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Monthly Archives / June 2019

  • Jun 30 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Download Notes in a .MD file (No recording this week)

Pay more attention!

Hebrews 2:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.


Jesus is the creator, sustainer, purifier, sitting down at the right hand of God in heaven. He is the brightness of God’s glory and exact representation of his being. He is the visible representation of the invisible God.

Last week, we saw Jesus’ superiority over all angels. He is NOT a superior angel but is superior TO angels.

  1. Superior name
  2. honor/worship
  3. status
  4. existence
  5. duration

We are much more blessed than the OT believers who received the Word of God through angels and prophets only – but we are receiving God’s Word through Christ’s mouth and actions. This is why we have the Bible. The Word is near you – in your mouths, hearts.

Faith comes from hearing the message – and the message from the Word of Christ.

The fact that we are much more blessed means that we also have much more responsibility.

Today’s message is SERIOUS.

Maybe some of us may dislike today’s message, but I hope and wish that all of us will be blessed through today’s message.

Hebrews is a book of warnings.

Do you like warnings? When you drive on the highway, you may encounter warning signs.

This part is the first warning in Hebrews – the warning of neglect. All warnings SHOUT “danger!”

Yes, our Christian life is a pilgrimage – we are foreigners on this earth. As our journey through this world, it will be dangerous.

Warnings in Hebrews

  1. Danger of Neglect
  2. Danger of Unbelief (chp 3)
  3. Danger of Not growing (chp 5)
  4. Danger of Drawing back – old life (chp 10)
  5. Danger of Refusing God (chp 12)

One of the ancient symbols in Christianity is a boat.

Matthew 15 – after Jesus fed 5,000 men, he made the disciples go in a boat across the water to the other side. He sent the crowd home, and went up onto a mountain to pray. He remained up there until night.

After midnight, the boat was far out in the lake, and buffeted by strong winds and waves. Jesus walked out to them.

They said, “It’s a ghost!”

Jesus said, “Do not worry. It is I.”

Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, call me to you.”

Jesus said, “Come.”

Peter walked out on the water toward Jesus – but when he saw the wind and waves, he began to sink into the water, and cried, “Lord! Save me!”

Jesus did so, but said, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

They climbed into the boat and the wind and waves died down. They all knelt before him and worshiped him and called him “Son of God.”

Peter – when he fixed his eyes on Jesus, he could walk on the water. But when he saw the wind and waves, he sank.

Hebrews: “Fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, our lives in this world are also like a boat – and a journey – we are constantly on the move. Paul also confessed this. We cannot be fixed in the same position and status all the time – whether or not we recognize this, we are constantly on the move and changing.

The fact that we are changing means – we are changing:

  • to the better (good)
  • to the worse (bad)

If we are not becoming BETTER, we are becoming WORSE.

Today’s warning: Pay more careful attention to change to the better.

v. 1

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. “

[recording?]

“Drift away” = nautical term = a boat term

This means that a boat on the sea is just moving passively, aimlessly, by wind or waves with no set direction or purpose.

How can we drift away? Very easily: Do nothing.

If you do nothing – the wind, the stream, the waves, life’s circumstances – will make you drift away.

In our Christian life, drifting away is very easy. This does not mean rejecting salvation but neglecting salvation. It’s not a non-Christian, but a service-less Christian.

We may become careless or complacent in our devotion to Christ. We may backslide into sin that we formerly rejected. We may compromise our morals and disobey Christ’s teaching. We may neglect Christian service and become inactive, indifferent Christians.

At this moment, I want to ask very practical questions – also to me – for checking our lives and know whether we are drifting away or not.

In these questions, our answers should be “YES!” (should be, hopefully) – to make it clear that we are not drifting away.

“You must pay. more. careful. attention.”

  1. Pay more attention to the Word of Christ than the words of man?
  2. Pay more attention to your ministry in church than your own hobby, taste, dress?
  3. Pay more attention to your mission from God than your career and salary? (Well…)
  4. Pay more attention to the GOOD news of salvation than the BAD news on channel 9?
  5. Pay more attention to attending worship on Sunday than doing your own schedule on Sunday?
  6. Pay more attention to winning the lost to Christ than pleasing yourself?

0/6

For most of us, the threat is not that we plunge into disaster, but that we drift into sin.

FEW Christians suddenly turn their backs on God, but MANY Christians drift away slowly.

Few Christians commit some drastic, terrible sin at once, but many drift into small sins, slowly, gradually, and one day find they are far off course.

That’s why we must be aware all the time – careful of where we are going.

The REASON to pay attention

v. 2-3

This is the REASON why we must pay more careful attention.

“2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

Yes, Jesus is much more superior to angels. IF he surpasses angels, then his message must surpass the message of angels.

We know angels are the messengers of God.

“If” is not “maybe” but “because” in this sentence – repeated twice.

“If” angel’s messages are to bring blessing and be obeyed, or if the messages brought punishment, HOW MUCH MORE in the case of Christ?

Christ’s word = much MORE blessing; or greater punishment and judgment.

This is the message of v. 2

This is why we have much more responsibility. “”Ability to respond”

To WHAT we should pay attention

v. 3

“3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

That’s why salvation is called “Great Salvation.”

You know, this IS great. It is the miracle of miracles; the sign of signs; the wonder of life.

Q: Are you living a Christian life in this world?

This life is ALL about salvation. Our Christian life begins with salvation. If you are not saved, no matter how long you’ve attended church, you are not a Christian.

  • Also, the journey, pilgrimage of a Christian life is salvation.
  • Also, the final destination of a Christian life is salvation.

Eph 2:12 ‘Continue to work out your salvation with humility, fear, and trembling.’

