In the sermon this morning, the recent podcast related to Joyce Pring was mentioned. In that podcast she was able to in my opinion present the Gospel using an illustration of a judge. And I think she was able to effectively proclaimed the Gospel I would say the True Gospel. And as you know, when the true gospel is proclaimed, there is surety of persecutions and oppositions. People will surely hate the message. People also will surely hate the person.
In Genesis chapter 22, we hear also of an assurance. Not of a persecution or opposition. Here God says, I will surely bless you Abraham. There is SURETY OF BLESSINGS.
Turn with me to Genesis 22:15-19.
“And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.”
So Abraham as you know was faithful to obey the command of God and that was to sacrifice His Son Isaac. And because it was just a test, we know that he was stopped by none other than the Angel of the LORD. And we have tackled this before. No angel can multiply the offspring of Abraham. No angel can declare such things. Hence, we can know that this is not really a heavenly being angel created on. No. This refers to God Himself. He is the angel of the Lord in this passage. And so the angel of the LORD / GOD, acknowledged the obedience of Abraham. Sabi ng Panginoon sakanya, “because you obeyed my voice (dahil pinakinggan mo ako Abraham dahil sumunod ka), at dahil hindi mo winithold and iyong kaisa-isang anak, ang inyong pinakamamahal na anak na si Isaac, I will swear to myself that I will definitely, I will surely bless you. Kaya po siya nagsu-swear sakanyang sarili. We read in Hebrews 6 doon sa ating scripture reading kanina na if you are swearing to someone else that someone else must be higher and greater than you. And because no one is greater that God, He is swearing to Himself. So He swearing to Himself. So dahil sumunod ka Abarham ito ang gagawin. I will surely bless you. I will surely multiply your offspring. Gaano kadami? As the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. Napakarami po non. And we know in the future that God kept His word. Nagswear siya sakanyang sarili at tinotoo po niya ang kanyang salita dahil alam natin na talagang dumami ang descendants ni Abraham. An dwe are talking about the Israelites here. God fulfilled His promise by. Making sure that the descendants of Abraham were truly a lot (many). Napakarami ng mga Israelites. Ano pa sabi ng Panginoon sakanya? So basically na fulfill ito and then God said to Abraham also pati yung offspring mo, your offspring too will be blessed. Bakit? Ano ang mangyayari daw sakanyang offspring? Your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. This also refers immediately, itong fulfillment na ito ay makikita sa Israel as well. That Israel in the time of Joshua, hindi na po ito naabutan ni Moses. It was Joshua who was able to enter the land of Canaan. So in a sense, they were able to possess the gate of Canaan through Joshua. Israel was able to conquer Canaan. So this was fulfilled. So we know that the fulfillment of these promises are found, firstly in Isaac, he was the descendant of Abraham but also the many descendants were the Israelites. They were also able to possess the gate of their enemies, the Canaanites. Right? Pero kapag tingingnan po natin sa New Testament meron pong binibigay na meaning sa ating ang Panginoon. There’s more meaning to it, Paul is saying if you look at Galatians 3:16. Galatians 3:16 tells us yes it talks about the descendants of Abraham, Israel but there is more to it. Galatians 3 tell us verse 16 it says, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.” Sabi ni Paul wait a minute it doesn’t say “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but is actually referring to one. It says, “And to your offspring,” And pinangalanan po ni Paul kung sino yun. Sabi niya, “who is Christ.” So we can say that the promises to Abraham were fulfilled immediately in the Israelites. Abraham was truly blessed. God blessed him. He multiplied in a sense nagkaroon siya ng mga physical descendants. These were the Israelites and Israelites also were able to possess the gate of Canaan, their enemies. But Paul is saying look further. It ultimately points to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ comes from Abraham, from the loins of Abraham. He will come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, right? The offspring Jesus Christ is the one who will possess the gate of his enemies and He is the blessing to the nations. Why? Because Christ Himself obeyed the commands of God. He is better than Abraham. In fact, He is the better Abraham. He is even better than Isaac. He is even better than Jacob, than Israel. He is even better than the Israelites. The Obedient Jesus Christ. Sabi ng Panginoon kay Abraham dahil sumunod si Abraham sabi ng Panginoon, “Abraham I will surely bless you.” And if God SURELY blessed Abraham because of his obedience, what more the obedience of Jesus Christ?
