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(Message shared on 29 November 2015 by Luke)
(Taken from Ps Glenn Narvaez, July 10 2005)

Throughout our lives, questions are no stranger to us. We begin to ask question when we are really young. We became curious in our environment, we search for knowledge and understanding because that is how our brain function.

Children at a young age begin to ask ‘what and how’s, kind of questions. For an instance, they may ask, “What is this,” “what is that,” “how this works?” And I always enjoy hearing how western parents will be more patient in answering those questions intelligently and sincerely, whereas Asian parents would typically be like “Quiet la! Ask so many questions for what?” You can ask my wife here, who specializes in the early childhood (who holds a degree in early childhood education from the Wheelock college, U.S.A) that such “actions may not be helpful in the early development of the child.” So next time when a child ask you something, answer them appropriately and if you do not know the answer, its ok to say: “I don’t know the answer but I can find it out.” and then go find it out and get back to the child. This will set a great example to them that, it is ok to not know everything, but it is not ok to not know and do nothing.

And then when they grow older, they will start asking “why?” “Why, must it be done this way?” “Why, I can’t go out?” and when they reach this stage, most parents will panic and start making comments like “I think my child is becoming rebellious but he/she questions my authority.” But may I suggest something? I don’t think and believe that they are becoming rebellious; they are in fact, understanding the term: autonomy. 自治权和独立

A “Youth specialist Tim Sanford encourages parents to realize that children always do things for a reason. He explains that many times parents don’t know the real reason behind a teen’s behavior. He says, “God didn’t make us random beings 随机随意, so our behavior (even rebellious behavior) is stemming from a reason. It’s important to get to the ‘itch’ (core reason) behind the ‘scratch’ (outward behavior or attitude).” Whether dealing with basic issues such as respect or complex issues such as at-risk behavior, parents sometimes struggle to understand the difference between healthy teenage autonomy and blatant teen rebellion. What looks like rebellion may actually be a teen’s natural “itch” for greater independence,” but that’s’ another topic all together.

Be it asking questions when we are really young till now, we are no strangers to answer those questions. In the bible, God also ask this people questions. Thus this morning, we will look into the early portion of the book of Genesis where we will be asked 3 questions from God.

Let us turn our bible to Genesis 3:1 – 9
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
创世记 3:1 – 9
耶 和 华 神 所 造 的 , 惟 有 蛇 比 田 野 一 切 的 活 物 更 狡 猾 。 蛇 对 女 人 说 : 神 岂 是 真 说 不 许 你 们 吃 园 中 所 有 树 上 的 果 子 麽 ?
2 女 人 对 蛇 说 : 园 中 树 上 的 果 子 , 我 们 可 以 吃 ,
3 惟 有 园 当 中 那 棵 树 上 的 果 子 , 神 曾 说 : 你 们 不 可 吃 , 也 不 可 摸 , 免 得 你 们 死 。
4 蛇 对 女 人 说 : 你 们 不 一 定 死 ;
5 因 为 神 知 道 , 你 们 吃 的 日 子 眼 睛 就 明 亮 了 , 你 们 便 如 神 能 知 道 善 恶 。
6 於 是 女 人 见 那 棵 树 的 果 子 好 作 食 物 , 也 悦 人 的 眼 目 , 且 是 可 喜 爱 的 , 能 使 人 有 智 慧 , 就 摘 下 果 子 来 吃 了 , 又 给 他 丈 夫 , 他 丈 夫 也 吃 了 。
7 他 们 二 人 的 眼 睛 就 明 亮 了 , 才 知 道 自 己 是 赤 身 露 体 , 便 拿 无 花 果 树 的 叶 子 为 自 己 编 作 裙 子 。
8 天 起 了 凉 风 , 耶 和 华 神 在 园 中 行 走 。 那 人 和 他 妻 子 听 见 神 的 声 音 , 就 藏 在 园 里 的 树 木 中 , 躲 避 耶 和 华 神 的 面 。
9 耶 和 华 神 呼 唤 那 人 , 对 他 说 : 你 在 那 里 ?

