The Seriousness Of Being Unequally Yoked (Genesis 24:1-21) by Ptr Xley Miguel

Ang Probinsyano was mentioned awhile ago and the morning worship. As you know, Cardo Dalisay, muntik ko nang sabihing Carlo..Cardo Dalisay has hailed the tv screens of many Filipinos for seven long years. And every arc, he has teamed up with leading ladies and then the leading lady leaves, and then there will be another one who dies, and then aalis uli, and then meron, namamatay uli. Pero iba si Cardo Dalisay, siya ay nananatiling buhay. The immortal cardo dalisay has survived many deaths, surpassed three filipino presidents. But in Genesis, you know after many many years, and after many chapters, Abraham on the other hand, he’s now more than 100 years old, but probably not as immortal as our dear friend, Cardo. But to make sure that his line continues, at nagpapatuloy more than seven long years ‘no. He needed to find a wife for his son Isaac, just so his line would continue. And as he sends his servant to search for a wife, we see Abraham, his devotion to the promise of God. We see his understanding when it comes to relationships, we see his Seriousness of BEING..his understanding of one who may become UNEQUALLY YOKED. Turn with me to Genesis chapter

24. It’s a long chapter but for todaay, we will only read from verses 1 to 21 – Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7 The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.

Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.

We see here Abraham had faith in the promises of God. The life of Abraham is basically a life of faith. And that faith changed the way he lived. That faith changed his perspectives about marriage. The wife of Isaac must be someone who will be part of the covenant community.

That is clear and not from the Canaanites, ‘no. Klaro iyon sa sinabi ni Abraham. Sinabi niya – Servant, go to my hometown, where I came from, and find someone who will be willing to continue my line. Someone who will produce godly offsprings with my godly son Isaac. Do not find a wife from the wicked Canaanite nation. I don’t want my son to be away from God if ever he will be married to a pagan woman. That would be a sinful relationship. That’s how the promises of God changed the perspective of Abraham. When it comes from relationships, when it comes to marriages. He’s giving us an example of what to choose. Of what to pursue, who to pursue. That is to pursue godly relationships, godly desires, and that is also to deny sinful relationhips when you are urged to pursue… you know it will be in a sinful relationship. You shouldn’t, you should deny such desires. And so because Abraham so believed that God would provide the blessing of a land, but not only that, he believed that God will provide THE offspring.. the Messiah.

Talagang nagbago ang pananaw ni Abraham. Pero tayo rin mga kapatid. We too, if we believe that this Messiah has come, and accomplished a perfect life and death on the cross, we too will be like Abraham. We too, our perspectives, can change as well. Our motives, our desires can change as well. If we believe that the Messiah has come and accomplished His life and death, puwede tayong maging katulad talaga ni Abraham, that just as Abraham’s perspective, especially when it comes to marriages, when it comes to relationships, ay nagbago dahil sa promise ng Panginoon, ganoon ang nangyari kay Abraham, tayo din ay magbabago kapag naintindihan natin iyong promise ng Panginoon. And we know in our time that it is fulfilled in the gospel. We will, the godly desires are desires that we will pursue because we have been changed by the gospel. Sinful desires are things that we will deny because of the change that the gospel has made in our lives.

That is my message this afternoon.When it comes to relationships, it is the gospel that teaches us to deny sinful desires. If you think, sobra iyong urge mo to pursue someone, something and you know that it would be sinful, the gospel should change your mind, should change your desires. Ultimately, it should deny sinful desires. You should not pursue the Canaanite woman because you understand the gospel. Rather pursue someone from the covenant community, right. Pagdating sa mga relasyon, ang ebanghelyo lamang ang nagtuturo sa atin na talikuran ang mga hangaring makasalanan. And just like Abraham, the gospel taught him to deny sinful desires in relationships, rather he was resolved to Finding the Godly Bride. That is my first point, Finding the Godly Bride. And the bride that was found was indeed the one Abraham was looking for para sa kaniyang anak na si Isaac, but the question is, how can that woman be that godly? My second point is Making Godly the Bride. Let’s consider the first point – Finding the Godly Bride. So to show how serious Abraham was in finding the godly bride, he asked his servant to make an oath, and swear in God’s name that the servant should not take a wife for Isaac the daughters of Canaanite sa hawakan iyong under ng thigh , okay. Iyon yung parang paraan nila to covenant wiith one another to make an oath na talagang gagawin niya ito. At again, sabi ni Abraham sa kaniya – Do not take a wife for Isaac the daughters of Canaanites. Maganda ang sinabi ni Abraham – Among whom I dwell… sabi ni Abraham.