That is my message this afternoon. There is surety of blessings as a reward for the faithful obedience of Jesus Christ. May kasiguraduhan ang mga pagpapala ng Panginoon dahil sa tapat na pagsunod ni Kristo. Now, what are these blessings na meron si Kristo? Natutunan natin na si Abraham, Israelites were able to conquer Canaan. Now let’s look forward, look beyond that. Ano naman yung mga blessing because of the obedience of Christ? The passage gives us two: 1. Possess the Gate of His Enemies and 2. All the Nations be Blessed.
Let us consider our first point. Possess the Gate of His Enemies. Verse 18 tells us, “And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Again, this refers to Israel who will conquer Canaan. The inhabitants of Canaan who were pagan worshipers. Nagsasacrifice pa yan ng mga babies. Meron pang sexual immorality in their families. Ganito ka lala ang mga Canaanites before, wicked communities. They were a strong opposition against the people of God who were the Israelites, and yet in the time of Joshua, Israel was able to conquer the land. So the promise was fulfilled. And yet again in Galatians, we’ve read awhile ago, the offspring is also none other than Christ. And so if Israel had lots of enemies in Canaan and they were able to possess the gate of his enemies, the Canaanites overpowering them, Christ the offspring too, will possess the gate of His enemies. Kumbaga sa giyera, naka-defense mode ay yung kalaban. Sila po yung mayroong gate at mayroong nag o-overpower doon sa gate nay un na kayang gibain, i-possess yung gate nay un. Yun daw nangyari yun sa Israel. They were able to conquer Canaan but Paul says it refers to Christ as well. Christ possesses the gate of His enemy. The one on the offense is Jesus Christ.
Ang tanong, who are His enemies? The enemies of Christ are not primarily the Canaanites. His enemies are the most difficult enemies. Enemies that no human being can defeat. And that is sin, that is Satan, and that is the last enemy of God – death. Sin, Satan, and death. No one can defeat sin! Apart from the saving grace of God, none of us can say “I can mortify my own sin.” Apart from God’s saving grace hindi mo kaya yun. Marahil kaya mo sabihin. Pero hindi mo kayang gawin. You won’t even have the desire to mortify your sin. You can’t say I can kill my sin. My sin of lust, pornography, my sin of anger, unforgiveness. You can’t defeat such sin apart from the saving grace of God. No one also can say the he can defeat Satan! Apart from the saving grace of God, sabi ni Paul sa Ephesians 2 you follow the Prince of the Power of the Air. In fact you love to entertain the temptations of Satan. In fact when you were apart from the saving grace of God it wasn’t even a temptation to you. Para sa iyo hindi siya temptation na masamang bagay. You just accept it thinking it’s not a sin. And no one here can defeat death. All of us will die! All of us will pass away. But Christ was able to defeat such enemies! He is better than Israel. Israel was able to possess the gate of Canaan. Christ possess the gate of His enemies – sin, Satan and death. How did He defeat sin? He never sinned. How did He defeat Satan? He never fell into Satan’s temptations. Colossians 2:15 tells us, when He was crucified on that cross, he disarmed the rulers and authorities. Because of His death, using the language of Genesis 3:15, he has crushed the head of the serpent. How did he crush the head of the serpent? By being crushed as well on the heel meaning