This is the journey of salvation.

1 Peter 2:9 “The final goal of your journey is salvation.”

“Salvation can be found in no one else; there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 2:12)

“What a Beautiful Name it is.” – the name of Jesus Christ – it is beautiful because salvation is found only in this name.

1 Tim 1:15 “Trustworthy saying – Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners.”

We all need salvation.

“It is by grace, through faith, you have been saved. It is the GIFT of God so that no one can boast.”

We must remain humble.

Yes, even Father God, Son God, the Holy Spirit God (the Triune God). The HS testifies about the Son because salvation is only available through him.

How to APPLY this lesson

v. 4

This is our job – our practical lessons – how to apply this lesson.

“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

Even the Father testified to “it” – what is “it”? “It” is “Great Salvation” which can be found only in Jesus Christ.

Signs, wonders, miracles are not the END – they are just the MEANS (method).

There should be no differentiation made between them because God’s work encompasses them all. God’s work = “wonderfully miraculous signs” – and through these, God is testifying to “Great Salvation” through Jesus Christ. Also – the gifts of the HS testify to him – and are distributed according to his will.

John 5:37 “The Father who sent me has testified concerning me…”

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes whom I’ll send to you from the Father, he will testify about me…”

What are the “gifts” of the HS? This word is used in various ways and has various meanings depending on context:

  • salvation, grace, favor, faith, present, talent for ministry, ability for service…

Usually we consider this word to mean talent / ability for service in church. But in this context it means “special ability to help save others.”

The HS empowers every believer with one or more gifts – distributed according to his will. To use these gifts effectively, we must realize that all these gifts come from God and not everyone has the same gifts. The HS decides which gift each believer should have. The gifts are various, but the purpose is one in the same – to testify about Christ, build the church, and spread the kingdom of Christ in this world.

Do you have gifts?

What am I doing with these gifts? With this gift for the salvation of others?

We have a privilege, responsibility, to use and sharpen our gifts.

v. 1 “You must PAY ATTENTION…”

We are given a special task / purpose.

Without purpose, our lives in this world are meaningless motion, directionless activity, reasonless events.

God has given us a “purpose driven life.”

“I must live by God’s given purpose driven life.”

God bless your tongue, your words, that they may be fruitful in this world for his glory.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 23 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Superiority of Christ over Angels

Hebrews 1:4-14 (Pastor Heo)

4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.”10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.” 13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?


  • Theme: The superiority of Christ Jesus
  • Message: Live by Faith! Be assured!

Last part of verse 3: Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, so is superior to everyone – including angels.

What do we need to study about angels? Who are they? What is their function?

Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ?

Angels – the word is mentioned 100+ times in the OT, and 160+ times in the NT. The doctrine of angels is “angelology”

Let us study briefly about angels. (Actually, I have not much interest in angels, but to know more about Jesus, we need to know about the nature of angels.)

Angels:

  1. Created beings (not creator)
  2. Spiritual beings (not visible)
    1. But sometimes can appear in visible form – like people (Genesis 18, 19 – visited Abram and Lot)
    2. Sometimes they shine like glorious light
    3. Sometimes appear with wings (cherubim, seraphim)
  3. There are several ranks and orders of angels
    1. Archangel, herald, etc.

When were they created? The timeline is indicated nowhere in the Bible – but we can assume it happened before the creation of the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…” – we can assume God created these beings before creating the physical world.

In Genesis 3, Satan (fallen angel) was already there.

In Job, “The angels shouted for joy at the foundations of the earth…”

How many angels?

“Many”

Rev 11:5 “Many angels numbering thousands upon thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand…”

What is their main function? They have their own ministry, mission, job.

Greek “angelos” = English “angels” = “messenger / herald”

There main purpose is to deliver God’s message to men.

Four main functions:

  1. Continual worship and praise to God
  2. Communicate God’s message to Mankind
    1. Angel Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus
    2. When Joseph heard Mary was pregnant, he was going to quietly divorce her – but an angel appeared to him and convinced him otherwise
    3. When Jesus was born, angels appeared and visited the shepherds in an open field at night and announced the “Good News of Great Joy!” (the gospel) – the first person who preached the gospel was an angel
    4. Angels rolled the stone back from Jesus’ tomb and said, “Do not be afraid, he is not here – he has Risen!”
  3. Angels minister to believers (serving and helping us by the order of God)
    1. Angels dramatically delivered Paul and Peter from prison
    2. Angels are present with the church
      1. rejoice at the conversion of sinners
      2. watch believers lives with interest
      3. carry believers spirits away at death
  4. In the future, they will be God’s agents in the final judgment and second coming of Christ – they will execute the judgment against Satan and his demons.

Rev “At the last day, the angels will open the seals and blow the trumpets and pour out the bowl of wrath.”

Wow! Angels are great! So great!

Question: Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ over all angels?

2 reasons:

  1. Angels are SO great and awesome that some thought (and still think) that Jesus is an angel, or just the “boss” of angels. But this is terribly wrong.
    1. No matter how great angels are, Jesus is not A superior angel but superior TO angels.
  2. Some people thought angels bring believers’ requests to God and intercede on our behalf to God – this is also terribly wrong.
    1. There is only one mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ.
    2. We do not need any other mediator.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except by me.”

Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and gain access to this grace through him.”

5 Superiorities of Christ over Angels

Even today, this is our faith statement

#1 Jesus’ Superior Name

v. 4-5

“4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”?”

You have your own name. This is a Proper Noun. In Bible times, a name reveals a person’s nature, rank, dignity. So, from eternity to eternity, Jesus has a Proper Noun Name: SON. This is not a common noun.

