Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Saturday, April 10, 2021

2021.04.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 50:15–21

Read Genesis 50:15–21

Questions from the Scripture text: Who saw what in Genesis 50:15? What did they say Joseph might feel/think? What did they say that he might do? To whom did they send (Genesis 50:16)? Whom did they say had done what and when? For whom did they say Jacob had given them a special message (Genesis 50:17)? What did they say Jacob had asked him to do? How did Joseph respond to these words? What do the brothers also do in Genesis 50:18? What do they say? What does Joseph tell them not to do in Genesis 50:19? What does he ask them? What had the brothers meant (Genesis 50:20)? Who else meant something? In order to bring about what? What command does he repeat in Genesis 50:21? What promise does he make? What does he continue to do after this promise?

Living by sight makes us fear those we shouldn’t. Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead (Genesis 50:15 a). They knew what they deserved and worried that Joseph might repay them (verse 15b). The lie in Genesis 50:16-17 is laughable. If Jacob had a special message for Joseph, would he have told the other brothers and not told Joseph? As we saw in chapter 48 when he was adopting Manasseh and Ephraim, when Jacob did in fact have a special message for Joseph, it was Joseph to whom he told it.

The laughable lie makes Joseph cry. Why? Is it because he is hurt that the genuineness of his love for his brothers these last 17 years has been doubted? Is it because his father’s memory is being dishonored by these lies? Or is it perhaps because he is concerned for the souls of these brothers who fear God so little and him so much? The brothers live by sight, and so they fear Joseph. If we live by sight, we too will fear those we should not.

Living by sight makes us fail to fear Him Whom we should. When the brothers fall down before Joseph’s face and declare themselves to be his servants, Joseph’s initial response is instructive: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?” It was not Joseph’s position to repay them for their evil. There is One who repays. Vengeance belongs to Him (cf. Psalm 94:1; Hebrews 10:30). 

It was also not in Joseph’s power to repay them for their evil. Evil’s just reward is “flaming fire and vengeance… everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9). There is only One who has the power to execute such vengeance. Joseph was right. They ought not have been afraid of him. But they ought to have been terrified of God.

Living by faith enables confidence and thankfulness in all circumstances. The evil brothers intended (Genesis 50:20) and did (Genesis 50:15) evil to Joseph. But they weren’t the only ones intending and acting. His good God intended and did good both to him and through him. 

There is an entire book of the Bible about this. The wicked devil intends and does evil to Job, but through it all God is intending and doing good both to him and through him. And the ultimate example of this is the cross of Christ. Never has greater evil been intended or done by the wicked devil. Never has greater good been intended or done by the good God. 

Whatever the evil are intending, and whatever evil they are able to accomplish, the good God is intending and doing good through it. Whatever your circumstances are, you can be confident in them and ought to be thankful to God for what He is doing through them.

Living by faith empowers forgiveness. If we are frightened instead of confident, it is difficult to forgive, because we worry that we might be letting our guard down and putting ourselves in danger. If we are embittered instead of thankful, it is difficult to forgive, because we are holding on to the pain, which keeps the offense fresh. 

But if we are confident in the providence of God, and thankful for the providence of God, we are much enabled to release our bitterness and forgive those who are in such danger. As we love them and do them good (cf. Genesis 50:21), we can know that either we are participating in a forgiveness project of God Himself or else amplifying and vindicating His wrath which is about to fall upon them (cf. Romans 12:20–21; Matthew 5:44–45). 

In what situation are you concerned that someone is doing you evil? What will help you respond well?

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The LORD’s My Shepherd” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Buried by God (2021.04.09 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – April 9, 2021

Dear Congregation,

In light of our recent considerations of death and burial in the book of Genesis (one more coming on the 18th, Lord-willing), it was with renewed interest and perspective that I read the following in Deuteronomy 32:48–50 and 34:5–6 this week:

Then Yahweh spoke to Moses that very same day, saying: “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho; view the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel as a possession; and die on the mountain which you ascend, and be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.


So Moses the servant of Yahweh died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Yahweh. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.

That’s pretty amazing. Yahweh Himself buried Moses. He was gathered to his people on the mountain, but then Yahweh buried his body in a valley.