by dying. BBY His death, He crushed Satan’s head. That is a fatal blow. That’s how He defeated Satan. You and I can’t do that. How did He defeat death? Jesus Christ rose again after three days! You and I will not rise after three days unless nalang saating pagkamatay ay dumating na si Kristo after three days. Pero kung hindi pa we will not earn yet such glorified bodies. Yes, our souls will remain in Christ. We will forever exist mga kapatid. We will never cease to exist. The question is, where? Will you be in the presence of God or not? And see again, Christ possessed the gates of His enemies. This is how the offspring, Jesus Christ, was able to possess the gate by His life, death, and resurrection. He has defeated sin. He has defeated Satan. And He has defeated death. And you and I are not like Him for all of us are sinners. Hindi tayo katulad ni Kristo, siya lamang. Kaya nga lagi natin sinasabi believe in His person because He is the only person who can do it. We can’t do it. We all deserve the wrath of God. Ang nararapat po sa atin ay yung galit ng Panginoon. Ang nararapat sa atin ay yung hindi maranasan ng kahit anong kahabagan, kahit anong grasya mula sa Diyos dahil ang deserve natin ay lahat yung fullness ng galit Niya. At tama lang yun kung ibuhos sa atin yun ng Panginoon. At kung ibubuhos Niya sa atin yun, eternity yun. Hindi ito isang araw, hindi ito isang lingo, hindi ito isang buwan, hindi ito isang taon, eternity. Ganun ang deserve natin because of our sin. And yet He provided that offspring na ibubuhos Niya doon sa krus ang fullness ng Kaniyang galit just so you and I will not be able to experience such wrath. And the only way, tinatawag tayo ng Panginoon, tumalikod ka sa kasalanan. Repent of your sins and come to faith in Him. Hindi mo kayang gawin yung ginawa Niya. You cannot possess the gate of such big enemies (great enemies). Only Christ can do it. The question is do you have faith? Do you believe that His sacrifice on that cross your sins was also punished in Christ. If you believe that then you will be saved. Hindi biro ang usaping kapag tayo ay binibigyan ng opportunity ng Panginoon na tayo ay tumalikod sa ating kasalanan ngayon na at ikaw ay lumapit sa Panginoon na hindi biro ang mga opportunity na ito. Kaya kung naririnig niyo na tinatawag na kayo ng Panginoon, tumalikod kayo sa kasalanan niyo at lumapit kayo sa Panginoon. Gawin niyo na! Ngayon na! If you haven’t yet come to faith in Him in Christ. Pero kung ikaw ay kapatid sa pananampalataya, if you have faith in Jesus Christ while Christ has defeated sin, while He has defeated Satan, while He has defeated death huwag niyo isipin na okay na pala tapos na pala. Nagkakamali po tayo. We will still experience the accusations, the temptations of Satan. We will still experience sin. And we will definitely experience death. We will still sin. Nangyayari pa rin po itong mga ito. However, while sin remain, and death prevail against our bodies, huwag po kayong matakot there is no cause to fear for Christ is victorious over sin, Satan and death. Ibig sabihin ang Kaniyang ginawa ay nagpatotoo, nagpa sigurado, it ensured na yung sin na nagbibigay sa iyo ng struggle, na nagpapalungkot sa iyo, nagbibigay sa iyo ng sorrow will forever be defeated when He returns. Yan ang assurance na binibigay satin ng Panginoon because of His work. Not only that, because of His work, because He died on that cross you and I are enabled to also defeat sin by the Holy Spirit’s power using His word.
Alam niyo sa Pilgrim’s Progress, if you have read that the protagonist si Christian was convicted of his sin. He escapes from the City of Destruction and then while journeying he was in great trouble until his burden sakanyang likod was release. It rolled away at the cross of Christ and yet his troubles did not end there. The rest of the story is nothing but a very graphic and wonderfully pictorial account of the schemes of the devil. So nagpapatuloy, hindi nawala. Same with us. Not because Christ had victory on the cross, it means na hindi na tayo makakaranas ng kasalanan. Meron pa rin. Hindi ibig sabihin na wala na tayong responsibilidad. We do. The difference is that sin has no power in us if we are in Christ. You have been released from such power, from such bondage. You are now enabled by His spirit to also mortify it looking at your example, looking to Christ who Himself has defeated sin. Hindi lang Siya example. Siya mismo ang strength natin- si Kristo. So mga kapatid, ang first challenge ko sa lahat: Let the completeness, let the fullness, let the sureness of our redemption in Christ cause you, enable you to resist sin, resist the temptations of Satan and his rulers and authorities every day! Dahil sigurado tayo sa ating kaligtasan kay Kristo, hayaan nating ito mismo ang tumulong sa ating pag-laban sa kasalanan araw-araw! Yun dapat ang magbigay sa atin ng pag-asa na may katapusan ito. Hence, dapat ngayon with joy and gladness in our hearts knowing na ang Panginoon kinalaban at natalo ang kasalanan at ang kamatayan, we follow Him. Sundin natin Siya. As Christians, there’s still remaining sins. But we have been changed to hate our sins now. Ang tanong, do you hate your sins now? Do you hate them? Or do you welcome them? There’s also Satan. Nandiyan pa rin siya but we have been changed also if you are in Christ we have been changed to be able to say no to his temptations. And there is still death. It is inevitable. We will all die. We will still die. But if you are in Christ, such death is your entrance to glory. You will not die in your sins anymore because it is Christ who died for you. You know when we fall into sin, there are times when we doubt our Savior. We sometimes think that sin has defeated us completely. But that is a lie. Ito ay kasinungalingan. Jesus Christ has put an end to sin and death. In fact nangyayari na yan ngayon. It’s happening already. The fact that you are enabled by the Holy Spirit to mortify your sins, it is a picture of what is to come. Ngayon pa lang napapatay na natin ilan sa ating mga kasalanan! Hindi tayo perfect. We are not able to completely and perfectly kill them all. In fact after mortifying a sin, papasok si Satanas there’s another one. And when you mortify it nandito ulit sa kabila another one. There will still be sins. Pero nakikita mo na. Nakikita mo na na may foretaste na tayo of what is to come when Jesus Christ returns sin will fully be defeated kasi ngayon palang meron nang pagpatay ng kasalanan because of Jesus Christ. Because when Christ returns, again there will be no presence of sin. Ngayon, no power of sin if you are in Christ. When Christ returns on presence of sin. It will not hurt us anymore. It will not bring grief to our hearts anymore. It will not bring sorrow to us anymore. It will not bring tears to our eyes anymore. Si John Knox before he died on his deathbed sabi niya sa kanyang nurse, “In my lifetime I have been assaulted by Satan and many times he has cast my sins in my teeth (ibig sabihin lagi daw tinetempt sakanya pinapaalala sakanya ang kanyang mga kaslanan), he does that to bring me to despair (by the way deathbed ito the night before he died); yet God gave me strength to overcome his temptations; and now that subtle serpent, who never ceased to tempt, has taken another course, and seeks to persuade me that all my labors in the ministry, and the fidelity I have shown in that service, have merited heaven and immortality.” John Knox was saying na he was struggling with a certain sin that he had before and then Satan was tempting him accusing him, oh you will die in your sin your past sin. But sabi ni John Knox God gave him strength. And so after God giving Him strength may bagong tactic nanaman daw si Satanas panibago nanaman ang temptation sakanya sinsabi daw sakanya ni Satanas is that alam mo lahat ng labor mo sa Church lahat yan because of you. Ikaw yan hindi because of anyone else. So may mga temptations na ganun patuloy pa rin. Imagine before he dies sabi niya, “But blessed be God that He has brought to my mind that Scripture – “Not I, but the grace of God, which is in me, with which he has gone away ashamed (lumayo daw yun temptation), and shall no more return.” That perfectly pictures the comfort and hope of a man who is assured that Satan’s temptations can be declined. That sin can be mortified, and that even death will be temporary. And the only reason for this, the only reason why John Knox was able to be reminded of such scripture, to have such comfort and hope on the night before he died is because of the sureness of the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let that sureness, fullness completeness cause you to resist your sin every day.
