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Monthly Archives / July 2020

  • Jul 26 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Building our Life Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)

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We are Building our Life Building

1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (Pastor Heo)

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


Last week, we saw Christian life compared to agriculture (irrigation). Christian community is God’s field, garden. Jesus is the vine, God the gardener, we the branches. We each have our own functions – sowing, planting, watering, cultivating, reaping, harvesting. But only GOD gives life and makes it grow.

Remember:

  • TODAY is the fruit of what we sowed yesterday, and
  • tomorrow we will reap what we sow today.

Gal 6: “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. One who sows according to the sinful nature reaps destruction, but one who sows according to God’s will reaps salvation. Let us not give up.”

Today’s text: Christian life is compared to a building. At least we can say: “We are builders of our life building.”

  • I am building mine, you are building yours, and
  • also we are co-builders of the church / house of God.
  • I’m also A building – the temple of God.
  • We are also members of one building – the church / house of God.

We see many buildings in the street. Beautiful buildings speak for themselves. Their beauty announces them and allow them to become a “destination.” Ugly, poorly built buildings are eyesores in our cities. These are not only ugly, but also very dangerous.

Sometimes, we hear about a huge building, a dept store or apt collapsed, taking many lives. Why? Because it was built poorly.

In usual times, we don’t know if it is strong or weak, but when tested, everyone knows.

Earthquake, typhoon, flood, these destroy some buildings.

Yes, we are building our life buildings. Is your building strong or weak? Stable, unstable? Safe, dangerous? Take care how you build your life building.

That’s why Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with a picture of buildings. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock… It did not fall… But everyone who does not put these words into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand… It fell with a great crash.”

This afternoon, our agenda / great question is: HOW can I / we build our (eternal) life building very safely, in a strong way?

To each of us, individually, think of this and be careful how you build your eternal life building. Ready?

Let me share 4 things.

1. We must build on the right foundation

We know the foundation is the most important thing in a building. Every building in this world has its own foundation. Without this, a building cannot stand. This is the most important part of a building. This determines the size, strength of a super structure. The foundation stabilizes, unifies the building. The foundation provides unity because it is singular in nature.

Ask yourself: What is the foundation in my life building?

Foundation is the most important thing.

In modern culture today, one popular foundation: emotions. I agree that emotion is important. Feelings are important and we do need affection. I respect your emotions / feelings. BUT they cannot / must not be the foundation of our life building.

If we depended on our emotions, our life would be very shakeable and rocky.

Sometimes great happens one day, and our life is GREAT! The next day, something bad happens and our WHOLE life is a mess / terrible.

Foundation is not something we make, it is something that is given to us from heaven: Jesus. This foundation is stabilizing, unshakeable, unifying force. This foundation secures our greatest desires for stability, unity, and eternity.

v. 10-11

“10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Only in Jesus can we receive a solid foundation – perfect forgiveness for past sins, strength and power for the present day, hope for the future.

“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” – Jesus – “Apart from me, you cannot stand.” (I’m your foundation)

Today, what are you doing for God? Any ministry, service, sacrifice, that we build on something / someone else except Christ will collapse, disappear, become nothing.

The foundation of our life building is Jesus.

2. We must build with good materials

Agree? Yes, to build a building, we need materials, also in the physical AND spiritual world, we need good materials to build our buildings.

v. 12-17

“12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

To build a building, we need materials. Spiritual, there are two kinds of materials:

  1. Gold, silver, precious stones (diamonds)
  2. Wood, hay, straw

This is symbolic:

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = permanent, imperishable, lasting materials (strong, expensive)
  2. Wood, hay, straw = temporary, perishable, passing away materials (weak, cheap)

What is the commonality?

  1. Wood, hay, straw = dry
  2. Silver, gold, diamonds do not burn in the fire. Wood, hay, straw BURN.

Fire = symbol of the Final Judgment

At that time, it is not difficult to find and gather wood, hay, and straw. We can gather them from our backyard. But, to find gold, silver, and diamonds, we must go to the mountain and dig deeper and deeper and deeper.