Another corruptible, inglorious seed planted—which will arise from that spot, glorious and incorruptible like Christ’s glorious body.

And there’s a comforting reminder there. Sometimes, we are unable to be buried with family. Or even with other believers. Perhaps we are unable to be buried at all. But, like Moses’s body, ours will be in God’s hands.

Even if lost at sea, or burned to ashes. Still in God’s hands. If our dust has been scattered, scorched, or separated, that poses no more of a challenge in the last day than if it had all been carefully kept together in an assembly of other such bodies of believers. And every particle of your body is still precious to the Lord in its union with Christ. Still in God’s hands!

That never excuses our own failing to treat the body properly. As Yahweh buried Moses, and Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus, and we have been learning from Genesis, the right thing to do as those who look forward to the resurrection, and who wish to make the hope of the resurrection our literal last testimony on earth, we ought to bury and be buried.

But, if we find ourselves unable, or if we are concerned about the bodies of those who have not followed sacred Scripture on this, let this be our great comfort: the bodies of believers are in God’s hands.

Looking forward to worshiping together,

Pastor

P.S. A note from Justin regarding his father’s surgery on Wednesday:
Thank you all for praying, I am happy to report that my dad described the process as "drama free." Looking forward to worshipping with you all this coming Lord's Day!
Justin

Why and How Jesus Is Exalted (Family Worship in Philippians 2:9–11)

Jesus is exalted because it is His due as God the Son, because by showing Himself to be the Savior He displays that He is Yahweh God, and because laying His life down for His sheep was most lovely and pleasing to His Father.

2021.04.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 2:9–11

Read Philippians 2:9–11

Questions from the Scripture text: Who exalted Jesus (Philippians 2:9)? What name did He give Him? Which knees will bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10)? What will every tongue confess (Philippians 2:11)? To whose glory? 

“Therefore”—the exaltation (Philippians 2:9), bowing (Philippians 2:10), and confession (Philippians 2:11) in our passage is all a consequence of Christ’s humbling Himself as described in Philippians 2:5-8

In order to understand how these things are connected, it is important for us to see their relation to Isaiah 45:21–25. There Yahweh declares “there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me” (Isaiah 45:21) and “I am God and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22) and “to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:23) and “to Him men shall come and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him” (Isaiah 45:24) and “in Yahweh all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:25).

He is exalted because it is the right of His person. He is “in the form of God,” Philippians 2:6. Even though Jesus was willing to add humanity to Himself in humility, it was still the right that He be declared Lord (Yahweh), for that is who He is in His Person. As Jesus also tells us, we ought to put ourselves in the lowest position, since the Lord will surely lift us to wherever we belong (Luke 14:7–11, cf. 1 Peter 5:5–6). And the center of the throne of heaven as the Creator of heaven and earth is right where Jesus belongs, Hallelujah!

He is exalted because He proves Himself to be Yahweh by being the Savior. The Holy Spirit had said through Isaiah that there is no Savior but Yahweh. So, when Jesus saves us by His death on the cross, He displays that He is Yahweh in human flesh. Only Yahweh could have done that. Only Yahweh is valuable enough to be a propitiation (“full atonement,” cf. Romans 3:25 and God exhibiting Jesus as a propitiation). This is one more reason why we can never contribute to our own salvation. Yahweh alone is the Savior, and when Jesus saved He proved Himself to be Yahweh!

He is exalted because the Father loves Him and is pleased with Him. Jesus had said, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again” (cf. John 10:17). The Father’s love for the Son is infinite and eternal, and exactly corresponding to His loveliness and worthiness. When the Lord Jesus had done that which was so worthy and lovely, the Father gave Him that honor which is His due and His Father’s delight to give. 

Shall we not also delight to give Him His due? It is the Father’s pleasure that we should call Jesus Lord. And we won’t be alone doing so. As Isaiah said “all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him,” so it shall come to pass. All knees will bow in heaven, and earth, and under the earth. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And because He and God and the Spirit are one God, the display of His glory is unto the glory of God the Father!

What are some reasons Christ is worthy of worship? What will be done for those humbling themselves?” 