Abraham has been in Canaan for many years and he has seen the wickedness of the inhabitants of Canaan. Yes, some of the inhabitants of Canaan respected Abraham like the Hittites but the majority of the Canaanites were really wicked. Masasamang tao ito, mga pagans ito, ‘no. If you review history, you would know also that some of them sacrificed infants, people. They worship other gods. So para kay Abraham, oh no! Don’t ever think or consider to look for a woman na ganoon, na sumasamba sa ibang panginoon at ibibigay mo sa aking anak. Huwag na huwag! We see the seriousness, right? Iyong pagka-seryoso nito ni Abraham na talagang under oath ang kaniyang servant. In their time, Abraham was the master. I mean he could have just said ‘you’re my servant, I’m your master, you can just obey what I said! No, but he was under oath. Ganito kaseryoso ito para kay Abraham! Huwag ka hahanap ng isang Canaanite woman, okay. So he doesn’t want the wife of his heir to be a wicked woman. But most importantly he didn’t want, heto iyon heh. He didn’t want his son Isaac to be lured by paganism. Na siya mismo, ang kaniyang anak ay hahatakin papuntang Canaanite, papuntang paganism, and worse, the line of Abraham will not continue.

Servant, it must be someone from my kindred, from my own family who lives in Haran ..but if the woman is from my kindred and yet she didn’t want to come here, to the promised land.. having my son Isaac move back to Haran is also not an option, by the way, sabi ni Abraham. Hindi pupuwede iyan. Why? The Lord promised this land to me, to my descendants, and so the wife of my son, Isaac, must be someone who will be willing to be part of the fulfillment of God’s promise…promised by producing descendants with my son, Isaac. You know what God wants? Godly offsprings! And it’s not gonna be in another country. It must be here in the promised land. Sila dapat pumunta. Hanap ka doon, and then dalhin mo siya dito, dito sila titira. Remember? Dito ko nilibing ang aking asawa, kasi dito talaga ang land promised to us by God. We should treat this as our home kahit na may mga inhabitants pang nakatira. So we see the servant sought God in prayer that if the woman serves him, ito ang sabi niya, nag-pray siya sa Panginoon kung mayroon magse-serve sa kaniya at sinerve pa pati iyong mga camels, and by the way, mga lalaki, hindi po tayo ganito mag-pray huh kapagka tayo nagp-pursue: “Lord, ah, kapagka may mag-serve po sa akin ng tubig ngayon at sinerve pa kasama ko sa church, heto na iyon! Siya na ‘yon! Mga kapatid, baka medyo mag-advance po tayo doon, okay. Huwag muna. Huwag po kaagad ganoon ang ating isipin. Pero ganito ang nangyari, hindi ito normative case na okay, kailangan nating gayahin itong kaniyang iniisip, right. So sabi niya, nag-pray sya sa Panginoon – Lord, and by the waay, we’ll have a specific sermon about the providence of God next week, ‘no, patungkol diyan. But sabi ni servant, kung itong babaeng ito, sinerve ako, hindi lang ako, pati iyong mga camels ko, napakaraming camels niyan. And by the way, kung siya’y mag-iigib ng tubig, pabalik- balik po siya. At anong sabi niya? Until they are finished drinking. Busog ang camels. Busog. And so the servant, and by the way, sabi ng karamihan, ang servant na ito ay si Eleazar dadw. The servant saw this very aattractive young woman named Rebekah. The text says, she’s a maiden whom no man had no meaning. She’s a virgin. No man had known, ang ‘known’ refers to intimacy, sexual intimacy to be specific.