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = hard work
  2. Wood, hay, straw = easy, lazy work

A lazy worker cannot gather gold, silver, diamonds.

When Christ comes again there will be a Final Test. In our application, we must know and study about Jesus more and more and make him known in this world diligently, sincerely, faithfully, passionately, joyfully. Are you ready?

Jesus is the best material with which we can build our house / life building.

3. We must build by holy wisdom / power

Do you want to be wise or foolish? God bless us all to be wise and powerful spiritually.

v. 18-20

“18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.””

To be wise spiritually, we must be foolish in the standards of this world. But most Christians want wise spiritually AND wise worldly, but it is impossible. Choose only one.

Wisdom of this world works for this world, but it will not work for the body of Christ, the house of God.

Ex:

  • This world depends on promotion, competition, success, prestige, money.
  • The church depends on prayer, the HS, grace, faith, humility, love, sacrifice, service.

These are totally different.

Acts (2000 years ago) – the early church had NONE of the secrets of success that seem to be important today: no property, no treasury, no political power, ordinary leaders without specialized education – but they turned the world upside-down.

God did something great through something ordinary. This is the wisdom of God.

This means that God has a special plan for his workers, his believers. The church is a communal building project, so all of us must participate in this building project with our respective responsibilities.

Just as we are responsible for building our friendships, relationships, families, careers, etc, so we also must be invested in building the house of God.

Chp 1 “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 philosophy of this world is very changeable, but God’s standard is unchangeable, timeless. So still today, God is pleased to save sinners through the message of the gospel which sounds like foolishness to those who reject that message.

Jesus is our power and wisdom.

4. We must build for right purpose

Q: What is the ultimate, final goal / purpose in your life?

If you are not clear on this question, your life is in trouble. Our final purpose should be about the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have?
  2. Whose are you?

v. 21-23

“21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have? “ALL things” (Can you say like this?)
  2. Whose are you? If I belong to Christ, I can really say, “ALL is mine”

No more boasting about men. Our ultimate purpose should be about boasting about Christ.

Can you know how rich we are in Christ?

We have perfect freedom, perfect liberty in Christ.

v. 22

“22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours,”

We don’t need to feel any competition, rivalry. ALL is yours, ALL is mine. We don’t need to meet the present nor the future with worry, fear, anxiety. They are OURS. Even physical death has no power over us because death is defeated already by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Second question: We are Christ’s

We belong to Christ – we are his possession, his treasure. He purchased us, bought us at a price, by paying the price of his own blood.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price.” (Jesus’ blood)

This is so that we may live our lives for the glory of God by boasting about Jesus Christ, testifying about him – he is Lord of the world, Savior of sinners. This is our ultimate purpose / goal.

God bless you.

“I’m a builder of my life building.”

We are building our eternal life buildings through our whole lives in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 19 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature) (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature)

2 Corinthians 3:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

On Divisions in the Church

3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.


We are God’s fellow workers and partners. Last Sunday, we saw there are two kinds of humanity:

  1. Spiritual Man – decisions and exercises under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – lives in light of eternity
  2. Natural Man – the lost, unsaved, non-Christian, lives according to physical life

Then, there is another kind of humanity – in all there are three kinds. Last week, we saw two, but there is a third:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Natural
  3. Worldly – this is between spiritual and natural man

We also may be tempted to be worldly because we are still in this world – so we must be careful not to be worldly as long as we stay in this world.

Worldly = immature Christian – yes, they are Christians, but baby Christians. Worldly man, baby Christian, etc are synonyms

Let us see the characteristics (4) of a Worldly man, immature Christian

v. 1-4

“1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?”

4 Characteristics of Worldly Man (Immature Christians)

1. Not ready for solid food

What is solid food? What are the marks of maturity?

We can tell the mature person by his diet. I have my own diet, and so do you. A physical man needs a balanced diet to be physically healthy, so also a spiritual man needs a balanced diet to be inwardly healthy.

Babies need milk, grown adults need meat.

