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  • Mar 29 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)

2020.03.29 Full Online service

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Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

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The conclusion of Chapter 11: Faith

Hebrews 12:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

God Disciplines His Sons

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.


We finished chp 11’s study last time: the chapter of Faith. Through this study, we have seen heroes of faith in the OT. These are just a few, so the author says, “What more shall I say? I don’t have enough time to tell more.”

This first part of chp 12 is the conclusion of chp 11.

“Because..” we have seen faith, the demonstration and power of faith, … these 4 verses are actually the conclusion of chp 11.

In this conclusion, we can see a strong word: “Let us”

  1. Let us throw off
  2. Let us run
  3. Let us fix our eyes

This is not a suggestion, but a strong, absolute encouragement.

1. Altogether, we must do it together.

We must edify, minister, serve together because we are linked together as one body of Christ, we are affected and affecting each other. So, in verse 1, we can see the summary of the Christian life. What is it in this world?

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance [endurance, determination] the race marked out for us.”

We are like runners, athletes, marathon runners.

First, we have a purpose, a goal, a finishing line. We have a finishing line in our lives – a purpose, a goal, a final destination.

Yes, as Christians, we are travelers, foreigners, pilgrims, but we are not tourists. Our lives are leading somewhere. We must lead goal-driven, purpose-driven lives. What is the purpose of your lives? What is driving your life? What is the driving force?

We have purpose, a finishing line, but like runners, every athlete has his own running course and finishing line. But the running course / finishing line is just offered to them – they have no right to decide their own course or finishing line. This running course and finishing line was offered to them by the host of the race.

Like this we have a course and a finish line, but we have no right to choose our own course nor finish line – because we are not the hosts. Our maker, God, Creator, Father, is the host.

Romans 8:28 “God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.”

2. We have witnesses / inspiration

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,…”

This cloud of witnesses was introduced in the previous chapter, 11. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Joseph. Also, my father and mother are acting as witnesses for me / to me.

They are witnesses in a double sense – they witnesses about their confession to Christ, and are now witnessing to us, but not as spectators.

Martyr comes from the Greek word translated for “witness.” They are not merely observing us, but they are witnessing to us, and God is witnessing to us. From this truth, we can know that this is a hard time, but whatever sufferings we are going through, there are many witnesses and people of faith before us who suffered much more than us, but endured to the end and won the race. They are cheering us on: “I did it! So can you! Endure to the end!”

We do not struggle alone – we are not the first people who are experiencing suffering and difficulties, and we have witnesses.

3. We have handicaps / weaknesses

We are surrounded by the greatness of the past, but are also surrounded by our handicaps / weaknesses / hindrances.

v. 1

“…let us throw off [remove] everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,…”

We must know that yes, we are human, so we are surrounded by sin and temptation to sin as long as we stay in this world. But we must know that with sin, it is impossible to run and finish this race well.

What is sin that so easily entangles you or me? Disbelief, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, lust, envy, jealousy, self-indulgence? What is the sin holding us back from running this race? Whatever it is, it must be stripped off and left behind.

Jesus “If you eye / hand / foot causes you to sin, gouge it out because it is better for you to enter heaven with only one, than go to hell with both.”

This shows that we cannot finish this race without radical determination and fighting. We must fight continually – not only sin, but also hindrances – they must be removed.

What are hindrances? Maybe not sin, but if it hinders your running, it must be removed.

“…let us throw off every [weight]…”

For example: my necktie, nice? Yes, wearing a necktie and these clothes are not a sin, but if I participate in a running race, I must remove these things – I must change my clothes because these make me heavy, weighty, and slow, preventing me from running well in this race.

This about this sincerely. What is holding you back from this faith race? We must be very sincere and honest in this question.

4. We have means / method to endure

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

– endurance, perseverance

We know in a marathon, endurance, perseverance, stamina, energy are essential. Like this, in the Christian race, endurance is very essential. But we must know that biblical endurance is not merely sitting down and receiving things, rather it means refusing to give up without the loss of hope. Biblical perseverance = nothing can stop us from going our course until we reach our final destination and touch the final finishing line.

How is this possible? How can we do it in this world?

Today’s sermon is : the conclusion of chp 11. So, what is the conclusion of this message?