In the water baptism from John the Baptist, he came out and heaven opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him, I’m well pleased.”

A similar thing happened during Jesus’ transfiguration – with three disciples on top of the mountain. His face and clothes shone like the sun, and a voice from the clouds came, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.”

God wants all human beings to focus on Christ.

“Listen to him!” Are you listening?

His name – from eternity to eternity – is SON. He is the Prince, the future King, the future Ruler, and the Son God.

There is only ONE God – in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

This is called the “Triune God or Trinity God.”

#2 Superior Honor

v. 6

” 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.””

Worship belongs to God alone.

Yes, we must encourage and build up and edify each other, but worship ONLY God. If you idolize anything else – put in in the place of God in your life, this is sinful.

In Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4, Satan said, “Bow down and worship me and I will give all the kingdom of this world and its splendor.” Jesus announced strongly (angrily?), “Get away from me Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God alone.'”

Jesus himself is God.

Rev 5:11 “Many thousands upon thousands of angels gathered together and encircled the throne [Where Jesus sat down] and in a loud voice they worshiped singing, ‘worthy is he who was slain to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and honor, and glory, and praise.'”

Can you imagine this today? All the angels in heaven kneeling down and worshiping. So who is higher? Jesus. You can never compare them. But, sadly, some people still make this mistake.

#3 Superior Status

v. 7-9

“7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.””

The angels are servants, but the Son rules the universe. His throne, scepter, annointing, give us the dimensions of his sovereignty. And he established his righteousness by becoming the sacrifice for our sins. “The oil of joy” is heavenly joy – and he is eternally enthroned, annointed, sceptered, sovereign – in control of everything – past, present, future.

Do you recognize this? Believe this? He is sustainer of all things.

#4 Superior Existence

v. 10-12

“10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.””

Already I said, angels are created beings – they are very temporal, changeable, dependent. But Christ is unchangeable in his power, authority, design.

Heb 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Listen to the message of Christ.

#5 Superior Vocation

  • His vocation is “Sovereign King”
  • “Sovereign Ruler”
  • “King of Kings; Lord of Lords”

v. 13-14

“13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until *I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet*”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? “

Who are Jesus’ enemies? Those who do not confess him as Lord nor accept him as Savior. God considers them his enemies.

In his first coming, Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for the multitudes.

His leadership is shown here. At that time, it was human custom that the defeated king should prostrate himself and kiss the feet of the victorious king – and the victorious king put his feet on that king’s neck so that he became his footstool.

Like this, all people will fall down and worship him as Lord.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that at his name every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Jesus is superior to ALL – because he is creator and God.

We must trust in Christ with all we are and all we have.

God bless us all through Christ’s superiority.

Let us fix our thoughts and eyes on Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 16 / 2019
  • Comments Off on God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God bless you through Hebrews

Hebrews 1:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


“Better, better, more, superior” – this is the repeated theme throughout Hebrews. He is BETTER than all created things.

Theme: The superiority of Christ Jesus

Be assured + Live by Faith

In the sight of God, how can I be accepted by God? If I live by faith. If you put your faith in Christ, you will be accepted by God as righteous.

“The righteous will live by faith”

  • Habakkuk,
  • Romans,
  • Galatians,
  • Hebrews

In the NT, Hebrews is the only book whose human authorship is unknown. There are many suspicions: Paul, Apollos, Barnabas, Aquilla – but the name of the author is not given in the text itself.

Because the author’s name is unknown, also the time it was written is unknown. It is assumed it was written in AD 60s because that is before the temple was destroyed in AD 70. There are religious ceremonies and traditions mentioned, but no mention of the destruction of the temple.

v. 1-3

“1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways (OT), 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (NT) 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Think about it: by nature, God is creator; we are his creations. God is infinite; we are finite. God is in heaven; we are on earth. God is spirit; we are material (from dust).

By nature, God is unapproachable, unknowable, hidden.

Q: How is knowing God possible? How is the study of God possible? What makes it possible to know God and something about him? This is a basic question for entrance into the study of Hebrews.

Do you have an answer?

We can say several things, but in one phrase: God’s self-revelation

The self-revelation of God makes it possible to know something of him.

For example, you know your birthday / place / mother / father. But HOW do you know these things? Someone told you. Like this, God reveals himself – and still is revealing himself. That’s why / how it’s possible to know him.

Revelation of God: The action of God by which he discloses himself, or communicates himself to his creation. He makes known about himself what could not be known in any other way.

2 forms:

  1. General
  2. Special

General revelation (3 areas):

  1. Nature
  2. Human history
  3. Your Conscience

1. Nature

Look at the created world – this is God’s handiwork. When we see this, we can know there is a creator, with wisdom, power, glory, and goodness.

Ps 90:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God…”

Also, as all buildings have a builder, so does this world

Romans 1:19-20 “Since what may be known about God, since the creation of the world – his divine power – has been clearly displayed so that no one has an excuse.”

Through Creation, we can know his power and glory.

2. Human History

The Bible speaks of God’s dealings with many nations: Greece, Rome, Israel, Macedonia, etc – more than anything else, he reveals himself through Israel.

By nature, Israel is weak and small – but when they obeyed, God empowered them to drive our 7 nations from Canaan who were greater than they were. But, when they disobeyed, God made them defeated and enslaved. But when they cried out to him, he sent them a deliverer and empowered them again.

Throughout history, we must know that God used more wicked nations or men to punish less wicked nations or men.

It is possible for God to use unbelievers to discipline disbelieving believers.

“From one man, God made every nation of man that they should inhabit the whole earth. God determined the exact times and places they should live.”