She’s a virgin. And most importantly, heto pa talaga, she really humbled herself. Humbly served the servant by giving him a drink and also the camels. And then late on, makikita natin si Rebekah of course, if you read further verse 58, she was very willing to go. Di ba iyon yung isang concern niya? Paano kung hindi sumama sa akin? Sabi nii Rebekah, verse 58 : “I will go.” Okay. And so she fits perfectly to the qualities Abraham was looking for. Someone who was willing in the, to be in the covenant community. Someone with a righteous zeal, someone with a servant heart. Someone who wasn’t a wicked Canaanite pagan. Because if the woman found was a pagan, she would definitely drag Isaac out of the covenant community. Sure iyan! Sure iyan. It would destroy his life. And most importantly, that is NOT the will of God. That’s not the promise of God, to continue their line, ‘no. Ganoon din tayo mga kapatid.

Brethren, who are unmarried yet. Those who are unmarried yet. Do not be unequally yoked. Let’s uh, straightforward, do not be unequally yoked. Period. No. Never. Dating an unbeliever, I mean, saan pa ba papunta iyon? Don’t ever date an unbeliever. I mean, let alone marrying them, that is sinful. Ddon’t ever give hopes by texting, by Telegraming, Whatsapping, Vibering, whatever platform that is. And you say, ‘I’m not really dating the person.’ But you’ the morning, uh, how are you? where na you? Eat na me..where na you? And then you say you’re not dating. Pero ano pa iyong signs, senyales na ating ipinapakita? That would be sinful, mga kapatid kong wala pang asawa. Unequal yoking destroys one witness. Heto iyong masama doon. Once witness to the gospel. And you what? Unequal yoking gives Christ a bad name. It gives Christ a bad name. It’s not as if kawawa si Christ, of course not! But as your testimony, bilang professing christian, you’re saying you’re a christian and you’re also saying you’re not a christian. That’s basically it. We’re not trying to unchristian those brethren, okay. Pero ganoon ang ating pinapakita, okay. It destroys one’s witness to the gospel. Malinaw iyan sa old covenant pa lang and then even sa new covenant. Sabi ni Paul sa first Corinthians 7, kung ang asawa mo ay namatay, ikaw ay now free. But if you’re gonna marry, you have to marry as to the Lord. In other translation, only in the Lord. That means if you’re gonna marry again, make sure that you marry someone who is also in Christ. Malinaw din sa Malachi chapter 2 na ni-rebuke ng Panginoon ang Israel through Malachi. Ang sinasabi Niya, mga faithless ang mga priests. Sila’y nag- inter-marry.okay. Malinaw iyan sa Scripture. Marry a believer if that is your will, if that is God’s will rather in your life to be married.But again, other than it is explicit to the Word, it destroys our witness to the gospel.You’ll be living a life as if Christ was faithless also to His bride.

As if Christ was disobedient to the Word of God. You’ll be living a life as if the Christ you’re proclaiming is not the Holy Christ. But we know that Christ was faithful to His bride. As if Christ was disobedient to the word of God. You’ll be living a life as if the Christ you’re proclaiming is not the holy Christ. But we know that Christ was faithful to His bride for He gave Himself up for her. We know Christ was obedient to the Word, to the purposes of God, to the precepts, to the laws of God for He never sinned. For He fulfilled the purposes of God in His life and death on the cross. Friends, understand the gospel. Understand the holiness of Christ, His faithfulness to His bride. Iyong pagmamahal sa Kaniyang bride, at hindi naka-address ang Kaniyang pagmamahal sa iba. Specific ang Kaniyang pagmamahal sa Kaniyang bride, Iyong Kaniyang salvific love, He gave Himself up for the bride, not for everyone else. And if you are in Christ, then you are part of that bride and you are loved by God. And so understand that it is not the will of God for His people to inteer- marry, to marry someone who professes paganism, who denies Jesus Christ, it si never the will of God! Never even consider, mg single kong kapatid at kaibigan na nandito. Tandaan mo ang pagmamahal ni Kristo, ang faithfulness ni Kristo sa Kaniyang “asawa,” sa Kaniyang bride na church. Mahal Niya ang Kaniyang bride. Kung ikaw ay na kay Kristo, mahal Niya tayo. Tandaan mo iyong pagmamahal na iyon. Let that love stop you, let that love teach you to deny such sinful relationships, such sinful desires to pursue sinful relationships. Kung wala ka kay Kristo, repent of your sin now and believe Him. Believe that He died on the cross for you. Iyon yung Kaniyang pagmamahal sa atin. At kung hindi, mahihirapan talaga tayo to understand these things. In fact, hindi natin maiintindihan. If we are not in Christ, there will be uh, no, there will be no unequally yoking, friends. Walang unequally yoking. In fact, equal yoking. We are called to be not of the world, mga kapatid. So if you profess to be believers of Christ, mga kapatid, mga kaibigan, you should be unequally yoked..shouldn’t be, rather. Because Christ freed you from such sin. Don’t even consider to be, to be yoking with an unbeliever.