The conclusion: Jesus Christ

The answer to all the questions: Jesus Christ

v. 2-4

“2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” [the point of death]

Remember in chp 11, there is one sentence I repeated almost every time? “by faith…” we are saved, justified, being sanctified, will be glorified, can please God, can overcome this world.

This was purposeful – to make something clear. We can see what is clear in this sentence: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, faith helps us to be positive in our thinking, and optimistic in our perspective, strong in our self / mind control. But we must be clear that positive thinking itself is not faith, an optimisitic attitude is not faith.

Faith = believing in Christ as Savior and Lord – accepting and confessing him, committing my whole life to him as Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the source, the ground, the foundation, the reason, object, goal, of our faith, the author and perfecter of our faith.

This means, he is the founder, originator, pioneer, finisher of our faith. So, I said in the first sentence, in the Christian life we have 4 things – and the answer is found only in Christ.

  1. Goal / Purpose (Christ is our goal – if he is your Savior and Lord) – our worship, service, ministry, everything we are doing must be Christ-centric because he is the measure of all things
  2. Witness / inspiration (Jesus is the inspiration of all inspirations) – we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but Jesus must be the whole sky – the center of our sight.
  3. Handicaps / temptations (the only way to find freedom, cleansing, sanctification from all these things is Jesus – 1 John “the blood of Christ purifies us from all sins”)
  4. Means / endurance / patience (through the study of chp 11, we have seen how much they endured in their lives, but Jesus endured far more than any hero of faith in chp 11)

Jesus endured the cross. It means = shame, suffering, opposition, contradiction, the most terrible / horrible / painful / shameful death.

v. 4

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

None of us endured to the point of death – but he did. On the cross, he suffered for all the sins of all the people all over the world. Only Jesus is a perfect example for us to follow – a perfect example of patience and endurance.

1 Peter 2 “To this you were called, because Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow.”

He is an example and an enabler.

v. 3

“Consider him..” This is the greatest power – as long as we consider what he did and how he did it, there is nothing in this world we cannot endure. He is the greatest power in this world to overcome all things, temptations, challenges, hardships.

Why / how could he do that and for what?

v. 2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This event happened 2000 years ago, but due to that joy, he is now rejoicing. We can know pain is short, but joy is long, eternal.

What joy was he expecting? He endured the cross expecting the joy set before him in advance. What was that joy? It enabled him to endure even the cross, even to the point of death.

We can see at least 3 kinds of joys he was expecting

  1. Joy of the reunion with his Father in heaven (his homecoming day)
  2. Joy of being crowned with honor and glory and making everything put under his feet (after resurrection “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me”)
  3. Joy of salvation of his believers (your salvation is Jesus’ joy – he endured for our salvation)

If Jesus did not endure the cross, then your and my salvation would be impossible. Due to his sacrifice on the cross, our salvation has become possible.

So, today, what is our joy?

Today Jesus invites us to share in his joy together. If we can see that joy set before us by faith in advance, then we can endure any situation and difficulty even joyfully.

God bless us that Jesus’ joy make be ours. Still his joy is available to us if we live by faith in Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 22 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)

Watch full service on YouTube

Download Notes in a .MD file

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

By faith let us stand firm to the end

Hebrews 11:35-40 (Pastor Heo)

35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.


Let us trust God fully and wholly in this time. God bless his church in this time.

This is the last part of this great chapter on faith, but we will see the conclusion of this chapter next time in the first part of chp 12. Let’s open our Bibles and read together.


Faith, what is faith? Being sure of what we hope for – assurance, conviction, confidence in the unseen. By faith we are saved, justified, being sanctified, and one day we will be glorified. By faith we please God, give glory to God, overcome the world. Today, according to the text, let me share some characteristics of real faith.

Faith has the power of balance.

Faith is unconditional.

Relative faith is not faith. Conditional faith is not faith. What does it mean, “Faith has the power of balance”?

Last time: By faith, they experienced wonderful victory in war, marvelous deliverance and escape from lions and fury of fire, experienced the rising of the dead. This is the power of great faith.

Today, the story looks the opposite.

By the same faith, some experienced empowerment to persevere, endure in suffering to the end even to the point of death – without losing their hope of the better and eternal resurrection.

Faith provides empowerment.

To persevere and endure in suffering.

Something true can be proved as true. This can be proven as true only by enduring to the end.

If we have “true” faith in Christ, how can we prove it? We can reveal it as true only by remaining faithful to Christ to the end.

Jesus “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Something that is revealed, exposed as not true in the end was not true from the beginning.

So, steadfast faith in Christ does not guarantee a problemless life in this world. Actually true faith almost always guarantees some form of abuse in this world.

v. 36-37

“36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–“

From the world’s view, they are miserable losers – terrible losers. From the temporary and material, they lost everything. But in God’s view, they are great winners and great victors. From the eternal values, they gained everything.

What is faith? The power to see something from God’s view, not from the world’s view – from an eternal value, not a temporary value.

Sometimes to endure and persevere takes more faith than to escape. If God is glorified by delivering his people, yes, he will do that – deliver them from suffering, from difficulties, from any hardships. God is almighty God.

But if it is better to suffer and persevere for some time even to the end (from his eternal perspective) then God will allow us to suffer. But he will provide us with power to endure and persevere.

So, do not conclude that the absence of immediate deliverance is a lack of love for his children.

Faith looks to the future – to eternity

For that is where the greatest rewards are found. Faith empowers us to turn from the approval of this world and seek the approval of God.

Some baby Christians may think that pain and suffering are an exception in the Christian life. So when this happens, they may ask, “Why me?” and they may feel that God deserted them – and is not as dependable as they thought.

But mature Christians ask, “Why NOT me?” If we expect pain or suffering, we will not be surprised when suffering comes.

John 16:33 “In this world, you will have troubles, but take heart: I have overcome the world.”

We can overcome the world, any kinds of suffering, pain, difficulty, hardship, by faith in Christ.

v. 38

“38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

The world was not worthy of them…

This sentence is very short, but VERY powerful.

It means this world was not worthy of those who live by faith. The evaluation of this world and that of God are totally different.

Paul: a good illustration of this.

  • The world evaluated Paul: “You are out of your mind! You are insane! Not fit to live!”
  • God said, “You are my chosen vessel, my chosen instrument – for my purpose.”

This is very different. If you live by faith in Christ, God will be very proud to be called your father. If you live by faith in Christ, this world does not deserve to contain you as its own possession.

Example:

A container + a thing

If the container is so dirty, but the thing is so pure and clean and precious, then this container is not worthy of this thing.

Like this, the world is sinful and selfish and only material, temporary.

If we are really people of faith, it means we are fighting the good fight against sin and selfishness.

Yes, we are a body, but also spirit and made to live eternally with God in heaven. Thus, this world does not deserve to contain us as its own possession.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires and passions pass away, but the man who does the will of God [lives by faith] lives forever.”

Even though we live in this world, remember, the world is not worthy of us because we are living by faith in Christ.

v. 39-40

“39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

For several times we have studied this great chapter of faith. Do you remember the opening verse?

v 39 and v 2 are similar:

  • v 39 “These were all commended for their faith, “
  • v 2 “This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Those who persevered in suffering were commended for their faith. It means that God never forgets those who love him and serve him.

v 39 “yet none of them received what had been promised.”

This means: God had planned something better for you and me.

Hebrews is the book of better:

  • Better hope,
  • better sacrifice,
  • and so on.

God has planned “something better” – what is it? A new and better covenant, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The faithful of OT times died before the Messiah appeared, so they entered heaven by faith – with the Promise unfulfilled. Only IN Jesus Christ (the new covenant), their salvation, our salvation, and the salvation of future believers – will be made perfect and complete.

One day, all the OT believers, NT believers, and future believers will share the promised blessing in Jesus Christ.

Faith is personal, individual, and private.

We know that faith is personal, individual, and private. I’m saved by MY faith – not my parents’. This means it is personal, individual and private. At the same time, faith involves the entire community of all believers. So how can we get connected? To the local church, through a small group, sharing with each other. To the Christian overseas, through the support of missions.

Also, all believers in Christ are connected vertically and horizontally – with one Savior, one Father, one hope.

Faith is also social.

Our salvation / faith is personal, but also social. It concerns the whole children and family of God.

As I mentioned, all believers are called a “family of God” with one hope, one Savior, one Father.

God is in control of everything. He is so faithful in keeping his word and fulfilling his promise. The Bible encourages us: “Do not be afraid, do not fear, do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus’ saying looks likes opposites.

  • He says, “In this world you will have trouble.”
  • and also, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

If we have faith, we can live without fear.

Q: Is Jesus really your Lord and Savior? If that is true, that is enough. Jesus encourages us and promises “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me shall never die.” Do you believe this?

Jesus challenges us in this.

Promise: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted [to suffer] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor 10:13 – Jesus himself suffered for us, and is now sitting in heaven and interceding for us.

Hebrews “Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Romans 8:38 “In all things, [including what is happening all around us today], God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Amen

Let us stand firm to the end by faith. Let us love God and Christ more and more with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength because he is working for our good, for our benefit from an eternal perspective.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 15 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)

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Hallelujah!

God is looking for true worshipers to worship in spirit and truth. If you are worshiping God in truth and spirit, God is with you there. But I miss you. I long to see you again in this room together. So let us continue to worship and pray believing his wonderful promise. In all things, God is working together to bless those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Hebrews 11:32-34

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

And what more shall I say? ….

Gideon, Barack, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets…


We are still in the great chapter of faith. We know and agree totally by faith we are saved, we are justified, sanctified, we can overcome any problem in this world, please God, we can see the glory of God, the presence of God, the unseen. By faith we can experience victory.

“By faith, we can experience victory!”

I bless you to experience wonderful victory in life by faith through Jesus Christ.

The OT records the lives of many people who experienced wonderful victory by faith. As we know, faith is a dynamic certainty. A visual certainty, and future certainty. The role call of the heroes of faith continues here.

v. 32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets,

Only a few are mentioned here, but none of them are perfect in their character. Many of their sins are recorded in the OT but these people were among those who believed in God. These people lived by faith in their whole lives. It means faith can operate in the lives of any person who surrenders to the will of God.

David, Samuel, the prophets and so on. Faith can operate in the lives of anyone who surrenders their whole lives to God. Let us see each of them one by one.

Gideon

One of the judges in the OT in Judges. Gideon was a timid farmer at first, but God had a great vision for him to become a great and mighty warrior. One day the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Though he was a timid farmer, the Lord called him a “mighty warrior.”

As we know, he conquered the Midianite army with a group of only 300 men armed with trumpets and torches, no swords. This is the victory by faith.

Barak

At first he refused to go forward, but at the prompting of Deborah, he assembled 10,000 men and faced the army before them and won a tremendous victory by faith in God.

Samson

We know this story well. In his story, he was always fighting alone. He was also a judge in the book of Judges. He was a Nazarite – devoted to God from birth. He never cut his hair, never drank alcohol, etc. But usually we don’t think of Samson as a man of faith – a godly man – because of his love life with an ungodly woman. But finally, Samson trusted God wholly and was willing to give his life to serve God and destroy his enemies.

David

We know his story – he had once been just a shepherd boy. But to his own and everyone else’s astonishment, he was anointed king over all his brothers. He defeated all his enemies and brought peace to Israel.

One day, in his battle against Goliath, he showed great faith by shouting against his enemy. He was just a teenager at that time. “You came against me with sword, javelin, and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord, whom you have defied today. Today, the Lord will hand you over to my hand so that all Israel will know that you are the Lord God.”

Samuel

Samuel was the last judge and a prophet. He was the founder of the kings of Israel – he anointed both Saul and David.

Samuel had lived a life of faith since he was a boy. By faith, he delivered the word of God to anyone at any time by faith, boldly – even to the sinning King Saul. “Does the Lord delight in the sacrifices and burnt offerings as much as to obey the voice of the Lord. To obey is better than sacrifice. To heed the voice of God is better than the fat of lambs.” This faithful proclamation became a mark of true prophets.

The Prophets

They were faithful and isolated witnesses to God. They demonstrated that faith will accomplish much and has the power to overcome enemies and gain victory.

Who is our enemy today? Satan, sin, unspiritual world.

There is a demonstration of what happened by faith in their practical lives.

v. 32-34 – this is the example of demonstration by faith

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

In this passage, we see 8 examples:

  1. conquered kingdoms (OT history) – Joshua, Judges, King David conquered kingdoms and enemies
  2. administered justice – Judges, Nehemiah, other national leaders administered justice and righteousness to the people
  3. gained what was promised – some people in the OT did see the fulfillment of God’s promise (Possession of the Promised Land)
  4. shut the mouth of lions (Daniel) – saved from the mouths of lions but not only him – it could also refer to David and Samson
  5. quenched the fury of the flames (Daniel) – Shadrach, Mishach, Abednego – saved and delivered from the fire, from the burning furnace “Even though we are thrown into the fire, we believe our God is able to save us; yet even if he doesn’t we will continue to serve our God” (this is absolute faith in God)
  6. escaped the edge of the sword – David, Elijah, Elisha
  7. whose weakness was turned to strength – King Hezekiah – experienced tremendous recovery and wonderful healing and strength after his sickness
  8. became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies

Joshua experienced this wonderful victory and power against their enemies.

We believe God is alive. Do you believe this? God is still the same in his power.

Heb 13:8 “Our Lord Jesus is the same yesterday (OT), today, and forever.”

From this story, we get three lessons to apply and enjoy:

1. Victories against enemies

We also can experience this by faith in Christ

We may have a similar experience to those of OT saints, but more likely those victories will be more related to the role God wants us to play. These may not include such dramatic events as these, but surely includes the moment our faith is tested. At that moment, we must be able to give our testimony publicly, honestly, and encourage the faith of others.

We agree that even though our bodies deteriorate, and will die some day, but we will live forever in eternity in Jesus Christ, simply because we believe in him.

Our physical death will be defeated and conquered. His victory will be made perfect and complete.

Romans 8:33-39 “In all these things… (including what is happening today)… we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…neither death nor life… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in us in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There is no longer any condemnation through Christ.

1. Victory through faith

2. God can deliver the faithful man

Who is the faithful One? If you are the faithful One today, then God can deliver you and me ANYTIME he wants.

  1. Noah, for example, were saved from a flood that drowned all the rest of the human race at that time.
  2. Moses and the people walked through the Red Sea as on dry land.
  3. Joshua crossed the flooded Jordan river.
  4. Rahab survived the fallen walls of Jericho.
  5. Gideon prevailed 1000:1 against an army.

Like this, God also can deliver us TODAY, victoriously, triumphantly – and he can save us at any time from difficulties, persecutions, coronavirus, oppression of the culture today – God is doing this job again and again.

Salvation is God’s job. But we must remember: All the time, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ.

3. If you have faith in Christ, God has a wonderful plan for your life

God has a mission / task for your life. It is impossible to live by faith without mission. It is impossible to live by faith without a God-given task. We can do nothing apart from Christ, but at the same time, IN Jesus Christ, by faith in him, we CAN do. We can do great things that are only possible by faith.

So if we are to do great things, we must accept these things by faith willingly, confidently, because he was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised again to life for our sanctification and glorification.

By faith, we can experience victory!

1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world – even our faith in Jesus Christ.”

God bless all of us for his glory, for his kingdom, for our victory in this world, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 08 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

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God wants to save someone through you

Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1, 6:25 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


We have faith in Jesus – the power to see the unseen. God is spirit – this means he is a person, alive, eternal, but not material. God is anywhere, everywhere at the same time.

If you can see God by faith, where you are, then God is there because he is the most holy God. God bless us all with his peace and joy.


Last Sunday we saw the demonstration of faith by Joshua and his people. They entered Jericho and circled it 13 times. The last time, they shouted the shout of faith – crying the cry of faith to God. With the shouting and trumpet blast, the wall of Jericho collapsed totally by the power of God.

In this complete destruction, there was one person, saved from this destruction – Rahab (and her family).

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

  1. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.
  2. Then 40 years passed and they entered the entrance of the Promised Land, Canaan.
  3. They needed to spy it out again because the whole older generation was gone and Moses was no longer with them.
  4. So the new leader, Joshua – one of the original 12 spies, sent out 2 new spies to investigate the fortifications of Jericho.
  5. Only 2 men went Jericho and entered a hotel – the house of Rahab. The king there heard this and sent soldiers to arrest the spies.

Rahab hid the spies on her roof and later said to them, “I know God has given this land to you – the whole land is in fear because of you. Your God is the real God of heaven and earth.” This means Rahab saw the unseen.

Rahab asked them, “Swear to me to show me and my family kindness because I have shown you kindness.” They said, “OK, put a scarlet cord on the window of your house. When we destroy the city, we will spare you and your family when we see the scarlet cord. But remember, if anyone goes outside your house, we will not be responsible for their destruction. But anyone inside your house, we will be responsible for their deliverance.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

This means, Rahab saw the unseen – she demonstrated her faith in God by welcoming the spies. She trusted herself and her family to God when Jericho was destroyed completely. We don’t know how many nor who exactly were inside the house of Rahab, but what is sure is that everybody who was inside the house of Rahab was spared from total destruction – due to the scarlet cord hanging over her window.

Scarlet = blood color

This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of the Passover Lamb which had happened 40 years earlier when they left Egypt. Also, that night, anyone inside the house with the blood of the Passover Lamb was saved from the destruction of the first born.

This means, what happened with Rahab compares with the Passover Lamb. This is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ – shed on the cross for us – who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for our sin, justification, salvation.”

This means, through the story and action of Rahab, we can know that true faith must always show itself in good works.

Remember the book of James – this book makes it clear that true faith produces works. It uses 2 people as examples of true faith: Abraham and Rahab. This is amazing.

This means that Abraham and Rahab are presented as parallels in the same level of faith.

“Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son on the altar. Like this, Rahab was justified by faith when she received the spies and sent them away safely.”

The point: Abraham’s faith was costly – Rahab’s faith was costly. True faith shows up in action – even when it costs.

Simple question: Is our faith real? Can it be seen in our action? Are we willing to let it cost us something? We can, we will if our faith is real.

Also true faith helps us to turn around and do what is right regardless of our past or what others may think.

Yes, we are now studying the great chapter of faith. Until now, we have seen individual persons “by faith…” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab…

Among all of them, Rahab is the ONLY woman: a Gentile, pagan, prostitute. She is the LAST listed “by faith.”

This means that God’s works are not limited by people’s limitations. He can do GREAT things through people who are not great. He is doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He uses all kinds of people to accomplish his job, his purpose, his design. He wants to use you and me because God is great.

Through this story of Rahab, remember: nobody can give an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, in this story we can know who was Rahab, so we must know the sentence, “I don’t know very much about the Bible can NOT be an excuse for not knowing Christ. She knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she knew.”

Romans “From the beginning of the world, God’s divine powers and eternal attributes can be seen, so that no one can boast.”

In my experience, I’ve met so many people who said, “I’m too bad to be saved.” But no one is too bad. This woman was a prostitute, but delivered by her faith through God.

1 Tim “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner, of whom I’m the worst.”

“The son of God did not come into the world for the healthy, but for the sick.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he saved his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

There is no one in this world who cannot be saved. God wants everyone to come to him and be saved.

Also, we can get a great lesson from this story to enjoy and apply in our lives.

Rahab received not only salvation from this destruction, but also glorification.

You know, Joshua 6:25 “…She lives [present tense] among the Israelites to this day.” What does this mean? In the church history, Rahab became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married an Israelite named Salmon – the father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. This means, she is the great great grandmother of King David.

In Matthew 1, we can also see her name in the genealogy of Jesus.

Imagine, a prostitute becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. That’s what faith can do.

In our story, sin, just like Rahab’s story – if we have faith, it will be rewarded in glory.

Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits.”

Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Cols 3 “When Jesus Christ appears, you also will appear will him in Jesus Christ….”

God is working his purposes through his people, but he does not expect perfection from us because he knows how weak we are. He gives grace, mercy, wisdom, compassion, even faith. But he does expect us to take action because of our faith. He expects us to hang a scarlet cord over our windows in faith. Still today, he wants to save our families.

Acts “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Still today, God wants to save our family, our household, our neighbors, our friends, through us.

God bless us as a heavenly channel of salvation, justification, and glorification.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 01 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)

March 1, 2020 Full online service

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let us shout: “Hallelujah!”

Hebrews 11

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 


“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Christianity = hope for a better future. The best is yet to come because we are made to live eternally. By faith we see God who is in control of everything – working for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

Last Sunday, Moses’ faith.
Today, Joshua’s faith (Moses successor).

The people of Israel came out of Egypt for the Promised Land, and Moses led them in the wilderness for 40 years up to the entrance of the Promised Land. At that moment, Moses was succeeded by Joshua. And at last, the people entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. But the Promised Land was not a furnished apartment, nor an empty land. Even though they received it, they had to fight to take and occupy it.