1. “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9 你在哪里?-创世纪 3:9

-This is related to our relationship with God- 人与神的关系

Before the fall of man, God and man had a perfect relationship. In Genesis 1:26 – 27 we were told that God made us in His image and likeness

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
创世记 1:26 – 27

神 说 : 我 们 要 照 着 我 们 的 形 像 、 按 着 我 们 的 样 式 造 人 , 使 他 们 管 理 海 里 的 鱼 、 空 中 的 鸟 、 地 上 的 牲 畜 , 和 全 地 , 并 地 上 所 爬 的 一 切 昆 虫 。
27 神 就 照 着 自 己 的 形 像 造 人 , 乃 是 照 着 他 的 形 像 造 男 造 女 。

and in Genesis 2:7 there is this up close and personal scene where God formed man out of dust and breathed life into man.

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
创世记 2:7
耶 和 华 神 用 地 上 的 尘 土 造 人 , 将 生 气 吹 在 他 鼻 孔 里 , 他 就 成 了 有 灵 的 活 人 , 名 叫 亚 当 。

You see, all the rest of the creation God formed by speaking them into existence, however, for human being, the formed us out from dust and then breathing his breath (ruah) into us. I believe from the moment when Adam was given life by God, there was a connection and relationship.

Let’s go back to Chapter 3 where here, there is an interesting scenario. Where God the mighty, creator of Heaven and Earth take a stroll in the garden. And I believe that it is not God very free looking for people to hangout, but he deliberately walk in the park to find Adam. This is the kind of relationship they had.

But after being deceived by the devil, they hid themselves from God because of shame and fear.

in verse 10
And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
他 说 : 我 在 园 中 听 见 你 的 声 音 , 我 就 害 怕 ; 因 为 我 赤 身 露 体 , 我 便 藏 了

Are there things in your life that you did and you find it shameful and scared, hence leading you to hide them under the carpet or inside the closet and refuses to come before the Lord. You try to run away from Him because you will feel embarrassed.
Sometimes this kind of feel permits us from having a deeper relationship with Him. We still pray, we still come to church, we still read the bible and do this work. But our relationship with Him can be very superficial.

Sin will “superficialize” our relationship with God.
罪会将人与神的关系变得肤浅,变得表面化

Let continue to read verse 11
He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
耶 和 华 说 : 谁 告 诉 你 赤 身 露 体 呢 ? 莫 非 你 吃 了 我 吩 咐 你 不 可 吃 的 那 树 上 的 果 子 吗 ?

Who told you? You see, when we have hidden sin, we deceived ourselves in thinking that God will condemn us 谴责, scold us, punish us, dislike us, make us feel worst. Clearly in this verse, it was not God who told us that we were naked. First thing we need to know that “do you think that God does know about it? He knows, and he knows very clearly, but he did not condemn us. Who told you? God clearly didn’t. Stop letting the evil one to deceive you into believing that you are sinful and shameful, stop letting yourselves to deceive you that God will be disgusted at you. Yes God hates sin but He doesn’t hate you.

Where are you this morning? Between 1 to 10 (10 being most close to God) where would you rate yourself? This morning if God is calling out to you, please don’t close the door. Come out from hiding and go to His embrace

The next relationship questions that God ask is…

2. “Where is your Brother?” Genesis 4.9 你的兄弟在哪? 创世纪 4:9
-Relationship with your fellowmen- 人与人之间的关系

Let us turn our bible to Genesis 4:3 – 9
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?[b] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for[c] you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

