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Monthly Archives / June 2020

  • Jun 28 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

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Jesus is our Wisdom and Power

1 Cor 1:18-31 (Pastor Heo)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”


One of the big problems of Corinthians was disunity, division. One reason they had difficulty in keeping unity was because they were so different in background, culture, lifestyle, history, esp before becoming Christians.

The Corinthian church was mixed: Jews, Greeks.

  • At that time, Greeks treasured philosophy (philo “love” sophia “wisdom”) = “love of wisdom.” Greeks were so famous for philosophy. Even today, we study this: Greek Philosophy. This is considered the root of western philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Socrates).
  • Jews valued miracles, miraculous events. From Exodus to Jerusalem and Jesus, they desired miracles, and looked for them. They asked Jesus for miracles, but he refused.

We read “wisdom” here, and it is repeated 13 times. Both to the Greek and the traditional Jew, the message of the cross sounds foolish and stupid.

v. 18 is one of my personal favorite verses

v. 18

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The message of the cross is very simple: Jesus DIED to save sinners.

This message has two results. All of humanity will end up in one of two classes.

  1. Foolish = reject belief and perish in hell
  2. Wisdom = accept and gain eternal life, they are being saved.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe…” (Paul)

v. 21-25

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,”

  • To the Greeks: At that time, Christianity was associated with a poor Jewish carpenter who died the most shameful (naked) death – hanging on a tree in the air, exposed to the eyes of anybody. It was illegal to crucify Roman citizens, so this death was never even mentioned in polite Roman society. Even the image of crucifixion was not acceptable. It was a form of the worst capital punishment. So, how is it possible that the Savior of the world would be crucified? To the Greeks, valuing logic, this was totally foolish.
  • To the Jews: They had only the Old Testament at that time, and among the OT books, one of the most important was Deuteronomy. (21:23 “Anyone who is hung on a tree is under a curse from God.”) According to this verse, it would be totally unacceptable and unthinkable for the Messiah to be crucified. So it is a stumbling block to them.

v. 24-25

“but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

God’s wisdom cannot be mixed with man’s wisdom. His wisdom is revealed primarily in the cross of Jesus. It is not about form / matter, but about content / reality.

Sometimes we need to doubt our doubts, question our questions.

Real wisdom: Giving up our wisdom to gain God’s wisdom.

What is real power and what is real wisdom?

Think about your own personal situation – about who / where you were when you were saved.

v. 26

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”

This is my story. When I became Christian, I was very foolish.

v. 27-29

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”

That is why finally, for him to get glory, we can know that God is never impressed with our character, position, politics, money, etc.

Among the earliest 12 of Jesus’ disciples, do you know what their jobs were?

  • 5 were fishermen
  • 1 tax collector
  • 6 unknown careers

God’s view of power is upside-down. He is more interested in the weak than the strong – he is more interested in the low than the high.

The cross of Jesus will turn our concept of wisdom and power upside-down. If you are really saved, remember that we were called to salvation not because of what / who we are, but in spite of it – so that no one can boast in themselves.

Ex: Jesus’ ministry

Several times this may have happened.

On the way to Jerusalem one day, he encountered a blind beggar, and Jesus purposefully healed him.

The Bible recognizes him by recording his name: Batholemus

In history, historical books, such an individual would be passed over and remain nameless.

In Luke 16, there was the story of the RICH man and the beggar. But in this story also, the rich man is nameless, but the beggar has the name Lazarus.

So the story’s name is the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

This is God’s foolish wisdom, God’s weak power.

v. 30-31

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

  • Righteousness = justification
  • holiness = sanctification
  • redemption = glorification

At first I said that the key sentence is “Jesus is our Wisdom and Power.”

The emphasis here is that the Father God reveals his wisdom through Jesus Christ by means of righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

4 keywords:

1. wisdom

only in following Jesus can we walk rightly. Only in listening to Jesus can we hear the truth.

Col 2:3 “In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

2. righteousness

having a right relationship with God. This has to do with our standing / position before God. He declares us righteous simply because we put our trust in Jesus

5:21 “God made him who had no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.”

3. holiness

John 17:19 “For them (my followers) I sanctify myself so that you too may be sanctified (set apart).”

At the same time that we are sanctified already, we are also BEING sanctified.

4. redemption

Jesus can deliver us (liberate us) from past sin and future fear.

There are three tenses of perfect salvation:

  1. Past = we have been saved from the penalty / punishment of sin (righteousness)
  2. Present = we are being saved from the power of sin (holiness) – “Work out your salvation continually with fear and trembling”
  3. Future = we will be saved from the presence of sin (redemption)

We have been bathed in his blood and saved, and redeemed by his cross.