3. Human conscience

Conscience is in human beings – and the conscience tells us what is right / wrong. It tells us strongly “Do right ; abstain from wrong.” It also tells us “Every wicked deed must be punished.”

These 3 general revelation of God is ENOUGH to know there is a God who created all things – and know he is powerful, wise, and holy. But even this general revelation of God has limitations.

  • This is not enough to meet and know him.
  • It is not enough for us to have a personal relationship with him.
  • It cannot lead us to salvation (which is only found in Christ).
  • That’s why we need “special revelation” of God.

Special Revelation: God speaks

The action of God by which God makes himself known at specific times and places in specific ways, for specific purposes.

  1. Speaking
  2. Miracles
  3. Prophecy (in the Bible)
  4. Climax: Person, work, word of Jesus Christ

This is the entrance point of Hebrews.

The perfection of God’s special revelation = the purpose, work, word of Jesus Christ.

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

The same God who spoke: “Let there be light” is still speaking to us. He spoke to Adam, Noah, Moses, Joseph, and is still speaking to us.

OT: (v 1): “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.”

  • Isaiah = vision
  • Jacob = dream
  • Abraham, Moses = personally
  • Jeremiah = object lessons
  • Hosea = marriage experience
  • NT (v 2): “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…”
  • Before Christ: “In the past…”
  • After Christ: “In these last days…”
  • OT = Covenant, promise, message, prediction
  • NT = New covenant, new promise, new message, new prophecy

In the OT, God spoke through human prophets, but now, no more human prophets. Now, he is speaking to us through Christ: “God’s special revelation” – which is progressing and changeable.

  • God’s revelation is changeable.
  • But GOD is unchangeable.

We are very changeable. Do you like this word? Do you want change? Of course.

The word change = to the better or to the worse. So, change has two meanings, positive and negative.

God is unchangeable. He is immutable, he never changes, because he is God. God can never be better because he is now perfect. God can never be worse or he would not be God.

God cannot be more holy nor more righteous, nor wiser than yesterday – because he is already perfect.

In this sense, God is absolutely unchangeable. That’s why we can trust him and put our faith in him. Are you sure of this?

But, God’s unchangeability does not mean “immobility.” God is a person, he has emotions – he can be sorrowful, happy, angry. He is active, a speaking God. So, he is very changeable. What does this mean?

God wants a personal friendship and partnership with us – who are very changeable – for better or worse. So, in these relationships with changeable man, it is necessary to change his dealings with changeable man to remain unchangeable in his purpose.

God does not show partiality, nor choose favorites – BUT he deals with us each individually very differently according to our obedience or disobedience. But now, we are living in the last days. That’s why Hebrews encourages us very strongly to “focus” on Christ – the author and perfector of our faith.

We know the transfiguration story of Jesus. Let me say it again briefly. This is important to understand the special revelation of God.


One day, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to a high mountain. Before them, he was transfigured – his face shining like the sun; his clothes white like light. Then, two great men appeared before him.

A voice came from heaven, “This is my Son, listen to him.”

We know that Moses and Elijah were the two greatest prophets in the OT. Moses represented the Law; Elijah the prophets. No matter how great a man, Jesus is greater.


Q: Why are there so many human prophets in the OT? And why Jesus is written in the NT? What is the difference? Why were they all recorded in the Bible? We must be clear in this matter – or we will be confused in our Christian life.

Yes, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, great men of faith.

Then, what is the difference between these men and Jesus? Why were they recorded in the Bible? Still today, God is speaking through Jesus.

The reason all human prophets – including great prophets – are recorded in the Bible so that we may see how they heard, obeyed, and were used by God.

Why Jesus? So we may hear him, obey him, and worship him as Lord and Savior.

There is a BIG difference.

Repeat (next time).

So, who is Christ?

In these short verses, we can see many titles and status’ of Jesus (at least 7).

v. 1-3

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

  1. Jesus is heir of all things – ruler; king; highest position
  2. Jesus is creator
    • 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,
  3. Jesus is visible God – the exact representation of God – the visible expression of the invisible God
    • John “No one has seen God; but God has made him known.”
    • sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
  4. Jesus is sustainer, supporter of all things – including living creation. Even today, God can sustain you in times of stress and hardship. Jesus is sustaining and supporting us always. Also, you are here today by Jesus’ sustaining grace and mercy.
  5. Jesus is provider of all things we need
    • Phil 4:19 “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.”
    • Jehovah Jireh (Provider) – this is who Jesus is to us today. What do you need spiritually, mentally, relationally? Jesus will provide – do not be worried.
  6. Jesus is the purifier of sin. He provides also forgiveness. You know, my sins are so dirty. If I’m not purified, I cannot stand here to preach.
    • 1 John 1:9? “The blood of Christ purifies us from all unrighteousness.”
    • The blood of Jesus has power and authority. He is creator and sacrificed himself for us. No sacrifice for our sin could be greater than that offered by the creator himself.
    • Christ cleansed this whole world and took the penalty for our individual sins with his death on the cross.
    • “…he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
  7. His work was complete.
    • In your own job, if you do not finish your job, you cannot sit down.
    • Jesus sat down because his sacrifice was final and complete. “It is finished” on the cross.
    • At the right hand of the Majesty of heaven = he is equal with God – one person (second) of the Trinity God.

Do you need advice? Go first to Jesus. We must go FIRST to Christ for advice, wisdom, faith, love. No human counselor knows more about our ultimate security and well being than our Lord Jesus does.

Conclusion:

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

Only when you fix you eyes on Jesus can you grow spiritually.

“Fix your eyes on Jesus.”