  • Milk = easy stories in the Bible
  • Meat = hard doctrines to obey

This is the traditional definition, and it may be right, BUT according to the teaching of Hebrews (remember?) we can say,

  • Milk = what Jesus DID on earth in his body;
  • Meat = what Jesus is DOING now in heaven as our High Priest.

It is not difficult to determine a believer’s spirituality based on this.

For example, every Christian knows the facts, the stories about Jesus’ ministry on earth. But not every Christian enjoys Jesus’ ministry in heaven as our High Priest now and here.

It is important to preach the gospel to the lost, but also it is important to interpret the gospel to the saved. We must know not only HOW to be saved, but also WHAT is really included IN this salvation and enjoy it.

Immature Christians are not ready for meat. Are you ready?

The Word of God = milk, bread, honey, meat, solid food

2. Easily jealous, envious, quarrelsome

v. 2

“2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”

Jealousy is a spiritual stopping point, just before murder (in your heart).

Maturity is not a matter of how long I’ve been a Christian, but how I deal with others.

Immature Christians compare themselves to one another and compete for recognition like children. This leads to divisions and factions among Christians.

We can tell a man’s relationship with God by looking at the relationship he has with his fellow men. If we are envious, jealous, quarrelsome, argumentative, even though we are regular church attenders, we are immature. But if our attitudes are loving, care-giving, etc then it shows that we are well on the way to be a mature person of God.

If we are divided with fellow men, we are divided with God. If we are united with fellow men, we are united with God.

“Do nothing out of vain conceit, but consider others as better than yourselves. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

3. More interest in human leaders than in God

More concern in visible things than invisible things.

Children like to disagree and be false. They like to fight and identify themselves with human heroes (sports, entertainment, etc).

  • “I follow Paul”
  • “I follow Apollos”
  • “I follow Peter”

These were babies in Corinth – fighting over who was the greatest preacher. This is just like children.

  • “My daddy can beat up your daddy!”
  • “Oh yeah? My daddy is taller than your daddy!”
  • “My daddy has more chest hair than yours!”

In the spiritual world, this is the same. Immature Christians have more concern for the things in this world than the things of this world. Things that are seen over things that are unseen. Present things over future things.

4. Little desire to grow

Children -> Teenagers -> Adulthood

Everything is expected to grow. Hard working employees are expected to advance in their careers, but it is strange to say that in the spiritual world, immature, worldly man has no desire to grow. This passion to grow is a desire from God.

In Genesis, God designed human beings to flourish in every front – physical, mental, social, cultural, etc. After his job of Creation, God said, “Be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it, rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all that moves on the ground.”

  • Growth, development, flourishing are God’s design.
  • Spiritual man has a strong desire, strong passion to grow.
  • God bless your passion / desire to grow.
  • Who can make life grow? Only God.

v. 7 “…but only God…”

v. 5-9

“5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

In this passage, Paul is using agriculture metaphors. We are God’s garden.

John 15, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

We can learn 3 lessons from this image.

1. Diversity of ministry

v. 6 – Each of us has his own ministry, service, job, activity.

Example, in agriculture:

  1. One plows
  2. One sows the seed
  3. One waters it
  4. One cultivates the soil
  5. One harvests the food
  6. One enjoys the benefit of the harvest

Each one in the church (like the body of Christ) are part of the ONE church. There are many members – like our physical bodies – and all members have different jobs and functions.

God’s work requires very different individuals in variety – diversity in gifts, talents, and abilities.

There are very few superstars like Rambo. Each team member is needed to serve their own roles.

The effectiveness of ONE member depends on the effectiveness of ALL members.

Diversity in ministry – each one of us has our own ministry in church. What is YOUR function in AICF (this church)?

2. Each has ONE purpose (v. 8)

We all have ONE purpose – ONE mission. Eph “One Spirit, one Lord, one body, one church, one mission…”

There is ONE mission, ONE goal – to glorify the name of Christ and confess Christ as Lord.

Yes, we have many different, various ministries and services, but we have ONE mission.

3. Humility of spirit for the reward

Only God can give life and make that life grow. Only God gives abundant, spiritual, heavenly life. Jesus, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.”