The cross of Jesus is true wisdom because it is a cure for human limitations from a God who chose to empty himself and experience human limitations.

The cross of Christ is TRUE power who chose to subject himself to death and share himself with others.

True power? = Self-giving, others-centered

Willing self-sacrifice for the weak. This is TRUE power.

One story (illustration):

Are you a father? There’s a father, and his 7-year-old son play together with games like running and arm-wrestling. In this competition, the son’s purpose is victory – to defeat his father. But the father’s purpose is not victory – it is to build up a friendship and relationship, intimacy with his son. To encourage him, make him feel more happy.

  • In this competition, the father controls and loses his own power to empower his son. Then they both can achieve their purposes.
  • The father shows his own power by becoming weak. The father shows his wisdom by becoming weak.
  1. The son’s happiness comes from victory.
  2. The father’s happiness comes from loss.

This is the picture of the cross.

That’s why the cross is our REAL power and REAL wisdom.

Jesus is our wisdom, power, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Without Christ, we are nothing.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 21 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

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Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


1 Cor was written by Paul. He planted a local church at Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey. At this time, he is at Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey. He heard a bad report about Corinth. From whom did he hear the report? From the servant of Chloe.

v. 11

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. “

Maybe Chloe was a rich business woman living in Ephesus or Corinth with her servants handling business between Ephesus and Corinth. Anyway, what is clear is that these first-hand observers told Paul what was happening at Corinth.

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

In church history, division has always been a problem among the people of God. In this case, it was quarreling over who they “follow”. Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ? (v. 12)

v. 12

“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.””

This caused a big division and disunity among them. Why? Actually, Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) had nothing to do with these divisions. They didn’t try to make their own fan clubs, but they focused on Christ in their messages. So, why was there division? It was a human, personal thing.

  • Paul founded the church there, and was the missionary to the Gentiles. Perhaps he attracted the Gentile believers.
  • Apollos was an eloquent and famous speaker who had once had a famous ministry at Corinth. At that time, oratory eloquence was highly valued. He likely attracted highly educated and philosophical believers.
  • Peter (Cephas) was a Jew of Jews, the main minister for the Jewish people. He was the leader of the first 12 apostles. He likely attracted the Jewish people, especially those who doubted Paul’s apostleship.
  • Christ – maybe we also decide to follow “Christ only” and not human leaders.

This disunity makes the church powerless and weak. Disunity, fighting with each other, these things make our enemy Satan happy. Satan is a spirit of disunity. In Genesis, Satan brought disunity between God and man, man and man, man and Creation. Even today he is bringing disunity into our churches, homes, workplaces, countries. So we must be in prayer all the time for these things.

The Holy Spirit, however, is a spirit of unity.

Eph “Make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace. There is one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit, one Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.”

Eph 2:14 “Jesus has made the two one and broken the barrier of disunity.”

Gal 3:28 “There is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, but all are equal in Christ.”

Even today Jesus is praying for our unity. “Make them one as we are one.”

v. 10

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Paul does not command them by his authority, but approaches them in a kind, appealing manner. This means Jesus is the answer, the solution. Only Jesus brings unity.

Gal 3:28 “There is no slave nor free… We are all one in Jesus Christ.”

What does this mean? Unity does not mean uniformity. We are not all the same in our culture, background, interests, color, favorite foods, etc. We can enjoy variety – like the colors of a rainbow. It is beautiful because it has many different colors, but the colors are all united. If these colors are separated, there is no longer a rainbow.

We should be united. How? In what way should we be made one? At least there are Three areas in which we must be united.

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

Yes, this is our second time in 1 Cor. In the first time, we recognized that we are a church, we are saints, we are one in Christ. This is our identity – we are ONE family, united in Christ. We belong to one family.

In v. 10, 11, Paul addresses us as “brothers [and sisters].” It means, we all Christians are part of God’s family. We share unity that runs even deeper than blood brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is organized as a family system.

God, the Son, the Spirit are three separate entities, but organized as ONE family system.

  • God = Father
  • Jesus = Son
  • Holy Spirit = Helper

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the likeness of Christ so that he might become the first brother…”

We are one in one family. This is our real, eternal identity.

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

If you are Christian, you have a faith doctrine. This is called “christology”. The doctrine of salvation is called “soltariology.”

v. 13

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

Everyone knows the answers to these questions. Paul uses rhetorical questions to make what is known crystal clear. It is very simple. Even baby Christians know this. Who died for you? Paul? No. Apollos? No. Peter? No. Only Christ. Who can save us, who can give us real freedom, who can give us deliverance from hell, who can give us real peace and joy, who can give us eternal life? Absolutely, finally, Jesus.