God bless you through Hebrews.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 09 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Acts 29 Vision
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Acts 29 Vision

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 28:30-31 (Pastor Heo)

This is the last study for Acts, but we know that Acts is not yet complete. If you open your spiritual eyes, you can see that Acts is STILL BEING WRITTEN. Today, let us put these words into practice so that we also may be the co-authors of Acts 29. God bless you.

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.


As we know, Paul had been in prison for 2 years just before going to Rome. Now, he’s in house arrest in Rome for another full 2 years.

Through this story, we can learn a very important lesson from Paul about HOW to make the most of a very bad situation.

He remained under house arrest – this great missionary, apostle of Christ – unable to minister as he desired. So, he simply did WHAT HE COULD. He welcomed all who came to him, he taught, preached, counseled, persuaded, prayed, wrote books of the Bible. He wrote 4 letters (Paul’s Prison Epistles) = Eph, Phil, Col, Philemon.

These remember our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, Jesus succeeded in his mission completely, in the wilderness and his cross. The first man, Adam, failed his mission completely in the most beautiful circumstances (The Garden of Eden).

So, who can say to God, “I cannot serve you because of my bad situation”? No one. If you find yourself in a bad situation, look for ways to serve God and glorify God.

Eph 5:15 “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Within your time, save your time, because the days are evil (KJV))

v. 30-31

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book of Acts has a SUDDEN ending. Why? How? This shows the spread of the gospel going to Rome and the world continually as the Great Commission had directed. Why does Acts stop HERE? Because it’s not about the life of the person Paul, but about the process of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Acts 1:8 is the key verse:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Chp 1-7 = Spread of the gospel in Jerusalem
  • Chp 8-11 = Spread of the gospel in Judea and Samaria
  • Chp 12-28 = Spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Rome)

Among 66 books in the Bible, Acts is the ONLY book which is not yet over – in its mission.

In the Greek Bible, *acolotos* is the last word in this book. The meaning? “Without stop; without hindrance; continually.” This makes the final word in Acts very meaningful.

Today’s Christians are the ones who are to do the continual writing of Acts in the NEXT chapter (Acts chapter 29).

You all have your own personal history, right? This is simple and easy to understand, but meaningful and important.

Everyone – Christian or non – has his own (good or bad) life story and personal history. Then, every Christian is to have TWO life stories (before / after; earthly / spiritual) Every Christian has this life story.

  • Earthy = temporary; on earth
  • Heavenly = eternal; on earth and in heaven

Check your own life story.

“One life; two stories.”

I have one LIFE, but two stories.

All Christians throughout the Bible and throughout history, all have this one life; two stories. Let me show you 3 examples:

#1: Joseph

He was hated / envied by his elder 10 brothers. They sold him into slavery to Egypt. He was Potifer’s slave (one of the king’s officials). He was wrongly accused by the wife and thrown into prison. 2 years later, he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh – and through this, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt (the greatest country of that time). One day, years later, in a great famine, his brothers came to buy food from him twice. In the second coming, he revealed himself to them. “I’m your brother Joseph who you sold into slavery.”

This is Joseph’s earthly life story, but he also interpreted this into two stories.

“Brothers, do not be distressed, because God sent me here ahead of you to save your lives. You intended harm for me, but God intended it for good – the saving of many lives.” This is Joseph’s spiritual life story.

  • Earthly life: “you sold me”
  • Heavenly life: “God sent me”

We are made to have meaning. If your life has meaning, you can bear almost anything. “With a strong enough WHY, you can bear almost any HOW.”

Giving our lives spiritual meaning is important.

#2 Jesus

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago through the womb of the virgin Mary. Like Joseph, he was hated and misunderstood by his fellow Jews. They delivered him to the Roman guards. Pontias Pilate was a profession in finding someone’s faults, but could not find anything wrong with Jesus. He knew he was innocent, but had no courage to set him free – so he handed him over to be executed. He was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again. This is Jesus’ life story (earthly).

Heavenly: God became man in Jesus to come to earth to save us, to die for us, and save us. He was not killed unwillingly, but chose by his own accord to be killed for the salvation of all. “Nobody takes my life from me. I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again, for I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven and is STILL interceding for us on the right hand of God. And one day he will come to complete it all.

  • Earthly: he was killed
  • Heavenly: he sacrificed himself

#3: Paul

Like Joseph and Jesus, he was hated and misunderstood by his Jewish brothers. They arrested him and handed him over to the Romans. Felix, Festus, and Agrippa heard his story, but none set him free. So he appealed to Caesar. He came to Rome to stand on trial before Caesar. This is Paul’s earthly life story.

Heavenly: Paul’s coming to Rome is the sovereign will of God. Some time before, Jesus appeared to him and said, “You will testify about me in Rome.” Also going to Rome and preaching the gospel was Paul’s vision. In Romans: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness about how constantly I pray for you. I long to see you and impart some spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome. I’m not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for all who believe.”

  • Earthly: sent to Rome as a prisoner
  • Heavenly: lead to Rome as a missionary

You also have your own life story.

v. 31

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts finishes not with Paul’s earthly life (and end) but with his spiritual life (and continuation). Earthly life is temporary, heavenly life is eternal.

Who are the ones who are continuing the book of Acts?

Acts 29 Vision

The book is like a relay race (계주/경주).

Do you have experience with this?

In the relay, the ending of the first runner becomes the starting point of the second runner – and the baton is passed on. Those who begin running at the end of Acts 28, continue into Acts 29.

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who focus on preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who are writing the continuation of Acts.

At the end, I want to focus on:

  • the kingdom of God
  • the Lord Jesus Christ

Kingdom of God

Do you have interest in the Kingdom of God? This is our country.