创世记 4:3 – 9
有 一 日 , 该 隐 拿 地 里 的 出 产 为 供 物 献 给 耶 和 华
4 亚 伯 也 将 他 羊 群 中 头 生 的 和 羊 的 脂 油 献 上 。 耶 和 华 看 中 了 亚 伯 和 他 的 供 物 ,
5 只 是 看 不 中 该 隐 和 他 的 供 物 。 该 隐 就 大 大 的 发 怒 , 变 了 脸 色 。
6 耶 和 华 对 该 隐 说 : 你 为 甚 麽 发 怒 呢 ? 你 为 甚 麽 变 了 脸 色 呢 ?
7 你 若 行 得 好 , 岂 不 蒙 悦 纳 ? 你 若 行 得 不 好 , 罪 就 伏 在 门 前 。 他 必 恋 慕 你 , 你 却 要 制 伏 他 。
8 该 隐 与 他 兄 弟 亚 伯 说 话 ; 二 人 正 在 田 间 。 该 隐 起 来 打 他 兄 弟 亚 伯 , 把 他 杀 了 。
9 耶 和 华 对 该 隐 说 : 你 兄 弟 亚 伯 在 那 里 ? 他 说 : 我 不 知 道 ! 我 岂 是 看 守 我 兄 弟 的 麽 ?

Over here in this passage, there are two brothers, Cain and Abel. Both of them brought to God a portion of their labour. However only Abel’s portion did God accept, hence this brought anger and jealously upon Cain leading him to kill Abel. After killing Abel, the Lord came to Cain and said, “Where is your brother Abel?” and Cain replied “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to this question is YES! You are your brothers’ keeper! Christian life is not just about God and me in our little bubble. It is also about the community of faith. 信仰的共同体

Our Responsibility to one another 相互的职责

a.   We are to “Love one another” 彼 此 相 爱

   i) As commanded by Jesus 耶稣所命令

John 13:34 – 35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
约翰福音 13:34-35
我 赐 给 你 们 一 条 新 命 令 , 乃 是 叫 你 们 彼 此 相 爱 ; 我 怎 样 爱 你 们 , 你 们 也 要 怎 样 相 爱 。
35 你 们 若 有 彼 此 相 爱 的 心 , 众 人 因 此 就 认 出 你 们 是 我 的 门 徒 了

John 15:12
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
约翰福音 15:12
你 们 要 彼 此 相 爱 , 像 我 爱 你 们 一 样 ; 这 就 是 我 的 命 令 。

John 15:17
These things I command you, so that you will love one another
约翰福音 15:17
我 这 样 吩 咐 你 们 , 是 要 叫 你 们 彼 此 相 爱 。

          ii) As taught by Paul 保罗所教导

Romans 13:8
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
罗马书 13:8
凡 事 都 不 可 亏 欠 人 , 惟 有 彼 此 相 爱 要 常 以 为 亏 欠 , 因 为 爱 人 的 就 完 全 了 律 法 。

1 Thessalonians 4:9
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
帖撒罗尼迦前书 4:9
论 到 弟 兄 们 相 爱 , 不 用 人 写 信 给 你 们 ; 因 为 你 们 自 己 蒙 了 神 的 教 训 , 叫 你 们 彼 此 相 爱

         iii) As instructed by Peter 彼得所指示

1 Peter 1:22
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
彼得前书 1:22
你 们 既 因 顺 从 真 理 , 洁 净 了 自 己 的 心 , 以 致 爱 弟 兄 没 有 虚 假 , 就 当 从 心 里 ( 从 心 里 : 有 古 卷 是 从 清 洁 的 心 ) 彼 此 切 实 相 爱 。