One can plant, one can water, one can harvest, but the power to make it GROW belongs to God and God alone. We have no power to create life nor make it grow. Thus, it is only God.

So, why does God want to use us in his ministry then? Because he loves us and wants us to enjoy being his fellow workers.

4. To give us reward

v. 8

“8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.”

God does not need our service, but he wants it, to give us a reward. That’s why we call God a God of love.

God bless our life, faith, ministry, service, for his glory, for our reward.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 12 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God’s Secret Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

Tithes and Offerings

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

Wisdom From the Spirit

6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”F6 — 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.F7 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16″For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”F8 But we have the mind of Christ.

God’s Secret Wisdom

3 points

1. God will save all human beings through Jesus Christ alone

All will die in one man – Adam.

1 Cor 15:22 “In Adam, all die.”

Some people ask, “WHY” – why must I be connected with Adam?

Because God condemned all human beings in Adam, he is able to save all human beings in Christ.

What about angels? Tested individually and judged individually. They cannot be saved in Christ because they have no substitute for them to save them. But human beings like us were lost in Adam, our racial head. So we can be saved in Christ who is the head of the new creation.

Romans “Through the disobedience of one man (Adam) all human beings were made sinners, like this, through the obedience of one man (Christ) all men can be made righteous.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

God’s plan to save all human beings through Christ is just, logical, and reasonable.

The gospel is so simple that even a child can understand it.

Yet it is so profound that even the greatest scholar cannot fully understand it.

2. God involves all three persons of the Trinity God for our salvation

Yes, we believe in ONE and only God – but in three persons. ONE essence, ONE God, but three individual persons.

We cannot be saved without election by grace from the Father God, salvation by Christ, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in God? Yes, but today let me point out that just saying “I believe in God” is not enough. We know in doctrine and practically this is true. Mormons, Jews, pagans, say “I believe in god/God.” But a small-g “god” cannot be distinguished from a big-g “God.”

To many people, “god” is just an impersonal being, like an energy.

We were saved from the Beginning of the world – chosen from before the foundation of the world – to be holy and blameless, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Romans “Those he predestined, he also called, then justified, then glorified.”

We never knew about the moments when we were saved before the creation of the world, but this is a mystery and reality.

As far as Christ is concerned, we were saved as soon as Jesus died on the cross for our sins – for your sin and my sin – the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.

Jesus died for the whole world, but the whole world is not saved. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Holy Spirit

We are saved when we accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. When did you accept him as personal Savior and Lord?

That’s why no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Continually the Holy Spirit pushes us to believe this and accept it.

If you are a son, say, “I’m a son of God.”

If you are a daughter, say, “I’m a daughter of God.”

“I’m a child of God.”

3. God’s revelation of his plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit

v. 10-16

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

There are some things that are so personal that no one knows them except our own spirits. Like this, in the spiritual world, the same is true of God. There are deep and intimate things of God which only the Spirit of God knows. Spiritual things can only be known spiritually. And this will lead us to the knowledge of God.

John 14:26 “The Counselor will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

There are two kinds of humanity / people:

  1. Natural – he is faithful to the principle of only physical life. Animals have their own principles of life – and natural man lives as if there were nothing else beyond this world. His values are only physical and material values. So, natural man cannot understand spiritual things – they appear as foolishness to him. God bless us all to not be natural man.
  2. Spiritual – the opposite of Natural man. He is sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit. He makes his decisions and exercises his judgment under the guidance of the HS. He lives in the consciousness that there are things beyond the things of this world. That there are values beyond the values of this world – that there are things beyond this physical world. He lives by faith in Jesus Christ.

To be Spiritual Man, believe in Christ, trust in Christ, have the mind of Christ.

“I have the mind of Christ” x3

Really? To have the mind of Christ means to look at the life of Christ from his point of view – keeping his values and desires in our mind – and living life for Christ as his witness.

Romans “God works for the good of those who love him and live according to his purpose.”

This means that if we believe he is faithful in keeping his promise, then everyday is a good day.

“Every day is a good day”

“Every time is a good time”

Let’s pray.

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