Suggested songs: ARP110B “The LORD Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus” 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

2021.04.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 17:1–10

Read Luke 17:1–10

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom is Jesus speaking (Luke 17:1)? What does He say is impossible? Upon whom does He pronounce woe? What would be better than causing a little one to stumble (Luke 17:2)? What does He say to do to themselves (Luke 17:3)? What should they do if a brother sins against them? And what if the response to this rebuke is repentance? How many times might this happen in a day (Luke 17:4)? And if he returns saying “I repent”? What do the apostles ask for, from Whom, when they hear this instruction (Luke 17:5)? What size faith does the Lord talk about in response (Luke 17:6)? With that much faith, what could they tell to do what, and be obeyed? What might one of their servants be doing before coming in from the field (Luke 17:7)? What wouldn’t the say to this servant? What does Jesus say that they would say instead (Luke 17:8)? When could the servant think of himself? What wouldn’t they do to the servant (Luke 17:9)? How much of what we are commanded should we do (Luke 17:10)? What should we say when we have done this? Why—what have we done, when we have obeyed all his commands?

In this section, the Lord turns from warning the Pharisees that they are missing out on the kingdom altogether (Luke 16:14–31) to instructing His disciples around some of the hazards of kingdom living. For believers, we’re reminded that even after God has done that saving work of bringing us to faith in Christ, there is a long way to go as we grow in grace.

We must take heed to our brothers’ soul, Luke 17:1-2. “Offenses”/”offend” here is translating a word that refers to when someone falls into sin, or error, or even rejects the Christianity to which they once claimed to hold. Jesus knows that, since this will inevitably happen, we might think that lets us off the hook a little bit if it was our hypocrisy or sin or loose doctrine that became the occasion by which someone else did so. But that’s a great mistake. Even if it was bound to happen, and even though they are to blame for their own stumbling (and will pay for it themselves), this doesn’t reduce our responsibility. 

Being the occasion for someone else falling into sin and error is worse than being dragged down headfirst, through more water than we can easily picture, with our helpless feet pointing toward the surface, because a several thousand pound stone keeps pulling, pulling, pulling on our neck so that struggling chokes us more, until all struggling ultimately fails and the water fills our lungs as we suffocate on the way down, buried alive in a watery grave. 

A little graphic for a warm fuzzy devotional? Sure. But Jesus meant to be graphic, and wrestling with the Word of our holy God often isn’t warm and fuzzy. We should be scared to death of helping people stumble. And Jesus sets the example, not willing to cause us to stumble by soft-peddling how dreadful such sin is.

Therefore, we must take heed to our own soul, Luke 17:3-6. “Take heed to yourselves,” Jesus says at the beginning of Luke 17:3. And we need the reminder, because we rarely obey the command, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him.” It’s a rebuke that seeks the fruit of repentance rather than the moment of confrontation through which it comes, but while a few perverted hearts enjoy the confrontation, many more are willing to deny their brother the opportunity to repent, rather than go through the discomfort of confronting.

It’s important that we learn to enjoy the sweetness of reconciliation, because we might have to eat that cookie seven times in a day (Luke 17:4). If we’re just going through the motions, the bitterness of counting how many times we have had to do something will leave an increasingly bad taste in our mouths. The disciples immediately confirm the anticipated difficulty, asking for the increased faith that they will need to obey such instruction (Luke 17:5). Rather than suggest that it’s not as hard as it seems, Jesus proceeds to underline just how impossible it is to do what He is commanding—and that the faith that He is working in them is sufficient to the task (Luke 17:6)!

And we mustn’t be impressed with ourselves for either one, Luke 17:7-10. Because God grants us to do the impossible by His grace, our remaining sin puts us in danger of being self-impressed. God indeed will reward us for the good works that His grace produces in us, and Jesus even says that He will serve us in the kingdom (cf. Luke 12:37)! But this just underlines the astonishing generosity and grace of our Master. 

If we allow ourselves to feel like we deserve God’s notice and gratitude, we will actually hinder ourselves from amazement at His grace. Jesus says to neutralize such wrongheaded spiritual pride or self-satisfaction by remembering that God gains nothing from us, and that the best that we ever do is only what was already our duty.