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Yes, even I agree that Paul, Apollos, and Peter are greater men than me. I honor them, but they are the same in that they were humans, sinners, and need forgiveness, and salvation. For them, Jesus Christ died.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.”

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

If we are Christians, we all have a mission. Check what you mission is.

A “mission” is a task given to you by God. It is not something you choose for yourself, but something given to you by God because we are servants of God. Check all the time what is your priority #1 mission.

Sometimes you feel tired, bored? Ask and check, what is your mission?

We are different in many areas – our tastes, favorite colors, height, weight, etc. We are individual people, but we must be ONE in our priority #1 mission. We can be different in our talents and gifts, but we are ONE in our priority #1 mission. What is it?

v. 10

“…perfectly united in mind and thought.” (in purpose – #1 mission)

What is it?

v. 14-17

“14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Do not misunderstand this story, but we should understand the background of this story.

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, we are baptized in the name of Christ.

But what IS important in baptism is that we are baptized INTO one family.

But the Corinthian church misunderstood. Some said, “Paul baptized me.” Others, “No, Peter did me – he’s better.” Others, “Apollos did me – he’s the best.”

It does not matter by which pastor you were baptized. Billy Graham? Pastor Park? It does not matter. We were baptized by one faith into one family.

This also involves the Great Commission of Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality – trusting in Christ as your personal Savior. So, by baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Christ to this world. So, baptism is a unifying factor in the church.

v. 17 (final answer – priority #1 mission)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, it is important, but our primary mission is to preach the gospel.

No matter how important baptism is, preaching the gospel must be first. Baptism cannot substitute for preaching the gospel.

In our daily lives, remember, no matter how important a thing you do, not preaching the gospel cannot be justified by doing that very important thing.

In 1 Cor later, Paul says, “When preaching the gospel I cannot boast because I am compelled to do so. Woe to me if I do not preach…” He doesn’t say, “Woe to me if I don’t baptize.” Rather, “Woe to me if I don’t preach.”

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 14 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)

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The Intro to 1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge– 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


From today we will study 1 Corinthians. God bless us with this new book.

The main agenda = how can we Christians live a Christian life in a non-Christian society: “The application of Christian principles to worldliness.”

The practical message: “Be wise: be a person of wisdom.”

Christ is the answer: 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”

God bless us with this new book.


This book is written in the style of a letter to the church at Corinth. So, let us see the introduction.

At that time, Corinth was the most important city in Greece, it linked north and south Greece with two ports. So, it played a very important role politically, socially, religiously, commercially. At that time, so many men and women, slaves, business people came in and out. So the standards of morals were very low – homosexuality and prostitution abounded. It was filled with all kinds of sin, and many kinds of philosophies where people spread their own speculations and conspiracies. In such a place, a church was built. But how?

Paul planted a church there in the last part of his second missionary journey. He came here and worked for more than 1.5 years. As the fruit of his mission work, he planted a church at Corinth.

So, why did he write a letter? A few years after his departure, he heard a bad report about the church he established because it was challenged by the worldly culture.

It is thought that Paul wrote to the church four times:

  1. (5:9 “I have written to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people” – this means he had written to them previously, but the letter was lost).
  2. Also in AD 55 or 56, he wrote a second letter, which we call today “1 Corinthians” – after that, he most likely visited Corinth, but during his visitation was challenged about his authority of his apostleship.
  3. This was a “painful visitation” and afterward he wrote a third letter – which was lost.
  4. Later, he wrote a fourth letter to the Corinthian church which we have in the Bible today, called “2 Corinthians.”

These books are still very relevant today. Some may ask: how are they relevant? We are separated by time and culture.

But “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword…” Timothy 4:12

As we know, even today, most of the problems the Corinthian church had at that time, are still present with us today. Yet, even though they had those problems, we have here some of the most beautiful passages in the whole Bible:

  • chp 13: Love
  • chp 15: Resurrection

v. 1

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,”

Paul was his Roman name – after he became a Christian and became a missionary to the Gentiles, he used his Roman name (Paul) rather than his Jewish name (Saul) so that he could link himself to those to whom God had sent him.

We know that he wrote at least 13 books in the NT, and here he introduces “Sosthenes” – perhaps Paul’s secretary (he was the minister in the church during his second missionary journey – at one time, the people attacked both Paul and Sosthenes – so he was well-known to the members of that church).

v. 2-3

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [KJV = “called to be saints”], together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Every local church has two addresses: geographic location + heavenly address

  • This church:
    • Geographic: in Corinth
    • Heavenly: in Christ
  • Even AICF:
    • Geo: In Jeonju
    • Heavenly: In Christ

This does not say, “Church of Corinth” but rather “Church of God IN Corinth.”