Phil 3:20 “Your citizenship is in heaven.”

So, we must be very interested in this country – this is our country (kingdom).

What / why / when / where / how is the Kingdom of God?

  • Who: You / us / Christians
  • What: Jesus’ first message is about the kingdom of God. John the Baptist’s first message was the same: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.”

The key teaching of Jesus in his ministry was the Kingdom of God – the Beatitudes’ first and last sentences are about the KOG. “Blessed … for theirs is the KOG.”

Especially in Matthew, we can see Jesus say so many times, “The KOG is like….”

Also, our daily and first prayer is about the KOG.

“This is how you should pray: Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus also teaches that your first priority must be about the KOG: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and then all these things will be added to you.”

The fulfillment of the KOG and the end of this age will happen at the same time – they coincide with each other. Jesus says, Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached to ALL nations, and THEN then end will come.”

The fulfillment of the gospel and the end of the world will coincide.

After his resurrection, Christ stayed on earth for 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. In a sense, we can say, Acts starts with the Kingdom of God and closes with the KOG.

What is it?

Kingdom of God === Kingdom of Heaven === Kingdom of Christ

It is a country. Essential elements of a state in the physical world = population, territory, government. In the spiritual world, in the KOG, the most basic idea is = rule / reign / sovereignty.

So, the KOG is the rule / reign of Christ (sovereignty of Christ). This is the rule / reign of God over ALL Creation.

But more narrowly speaking, it is about Christ’s spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who submit and obey willingly the will of God by confessing Christ as Savior and Lord and King.

His Lordship / Kingship / Sovereign governance – if your are really ruled by Christ, then you are a part of the KOG.

When: Now and here

It has been established already,

but not yet made complete (at the age that has yet to happen)

With Jesus’ first coming, the KOG began. “Repent, the KOG is near.” It is present, but also future. With his Second Coming, his Kingdom will be established perfectly and completely.

Where?

It is a country so it can be in a particular place, but it is not limited by space. It transcends time and space. It is in you.

How?

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you know your position in this world? We are ambassadors of Christ. We are sent from our country to this world to establish his kingdom in this world.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jesus)

This world belongs to Satan (temporarily) – “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (Next verse) “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ crucified.”

Our mission is to spread and establish his kingdom in this world: by confessing and preaching Jesus as Lord and Savior, and inviting others in.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the fulfillment of the KOG.

We are now between the first and second coming. (Between the cross and the crown).

Our mission is very simple and clear: to profess and preach Jesus as Lord and Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and to invite others in – to make the population of the KOG larger and larger.

If we do this, we also are writing Acts 29 with God in heaven.

Let us pray together.

  • Jun 02 / 2019
  • Comments Off on At last, Paul arrives in Rome (Acts 28:10-28)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

At last, Paul arrives in Rome (Acts 28:10-28)

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10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Arrival at Rome

11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar–not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

26 ” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”


From Rhegium to Puteoli is about 180 miles. From Puteoli, they had no more boat – but had to walk. It was another 140 miles to Rome (like from Jeonju to Seoul).

Some believers in Rome heard about Paul’s imminent arrival and intercepted his party at Appii Forum (an open square for meeting and discussion).

v. 10-15

” 10They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Arrival at Rome

11After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.”

When Paul was greeted by these Italian brothers & sisters in Christ, he was refreshed and thanked God. Imagine this, after a long, hard, dangerous journey, Paul was thankful and encouraged to see some friendly faces like you.

Today, we also can perform a similar role in the lives of full-time missionaries. TIP:

Paul Mission will have an upcoming mission conference in Gyeonggi-do. If you want you can be blessed by blessing them with your time, little money, loving hearts.

Paul arrived at Rome finally in v. 16

“16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. “

At long last, Paul arrived at Rome – the most powerful and influential city at that time. It was the fulfillment of his long-term vision. Paul received special treatment. The others were delivered to the captain of the soldiers, but he was put under house arrest in a rented house under the guard of one soldier.

What did Paul do first?

v. 17-22

“Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar–not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” “

Paul’s first action was to call together the Jewish brothers & sisters in Rome and explain why he had to come.

Briefly: The Jews arrested him in Jerusalem and delivered him to the Roman government. They examined him, but did not find him guilty. So they wanted to set him free. But the Jewish religious leaders disagreed strongly, so Paul was forced to appeal to Caesar.

His real purpose for meeting the Italian Christians was to share the kingdom of God and the Messiah-ship of Jesus.

This hope for which he was accused is the message of the gospel. In his defense, Paul mentioned the phrase, “the hope of Israel” several times.

  • on trial for my hope in the resurrection
  • I have hope in God for the resurrection (before Felix)
  • I have hope in Christ – because of this I was charged (before Agrippa)

v. 21-22

“21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” “

In Rome, everyone was talking against Christianity. “Heresy” = wrong doctrine, cult, terrible doctrine.

Christians believed in only ONE God, but Romans had many false gods, including Caesar. His hope is the hope of Israel, the hope of the world.

v. 23-24

“23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. “

This must have been the most exciting home Bible study in history. Can you be patient with me if I share the Bible with you from morning to evening? This must be 10 hours.

Paul tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and Prophets (Old Testament). He tried to convince them about Jesus from the OT.

Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you have eternal life, but these Scriptures testify about me.”

Today’s Christians are more blessed than Christians from 2,000 years ago – because we have OT and NT.

Early Christians believed in Christ only through the witness of the OT and lived powerful influential Christian lives at that time. We must be able to live more powerful Christian lives today because we have the complete, perfect Bible. We are also much nearer to the end of this world than they were.