What have you been doing out of care for others’ souls? And for your own? How do you respond to doing your duty?

Suggested Songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH408 “For All the Saints”


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

2021.04.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 9

Read 2 Samuel 9

Questions from the Scripture text: What does David ask in 2 Samuel 9:1? Whom do they bring in 2 Samuel 9:2? What does David ask him (2 Samuel 9:3 a)? What does Ziba answer (verse 3b)? What does the king now ask (2 Samuel 9:4 a)? What does Ziba answer (verse 4b)? Then what does David do (2 Samuel 9:5)? What does Mephibosheth do when he comes to David (2 Samuel 9:6)? What does David ask, and how does Mephibosheth answer? What does David say he will do (2 Samuel 9:7)? What does Mephibosheth ask (2 Samuel 9:8)? What does he call himself? Whom does the king call in 2 Samuel 9:9? What does he tell him he has done? What does David tell Ziba to do in 2 Samuel 9:10? But where does David say Mephibosheth will eat? How many sons and servants did Ziba have for obeying this command? How does Ziba answer in 2 Samuel 9:11 a? What does David repeat in verse 11b (cf. 2 Samuel 9:10)? What did Mephibosheth have (2 Samuel 9:12)? What role did all in Ziba’s house have? Where did Mephibosheth stay (2 Samuel 9:13)? What did he do? What comment concludes verse 13? 

The ”kindness” mentioned in 2 Samuel 9:12 Samuel 9:32 Samuel 9:7 is “ḳessed”—covenanted, unthwartable love. Specifically, it is the covenant love of God (verse 3) that is between David and Jonathan’s family (cf. 1 Samuel 20:15). 

Praise God that, as He forms Christ within His people, He forms His own love within us (cf. Philippians 1:8). For, man’s “covenant” love is often treacherous, rather than loyal. But in this passage about David, the type (foreshadower/forerunner/intentional-picture-in-advance) of Christ, we have a glorious picture of the persistence, reliability, and abundance of the covenant love of Jesus.

This does bring up the question for us of whether we are striving for and enjoying this part of Jesus’s character being formed in us. We make covenant commitments, sacred promises, in our public professions of faith, at baptisms, when taking church office, and when entering into marriage. All of these are covenants and rest upon covenant commitment to our obligations. Are you seeing more and more of Christ in your own zeal and determination, as you keep those commitments?

Of course, one of the things that enables us to reflect Christ’s covenant commitment from within us is our safety and security in Christ’s covenant commitment to us. This is marvelously pictured to us in 2 Samuel 9:7. God shows us love that has been covenanted with our Representative, Christ. He has given us favored status; He has brought us under His protection; He has pledged unto us His provision. Many falter in their commitments because they are worried about, or dissatisfied with, how the other side (the leadership, the congregation, the spouse, etc.) is going to hold up their end. 

But, there is another party involved here. And the Lord Jesus ALWAYS holds up His end! Even when others are failing us (or our flesh feels sure that they will), David’s commitment to Jonathan and Mephibosheth is the tiniest little picture of God our Father’s commitment to us, and the Lord Jesus Christ’s commitment to us. You can follow through on your commitments before God and to others, because He is always following through on His commitments to you.

We find this idea daunting. We say, “I don’t have it in me to be faithful to work harder and be even more tender, when my wife only sees where she feels disappointed and is cold and prickly toward me” or “I just don’t have it in me to love and pray and serve even more for this congregation, when people only notice what they have against me and openly despise or reject me.” We are right; we don’t have it in us. That’s why it is so encouraging (though not particularly flattering) that the Lord has given us Mephibosheth as the picture of ourselves in this chapter. 

The analogy, of course, must fall short. David cannot indwell Mephibosheth by his spirit to restore his function to match his status. But our Lord Jesus has done just that with us. He has not only seated us at Heaven’s table as so many princes and princesses over all creation, but He has indwelt us by His Spirit to transform our character. He is working on us and in us until we behave entirely as the children of God. What wondrous, covenant love!

