Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Genesis Review: Sovereignty, Short-Cuts and Self-Control

2011-09-18 Genesis



To download the audio-file, right-click here and select "Save target as" or "Save Link As".

Download MS Word File

I. Generations to Joseph

 4 Events (Creation, Fall, Flood Babel)  & 4 People (Adam, Abe, Jacob, Joseph )

A. God is sovereignly working out a plan to glorify Himself by blessing faithful, separate (holy) and obedient people.
B. The plan is not thwarted by human frailty, but people reap problems and forfeit blessings when they fail to follow Him faithfully.
C. He has set the rules for blessing and cursing (If He has to curse you for unfaithful disobedience, He will find someone obedient to bless.)
D. Adam-Don't eat the fruit; Cain-Do well and master sin; Noah-Build an ark; Abe and Isaac - Separate yourself (be holy); No pagan wives


Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."                                  Q: Why did God bless?

II. We short-circuit God's blessings by taking unfaithful, disobedient, fleshly Short-cuts to God's promises

A. Wait on God to give what's best when it's best or you won't get what's best. (Rm 12:1-2 transformed by renewing mind...perfect will)
B. If you have to do something, obey. (1Sam 15:22-23 obey better than sacrifice; reject word-God rejects you)
C. Eve Power (security/significance) Pleasure Possessions; Cain; Lot's daughters (Moabites & Ammonites Judges 10:6); Sarah - Hagar (Ishmael); Rebekah (never saw Jacob again) Jacob; (Laban and panic); Rachel (fertility and family friction)

III. We cause our own Pain and Suffering by failing to Develop and Pass on Self-control

A. Transforming our values/desires from temporal gratification to eternal gratification, results in temp and eternal joy (even during trials)
Cain Gen 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. and its desire is for you, but you must master it."


B. Adam; Lot (city pleasure); Lot's wife (look back); Isaac (self-indulgent favoritism cx promise); Esau (wives); Jacob (self-indulgent favoritism); Jacob's sons lost blessing: Reuben (concubine), Simeon & Levi (slaughter); Judah (Er and Onan killed, humiliated by Tamar); Potipher's Wife (lost source of blessing);


Gen 49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. 4              Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it --he went up to my couch.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. 6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.


IV. Lessons for the Exodus Generation and Us 

{Trust, Obey, Depend, Faithfully wait}

A. God wants to bless us (a major means of glorifying Himself), but we have to be blessable
                by being His people: faithful, obedient, and separate (holy) from the pagans around us (who are not His people).


B. God allows us to reap negative consequences from our wrong self-centered values and actions, to bring us to place of owning our guilt, so we can confess it and practice other-centered, self-sacrificial unity-building love, and thus enjoy His blessings. (Joseph and “spies”)


C. While faithfully awaiting the fulfillment of God's promises, we need to: avoid self-indulgent short-cuts, maintain holiness, faithfully serve others (being good stewards of the capabilities and circumstances God has entrusted to us), and deepen our dependent relationship with God, so we will be unfazed and rock-solid in the midst of difficulties and “delays.” (Joseph cx Sarah, Isaac, Esau, Jacob)


Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the groundspring of things hoped for, which brings to light things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, thru which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts...6 Now without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive...because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

  1. Is blessing dependent upon us or God? What happened to: Er, Onan, Reuben, Simeon, Levi? How do you harmonize sovereignty and responsibility?
  2. How do you develop and pass on self-control? How does a single person do the latter?    Hint: Mt 28:19-20; 2Tim 2:1-7
  3. Do you consider yourself one of “His people”? What makes someone one of “His people”? How are those things in your life?
  4. Is it ever too late to repent and do the right thing? Why would someone be reluctant to repent?  Hint: Judah; Jn 3:16-20;  1Jn 1:6-10
  5. What are the major sources of grief and discontent in your life? How would a change in values, belief, or obedience solve them?