The main theme of the Bible is about Jesus.

The religious leaders studied hard, but refused to come to Jesus. Even today, many Christians study much but don’t come to Christ.

v. 25-28

“25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

26 ” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!””

What is the response of this congregation to Paul’s message? Disagreement, some believed, some rejected. Some were persuaded, some would not believe regardless of Paul’s passion and urging.

Today is the same. I’m delivering the sermon. This is an attempt to convince the congregation about Christ through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Sermon’s purpose is always the same: to persuade the church members about Christ by the ministry of the HS.

Some are convinced, but some reject.

This is always the same. The same sunlight melts ice and also hardens the clay.

Moses and Pharaoh experienced the same works of God, the same miracles, and powers, at the same time and same place. Moses came nearer and nearer to God, his heart softer and meeker, and humble. But Pharaoh went farther and farther from God, his heart becoming calloused and proud.

God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to repent, but he rejected them all.

Whenever we receive the Word of God, we should check our attitudes.

“Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Paul quoted v. 26-28 from Isaiah 6:9-10

Even though the Jews knew all about God in an academic way, they did not know God in a personal way. Though the Word of God was in their heads, it had never filtered down to their hearts and changed their lives.

Today, is the Word of God changing your life?

Conclusion:

From Paul’s journey to Rome, we can learn 3 lessons.

Remember his journey story, let’s get these lessons.

1. Nothing can stop the will of God

The will of God for Paul was that he would go to Rome and preach the gospel. Yes, we know this looked impossible – there were many plots to kill Paul, Jewish accusations against him – years of imprisonment, a shipwreck in a typhoon, bitten by a viper. There were so many hindrances – but no attack from Satan would hinder God’s will.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Question: Do you have a vision? Just like Paul, or vision must be worldwide – but at the same time it must be focused. We must include the whole world with our hearts and prayer – but we must focus on a particular target because we are limited in knowledge and skills. God’s way is always better, he knows what he’s doing.

1 Thess “The one who calls us is faithful.”

2. We can serve God by helping others under any circumstances IF WE WILL

What are your circumstances? God knows. But remember under any circumstances, we can serve God by helping others if we choose to.

Paul’s situation was BAD from a human perspective. He was a shipwrecked prisoner but on this trek to Rome alone, he continued to minister to others:

  • Roman centurion, Julius
  • Captain and owner of the ship
  • Passengers of the ship
  • Leader of Malta and his father
  • People of Malta
  • Jewish believers
  • Roman believers

Almost all were affected by PAUL.

What the power and influence of only one person!

Because of this one faithful person, the gospel continued to spread.

v. 28 = if you accept the gospel, it will spread through you.

But if you reject it, the gospel will continue to spread through others.

The gospel has life.

Do not make any excuses before God.

3. God is so faithful in keeping his promise

Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.”

But God provides what we NEED not always what we WANT.

Paul lost everything in the shipwreck – he was merely a survivor. He had nothing but life in Christ. But remember, in this terrible situation, if his first priority was eating, drinking, wearing, then he would be a literal beggar. But his priority #1 was the kingdom of God and sharing the gospel.

So, God’s promise was realized in his life.

“Do not worry about what you should eat and drink and wear. Pagans run after these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them, so seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

This promise was proven in Paul’s life. Question: Is God’s promise real in your life?

v. 10

“10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. “

Still today, his promise is available. Don’t worry about what to eat, drink, wear – but seek first his kingdom and righteousness and then all these things will be given to you as well.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 01 / 2019
  • Comments Off on In Malta (Acts 28:1-10)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

In Malta (Acts 28:1-10)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/in-malta

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 28:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.


The distance from Fair Havens to Malta = 720 km.

Malta became a British colony in 1815 – played a very important role in WWII. Got independence in 1964, joined the European Union later as well.

I say this things to emphasize that the Bible is not just a story, but all facts. Today’s story is “what happened during their stay at Malta”. They stayed there for three months.


Can you picture this? They survived but became beggars, losing all their things. The people of Malta were very kind and generous, showing hospitality to the shipwrecked survivors. It was raining and cold, but they were already wet. They were probably trembling with cold, so they needed heat.

The islanders built a fire for heat. Paul gathered a bundle of wood. We know he was a very good man, he was like a savior or hero to the survivors – but no task is too small for the man of God. Paul was not ashamed to be useful in the smallest thing – like Jesus.

Phil 2 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. In humility… our attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ.”

Paul gathered the bundle of wood – a very practical action. As he put it on the fire, a viper jumped from the bundle and bit him on his hand. Maybe that snake was hibernating.

The islanders knew how dangerous a viper bite was, so they thought he must have been a murderer – believing “karma” would not let him live. They thought something bad must happen to him – but nothing bad happened to him. So they changed their minds and called him “god.”

We remember in Lystra in chp 14, a similar thing happened. Paul and Barnabas healed a crippled man and the people called them gods. Paul tore his clothes and stopped them saying, “We too are men like you.” Then he preached the gospel of salvation in Christ.

In this way Paul became outstanding among them. Publius, the leader welcomed Paul and his team and entertained them. But his father was sick with fever and dysentery. Paul prayed for him and healed him – and immediately the whole island came to him for healing.

We know that Luke is a medical doctor. In this situation, Luke could use his medical skill and expertise – so they could work together in this ministry. In church history, this job is the first Medical Mission (Paul + Luke).

So, what was the problem with these people of Malta? Humanly speaking, they were very kind, warm, generous. They had morality, they were nice, but didn’t know who God was. They didn’t know how to be saved.