Alam ninyo, pursuing an unbeliever is like you’re going to a place and then iyong pinu-pursue mo ay nandito sa opposite direction. And the options are, for you to go with that person or siya iyong sumama sa iyo. But the reality is most of the time, iyong believer iyong sumasama. It’s not the other way around. I mean grasya ng Panginoon kung ganoon ang mangyari. Pero most of the time and you know what? Abraham understood it. He so understood the seriousness of being unequally yoked na he made a vow, an oath with his servant that never, huwag at all. Again, it only takes the grace of God for the unbeliever to really come to faith with the believer, ‘no. So never, iyan ang challenge ko po. Unang-una…mayroon akong dalawang challenge. Unang-una sa aking mga kaibigan at mga kapatid na singles dito. Do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Never. Rather be in fellowship with those who are walking in the same life direction in worship towards God. you know challenge spouse to change directions.

Remember also when we talk about courtship, it is the men who pursue. It is the women who are given. That’s biblical courtship. And if it is God’s will for you to be married, His word says to marryy only in the Lord. Now, there’s nothing wrong to be single. Paul says in fact it is a blessing to be single if that is God’s will for you. You will have undivided devotion to the Lord sabi niya sa first Corinthians chapter 7. But if it’s God’s will, singles, do not settle with someone who just professes to be a Christian. Do no! There are a lot of Christians today who profess to be believers and yet they live a liberal life. Their lives are not accountable to any body of Christ, to any local body, rather. Do not settle with someone who just professes to be a christian and yet cannot live as a christian. If it is God’s will for you to be married, Single ladies, only be with a man who will make sure that you and your future family will be a worshiping family. If you want to have qualifications, I remember in Ephesians 5. In Ephesians 5, ano sinabi ni Paul? Ang sabi niya – ‘Husbands, love your wife by providing for them. Make sure that they are able to eat three times a day. Hindi iyon ang sinasabi ng Scriptures sa atin. Why? Because being the head of the family, it’s natural for a husband to provide. It’s something natural, tinawag siya as a husband to provide. But here’s the calling of every husband, feed your love as Christ feeds His church. That’s how God, Christ, shows His love for His church. He sanctifies them by the washing of the world. It should be a love that transforms the wife. And so, single ladies, look for such “men” who encourages you to dwell in the Word of God. Look for men who encourage you to worship God. Do not even consider a man who abdicates his not! Huwag! Huwag din kayong manligaw during worship mga men, please. Please, huwag po tayo manligaw during worship. Look for men, someone who truly cares about you worshiping God. If he’s not even reading the Word, I plead to the single women in this church, do not even consider. Single men, only be with a woman who CAN submit to you when you’re married. Someone whose submission can point you to the submission of the church. Even better, sabi ni Paul sa First Corinthians, someone whose submission can point you to the greater submission, and that is of Jesus Christ to God the Father. Someone who submits to your spiritual leading. Now this is not me imposing to the church.. rather here are my recommendations, if it God’s will for you to be married, it seems like a fairly logical thing to do, given that Christians are only to marry other beilevers. The locla church will be the most immediate network of Christians that you will have. So it would be the easiest place to start. Otherwise, you would need to spend enough time among Christians from other churches. But again, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as that that Christian is accountable to his church. But again, it is in the local church where, I’d say, you CAN be sure that that person is truly accountable and is living the life that he is or she is called.

My second challenge is addressed to the church. Let us cultivate an atmosphere where everyone in our church strives to become faithful in their calling! Men in the church must be real men. Women in the church must be real women. If you are a husband, be the husband, be an Ephesians 5 husband. If you are a wife, be an Ephesians 5 wife. If you are a wife, be a Proverbs 31 wife, a 1Peter 3 wife, a 1Peter 3 husband. If you are a husband in this church, strive to be a faithful husband by looking to Christ who gave himself up for her Bride so that younger men, singles would see how a married man should act. We must create such climate in our church. If you are a wife in this church, strive to be a faithful wife by looking to Christ who Himself submitted to the will of the Father! So that younger women would see how a married woman should act.

We learn from Charles Spurgeon, and even his wife Susannah Spurgeon Martin Luther pati ang kaniyang wife na si Katharina von Bora Luther. Hindi natin sila ka-church, but we learn from them. We don’t know them in person, but they have been great examples to the church. So church, be great examples to our single men and women. Let us be that church, church. So how about us mga kapatid? Married, single or are we married and yet we struggle, kung tayo ay married husband or wife dito sa church na ito, we struggle in reversing our roles? Men abdicates from their roles, become parang submissive and then the women want authority. Medyo ganoon ba ang nagiging struggle natin? Let us go back to the gospel, brothers and sisters. Let us go back to the love of Christ so that the husbands would love their wives as Christ loves the church. He gave Himself up for her, that He sanctifies her with her love by feeding her the Word sanctifying, washing of the Word. Wives, submit, respect your husband. That authority is not something that he earned, na tipong kailangan niyang i-earn iyang authority na iyan just so you can submit. God has delegated. God has given that authority already. In fact, your submission to your husband is your submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hindi p-puewde iyong ‘Ay hindi, kay Lord lang ako magsu- submit, hindi ako magsu-submit sa iyo.’ Kalokohan iyon. It’s like saying ‘I believe in Christ but I don’t believe in Christ.’ I submit to Christ but I don’t submit to Christ. Ganoon ba ang nangyayari sa mga single men and women? Nag-d-date ba kayo kung alam ninyo na hindi kayo sigurado kung ang lalaking ito ay i-le-lead ka talaga into, i-le-lead ang inyong family to becoming a worshiping family? Nakikipag-kita ka ba? Nakikipag- date ka ba, nakikipag-chat ka ba sa ganitong klaseng lalaki? Ang mga lalaki, kayo ba ay nag-pu-pursue ng mga babae na alam ninyong..’eh, ililigtas naman sila ni Lord.’ Hindi po iyon ang will ng ating Panginoon, mga kapatid. I mean, totoo naman iyon, hindi iyon nakasalalay sa iyo, Pero just to compromise, at hindi mo sundin ang sinasabi ng Panginoon? That’s a sin. And so we see how godly bride, Rebekah was sought. Now we’ll look at how the godly bride was made.

Let’s consider the second point, Making Godly The Bride.When the servant saw Rebekah, she was beautiful in appearance. The passage also says that she has not known any man, meaning she was a virgin. She was pure. Naapakaganda raw, beautiful in appearance si Rebekah. Hindi lang iyon, she submitted to the will of God. She was a submitting servant, provided water for the servant and all of his camels. While Rebekah was not perfect, of course she is still a sinner. But we see how her godliness remained even after being married to Isaac. If we go to Genesis chapter 28, a g nangyari, she hated it when Esau intermarried. Iyong anak niyang si Esau, nag-asawa sa labas, hindi nagustuhan ni Rebekah. So nakita natin iyong godliness ni Rebekah, right. Of course hindi siya perpekto, sinner pa rin siya. This is but a representation of a better Bride brethren. Beautiful in appearance, submissive, pure..this is a representation pointing to a better bride. One who did not become godly on her own, rather someone made her godly. We’re referring to the Bride of Christ, who herself is beautiful. Many times in Scriptures, the bride is also referred to as precious stones, ‘no..precious stones. In fact, mga panahon ng Israel, ang mga priests, kailangang magsuot ng breastplate na mayroong 12 precious stones. Of course, it refers to the 12 tribes but ultimately, it refers to the people of God..precious stones. And mababasa natin sa Revelation chapter 21 verses 18 to need to go there, but you can go there later – it talks about 12 precious stones and that they refer to the heavenly city which is the bride who is the church. And the reason why the church is represented by such precious stones is because of her holiness, because of her purity. She was made holy by none other than Jesus Christ who himself is HOLY, and who Himself had an appearance doon sabi doon sa Revelation 4, si Kristo ay may appearance of a Jasper and Carnelian. Ibig sabihin, kaya 12 precious stones ang representation ng church, dahil ang kaniyang asawa, himself is holy, represented by stones as well in the book of Revelation. The Bride of Christ is being made beautiful here, as represented by the stones. Iyon yung nire-representa ng stones eh. Iyong holiness at kagandahan. Just as Rebekah is beautiful in appearance, someone else. Mayroong mas beautiful sa kaniya at iyon iyong bride ni Christ at iyon ay ang church. The bride of Christ again is being made beautiful here on earth through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. And it will become pure when Christ returns. See, iyon iyong talagang beauty. Yes, nakita ng servant si Rebekah, napakaganda, right, But can we really say that the servant was amazed, or nag-gaze siya, iyon iyong word because of her beauty? Hindi ba’t dahil sa kaniyang kabutihan na nag-serve siya sa servant, hindi lang iyon, pati sa mga camels. Right after that, ang sabi sa text, talagang tunganga na lang iyong servant. This is what true beauty really is, mga kapatid. it’s not the mere appearance. Rather, it is holiness. And let me tell you that it is the enemy’s task to trick us into thinking that beauty is found in the external and that it is artificial.FirstPeter chapter 3 verse 3 tells us that true beauty is this – Do not let your adorning be external— the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious I’m not saying, huwag po tayo mag- ayos. What we’re saying here, isang tunay na kagandahan sa mata ng Diyos ay holiness. In fact, if you go, if you read First Peter chapter 3, I think First Timothy pala iyong aking binasa, sabi doon ni Peter na huwag ka din, hindi nakikita ang kagandahan sa panlabas, kundi sa kaniyang submission sa kaniyang asawa, referring to the wives. So again, that’s real beauty. Holiness, godliness. Again, the servant was amazed, yes, by the beauty of Rebekah? Mas lalo siyang na-amaze, verse 21, sabi doon the man gazed at her in silence after nag-serve nung babae, after nag-serve ni Rebekah, knowing that she went her way to serve him and the camels! Iyon ang tunay na kagandahan, mga kapatid. It is a holiness that is a representation of the holiness of Christ, for Christ is the epitome of true beauty. It is Christ who was very precious in the eyes of God. And the reason why the church becomes precious in the eyes of God, it’s because God sees the beauty of Christ. It’s because God sees the righteousness, obedience of His Son. That is the only reason, kung bakit maganda sa paningin ng Diyos ang iglesia. At again, kung ikaw ay wala sa church, it’s a universal church. Wala ka sa community ni Kristo. Hindi ka kay Kristo, mag-repent ka na sa iyong kasalanan, and run, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Know that He is true beauty. This is why the CHURCh is beautiful because it strives to be in conformity to the Bridegroom.

This is why the more we dwell in the gospel, the more we are reminded of what’s truly beautiful and that is Jesus Christ. Ang prublema, hinahatak tayo ng mundo, ‘heto’ng maganda, kapatid, etong kagandahan talaga.’ Social media, katawan, nagpapakita ng flesh, iyan ang kagandahan, ‘tingin ka dito.’ Pero pagdating ng Lord’s Day, buong araw, ipapa-remind sa iyo, mga kapatid, hindi talaga diyan nakikita ang tunay na kagandahan..ang tunay na kagandahan ay makikita kay Kristo lamang. Huwag kayong mag-entertain such temptations. True beauty is found in Christ! So believe in Him. So when the gospel is preached to us, we are reminded of the beautiful, the beautiful life that Christ had. The beautiful humility that Christ had. The beautiful works of Christ, and all the more that we see the wretchedness of the world. Ang pangit ng kamunduhan sa atin kasi sobra nang na-renew ang mind natin of the beauty of the gospel, everything else became wretched especially sin.

Kaya amaze na amazed ang servant kasi nakita niya ang tunay na kagandahan. You know a lot of people cannot appreciate art. It’s been said that in order to appreciate art, that you need to learn art every day. Nangyari na ba sa Inyo na titingin kayo ng art, tapos iyong mga artists, ‘oh, ang ganda, ang ganda’, pero ikaw, hindi ka naka-appreciate, ‘oo nga, ang ganda’ kasi hindi nasanay ang iyong mind to appreciate it, to learn art. The more you’re not accustomed to art, the more you won’t know what’s beautiful or not. This is the same when we our eyes and hearts are into the Word of God. Everything else, especially sin will be wretched in our eyes and all the more that we see the beauty of Christ. And again, when we speak of beauty, we’re talking about the Holiness of Christ. So challenge ko sa ating lahat, let our heart’s desires be so consumed by the Word of God, so our eyes would be accustomed to what’s beautiful in God’s eyes! This is why single Christians, again, also tend to look for artificiality and not for holiness, because of none or the lack of being dwelt in the Word of God! Dahil nagkukulang sa pag- dwell sa Salita ng Diyos. So nate-tempt sa ibang “kagandahan” kagandahan na pine-represent ng kamunduhan. But we must, according to Paul in Romans chapter 12 verse 2 – Do not be conformed to this worldd, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, what is acceptable, what is perfect.

Alam ninyo, patuloy ang pag-poison sa atin ng mundo, ‘no. Whether single or even married. Let me give you an example, ‘pornography.’ Poisoned na poisoned ang mga Utak ng mga kristiyano. Iyon ang akala mong kagandahan. Iyon ang akala mong kagandahan ng sex. And so when you are married, and you exercise that wonderful gift given by God, which is sex, para sa iyo, hindi na ito iyong hinahanap mo. Kasi na-feed ka na ng “kagandahan ng kamunduhan” because of pornography, It posions the minds and the desires of people. But That’s just one, ‘no. I mean we are always fed by the world’s standards kahit saan tayo pumunta. Social media full of photos that are revealing too much, at napakarami pa. So the minds are poisoned as to what is true beauty, and then it affects our relationships here. Alam ninyo, sabi ni Jonathan Edwards, sabi niya – “beauty is only possible because there was the holy” He’s saying, you wanna know what’s beauty, start with God. That’s true beauty. God is the definition of beauty. So let me ask you, do we gaze at artificiality? Ito ba ang maganda sa paningin mo, sa paningin natin? Are your eyes trained by the world? Or are they trained by the Word? See the more you look to Christ, the more you see what true beauty is. and the more you delight in what is good. All the more, sin becomes uglier and uglier when you see the beauty of Christ in the gospel.

So turn away from sinful desires, brethren, that poison our minds and hearts. Let us always find in Christ the love and affection that all kinds of relationships here on earth must have, and witness how He enables our hearts to delight in what’s good. The more we dwell in the Word of God, tignan mo, iyong enabling grace ng Panginoon na unti-unti Niyang binabago ang desires mo. Unti-unti niyang binabago ang iyong lens, ang maganda sa iyo, ay si Kristo, at ang pangit, ang marumi ay ang kasalanan.

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, Aming Ama. Maraming-marami pong salamat sa Inyong kabutihan, Salamat sa Inyong kagandahan na Lord, na Lord, kita namin sa iyong holiness. Lord, ang prayer namin ay patuloy na ma-renew ang aming mga minds, na magbago ang aming paningin, na ang tunay na kagandahan ay makita namin sa holiness ng inyong anak. And Lord, tulungan mo rin ang aming mga single brethren dito sa local na church na ito, na sobrang consumed din sila sa Salita ng Diyos na ang kagandahan para sa kanila ay iyong holiness na nakikiita nila sa kanilang Panginoong Hesukristo. Lord, may you protect this church from sin. Lord, protektahan ninyo ang mga miyembro. Mga single men and women na sila ay hindi magkaroon ng relasyon sa mga unbelievers. Rather, that they would be in fellowship with the brethren oh Lord. At tulungan Mo rin ang church na gumawa, na magkaroon rather ng atmosphere at climate dito sa church na ito, Panginoon Diyos na talagang maging faithful kami sa aming mga calling just so we would set good examples to our single brethren. And ultimately Lord, may we always look to Christ for He alone is our, He’s the reason oh Lord why we can do these things. He’s our motivation, he enables us. And Lord, as we obey You and be faithful to You, may You alone be glorified in this church and in our lives. Again, we praise you in His Name. Amen.

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