          iv) As stressed by John 约翰所强调

1 John 3:11 – 24
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,[c] that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,[d] and God[e] in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
約 翰 一 書 3:11-24
我 们 应 当 彼 此 相 爱 。 这 就 是 你 们 从 起 初 所 听 见 的 命 令 。
12 不 可 像 该 隐 ; 他 是 属 那 恶 者 , 杀 了 他 的 兄 弟 。 为 甚 麽 杀 了 他 呢 ? 因 自 己 的 行 为 是 恶 的 , 兄 弟 的 行 为 是 善 的 。
13 弟 兄 们 , 世 人 若 恨 你 们 , 不 要 以 为 希 奇 。
14 我 们 因 为 爱 弟 兄 , 就 晓 得 是 已 经 出 死 入 生 了 。 没 有 爱 心 的 , 仍 住 在 死 中 。
15 凡 恨 他 弟 兄 的 , 就 是 杀 人 的 ; 你 们 晓 得 凡 杀 人 的 , 没 有 永 生 存 在 他 里 面 。
16 主 为 我 们 舍 命 , 我 们 从 此 就 知 道 何 为 爱 ; 我 们 也 当 为 弟 兄 舍 命 。
17 凡 有 世 上 财 物 的 , 看 见 弟 兄 穷 乏 , 却 塞 住 怜 恤 的 心 , 爱 神 的 心 怎 能 存 在 他 里 面 呢 ?
18 小 子 们 哪 , 我 们 相 爱 , 不 要 只 在 言 语 和 舌 头 上 , 总 要 在 行 为 和 诚 实 上 。
19 从 此 就 知 道 我 们 是 属 真 理 的 , 并 且 我 们 的 心 在 神 面 前 可 以 安 稳 。
20 我 们 的 心 若 责 备 我 们 , 神 比 我 们 的 心 大 , 一 切 事 没 有 不 知 道 的 。
21 亲 爱 的 弟 兄 阿 , 我 们 的 心 若 不 责 备 我 们 , 就 可 以 向 神 坦 然 无 惧 了 。
22 并 且 我 们 一 切 所 求 的 , 就 从 他 得 着 ; 因 为 我 们 遵 守 他 的 命 令 , 行 他 所 喜 悦 的 事 。
23 神 的 命 令 就 是 叫 我 们 信 他 儿 子 耶 稣 基 督 的 名 , 且 照 他 所 赐 给 我 们 的 命 令 彼 此 相 爱 。
24 遵 守 神 命 令 的 , 就 住 在 神 里 面 ; 神 也 住 在 他 里 面 。 我 们 所 以 知 道 神 住 在 我 们 里 面 是 因 他 所 赐 给 我 们 的 圣 灵

How should we show love to our brothers and sisters?
我们要如何向弟兄姐妹示爱呢?

1. We are to “receive one another” – Romans 15:7 彼此接纳
2. We are to “edify another” – Romans 14:19 彼此建立德行的事
3. We are to “serve one another” – Galatians 5:13 互相服事
4. We are to “restore one another” – Galatians 6:1 互相挽回,复兴
5. We are to “bear one another’s burdens” – Galatians 6:2 互相担当重担
6. We are to be “forgiving one another” – Ephesians 4:32 彼此饶恕
7. We are to be “submitting to one another” – Ephesians 5:21 彼此顺服
8. We are to “exhort one another” – Hebrews 3:12-13 彼此相劝
9. We are to “consider one another” – Hebrews 10:24-25 彼此相顾
10. We are to be “hospitable to one another” – 1 Peter 4:8-10 互相款待

Church this morning we should not just focuses on ourselves. Let be our brothers’ keeper. Let love like how Jesus loves us.

The last point… Turn your bible to Genesis 18:1 – 9

And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks[a] of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord,[b] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs[c] of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”