  • They first called Paul “murderer.”
  • Then they called Paul “god.”

From murderer to god – both were wrong. So, today, we also must be careful to not only understand who people are from their outward appearance.

They were nice, but they didn’t know who God was. Many people in this world don’t know who God is, nor how to be saved, rescued.

So, let me make clear:

  1. Who God is
  2. What God is like
  3. How to be saved

Are you clear on these matters?

If so, our mission / ministry is to help / serve / tell others.

Not only that time, but since the creation of the world, there are SO many wrong beliefs and opinions about God. This is one of the biggest problems in human history. There are 8-9 beliefs about God and they are all wrong – except ONE.

We must know that in your study and theory, there may be many opinions, but the “right” one is only one. Also in this matter, there is only one “right” one.

Let us make it very clear in this limited time and then help and serve others with this information. God bless you.

Wrong beliefs about God

1. Atheism – denies the existence of God.

“There is no god.”

But they are cheating their own spiritual conscience. “A fool says in his heart, ‘There is no god.'”

Heb 3:4 “All buildings have a builder. Like this, all creation has a creator.” Imagine someone looking at a building and saying, “Look at this amazing building with no builder!” How foolish! How can what has been made have been made by chance? This is foolish.

2. Agnosticism – Does not deny God, but denies the possibility of the knowledge of God.

“There may be a god, but we cannot know him.”

“I don’t know. How can we know?”

This is a comfortable refuge for intellectuals – but it means they escape / hide from any responsibility about God. Sooner or later, a seeker will FIND God. “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities have been made known, so that no one is without excuse.” (Romans 1)

3. Materialism – denies the existence of the spirit – all reality is only physical matter

Practical question: Is money god? NO. But practically, money can be a small god.

“You cannot serve both God and money” (Jesus) – money cannot be served / worshiped. (The love of money) is a root of all kinds of evil.

Our spirit knows this visible world is only preparation for eternity.

“A man is destined to die once and after that to face the judgment.” We must remember this crucial word of God.

4. Pantheism – (many / all gods) – “pan” (all) “theism” (god) – all is god, god is all

This is Hinduism (among other beliefs). Its highest hope is Nirvana (to desire less). But this is impossible because we are created to seek something, to fill ourselves with something. So the Bible says, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit”

5. Polytheism – “poly” (many) “theism” (god)

Many gods. Kitchen god, rain god, computer god, passion god. In Japan there are 8 million gods.

The Bible condemns this paganism as idolatry. The FIRST commandment of the 10 commandments = “You shall have no other gods before me.”

6. Deism (“dios”) God – believes in a transcendent but absent God.

He created the universe and LEFT it to sustain it by itself according to the natural laws.

They say with their mouths, “There is god”, but they live like there is no god. So, practically, they are like atheists.

7. Dualism – belief of 2 opposite gods who are fighting each other.

One god is god of spirit and light and life. The other is god of matter and darkness and death.

Some people may think this is true.

Yes, God is God, and Satan is the opposite god of God. He is called “god of this Age.”

The problem? The two gods are EQUAL in power and authority – so the conflict is neverending. This is totally unbiblical. Satan is a CREATED being who is limited in his power. He will be cast out by God and punished in hell. Satan has ZERO authority because Jesus proclaimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.”

He has temporary, limited power.

8. Monotheism – ONE God

One and only one God. We believe in God only – only one God who created the universe and is sustaining all things with his power and word. He is a person, with a personality, so it is possible to have a relationship with him. He is compassionate, but righteous and just.

“I’m a monotheist. I believe in monotheism.”

This is good. Up to now, no problem. But there is a practical problem. We must be very careful from this point in helping others.

Even Judaism believes in only one God. In a sense they are stronger than us in believing in only God.

Muslims also say they are monotheists – there is only one God.

Christians, Muslims, Jews, believe in only one God. The problem? The difference? Jesus.

What is the biblical belief about God.

Biblical monotheism = Triune monotheism (Trinity Monotheism)

Yes, there is only ONE God (in three persons):

  1. Father God
  2. Son Jesus Christ
  3. Holy Spirit

There is ONE God – one essence – one purpose – in three persons.

This is a big mystery, so here is a small illustration to help understand this.

I (pastor) am one person in three elements:

  1. Body,
  2. mind,
  3. soul (body, soul, spirit)

I am one intelligence in three areas:

  1. intelligence,
  2. willpower,
  3. knowledge

But this is NOT ENOUGH to explain the mystery of mysteries of the Trinity God, but it helps to shed SOME light on this complex problem.

God’s thought is higher than our thoughts, and his ways are higher than our ways. He is infinite / limitless in his power, wisdom, authority. But we are very limited in our understanding and wisdom.

So, if EVERYTHING is understandable to us, he is not God. If we understand ALL things about God, then he is not higher than us, and he is not God.

How can we apply these mysteries of God?

The second person God became man: John 1:14 “God became man; the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Nobody has ever seen God.

Jesus is full God and became full man. 1 Tim 2:5 “There is only one God and one mediator between God and man.”

“Jesus is full God and full man.”

Jesus is full God and full man = left hand (God), right hand (man) – as full God Jesus is the representation of the Trinity God facing man – so how we treat Jesus is exactly the same way we treat the Father God.

“To accept me is the accept the one who sent me. To hate me is to hate the one who sent me.”

  • Jesus (as God) is the representation of the Trinity God facing man.
  • Jesus (as man) is the representative of all human beings in approaching God.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life – no one comes to the father except through me.”

The Bible encourages us, “Fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfector of our faith.”

  • “Fix my eyes on Jesus Christ;
  • Focus my thought on Jesus Christ.”

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen