita, Panginoong Diyos. Alam namin na kami’y makasalanan Panginoon at nag-ffail kami. Pero nawa’y maalala namin ang pag-asa that we are victors oh Lord, in Your Son, Jesus Christ. For He has conquered sin and death Panginoon nawa’y iyung gospel din mismong magbigay sa amin ng pag-asa na tumayo muli Panginoon, at patuloy na maging tapat. Again, salamat po Panginoon sa Inyong kabutihan. We praise You in His name, Amen.

Transcribed by: Janette Bautista

Post a comment