How about in our story? We are saved: salvation guarantees eternal, exciting, heavenly life, but salvation does not mean “easy life” nor a jobless life. Rather, we are entrusted with a task, a great mission to fight for and fulfill in this world.

In this world, the first enemy they fought against was Jericho city – a fortified stronghold. At that time, most of the Israelites had never even seen a fortified city. So, to take that fortified city, it seemed impossible. It was impossible to conquer. But Joshua 6:1 says, “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.”

At this moment, God said to Joshua, “I have given this city into your hands” – and he gave clear, explicit instructions to follow. Just, they had to MARCH. Today is the first day of March.

They had to circle the walls of the city once per day for 6 days, and on the 7th day, to circle it 7 times.

The order:

  • Line 1: Soldiers
  • Line 2: 7 priests with trumpets
  • Line 3: Priests carrying the ark of the Covenant
  • Line 4: Representatives of each tribe
  • Last line: Rear guard of soldiers
  • Middle: Ark of the Covenant
  • The 7 priests blew trumpets occasionally.

Very important: They had to keep silent. They had to remain absolutely silent during the march and circling. But on the 7th day, they had to march 7 circles – 6 of which were to be silent. During the final, 7th circle, all priests blared the trumpets and Joshua commanded the people to SHOUT!! “God has given this city into our hands!” They all shouted together.

At that moment, the walls of Jericho collapsed completely and the people charged straight in and took that city.

This is today’s story.

Also still, God is alive and working for the good of those that love him.

From this story, what messages can we get to get REAL victory for his glory and kingdom? Let me share 3 lessons in our daily lives for victory like this story.

1. SILENCE

During their circling, they had to keep absolute silence. They took 13 circles in all (you can calculate it). Once a day for 6 days and after that on the 7th day, 7 circles. 6 + 7 = 13 circles. Then, during 12 circles, they had to keep perfect silence.

Imagine this situation. To keep silent in this situation was VERY difficult. During their circling, there was no change. No reaction, no stone falling, no cracks in the wall. Nothing happened in their visual situation. Imagine, why were they not allowed to speak to each other. If they spoke during the march, probably they would speak only negative words. “Nothing is happening. What are we doing? I don’t know, Joshua said to… This is absurd, ridiculous. Maybe we need a new leader…”

Negative words have a VERY strong power to make other people negative. Negative words are very contagious – like corona virus today.

This time not to speak to people was the time to meditate on the promise of God and the word of God. It was the time to speak to God deeply, earnestly, silently. It was the time to think MORE of what God can do with his power than what I can do with my power.

The secret to a victorious Christian life?
To face God more than facing man.

2. Consider the influence of ONE person’s faith

Do you have faith? Yes, we have faith. The taking of Jericho is the result of an act of faith – of Joshua and also the people.

Heb 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.”

Joshua’s dynamic sureness enabled him to lead the people to victory. One person’s faith can make all the difference for God’s people.

Joshua’s faith communicated and elevated the whole nation’s faith. Likewise today, if you live by faith, you can energize others. You can mobilize others by faith in Christ. Because God is in control of everything. God used Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua.

  • God promised “I am with you” to Moses
  • to Joshua, “Like I was with Moses, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • and Jesus today says, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

We can mobilize and energize through our faith for the whole church to be energized in their faith.

3. SHOUT!

“Hallelujah~!”

Yes, in this story, they were silent when they needed to be silent, but they shouted when they had to shout. This was the shouting of faith – the outward expression of people’s inward assurance and confidence in God. Conquering faith declares itself. Do you have faith?

But understand that the faith that does not shout when it must shout is not faith. Romans 10:10 “If you confess [shout] with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

“If you acknowledge me before men, I will also acknowledge you before my Father in heaven. If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven.”

  • True faith obeys even when it seems strange or unusual.
  • True faith focuses on Jesus.
  • True faith sees the unseen. It sees that “he is with me – and working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
  • True faith allows us to achieve victory in the Lord.

Even today, God will make impossible looking Jerichos fall down by faith.

What are your Jerichos today? If we live by faith, God will make all Jerichos fall down.

Last sentence: I want to encourage all of us strongly:

“Let us take much silent time faithfully before God, and let us shout boldly before this world.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God bless us for his glory, for our good.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

Let’s pray.

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