The word “ecclesia” in Greek means “called out people” and is the name for “church.” “Called” is one of the keywords.

Biblically, church is: “An assembly of people called out of this world by God to be holy and sanctified, and then sent again by God into the world to help save the world.”

So, a man of God, in the church, has been called by God already and sanctified. Yes, we know that men (people) have many problems and sins, but Paul calls them FIRST “saints” and “sanctified.” Rather than focusing on sin first, he encourages first and reminds them (and us) of their HIGH position.

What kind of encouragement was this? Identity encouragement – positional truth – “you are saints and sanctified.”

Also, today, we are saints and sanctified. If you are Christian, this is what you are today.

Before, they called dead people who lived biblically a “saint” but actually EVERY true believer is already a “saint” because they’ve been sanctified and set apart by God. We’ve already received the truest blessing of God, and have been set apart. Believe you are a saint.

But, we must remember that this is not of our own power, but only by Christ’s power and what he’s done for us.

Our identity as saints and sanctified is not based on our own achievement and performance, but based on the work of Christ, his death and resurrection.

So, our identity is sure, very safe. It was given to us by someone else (Jesus Christ) so the basic meaning of “saint” and “sanctified” = “separation” / “difference.”

This separation / difference is not to be marked by withdrawing from ordinary life, but rather it must be displayed as a difference in an ordinary life.

Also, we must know that to be a Christian is to accept Christ, to live for him, and be ready to die for him. Are you Christian? Let me repeat:

Be a man / woman for whom Christ died, know it, accept it, accept him as Lord, live your whole life for Christ, even prepare to die for Christ.

This is the definition of Christian. God bless us all to be real Christians. “I’m a saint.”

Also, this letter is a difficult letter. It had to deal with difficult problems and difficult situations. In these difficult situations, Paul’s first focus and consideration was Jesus Christ. This is an amazing principle we can apply in our real lives.

In the 9 verses we read today, the name “Jesus” or “Christ” or “him” is repeated 10 times. He is in EVERY sentence as a keyword.

  1. called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus
  2. to those sanctified in Christ Jesus …. who call on the the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Grace and peace to you from … Jesus Christ
  4. …his grace given you in Christ
  5. in him you have been enriched…
  6. our testimony about Christ
  7. you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ
  8. He will keep you strong to the end… on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (remember this verse)
  9. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…

In our application, what can we learn from these truths?

When we deal with any matter in our lives, in any area, when we try to deal with difficult situations or problems, we may use human laws, info, counseling, wisdom, Internet surfing. This is not bad, BUT if we are really saved, whenever we try to deal with any kind of difficult situation, the FIRST thing we must do is to focus on Jesus Christ and meditate on what he has done for me, and meditate, and pray. We must approach the throne of God through prayer.

Yes, the current situation in the Corinthian church is NOT GOOD, but verse 8-9 say “he will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, God, … is faithful.”

Yes, maybe we are immature and imperfect still. We still struggle, have hardships and failures, but these things are NOT the whole picture of our lives. FINALLY, we will be blameless because of what Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection.

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

Another keyword in this passage: “called.” Somyong in Korean – a calling to salvation, and also a calling to service.

The standard greeting of all Paul’s letters are “grace and peace.”

Grace = God’s undeserved kindness, free gift of grace and kindness in Christ. In Greek, grace is charisma.

“Those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus so that he may be the first born of many brothers.”

Romans 8 “Those he called, he justified, he sanctified, he glorified. What can we say, if God is for me, who can be against me?”

v. 8

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thes 3:13 is almost the same. “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 07 / 2020
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Benediction – God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 13:20-25)

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Benediction – God Bless you Through Hebrews

Hebrews 13:20-25

20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22 Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.

23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.

25 Grace be with you all.


This end finishes with greetings, blessings, and doxology. Let me also end this way.

Thank you all for being with me through the study of Hebrews. Although we have finished Hebrews, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is our Great, High Priest and our shepherd.

v. 22

“Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.”

“My word of exhortation” is this letter – it is very short, and can be read in only 1 hour, but includes much, deep Christian creeds and truth. It contains rebukes, warnings, encouragement, advice, and so on. We are encouraged to follow these things with the right heart.

At that time, some Christians received this book with a hard heart, because some sentences are very strong. And some received it with a soft heart.