What covenant commitments do you most have trouble keeping? How is God keeping His commitments toward you in them? How is He doing so? How does this help you to keep yours?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH434 “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

2021.04.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 8:28–39

Read Romans 8:28–39

Questions from the Scripture text: Which things do we know work together for good (Romans 8:28)? To whom do they work together for good? What did God also do to those whom He foreknew (Romans 8:29 a)? To what did He predestine them (verse 29b)? For what reason (verse 29c)? What did He do for those whom He predestined (Romans 8:30 a)? What did He do for those whom He called (verse 30b)? What did he do for those whom He justified (verse 30c)? Who is for us (Romans 8:31)? Who can (successfully) be against us? What (Whom!) did God not spare (Romans 8:32 a)? What did God do with His Son for us? What will God give to us together with Him? What does God do instead of bringing a charge against His elect (Romans 8:33)? What does Jesus do, instead of condemning us (Romans 8:34)? What are some of the things that are not able to separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35Romans 8:38-39)? What is one of the reasons that such things happen (Romans 8:36)? So, what is going on in the midst of these things (Romans 8:37)? 

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Romans 8:28–39, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

All things must work together for our good. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. These are truths that make hearts swell up with joy and praise.

And we see here what marvelously sure truths they are.

God’s love is sure, because it goes back before time. God “foreknowing” His elect is not some form of divine cheating by sneaking a peek at the end. It’s talking about knowing in terms of a relationship: He loved us before the world began (cf. Ephesians 1:3-6). It was this love, that He simply decided to set upon us, that led to our being predestined. A love that is from eternity cannot be undone by anything that occurs in time.

God’s love is sure, because it is in Christ and for His sake. God loves the glory of His Son, and He has determined that for the Son’s great glory, He would be displayed as the firstborn of many brothers and sisters who have been shaped to look like Him. We’re predestined to bring Christ glory!

God’s love is sure, because His law now demands that it continue. We have been justified with Christ’s righteousness. The One who makes the charges at the judgment is the One who has justified us (Romans 8:33). The One who condemns at the judgment is the One who has taken our condemnation and is continually pleading our case (Romans 8:34).

God’s love is sure, because its most infinite gift has already been given, and it is irrational to think that anything else could possibly be held back (Romans 8:32).

There are many things that come into our lives that threaten to shake our joy in God’s love. But, when we consider them in the light of the teaching in these verses, that threat quickly dissolves.

We realize, instead, that even if we are like sheep being slaughtered, it is for His sake. It is because we are joined to Him in that love from which we can never be separated. It is most certain that this love will prevail with us, and that we will prevail in the trial. Even before the trial ends, we can know already that we are more than conquerors!

Election and predestination are not dry, dusty doctrines for theological fuddy-duddies. They are the foundation of sure, victorious love!

In what current circumstance do you most need to cling to the cross and electing love?

Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cried” or TPH456 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”


Monday, April 5, 2021

2021.04.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 49:29–50:14

Read Genesis 49:29–50:14

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Jacob do to his sons in Genesis 49:29? What did he say was about to happen to himself? What did he tell them to do with him? How does he describe the cave (Genesis 49:29-32)? Who else is buried there (Genesis 49:31)? What did Jacob do, when he finished commanding them (Genesis 49:33)? Who responds first (Genesis 50:1)? How? Whom does he command to do what in Genesis 50:2? How long did this take (Genesis 50:3)? How long did who mourn him? To whom did Joseph speak in Genesis 50:4? What did he ask them to do? What specifically were they to tell Pharaoh about (Genesis 50:5)? How does Pharaoh respond (Genesis 50:6)? Who are first to be named as going with Joseph (Genesis 50:7)? Who else goes with him (Genesis 50:8)? Whom else does Genesis 50:9 add? To where do they all come in Genesis 50:10? What do they do there? What is this mourning like? How long do they do it? Who sees this in Genesis 50:11? What do they say about it? How does Genesis 50:12 summarize what happened in Genesis 50:1-11? How does Genesis 50:13 summarize what they did in order to obey? Whom does Genesis 50:14 primarily name as doing this?

This passage is held together by Jacob’s charge at the beginning (Genesis 49:29Genesis 49:33 “Then he charged them […] when Jacob had finished commanding”) and the testimony at the end that the charge was kept (Genesis 50:12 “So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them”). 