So how about you, brethren? Are you sometimes hopeless thinking that sin has defeated you? Such repeated sins, sinful thoughts? Why am I always angry? Why do I always fall into the sin of lust? Brethren, there’s hope! Only because Christ was obedient. That is our hope, brethren. Because was Christ was obedient Church, God will surely bless us because He has surely blessed His Son, His only Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. God didn’t just promise Abraham that his offspring will possess the gate of his enemies, but also that in his offspring, all nations of the earth be blessed. This is my last point: All the Nations be Blessed. We see in Galatians 3:14, it explains to us that when Christ died on the cross, He himself became a curse for us sabi doon ni Paul. It says, “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham” Why did he become a curse for us. In His death on the cross, in His resurrection para saan? So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham meaning the blessings given to Abraham my come to the Gentiles so that (anong klaseng blessing ito?) we might receive (what? The land of Canaan?) No. So we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. This means Salvation, brethren! When Genesis 22 says, “Abraham that in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” It means that in Jesus Christ, in your offspring, Abraham, all other nations will be blessed. The blessings are not confined anymore to the Israelites, to the Jewish nations, the blessings of God will also spread even to the non-Jewish nations. In Jesus Christ though, the blessing is not the blessing of the land of Canaan. The blessings will be what? Paul says spiritual. See it says, “so that we might receive the promised SPIRIT through faith.” Just like Abraham who believed in the promised Jesus Christ and the One to come. He too received the promised Spirit through faith. He had faith. He was changed by the Holy Spirit. We too who are in Jesus Christ we have received the promised Holy Spirit. The One who changed our hearts and applied the blessings accomplished by Christ on the cross! So again this is telling us that salvation will spread. All the nations will be blessed in Jesus Christ. All the nations of the earth will be blessed. Meaning that the gospel message will spread. And that all the nations of the earth will hear the gospel. There will be people outside of the Jewish nation who will hear the gospel message, and will be saved. In Matthew 13, Jesus Christ was giving the Parable of the Weeds or in other terms the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. Sabi ng Panginoon there are good grains or the wheat. They’re heavier and you’d benefit from such. And there are those that are weeds or tares. They are light. They don’t have substance. They have no use. In the parable, Jesus was saying that the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) is the one sowing the good seed so that lumago yung wheat. So He is referring sakanyang pag-sow yung gospel. At yung mga good grains, yung mga wheat it refers daw to the believers but at the same time Jesus was saying as the wheat was growing so too are the tares or the weeds. They were growing as well. And Jesus explains that the weeds are the unbelievers. And the good grains are the believers. He says in Matthew 13:30 sabi ng Panginoon, “Let both grow together until the harvest (yung kanyang pagdating kung saan paghihiwalayin niya yung wheat at yung tares), and at harvest time. I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Which means, that both evil and the good will grow. Obviously, nakikita natin sa mundo ngayon ang pag-grow ng world ng kamundohan, ng evil obviously nag-gogrow ito. Kita natin sa news, evil, politics, groups (LGBTQ, BLM), such groups are evil nag-gogrow ito. Itong mga ideologies nila ngayon pero may promise tayo sa Matthew 13. As evil grows the good will also grow. While evil continues to grow on earth, we are assured. Paano natin nalalaman na ang good ay nag-gogrow because of the spreading of the gospel message. The gospel spread is sure because of Christ’s work. Sabi ng Panginoon kay Abraham, “In your offspring shall all the nations be blessed.” Yes there will be oppositions but the gospel will spread. Ito po yung tanong satin ngayong hapon: Are you one of those who will oppose? Or would you allow yourself to be used by God is His Church for the spreading of the gospel? Or would you be a hindrance to the spreading of the gospel? Yan po yung katanungan satin. It’s like there’s a street preacher outside preaching the gospel, and then someone just approaches the street preacher and then disrespectfully covers his mouth. Tumigil ka nga diyan. Let me ask you, what is the difference between that and us when we hinder the gospel message?
Challenge ko po sa lahat: Do not be a hindrance to the spreading of the gospel. God has promised Abraham that in His offspring Jesus Christ all nations will be blessed. How? The gospel will spread. Even though evil will also grow the assurance God will surely spread the gospel message so that every nation, every non-Jewish nation, the Gentiles will also hear the message hence, be blessed. The challenge for us is whether to be a hindrance to the spreading of the gospel of not. So ang challenge ko sa lahat: Do not be a hindrance to the spreading of the gospel rather believe in its power to save! Wag nating hadlangan ang pagkalat ng ebanghelyo. Maniwala tayo na may kakayahan nitong mag-ligtas ng kaluluwa! Sabi nga ni Romans 1:16 sobra yung view ni Paul sobrang lalim ng pagtingin ni Paul sa ebanghelyo. Why? Because he himself was saved by hearing, by actually seeing the gospel. Acts 9 he saw the person whom he was persecuting. He was persecuting Christ and in Acts 9 on his way to persecute more Christians, kita niya yung pinepersecute niya, si Kristo mismo. Kaya’t ganito na lamang kabigat ang kaniyang pagtingin sa gospel. Sinabi niya sa Romans 1, “I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed to preach the gospel.” Why? Because it has the power to save. And he knows. He knows because he too was the product of the gospel. He saw the gospel. He saw Christ. He was commissioned to proclaim and preach the gospel. Perhaps we don’t think that hindering the gospel is not happening to us. Brethren, we can be hindrances. If you are a husband, you can definitely be a hindrance to your wife, to your children, in the gospel in your home. You may be hindering the spread of the gospel in your home if you are not allowing them to worship with you. You are becoming a hindrance to the gospel. If your deeds (men and women, brothers and sisters) are far from what you proclaim, then that too can be a hindrance as well. You know maybe the problem is our confidence in the gospel. We don’t have such confidence katulad ng sinabi ni Paul na I am not ashamed. I have such confidence that the gospel message has power to save. Maybe yun ang problema natin. We don’t have such confidence hence, nahihinder and pag spread ng gospel. And don’t get me wrong, the gospel will spread. The question is nasaan ka doon? Saan tayo? Nandoon ba tayo sa ministry of spreading it or sa ministry of hindering it? Again, do we not have confidence in the gospel? And because of that, we don’t proclaim it in our words and in our deeds. But see, despite of our lack of confidence, God will surely do his work of spreading it.
Maganda yung sinabi ni Tim Challies. He said, “From my human perspective, I am the greatest hindrance to the gospel. But the Bible tells me to look higher. It tells me with glorious clarity that nothing, no one, is able to hinder the gospel. It tells me to place my confidence in the God whose plans cannot be stopped. My lack of confidence in the gospel, my indifference to it, and my unfaithfulness in spreading it, cannot truly hinder the work of God. God reigns supreme over all.” That’s coming from a man who has applied what Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” Do we lack confidence in the gospel? The challenge for us is to not be hindrances rather believe in its power to save. Kung may problema ka rin sa pag-believe, look at your life. Look at how God saved you. And remember how can God even save a person like me? How? Because God is good. God is gracious and He is merciful. How confident are we with the power of the Word? Are we confident enough that we find ourselves here every Lord’s Day? Sobrang confident tayo that it has power to sanctify me. I want to be there because I need it. Or we don’t have such confidence? Or our Sundays remain blocked for other schedule? Are we living in integrity? Are we showing little interest in spiritual things? Yung mga Bibles ba natin remain untouched in our homes? Pwede tayo maging hindrance sa gospel in that way. But again, God will surely do His work. Now, let’s go back to our message. Yung sinabi nating overarching message: There is surety of the blessings of God because of the work of Christ. Meaning may surety ng and defeat there is surety in the spreading of the gospel. This tells us that Jesus Christ is our only assurance of comfort in life and death. Because of His perfect obedience, there is surety of spiritual blessings in Him, victory over sin, Satan, and death, and the unstoppable spreading of the gospel of grace.
May the Word of God enrich our knowledge of Him, and may it stir us to live in light of these truths.
Transcribed by: Jen Cordero