Yes, even today, with the same message, different people receive the message in different ways. How about my message? How are you receiving it?

v. 23-24

“23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.”

In the whole Bible, this is the only location that we see the imprisonment of Timothy. He was imprisoned in Rome maybe one time and then released. He is accepted as the same Timothy in the NT that Paul wrote two letters to. He joined Paul in his second missionary journey and is listed as a co-sender of the letters to the early church.

He is one of the key members of the early church, continuing the ministry of the gospel after Paul’s death.

Here, the book ends with a benediction, and we also likewise end our service with a benediction.

v. 20-21

“20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

This benediction is also a doxology. It begins with God as a God of peace.

Jesus is a God of Peace

Peace is intrinsic to the character of God. God’s peace is soundness, wholeness, completeness, well being. And only God’s peace is real – only he can make us at peace with each other and with ourselves. God wants us to enjoy his peace.

Jer 28:11 “God declares, ‘My plan for you is peace, not disaster. I want to give you a hope and a future.'”

That’s why Jesus came into this world, as the Prince of Peace, the King of Peace. Jesus said, “I do not give to you as the world gives.”

You know, in this world, there is no real peace, but God gives us heavenly peace. “He has made the two one…”

God is the God of peace and reconciliation.

Jesus is the God of Life

God is also the God of life (resurrection and resurrected life).

v. 20

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,”

Yes, only God can give us peace in life, and even triumph in death. Without the resurrection of Christ, there would be no new covenant. This is a central fact of Christian history. On this fact, the church of Christ is built. Without his resurrection, there would be no church, it would be complete vanity, nonsense.

Even other religions have strong ethical concepts about the afterlife, their holy writings, etc. But only Christianity has a God who became a man who came to earth and died for us, then rose again.

Other religions base their beliefs on the recognition of their teacher’s teachings. But Christianity is the ONLY one that puts its whole emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection. His atoning sacrifice happened once for all and was verified by his resurrection.

Take away the death and resurrection of Christ and the heart of Christianity is gone.

Jesus is our Great Shepherd

This Jesus is our Shepherd. Ps 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want.”

What kind of shepherd? The Good, Great, Kind Shepherd. He worked for us and died for us. On the cross he completed the great work of redemption.

“The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And now as our Great Shepherd, he is still interceding for us and caring for us. He is providing us with everything we need.

Finally, as our Chief Shepherd, he will come for us again.

“When the Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

He is working in us and will bring us to a place of spiritual perfection. We will reach that place when he returns.

We have God’s eternal life, eternal promise that is called the New Covenant. And we also have our Great Shepherd’s prayer.

We are also blessed with this doxology and benediction (v. 21).

v. 20-21

“20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


From this benediction, know:

1. God has a purpose for us

God has a purpose for us, a special will for us.

Eph “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.” Because he is our Maker, Father, Creator, we can say, “The best knowledge is to know God’s will / purpose upon my life.”

The most glorious life we can enjoy in this world is to do and finish the works that God is calling us to do.

Through this benediction, we can also see that:

2. God wants to do his work through us

Phil 1:6 “God, who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Phil 2:13 “It is God, not man, who works in you to will, to act, according to his good purpose.”

3. God is equipping and enabling us to do his work

He never gives us a task without giving us the power to also accomplish that task. When he sends us out, he sends us out equipped with everything we need.

“…he works in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever.”

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

Jesus works in us to make us the kind of people who will please God; and he equips us to do the work that pleases God.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. But apart from me, you can do nothing.”

This is entologically true because apart from Jesus, we would not exist.

All creation and all God’s work is done through Jesus Christ. He created all things, and sustains all things.

Col 1:16-17 “By him [Jesus] all things were created – in heaven, earth, visible, invisible, thrones, dominions, powers, authorities, spiritual, material, and FOR him, and IN him, all things hold together and find their being.”

When we started Hebrews, chp 1:3 “Jesus is sustaining all things with his powerful word.”

This is an unchangeable, immutable truth. The power to do what is pleasing to God is only given to us through Jesus Christ, IF we want it.

Q: Do you want it? Do you desire it? Do you pray for it?

If you pray this kind of prayer every day, there will be great change in our daily lives: “Oh Lord, make me perfect in every good work to do your will. Do it through me in Jesus Christ and may he receive the glory.”

If we pray this prayer, there will be great change from the inside. Let there be, and let God use the change to change others.

v. 25

“Grace be with you all.”

The last sentence of the Bible, Revelation last sentence, last verse, 22:21 “Grace of our Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

Grace be with you all, and God bless you with this wonderful, holy book. Thank you again for having been with me through the study of this book.

Let’s pray.

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