創 世 記 18:1 – 9
耶 和 华 在 幔 利 橡 树 那 里 向 亚 伯 拉 罕 显 现 出 来 。 那 时 正 热 , 亚 伯 拉 罕 坐 在 帐 棚 门 口 ,
2 举 目 观 看 , 见 有 三 个 人 在 对 面 站 着 。 他 一 见 , 就 从 帐 棚 门 口 跑 去 迎 接 他 们 , 俯 伏 在 地 ,
3 说 : 我 主 , 我 若 在 你 眼 前 蒙 恩 , 求 你 不 要 离 开 仆 人 往 前 去 。
4 容 我 拿 点 水 来 , 你 们 洗 洗 脚 , 在 树 下 歇 息 歇 息 。
5 我 再 拿 一 点 饼 来 , 你 们 可 以 加 添 心 力 , 然 後 往 前 去 。 你 们 既 到 仆 人 这 里 来 , 理 当 如 此 。 他 们 说 : 就 照 你 说 的 行 罢 。
6 亚 伯 拉 罕 急 忙 进 帐 棚 见 撒 拉 , 说 : 你 速 速 拿 三 细 亚 细 面 调 和 作 饼 。
7 亚 伯 拉 罕 又 跑 到 牛 群 里 , 牵 了 一 只 又 嫩 又 好 的 牛 犊 来 , 交 给 仆 人 , 仆 人 急 忙 预 备 好 了 。
8 亚 伯 拉 罕 又 取 了 奶 油 和 奶 , 并 预 备 好 的 牛 犊 来 , 摆 在 他 们 面 前 , 自 己 在 树 下 站 在 旁 边 , 他 们 就 吃 了 。
9 他 们 问 亚 伯 拉 罕 说 : 你 妻 子 撒 拉 在 那 里 ? 他 说 : 在 帐 棚 里 。

We started with God asking us where are we? Are we hiding from Him? How’s our relationship with Him? Then we followed on by asking, Where is our brother? We need to recognize that we also need to be concern with the brothers and sisters sitting next to us. How’s our relationship with them, how’s their relationship with God. Now God is asking us

3. “Where is your wife?” Genesis 18.9 你的妻子在哪? 创世纪 18:9

-This is related with our relationship with your wife & family. 夫妻于家人之间的关系

Christians is not just about God and me and also the church. Family should also be included in this relationship with God. In fact, family should be the in top priority because true ministry begins at home.

In 1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
約 翰 一 書 4:20
人 若 说 我 爱 神 , 却 恨 他 的 弟 兄 , 就 是 说 谎 话 的 ; 不 爱 他 所 看 见 的 弟 兄 , 就 不 能 爱 没 有 看 见 的 神 ( 有 古 卷 作 : 怎 能 爱 没 有 看 见 的 神 呢 ) 。

Simply states that if we can’t even show love to those who are close to us, (especially our family members because we see them more then anyone else) we would be lying if we say that we love God.

Here are some expectations of the Husband 对丈夫的期望
1. Love your wife – Ephesians 5:25 – 31 爱妻子
2. Be considerate and respectful – 1 Peter 3:7 要按情理, 要敬重他
3. Provides for the physical needs of the family – 1 Timothy 5:8 看顾亲属
4. Head of the family – Ephesians 5:22-24 丈夫是妻子的头

What about expectation of the wife’s? 对妻子的期望
1. Love your husband – Titus 2:4 爱你的丈夫
2. Submit to the headship of the Husband – Ephesians 5:22-24 顺服自己的丈夫
3. Manage household – 1 Timothy 5:14 治理家务

What about Parenthood? 为人父母的呢?
1. Love your child – Titus 2:4 爱儿女
2. Train your child to know and obey God’s will – Proverbs 22:6; Psalm 78:4
教养儿童, 使他走当行的道
3. Punish and Reward the child appropriately – Proverbs 13:24, Ephesians 6:4
照着神的教训和警戒养育

Lastly what about children, what are your expectation? 对孩子们的期望
1. Listen to your parents – Proverbs 6:20 – 23 谨守父母的诫命于法则
2. Respect your parents – Ephesians 6:2,3 孝敬父母
3. Obey your parents – Ephesians 6:1, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 听从父母
4. Care for elderly parents – 1 Timothy 5:4 关怀年老的父母

Which of the three “where’s” are you afraid to talk about? Is it your relationship with God? With your friends? Or is it with your spouse or family members? Let us put aside our ego, pride, or hurt this afternoon and restore the broken relationship.

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