Egyptian embalming is the kind of thing that impresses us in history documentaries. Special physicians who develop special chemicals to be used in a special process over the course of forty days (cf. Genesis 50:1-3)! 

And Egyptian mourning delegations are the kind of thing that impresses Canaanites in the region of Atad. All the servants of Pharaoh (Genesis 50:7) including the elders of his house (verse 7), the elders of the land of Egypt (verse 7), all the house of Joseph (Genesis 50:8), all the house of Israel (verse 8), chariots (Genesis 50:9), horsemen (verse 9), a very great gathering (verse 9) in a great and very solemn lamentation (Genesis 50:10), for seven days in Canaan (verse 10) after the seventy days in Egypt (Genesis 50:3)! The inhabitants of the land actually rename the location over this “deep morning of the Egyptians” (Genesis 50:11).

But what Jacob was impressed with was to whom he was going (Genesis 49:29, “I am to be gathered to my people”). Genesis has already presented us a few times with a formula that we also see later: dying, gathering to one’s people, and then burial (Genesis 49:29, cf. Genesis 15:15, Genesis 25:8, Genesis 35:29; Numbers 20:26; Deuteronomy 32:50). This is not the same thing as death (the separation of body and soul) or burial (the laying to rest of the body). When we die, we are to hope that our soul will be gathered with others. At the departure of one’s eternal soul, the godly hope that it will be unto fellowship with those godly who have gone before them.

Jacob was also impressed by with whom he would be buried (Genesis 49:29Genesis 49:31 “bury me with my fathers […] there they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah.” Upon death, believers are in two locations. Their souls and bodies have been separated, but their souls are still they, and their bodies are still they. It matters to them with whom their bodies are laid to rest. 

As Jacob has grown in faith, the importance of Abraham and Sarah has increased. The same is true of the importance of Isaac and Rebekah, the latter being that mother of whom he was a special favorite and reunion with whom has been an unfulfilled longing for more than a century. Even his esteem for Leah seems to have increased. In God’s providence, Rachel’s body now rests near Ephrath (cf. Genesis 48:7), and he has adopted Ephraim and Manasseh in her honor. So now, Leah is the one next to whom he hopes to lie down until the resurrection, the godlier wife he should have desired at first and with whom he should have been content—another lesson that the Lord has patiently taught this saint. There is something about God’s bringing us near our death, and the laying of our bodies to rest, that helps mature our thinking about those near whom we wish to be both now and in the grave.

Finally, Jacob was impressed by where he would be buried. “In the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place” (Genesis 49:29-30). And again “in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place” (Genesis 50:13).

Abraham’s testimony has come down through the generations. The Lord’s promise of inheritance is true. Believers will possess what God has promised to them, even—and especially—possessing them in the resurrection, in a new heavens and a new earth. The only part of the promised land that he possessed in this life was a burial place. Now, it is important to Jacob that he be laid to rest in that burial place. 

The inheritance of believers is not restricted to a parcel of land in Palestine. The entire New Heavens and New Earth are the possession of Christ and His co-heirs. We may not care to be buried in what was once called Canaan, but we ought to care to be buried as those to whom final possession of a physical earth has been promised. God’s promises are true. They are true beyond death. And believers’ priorities at death ought to be shaped by God’s promises. 

To whom will you go when you die? With whom would you like to be laid to rest? What hope do you have about the place where you are laid to rest? How are you leaving legacy/testimony of a hope that goes to eternity? 

Suggested songs: ARP116AB “How Fervently I Love the Lord” or TPH116A “I Love the Lord, for He Has Heard”


Sunday, April 4, 2021

What Being Like-Minded to Christ Looks Like (2021.04.04 Evening Sermon in Philippians 2:5–8)

Truly Christian like-mindedness is not merely like-mindedness to one another but to Christ, and produces a willingness to take a low position and to suffer and even die for God's glory and others' good.

Final Impressions (2021.04.04 Morning Sermon in Genesis 49:29–50:14)


We ought to be more impressed by Christ's resurrection and ours than we are with literally anything in this creation.


WCF 14.2.1 Saving Faith Takes God at His Word (2021.04.04 Sabbath School Lesson)

By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein