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  • Dec 31 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We Belong to Each Other (Romans 12:3-8)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We Belong to Each Other (Romans 12:3-8)

We Belong to Each Other (Romans 12:3-8)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We Belong to Each Other

Romans 12:3-8 (Pastor Heo)

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


“We belong to each other”

Today is the LAST DAY of this year.

There is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3).

  • Every “today” is the first day of the rest of your life.
  • Tomorrow will soon be called “today.”
  • One day which is called “today” will be called the “last day.”
  • So, “today” is the day of God’s favor.

We are called to be worshipers of God, but we are also SENT into this world. We are not permanent citizens of earth, but permanent citizens of heaven.

“If anyone says in his heart, ‘I love God’ but hates his brother, he is a liar.” Our faith in God is verified by the kind of relationships we have with each other.

We belong to each other.

v. 3

“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

This means: “Know thyself”

Evaluate yourself rightly.

An honest assessment of your abilities – without conceit, without false modesty – is very important for your life.

  • Some Christians even think TOO low of themselves.
  • Other Christians OVER-evaluate themselves.

The key to honest and accurate evaluation is:

knowing the basis of your self-worth IN Jesus Christ.

  • Apart from Christ, we are nothing, and can do nothing.
  • IN Christ, through Him, we are SOMEthing – somebody – we are valuable, and can do everything that God wants us to do by his power.
  1. We are saved by grace; grace is a gift.
  2. We are saved on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the power of his resurrection; this is the greatest gift of God.
  3. We are saved by faith; faith is a gift of God.

We have received sooo many gifts from God.

Here are two lessons:

1. Don’t OVER-rate yourself (know yourself)

Eph 2:9 “It is by grace you have been saved, it is a gift from God…”

1 Cor 1 “Think of what you were (who you were) when you were called: not many of you were wise, not many were noble. God called the foolish things to shame the wise, the weak things to shame the strong, the lowly things, the despised, to nullify the things that are, so that you may not boast before God.”

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Story (Illustration):

One day, two men went to the entrance of heaven.

  • Angel: “You need 1 billion points to get in. What did you do?”
  • Man 1 (proudly): “Of course! I have a great family background – Christianity, pastor father, elder in the church.”
  • Angel: “OK, 1 point.”
  • Man 1 (less proudly): “I supported so many missionaries, built church buildings, gave lots of money, helped the needy.”
  • Angel: “Not bad, 1 point.”
  • Man 1 (dismayed): “I never missed a single worship service – EVERY dawn, Wednesday, all-night, cell group, Sunday. I offered FULL tithe.”
  • Angel: “Good. 1 point. But your pride, arrogance, self-justification reduces your score by 100. You are below 0.” (to Man 2) “So… what did you do?”
  • Man 2: “I’m not qualified at all. I need mercy, grace, compassion from God. But one thing: I trusted in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead for my life. I just called him my Savior, Master, Lord, King, God. That’s the only one thing I did. Please, don’t look at me, but look at Christ IN me.”
  • Angel: “You have Jesus? Wow ∞ points.”

“To those who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be called children of God.”

2. Don’t UNDER-rate yourself

Eph 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, made in his image, to do good works that he’s prepared in advance for us to do.”

IN Christ, we are capable of MUCH service. Please do not UNDERestimate yourselves if you are IN Christ.

v. 3

“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

v. 4-5

“4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

We are ONE body – with many parts.

This is true.

Each of us has ONE body as well. In our ONE body, there are so many parts: mouth, neck, nose, eyes, feet, hands. We are a living part of ONE body. Look at your own body. None of these members fight with one another, nor dispute with each other about their relative importance. Each member carries its own function. Each member has its own task to do.

AICF (a Christian church) should be:

  • The church is the BODY of Christ;
  • Christ is the HEAD of the church;
  • each member is a member of the BODY.
  1. A man cannot be a man separated from another man.
  2. Christians cannot be Christians by being isolated from other Christians.
  3. A man can be a man only among men.
  4. A Christian can be a Christian only among other Christians.

1 Cor 12:14-27

“14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

The head exists for the body; the body exists for the head; each member is both a means AND an end to each other.

Here are some letters – the meaning is very biblical (rich in meaning) – there are three.

  1. 나너 (I, you) (nah, nuh) –
    • I and you have HALF in common (as do these letters) – but the two vowels are facing each other. If 나 turns, it becomes 너, and vice versa (나 and 너 belong to each other – 나 is because of 너, and vice versa). I and you are ONE. We are one coin with two sides. This is very biblical.
  2. 人(Chinese symbol for people) (인 – 사람) –
    • without the left side, the right falls down. The right stands because of the left. The sticks (legs) depend on each other.
  3. 來 (Chinese symbol for “come”) (올래) –
    • there are three men hanging from the cross – on the left and right are two small men (two robbers – sinners – this is US, represents humanity), the one large man in the center is Christ. The second meaning is “Come” to Christ to be saved.

v. 6-8

“6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

All things we have and are doing in Christ are gifts. So, we must be humble and recognize our partnership with Christ and in the body of Christ.

  1. Only then can our gifts be used effectively.
  2. Only then can we appreciate others’ gifts.
  3. We must recognize that ALL gifts come from God and that not everyone has the same gifts, nor all the gifts.
  4. We must dedicate our gifts to the service of God – not ourselves.
  5. We must also give our gifts freely and willingly and whole-heartedly.

There are MANY gifts – many that are hidden from the public. Many are quietly serving God.

1 Cor also shows at least 9 other gifts

  • Wisdom,
  • Knowledge,
  • Faith,
  • Healing,
  • Prophesy,
  • Distinguishing Spirits,
  • Speaking in Tongues,
  • Interpreting Tongues

This passage shows 7 – Note: Prophesy (not always predicting the future – in the NT it means communicating the gospel effectively)

  1. Prophets: bold, fearless, articulate
  2. Servers: faithful, loyal, consistent, steadfast
  3. Teachers: logical thinkers, clear, persuasive explainers
  4. Encouragers: know how to motivate others, giving others hope and courage
  5. Contributors (Givers): generous, hospitable, trustworthy
  6. Leaders: good organizers, managers, having impact and influence
  7. Mercy Givers: caring, helping, compassionate hearts

Let me make 4 things clear:

  1. EVERY Christian has received gifts –
    • there is no Christian with no gift – grace, salvation, eternal life, skills, all these things are gifts. Do you know what is your gift? You have received this already. Use it!
  2. There is NO RANK among the gifts.
    • All are necessary gifts – none are superior nor inferior. All are the same in value and rank before God. So, be careful not to emphasize your own gifts, nor minimize the gifts of others.
  3. Gifts are not FRUIT.
    • “The gift of the Holy Spirit” vs. “The fruit of the Holy Spirit” – Gifts are not fruit, not toys, not weapons. Gifts are TOOLS to help BUILD UP the body of Christ. These gifts are given to benefit OTHERS, not ourselves.
  4. Giving gifts is the job of the Holy Spirit –
    • according to his will. We are very passive in receiving our gifts. The Holy Spirit gives according to the will of God. BUT, we have a responsibility to USE, increase, develop our gifts for the good of the body of Christ.

Matt 25 – The Story of the Talents.

There were 3 servants – each received gifts from their Master. One got 5 talents, one 2, the last 1 talent. They were totally passive in receiving, but they had a responsibility to use those gifts.

Two servants put their gifts to work and gained double:

5 doubled to 10, 2 doubled to 4.

The last servant was fearful and put his gift in the ground. He kept it very safe, but he did not put it to use. So he received condemnation from his Master: “You wicked and lazy servant! You will be cast out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Yes, we have also received gifts.

This is the end of 2017. What have we done with the gifts of the Holy Spirit this last year?

If God gives us another year (from tomorrow) – remember this also is a gift. How will you put God’s gifts to use “tomorrow”? (and next year)

Let us pray to put our gifts to good use in the next year. Let us also give thanks to God for his many, many gifts.

Grace, salvation, faith, Jesus Christ, these are all great gifts from God. Let us give thanks for all these things.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 17 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)

Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle

Romans 12:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.


This morning, chp 12 in Romans. This is the greatest turning point in the study of Romans. I mentioned several times, but here again. This book can be divided into 3 (or 2) parts.

3 parts

  1. chp 1-8 Revelation of God’s righteousness
  2. chp 9-11 Vindication of God’s righteousness
  3. chp 12-16 Application of God’s righteousness

2 parts

  1. chp 1-11 Fundamental basic doctrine of Christianity
  2. chp 12-16 Christian lifestyle

Theme of the book: The Righteousness of God

This book is very doctrinal, systematic, logical, but also very practical. This book is the book of “therefores” (because of previous things).

  • In the NIV, “therefore” is repeated 20 times.
  • In KJV, 27 times.

Some very important “therefores”:

  • chp 3:20 Therefore of condemnation (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… therefore no one will be declared righteous”)
  • chp 5:1 Therefore of Justification (“therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God and gained access by faith into grace”)
  • chp 8:1 Therefore of Freedom (“therefore there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”)
  • chp 12:1 (one of the biggest and greatest) Therefore of Worship (“Therefore I urge you, … to offer your bodies as living sacrifices…”)

This therefore = “because of God’s great compassion through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”

Last Sunday, we saw in chp 11 Doctrine becomes Doxology (all the depths of the wisdom of God – unsearchable, unknowable fully – becomes worship).

Doxology = “Through him, and to him, and by him, and in him are all things. Amen”

In chp 12, Doxology becomes Dedication

Doctrine results in Worship, Worship results from Doctrine. Believing and Living go together. What you believe in your hearts is to be revealed and testified by what you produce. Our faith provides action, activity.

We can know we are called to church to worship God.

“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy…”

God has handed all people over to unrighteousness so that he can have mercy on all people. “God who is rich in mercy has made us alive in Christ – even while we were dead in our sins.”

  • We are called to church to worship God.
  • We are sent into this world to worship God.
  • This is church.

In Genesis, God separates Able from Cain, Jacob from Esau. God accepted one group and rejected the other. What made God accept one group and reject the other? Worship.

  • Able was the first true worshiper – and God accepted him and his worship. But Cain was a false worshiper, and God rejected his worship.
  • The first patriarchs – first priority – was the worship God. The first thing they did when they moved from one place to another place was to set up an altar to God. (Abraham, Moses, Jacob, etc.) There is no record of Ishmael, etc doing so.

We are called to worship God.

“I’m going to church to worship God.”

Question is: IN THIS WORLD – OUTSIDE THIS BUILDING – “I’m going to work, school, hospital, garage, etc to….?”

We must be able to say, not only about church, but also about ALL places we go, “I’m going THERE to WORSHIP GOD.” If you think it is not possible to worship God there, do not go.

“God is looking for worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth.” These are the worshipers God is looking for. God is looking at our personal (not only group – in church) worship. May God bless you that your personal worship is acceptable in his sight.

How can we become TRUE worshipers? Holy and acceptable by God? 3 things:

#1 Do not conform to the pattern of this world

v. 2

“2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,”

Do not follow the trend / fashion of this world. This is a BIG challenge – almost impossible without the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Worshiper = “saint” = holy one = set apart for a special purpose
  • World = “sinful” = wicked, adulterous generation (Jesus calls this world these things)

1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it. If anyone loves this world, the love of the Father is not in him. Everything in this world, lust, evil desires, boasting, comes not from the Father, but from this world. This world and its desires pass away, but only the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

James “Do you not know that friendship with this world is hatred toward God? He who becomes a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God.”

As true worshipers, we are not conformers, followers, but transformers of this world.

A Christian is a boat in the sea. A boat must be in the sea, but cannot become a part of the sea if it is to remain a boat.

Jesus says, “You are the light / salt of the world” (not of the church) – we shine in darkness. We are in the world, but not OF the world.

Say: “I am in the world, but the world is not in me.”

#2 Be changed

v. 2

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”

In Christ, we received a new nature, position, standing, status, we are TOTALLY NEW in him. We have been transformed, and must be transformers of this world.

Without personal transformation, it is impossible to transform others.

Our value must be changed according to God’s will. Our lifestyles must be changed according to God’s will.

What is your #1 priority in your daily life?

  1. Brush teeth?
  2. Take a shower?
  3. Go to work?

Our priorities must be RE-ordered according to God’s will.

#3 (Conclusion) Give our bodies as living sacrifices

v. 1

“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to (present) your bodies as living sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

This is very clear. Worship is not an occasional event – not a sometimes performance, not a liturgy, not ministry, but it is LIFE itself. This is a lifestyle – not only IN church, but also OUTSIDE church.

Remember: Worship is not TAKING, it is GIVING.

“Worship is Giving” (Worship is not Receiving)

In the OT, nobody is to come before God empty handed.

You know, even today, why do so many Christians have such LITTLE power in this world? It’s because their first thought is to RECEIVE blessing, comfort, consolation, peace from God. Of course, this is not bad. Through worship God will GIVE something great that you need. God loves his children, that’s true. But remember, worship is not RECEIVING, worship is GIVING.

Matthew 2: Magi story (Wise men)

They came from the East for a LONG distance to worship the baby Jesus. As soon as they saw him, they bowed down and worshiped him and gave him Gold 황금, Frankincense 유향, and Myrrh 몰약.

Hallelujah.

  • Worship is GIVING.
  • Without GIVING, without OFFERING, worship is not worship.

What is the main function of offering?

KEY: Making reconciliation between the receiver of the worship and the worshiper (making a close friendship between God and man (you))

Through the receiving of offering, there is a CLOSER relationship and friendship built between the giver and the receiver (you and God).

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. All this has come through God – he gave us the ministry of reconciliation and the message of reconciliation.”

What is the meaning of “living” sacrifices? (not dead)

Through “living” sacrifices, 2 reconciliations happen:

  1. Reconciliation between the giver and the receiver
  2. Reconciliation of the lost back to God

So, how can we become “living” sacrifices?

If reconciliation happens between God and the lost through your love and activity, then you are regarded and accepted as a living sacrifice. This is your “living” offering, your “living” sacrifice.

Worship is a Christian’s lifestyle.

God bless us to have this lifestyle so that reconciliation may happen between God and the lost.

Let’s pray (individual time).

  • Dec 03 / 2017
  • Comments Off on To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)

Download Notes in a .MD file

To God be the Glory Forever, Amen

Romans 11:25-36 (Pastor Heo)

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.


We saw four witnesses as proof that God has a plan for Israel:

  1. Paul himself
  2. Elijah
  3. The Gentiles
  4. The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc)
  • The dough – the first part – is the symbol of the patriarchs.
  • The root of the tree (from last week) – is the symbol of Israel.

Last word of v. 28 = “patriarchs”

“28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

Today, we have the final witness / proof. This is the last and best witness: God himself – the very character and work of God.

God is dealing with his people Israel. Who is God? How is God? What are his characteristics? Here I’ll share 6 things with you about God.

6 Characteristics of God

#1: God’s Timing

In this world, everything that happens, happens according to God’s time: Ecc 3:1 “There is a time for everything; a season for everything under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to love, a time to hate, a time to eat, a time to speak, etc..”

v. 25

“25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part _until_ the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”

All that has happened to Israel is a part of the plan for Israel. God knows what he is doing and what is happening.

The “hardness” in the middle here is spiritual blindness of Israel – but this is not total, nor final. It is partial and temporary. Until “the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” v. 12 – there is a fullness for Israel and also for the Gentiles.

Today, individual Jewish people are being saved, but this present era is primarily a time when God is visiting the Gentiles and building his church. When this present age has run its course and the full number of the Gentiles has come in – then at that time, God will take action and deal with Israel again.

This verse is one of several “until” verses in the Bible (this means God’s timing).

  • Ps 110:10 “The Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies…”
  • Matt “You cannot see me until you say ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord'”
  • Luke “Israel will be trampled on until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”
  • Matt 24:14 “The gospel will be preached in ALL nations and THEN the end will come.” (This is God’s timing)

#2: God’s Promise

This is very important.

v. 26

“26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (Isaiah 59:20-21 – last two verses)

Jacob is the old name of “Israel” – this means a descendant from the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ comes as deliverer, redeemer, Savior.

This is the first and only mention of Jesus’ coming in the book of Romans.

  • “so, all Israel will be saved.” (so = “in this way / by this method”)
  • “all Israel” doesn’t mean ALL Jews who’ve ever lived, but it means, the majority of Israel who are alive when Jesus comes again.
  1. 2,000 years ago, when Jesus came, the majority of Israel did NOT recognize nor receive Jesus. Only a few did.
  2. Next, when Jesus comes again, the OPPOSITE will happen. The majority of Israel will finally recognize and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

John 1:10 “He was in the world even though the world was made through him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

#3: God’s Covenant

v. 27

“27 And this is my _covenant_ with them when I take away their sins. 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as _election_ is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

This is a continuation of Isaiah 59, but we need to read Isaiah 60 to get the full picture of the glory of Zion. Isaiah 60:1 “Arise and shine!”

Keywords:

  • Covenant
    • The emphasis in this sentence is God’s covenant (absolute, unbreakable promise).
  • Election
    • This does not mean elite – ism, nor perfection, but it means sovereign grace. God did not choose them for their goodness.
  1. If Israel was not chosen by God based on their merit,
  2. likewise, they cannot be rejected by God based on their sinfulness.

v. 28 means the Jewish people are now “enemies” toward believing Gentiles due to their attitude toward the gospel. But, in the eyes of God, they are loved due to God’s covenant with the patriarchs.

#4 God’s Nature

What is God like? What are his qualities and attributes?

v. 29

“29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

(this is the shortest verse in this section but the most important)

  • Irrevocable = conclusive, final, cannot be broken / revoked
  • God’s gifts = salvation (the gift of gifts)

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Good News Bible = “God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses.”

  • Malachi 3 “I am the Lord, I never change.”
  • Numbers “God is not a man that he should lie.” (God is not a son of man that he should repent. Does he speak and not act? No. Does he promise and not keep his promise? No.)
  • Romans 3:3 “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith cancel God’s faithfulness? Certainly not! Let God be true!”

If you know and understand who God is, he is unchangeable and we can be certain of our salvation.

#5: God’s Mercy

v. 30

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,”

We need God’s mercy. That’s why chp 12 begins with “I urge you brothers, in the view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. Do not follow the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

“I need God’s mercy.” x4

v. 30-32

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received _mercy_ (x1) as a result of their disobedience,31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive _mercy_ (x2) as a result of God’s _mercy_ (x3) to you.32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have _mercy_ (x4) on them all.”

Final purpose: That God may have mercy on them all.

Yes, we are also one of this “all.”

  • Through the disobedience of Israel, salvation came to the Gentiles.
  • Likewise, through the salvation of the Gentiles, Israel will come to know and love Jesus.
    • This is an obligation of the Gentiles – to provoke Israel to jealousy.

God has included all human beings (Jews and Gentiles) in being able to experience the mercy of God. There is no difference in salvation.

  • When Adam sinned, all humanity (including us) sinned in Adam.

Romans “There is no one righteous, not even one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

  1. If you say, “I’m not a sinner” then you don’t need mercy from God.
  2. That’s why we must confess “I’m a sinner” – so that we may repent and receive mercy.

In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the source of blessing to the Gentiles. God chose the Jews that the Gentiles might be saved. What is the first covenant given to Abraham? Genesis 12:3 “All people on earth will be blessed through you.”

The tragedy was that Israel became exclusive and failed to share this truth with the Gentiles (their mission). But God did not fail in his plan.

In a large crowd, it is humbling to look around and think, “Everyone needs a Savior.” But until we truly experience God’s mercy in our lives, it is unlikely we’ll feel that others need to experience it as well.

  1. God’s timing
  2. God’s promise
  3. God’s covenant
  4. God’s nature
  5. God’s mercy
  6. God’s wisdom

#6 God’s wisdom & knowledge

v. 33-36

“33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Having contemplated God’s great plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles, the only thing Paul could do is sing a song of rejoicing.

  • Theology becomes Doxology
  • Theology becomes Worship

God is too wise to make plans that will not be fulfilled. This has two meanings – applied literally to all Israel, and applied spiritually to all people.

When Israel comes into their fullness, they will recognize him, receive him, be reconciled, be received, it will look like a resurrection.

In our story, God’s purpose for the salvation of the world is beyond our understanding. This is beyond our tracing out.

Who can say, “I’m God’s counselor”? Who gave to God before he gave to us? All we have came from him originally. (Doxology)

Col 1:15-17 “By Jesus Christ all things were created – things on heaven and earth – visible, invisible, thrones, rulers, powers, authorities – all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.”

God has a purpose for your/my life. What is this purpose? Remember, a life without a purpose given by God is like a ship without a rudder – it’s a directionless activity.

The purpose of God’s salvation through his mercy and grace:

That we may share this blessing of salvation with others, making Jesus Lord, to the glory of God.

Let’s pray

  • Nov 26 / 2017
  • Comments Off on There is a Future for Israel (Romans 11:11-24)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

There is a Future for Israel (Romans 11:11-24)

Download Notes in a .MD file

There is a Future for Israel

Romans 11:11-24 (Pastor Heo)

Ingrafted Branches

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!


Romans 9, 10, 11 as one unit = the Vindication of God’s Righteousness through Israel’s full history

  1. Past election
  2. present rejection
  3. future restoration

This is full of the story of Israel.

Each chapter starts with a great concern about Israel.

  • chp 9: I speak the truth, my conscience confirms it, I have unceasing sorrow and anguish in my heart for the salvation of Israel.
  • chp 10: My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
  • chp 11: Did God reject them? By no means, I’m an Israelite myself.

Jesus: “Blessed is the one who cries, for he will laugh.”

If you have joy/peace/laughing in your heart because of your salvation, you must have great sorrow/pain/weeping for the salvation of others.

For whom do you cry?

Last Sunday, we saw 2 of 5 proofs for the restoration of Israel.

In chp 11, there are 5 proofs that God is not yet finished with Israel.

Proofs

  1. Paul himself – his own conversion is an illustration of the future restoration of Israel
  2. Elijah – he lived in the worst era of Israel’s history – God said, “I have reserved 7000 for myself who don’t bow down to Baal”

What does this mean?

  1. There has never been, nor never will be a time in history when the WHOLE nation has been faithful to God
  2. NOR is there a time when the WHOLE nation has been unfaithful.
  3. There is a remnant in every country.

This morning. Let us see proofs #3, 4

#3. Gentiles

v. 11-15

“11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”

In chp 2:1-3, Paul used the Gentiles to prove the Jews guilty of sin. “You, Jews, have no excuse – you who pass judgment on others – because you are doing the same things.”

Here, again, Paul uses the Gentiles to assure the Jews’ future restoration.

When the Jews rejected this gospel, God sent it to the Gentiles, and they accepted and believed and were saved. At least three tragedies happened to the Jews.

  • v. 11 – the nation fell
  • v. 12 – the nation diminished
  • v. 15 – the nation was rejected

But none of these three things suggest a “final judgment” on Israel. The amazing thing is that through the fall of Israel, salvation came to the Gentiles.

Hosea 2:23 “God says, ‘I will show my love to the one I call not my loved one, and I will call them my people who are not my people, and they will call me their God.'”

These OT promises to the Gentiles were connected to Israel’s rise. Isaiah 60 make it clear that the Gentiles will share in the kingdom and life of the Gentiles. But… Israel did not rise, they fell. So, what did God do to the Gentiles? He introduced a new factor: the church. This church is called a “mystery.” (Eph 3) This was not revealed in the OT. But this does not mean that God has abandoned his kingdom project for Israel. They are only set aside until the appropriate time.

Now, the Gentiles have a vital ministry to Israel. They provoke Israel to jealousy because of their spiritual blessings in Christ.

Today, Israel is spiritually bankrupt, and have fallen away. When Jesus comes again, they will be accepted again. This is called “full inclusion” (v 12) and “acceptance” (v 15).

Yes, God wanted to rule over Israel in their history – but they didn’t allow God to rule over them. So, God will OVERrule them. This is God’s plan for them.

#4 Patriarchs – founders of Israel

Today’s lesson is Hard Food, not soft.

Review the 4 proofs up to now:

  1. Paul
  2. Elijah
  3. Gentiles
  4. Patriarchs

Paul looks to the past to show this. He used two illustrations to prove that God is not finished with Israel.

  1. Lump of dough (for baking bread)
  2. Olive tree

v. 16a “16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy;” (reference: Numbers 15, Leviticus 23)

1. Lump of Dough

The first part of the dough had to be offered to God as a symbol that the whole lump belonged to God (tithes & firstfruits). This also happens in the Feast of the Firstfruits. The priest offered the first sheaf of the harvest as a symbol that the whole harvest belonged to God – by God’s mercy and grace.

The principle: If God receives part, he sanctifies the whole.

God received the founder of the nation of Israel (Abraham) and so set apart the whole nation as holy. He also received the other patriarchs – Isaac, Jacob, etc – despite their flaws and sins. This is another proof that God has set the whole nation apart as holy and has a plan for them.

In our personal lifestyles, we also offer tithes.

We recognize that “all I have and earn” belong to God. “I’m a steward” and all I have belongs to God. This is the starting point, the beginning of the true Christian life – practically and spiritually. Offering tithes is the beginning point of the Christian lifestyle.

If the first part is holy, the whole batch is holy.

2. Olive tree

This is a symbol of the nation Israel. (Jeremiah)

v. 16b-24 “if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”

To understand this passage clearly: keywords

  1. Olive tree
  2. Root
  3. Grafted in (접목하다)

Paul is not discussing the relationship of individual believers to God. But he is discussing the place of Israel in the plan of God.

  1. Jeremiah / Hosea declare the olive tree as a symbol of the nation Israel.
  2. The Root is a symbol of patriarchs who founded the nation. God made his covenant with the patriarchs. He never denied them nor changed them. Thus, his promise to Abraham sustains the nation of Israel even today.
  3. Many Jews do not believe in Christ even today. They are pictured as the branches that are broken off the tree.
  4. Other branches are grafted onto the tree and share the life of that tree. These other branches are the Gentiles (collectively).

But there is one strange thing (v. 24) – Paul says that this grafting in is “contrary to nature” – going against the natural principles of this world.

  • Usually, cultivated branches must be grafted into wild trees to share the tree’s life.
  • But in this case, wild branches were grafted into a cultivated tree.

This is because “Salvation is from the Jews.”

No matter how far the nation of Israel (branches) stray, the root (patriarchs & God’s covenant to them) is still good. God will never neglect his covenant with them. That means that some day, the nation of Israel will flourish again in God’s kingdom.

Some of us may ask today:

“So what does this matter to me?”

Even through three chapters – in one of the most important books in the NT – the #1 epistle of Paul’s – we cover the story of Israel. Why is this so important?

Application to our lives (4 things):

#1 Physically, Christ came as a Jew

Salvation is from the Jews. The Bible is the story of the Jews (past, present, future)

  • PAST: Elected by God’s grace/mercy – not because of their faithfulness or merit
  • PRESENT: Rejected because of their faithlessness

If this rejection lasts forever, then our own salvation is completely unstable. It would mean that our salvation also depends on our faithfulness.

BUT – we can say that our salvation is due to God’s grace, not our own merit.

So, we must be humble and thankful to God through our study of Israel. Our own salvation is due to God’s covenant and promise to the patriarchs of the Jewish nation (through whom the Messiah, Jesus, came).

#2 We are debtors of the gospel

The message of the gospel came to us through the rejection of Israel.

So, we enjoy the gospel today, but it must go back to Israel through our preaching.

  • Because of Israel’s rejection, we received the gospel.
  • This gospel must return to Israel through our preaching.

#3 God’s covenant with Abraham is still alive

We are “children of Abraham”

The first covenant is in Genesis 12:1-3 “I will make you into a great nation. I’ll bless you and make your name great. I’ll bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you. All people on earth will be blessed through you.”

This is through God’s “WILL”

This covenant is being fulfilled spiritually through us (Gentiles) – and in secular, physical history, it is already fulfilled through the Jews as well.

In history, no nations that remain against the Jews, remain prosperous.

  • BC 721, Assyria conquered Israel. There is no more Assyria.
  • BC 586, Babylon conquered Israel. There is no more Babylon.
  • Amalites, Moabites, Edomites, Hittites, etc, no longer exist anywhere on earth.
  • But there exists the nation of Israel.

This is the physical fulfillment of God’s covenant.

And spiritually, all nations will be blessed through you (through us) – is happening now.

#4 God’s final plan: to unite in Christ

No more Jew and Gentile, no more male and female, no more slave and free, etc.

Eph 2:11-18

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Getniles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human nhands )- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foriengers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

In Christ, we are ONE. Brothers and sisters. We are members of one eternal family.

Conclusion: Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female. We are all ONE in Christ.”

In the eyes of God, there are only 2 kinds of people:

  1. IN Christ (saved)
  2. OUTSIDE Christ (lost)
  • If you are outside Christ, you must come to Christ to be saved.
  • If you are in Christ, you must go to the lost and say to them, “Come!”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you life, rest, salvation, peace for your souls.”

Let’s pray individually now.

In the beginning of my sermon I said, “If we have joy for our salvation, we must have sorrow for others. If we laugh for our salvation, we must cry for the salvation of others.” Your brothers, sisters, family, loved ones, parents, children, neighbors, etc.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 19 / 2017
  • Comments Off on There is a Remnant by God’s Grace (Romans 10:21-11:10)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

There is a Remnant by God’s Grace (Romans 10:21-11:10)

Download Notes in a .MD file

There is a Remnant by God’s Grace

Romans 10:21-11:10 (Pastor Heo)

21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

The Remnant of Israel

1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me” ? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”


Chp 11 = God’s faithfulness

Chp 10:21 “But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Their hearts were hard, we can see 3 results of their rejection:

1. Still today, they are guilty

(we also will be guilty if we reject God’s free gift of salvation) – God reveals himself in nature, Creation, the Word of God – these go together and reveal the glory of God. Israel had the benefit of BOTH – they saw God at work in Nature, and received the Word of God (but they did not heed the Word of God). No wonder many times in Scripture it says, “he who has ears, let him hear” – this is repeated at least 7 times in Revelation.

2. God sent this gospel to the Gentiles

When Israel rejected this Messiah, God sent this gospel to the Gentiles that they might be saved. One reason was to provoke Israel to “holy jealousy”.

3. Still today, God yearns over his people

v. 21 is from Isaiah 55:2

This refers to the present day of salvation (1 Cor “NOW is the day of God’s favor”).

Even 2000 years ago, Christ longed to gather his chosen people to his arms. He wept over Jerusalem. But instead, those arms were stretched out on a cross.

Today, Christ is stretching his hands out, waiting, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” – this is the message of the gospel for the Jews and the Gentiles.

Last Sunday, “how beautiful the feet of those who bring good news.”

Also, God can use our feet and arms as he used Paul’s 2000 years ago.

Everything is of God (behind everything) – and at the same time everything is of man (we have free will). 100% God-control & sovereignty & at the same time 100% human free-will (this is a paradox).

Are you a person? This means you have a personality.

  1. Feelings
  2. Emotions
  3. Interests
  4. Will

So, we are responsible/accountable before Christ. But he will NEVER give up his people. This is the story of the next chapter.

Actually, Paul devotes all of Romans 11 to presenting that God is not finished yet with Israel. He is discussing a literal future for the nation of Israel. And Paul is showing 5 proofs (witnesses) that God has a plan for Israel. Today, let’s look at just the first 2.

God’s future restoration plan for Israel is also very important for us.

God called Abraham, chose Israel, Jesus came from Israel. IF God abandoned them… then that would show that our salvation could also be lost in the same way. Thus, their future restoration is SO important for our own salvation.

Next Sunday, we will look in depth at: (the conclusion)

  • v. 26 “26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.”

There are a total of 5 witnesses to this. Today, we’ll see 2:

2 (of 5) Witnesses of God’s Plan for Israel

#1 Paul himself

Paul who wrote this book Romans.

v. 1 “1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.”

Honestly speaking, I have no right to say, “Korea will be saved – because I am Korean!” Nobody has a right to say this. But Paul is saying like this. How is this possible? On what foundation/grounds?

What is the difference between his and our salvation? We must know the background.

Paul’s conversion testimony is written in the Bible in Acts, 3 times (chp 9, 22, 26) – this is not by accident – but on purpose for something to show us.

This is not written to exalt Paul himself, but it is written to show his conversion is an illustration of the future restoration and conversion of the nation Israel. This is a secret, the mystery of God.

Paul’s Story

Yes, before his conversion, Paul had such great zeal for God. “I’m faultless – legalistically speaking.” Before his conversion, he was a champion of persecuting the followers of Christ – because he persecuted Christ for God. (He fought God, on behalf of God) – because he didn’t know Jesus was God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He was so zealous for God, but it was misplaced. This was not based on the correct foundation of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

One day, on the way to Damascus, breathing out murderous threats. Christ appeared to him on the road and spoke, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” At this moment, he became blind, fell to the ground, and called out. “Lord, who are you?” “I’m Jesus, who you are persecuting. Get up, go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” After this experience, his life was 100% (180deg) changed and he became the champion of the gospel.

  • From persecutor of the gospel to the champion of the gospel.
  • From destroying the followers of Christ, to making new followers of Christ.

Israel’s Story

Israel, likewise, has been zealous for God – looking and waiting for the Messiah for a LONG time. This was their final hope. But, when he came, they did not recognize him. Still now, they are waiting for the Messiah.

Someday (maybe soon) there will be a day when Israel will recognize that same Jesus their forefathers crucified in 33 AD. And at that time, they will be totally 100% (180deg) changed. Their lives, lifestyles, etc will be transformed completely, and they will play a great role in closing human history with Jesus’ Second Coming.

Basic Question: Up to now, in your life, which event is the GREATEST event? Having the most POWERFUL impact on your personal life?

Ans: Conversion – salvation to Jesus Christ.

To be converted to Christ and NOT change your lifestyle is absolutely impossible.

That’s why Paul says what he does in v. 1.

#2 Elijah

v. 2-10 “2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me” ? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.””

Two keywords here: Elijah & remnant

We know the background of this story. Elijah was one of the greatest OT prophets. He had many nicknames:

  • Man of Fire, Man of Miracle, Man of Prayer, Man of Power.

He raised a dead boy through prayer. When he prayed, there was no rain for 3 years – then prayed and received heavy rain. He alone defeated 450 prophets of Baal + 450 prophets of Asherah. He was a man of prayer, power.

Elijah’s Story

He worked during the time of Ahab, 850 BC.

At that time, Israel was divided in two (north and south) – like Korea (because of the sins of Solomon).

  • South = Judah
  • North = Israel

This is the story of the Northern king during the reign of the 7th (of 19) king, Ahab (among all 19, not a one was “good” in the eyes of God). But Ahab was just… THE WORST.

During his reign, Israel was full of idol worship.

So, this guy was “bad” but his lady (Jezebel) was “really bad.” (much worse than him). Do you know the story of Nabath?

There was a vineyard near Ahab’s palace, so he coveted it – he wanted to buy it – even for a better vineyard. “No, God forbid, this is inheritance from my father.” So, he got sulky and didn’t eat. His wife said, “Honey, why aren’t you eating?… What? Are you the ‘king’? Get up and eat – I will get that vineyard for you.” That very day, she “got” the vineyard through murder. She said to her husband, “Oh, look, he’s dead. Now, you can get it.”

Later, Jezebel said to Elijah, “Hey, boy, I’ll kill you.”

  • So, he ran off and hid and shook in fear and said to God, “Please God, kill me.”
  • But God said, “No, and you don’t try it either.”
  • God did not scold him, but encouraged him with a soft whisper, “Elijah, you still have a mission.”
  • Elijah appealed it. “God, Israel rejected your covenant, killed your prophets, and I’m the ONLY ONE left, and they are all trying to kill me.”
  • God said, “No, no, no. You’re not the only one. I’ve yet reserved 7,000 who do not kneel before Baal. This is my remnant.”

Immediately he got 3 missions.

  • To anoint 2 kings, and
  • anoint Elisha to succeed himself as prophet.

He received power and encouragement again, and fulfilled his mission and was caught up in a chariot of fire afterward and did not taste death.

Israel’s Story

Yes, even today, Israel is rejecting the Messiah, Jesus.

But, there is a remnant in Israel who is faithful to God, by the grace of God.

I’m sure, even in North Korea, there is a remnant, even in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, USA, Europe, every single local church, even in AICF. A few remnants may be among us – but many (even all) of us may be remnants before God.

I hope and pray we all are a remnant and faithful before God.

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

Only the remnant who remains faithful to God will be saved.

Who is the remnant? The one who calls on the name of the Lord.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you call Jesus “Lord” – this means he is Lord in EVERY area of our lives. He is Lord of our time, concern, interest, motive, purpose, priority, incentive, hobbies, job, ambition, dream, vision, money, wallet, material possessions. This is the true meaning of “Jesus is Lord.” God bless us to call Jesus our Lord, truly.

God is not deceived, not mocked. God knows if we are truthful in our proclamation. God knows if you are speaking from your heart, or just paying him “lip service.”

Jesus is Lord of every area of our lives.

God bless all of us so that our calling Jesus, “Lord” may be accepted fully by God our father.

Let’s take individual time to pray and shout and cry, “Lord, may my cry be acceptable to you.”

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 12 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith (Romans 10:13-21)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith (Romans 10:13-21)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Saving Faith leads to “God sent” Faith

Romans 10:13-21 (Pastor Heo)

13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” 20 And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”


Salvation is easy, simple, free, open, available – but there is a cost. It is not cheap.

Why is salvation FREE, yet so expensive? It’s actually too expensive to pay – it’s priceless. The price for our salvation that God paid = the life of his One and Only Son, Jesus.

Imagine, if you have only one child – son or daughter. For what in this world could you put your only child in the place of death? Nothing. Yet, our Father God put his only child – Jesus – in our place to die on the cross for our sins. And Jesus says, “salvation is like a treasure found in a field, and when a man found it – he sold ALL he had and bought that field.” Or also, “like a merchant looking for a good purse, and when he found one of great value, he sold everything he had and bought that purse.”

This Bible is the same book –

  • yet in one place, it says, “salvation is FREE – you pay nothing for it.”
  • yet, in another place it says, “You must pay ALL you have for salvation.”

So, how can we combine these two seemingly contradictory verses?

  • Free vs. Expensive.
  • Nothing vs. Everything.

I hope we are very clear in this matter – don’t be confused. Yes, salvation is FREE – God paid the price for us already through Jesus on the cross. We have nothing to pay, buy, to receive salvation.

But the Christian life in this world is a holy journey, a pilgrimage – to know, more and more, the true value of salvation.

Which is more valuable? Salvation or ALL your possessions? The Christian life is “the more we understand the value of salvation, the more we want to give and dedicate ourselves to Christ who died on the cross for our sins.”

Yes, I’m convinced I’m saved by the blood of Christ, yet everyday – though I read the Bible and pray everyday, I can’t say I fully know the true value of salvation. But, the more we know, the more we want to dedicate ourselves to it.

v. 13-15

“13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” “

This “good news” is good news of peace and salvation (Isaiah 52:7).

Yes, we are saved and justified only by believing in Christ and confessing with our mouths before men. We retain righteousness through no work, no power, not our own honor, etc.

Many people want to be recognized as “righteous” because they give, serve, read, study MORE. No, no, this is only self-righteousness. Rather, we receive faith, Christ-righteousness only by believing in Christ.

In these verses we see the word “how” repeated 5x.

v. 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

  1. How can they call if they don’t believe?
  2. How can they believe if they don’t hear?
  3. How can they hear without someone preaching?
  4. How can someone preach without being sent?
  5. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Topic today: Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith

If you have saving faith, you are to have “God sent” faith. God sent his Son to this world. And in his intercessory prayer, Jesus repeats two times, “Father, as you sent me, I’m sending them.” At his resurrection, “Peace be with you as the Father sent me.”

Story of Joseph

You are familiar with his story. He was hated by his 10 older brothers because of his dream.

Also Christ was hated by his people, the Jews, for nothing.

One day, his brothers sold Joseph to slave traders from Egypt. Joseph had so many hardships and injustices – even in prison. Yet, through God’s provision and providence, Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt (second most powerful man in the most powerful country on earth at that time) – at the age of 30. Can you do this on your own power? No, impossible.

There were 7 years of abundance – so Joseph had the people save enough food for the following 7 years of famine (even neighboring countries suffered). Even Joseph’s father Jacob suffered, so he sent the 10 brothers to Egypt to buy food. And who did they stand before? Their brother Joseph. He recognized them, but they did not recognize him.

The first deal was done, but later they came a second time – and then he revealed himself to them. Can you imagine this? “I’m Joseph! Your brother! The one you sold into slavery!” Imagine, they must have been so fearful. But Joseph said, “Do not fear, do not be distressed. You sold me, but God sent me – to save many lives.” This is the Christian life.

  • Yes, they SOLD Joseph. This is his earthly life story.
  • Yet, his interpretation of this fact was opposite.
  • “God SENT me.” This is his heavenly life story.

Are you Christian? Then you are writing two stories at the same time. You are writing your heavenly life story THROUGH you earthly life story.

  • If we ask, “Why are you here, in Korea, in Jeonju, in AICF?”
  • We can answer, “I got married here / I’m studying here / I’m working here / etc.”

Yes, this is true, but this is our earthly life story. Our heavenly life story is, “Through this earthly life story, I’m here because God SENT me.”

We are living invisible life through visible life, spiritual life through physical life. Only our earthly life is meaningful when it is connected to our heavenly life. Our earthly life is meaningless, vanity, unless it’s connected to the heavenly story.

  • “You sold me, but God SENT me.”
  • “I’m here because God SENT me.”
  • This is the Christian’s heavenly life story.

v. 16-17

“16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

Even in the OT, they had heard the good news, but few received it. (quoted from Isaiah 53:1). This is the gospel of the OT. Chp 53 is the “Suffering Messiah” chapter.

Isaiah 53:1-8
“1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. “

  • “by his wounds we are healed”
  • “he did not open his mouth”
  • “he was led by God”
  • John the Baptist called him the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

These are all fulfilled in the NT

Summary of the fulfillment of these things:

1 Peter 2:21-24
“21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” “

Let us come back to Romans 10:17 (key verse)

“17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. “

  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
  • “Let us fix our eyes on Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Within 10 min I will summarize the WHOLE story of the Bible. Please, pray for me. Genesis to Revelation – focusing on THIS verse (Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing”)

There are 12 main characters in the Bible:
But the key mission / ministry is the same:
“To bear witness to Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Ready? Ok, go!

12 main characters have the same mission: “to testify about Christ.”

Yes, there are many jobs in this world, but we must be clear about our #1 job. (This is the conclusion – in advance.)

#1 Bible (first character) –

It says many things about life, society, politics, music, family, etc, but the key mission is to testify about Christ

  • John 20:31 “The Bible is written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ and that you may have life in his name.”
  • Jesus says, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them, you have life, but these are the Scriptures that testify about me.”

#2 Father God

His main ministry is to testify about his son

  • When Jesus was baptized, heaven opened and he said, “This is my Son with whom I am well pleased.”
  • On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was with Moses and Abraham and after they left, heaven opened and God spoke, “This is my Son, in whom I’m well pleased. Listen to him.”
  • Jesus also says, “My Father who sent me into this world testifies about me. To see me is to see him.”

#3 Holy Spirit

The key mission is to witness about Christ.

  • “Nobody can call Jesus ‘Lord’ except by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Can you do this? Then you are doing so with the HS power.
  • John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I’ll send to you from the Father, the HS will testify about me.”

#4 Abraham

He had many jobs, but Jesus says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day. He saw it and was glad.” (John)

  • Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

#5 Moses

The first 5 books of the OT are the books of the Law – written by Moses. Even Moses’ key mission is to testify about Christ.

John – Jesus says, “If you believe Moses, you would believe in me because Moses wrote / testified about me.” Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are written about Jesus – to show, bear witness, testify about Christ.

#6 David

He is the greatest king in Israel’s history. He is a symbol of Christ. That’s why Jesus came through the family line of David.

  • Matthew 1:1 “The book of the genealogy of Abraham, David, and Jesus.”
  • Psalm 110:1 “1 The LORD says to my lord:“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.””
    • Lord is repeated twice – but the letters are different.
    • The first LORD is all capital, the second, all lowercase. What is the difference?
      1. Father God is the first – but at that time, they were afraid to call the personal name of God “Jehovah Jireh”
      2. Messiah is the second

That’s why this is repeated in Matt 22:33-34.

  • Jesus quotes this verse and asks, “What do you think about Christ?”
  • They answered, “Son of David” Jesus said, “If so, how does David call Christ ‘Lord’?”

This means that even the key mission of David was to testify about Christ.

#7 All prophets

From Isaiah to Malachi – ALL prophets’ key mission was to testify about Christ.

Acts 10:43 “All prophets in the OT testify about Jesus Christ that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name.”

This is the end of the summary of the OT.

#8 (NT) John the Baptist

His key mission was very important because he was a forerunner for Christ. He pointed at Christ and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! He must become greater and I lesser.”

John 1:4 “In him was life and this life was the light of man. It has shone in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. A man came, sent from God, his name was John. He came as a witness to testify about Christ – that all men might believe in him.”

#9 All apostles (representative: Peter)

Acts 3:15 “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are the witnesses of this.”

After his resurrection, before ascension, Christ said, “You are my witnesses.”

#10 Paul

There is no doubt about Paul as a witness of Christ. 1 Cor 2:4 “I resolved to know NOTHING except Christ and him crucified. I have nothing to boast of except the cross of Christ through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. If I live, I live for Christ, if I die, I die for Christ – so to die is GAIN.”

#11 The Church

No question – the church is the body of Christ.

The church is not a building, it is the PEOPLE of God who confess Christ, “You are Christ, the Son of God.” We are a holy gathering of God’s people who proclaim the same.

  • Jesus says, “On this confession, I will build my church. The gates of hell will never overcome this church. I give the keys of heaven to the church. Whatever is bound by the church will be bound in hell, whatever is loosed by the church will be loosed in heaven.”

This church is in the world, but the world must not be in the church.

#12 YOU (Holy-spirit filled believers)

Your key mission (“be filled with the HS” Eph 5:18 “be wise, do not follow the pattern of this world – be filled with the HS” – check yourselves)

You can check yourself to see if you are pregnant or not. Like this, you can check if you are filled with the HS or not.

  • If you #1 job is to testify about Christ – then you are definitely filled with the HS.
  • But, if it’s not priority #1, you need to be filled with the HS.

Acts 1:8 “When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

This is evidence of being filled with the HS.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 05 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We are saved by our Heart & Mouth

Romans 10:5-13 (Pastor Heo)

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


This final sentence is quoted from Joel 2:32. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Last time’s conclusion: Jesus is the END of the Law – so there is righteousness for everyone who believes.

What does this mean?

Jesus is the END of the Law =

  1. The Full satisfaction of the requirements of the Law (only he lived a fully, perfectly holy, sinless life)
  2. The end of Legalism (through his death and resurrection, he has terminated the Law’s requirements for those who believe)
  3. The end of the Requirements of the Law (Romans 8 “For what the Law was powerless to do, God did through Christ…”) The Rule/Reign of the Law has ended in Christ
  4. The Law is only a Shadow/Type of Christ (Christ is the REALITY of all types, patterns, symbols in the Bible. EVERYTHING in the Bible points to Christ – all sufferings, festivals, offerings, prophecies, priesthoods, sacrifices, etc). Jesus is the Final and Living sacrifice

Today’s text = contrast between LAW righteousness and FAITH righteousness

v. 5 LAW righteousness

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

v. 6 FAITH righteousness

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”

Leviticus 18:5 is quoted here in Romans 10:5

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

Now let’s look at Deuteronomy 9:4-6

“4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

Stiff-necked = hard-hearted

Three times repeated: “Not because of your (LAW) righteousness.”

The contrast between FAITH and LAW righteousness:

  • LAW = only introduced to the Jews in the NT
    • FAITH = introduced to ALL people everywhere
  • LAW = based on works/actions
    • FAITH = comes only by faith
  • LAW = keep the Law outwardly
    • FAITH = call on the Lord and trust Christ alone
  • LAW = self righteousness
    • FAITH = God’s (Christ’s) righteousness (Jesus is our righteousness – 1 Cor 1:13)
  • LAW = cannot save
    • FAITH = brings eternal life and salvation
  • LAW = leads us to pride, hypocrisy, misery, wretchedness
    • FAITH = leads us to humility, joy, thankfulness, giving glory to God

This is the difference. Big difference.

This FAITH righteousness comes only from Christ.

v. 6-8 (Deut 30:12-14 quotation)

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “**The word** is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: “

Today’s message = very DEEP but very SIMPLE

v. 6 = “Who will ascend into heaven?”

In order to see/meet Christ, we do not need to go to heaven, because Christ came to this world for us. (John 3:16) God SENT his one and only son into the world to save the world through him (1 Tim 1:15)

To meet Christ, we don’t need to go to heaven because he CAME to us.

v. 7 “Who will descend into the deep?”

To meet Jesus, we don’t need to go to death, we don’t need to die – because he ROSE from death and is now alive.

v. 8 “The Word is near you”

To meet Christ, we do not need to do a difficult labor. We do not need any kind of image, picture, sign, wonder, miracle, vision… ALL that we need to meet Christ is a (the) “Word”

Hebrews “The Word of God is living and active and more powerful than a double-edged sword…”

The ONLY thing we need to meet Christ is the WORD of God.

John 1 “In the beginning was the WORD (Logos), and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through him all things were created, and without him, nothing was created that has been created. In him was the light of Man…and he came and made his dwelling among us… and we have seen his glory.”

v. 6-7 “Who will ascend / who will descend”

These two verses are reminiscent of Psalm 139:7-8 “Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence? If I go to heaven, you are there. If I go to the depths, you are there.”

  • Even before we begin to look for God – God is THERE. He is present. No matter how far we go out of our way, God is never farther away than when we first started.
    • As long as we insist on finding God – we will discover that this search never ends.
    • But, if we begin by trusting Christ through the Word, we will discover that he is already there and will be found.

“For I am with you always to the very end of the Age.” (This is the final verse in Matthew 28:20?)

Jesus’ name is Emmanuel (God with us).

The next verse is very clear in teaching us how to be saved.

v. 9 -10 (memorize these – keep them in your hearts)

“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

  • Verse 9 is enough.
  • Verse 10 is added for detailed emphasis.

Shout with your mouth “Jesus is Lord!” (ask your neighbor, “really?”)

These two verses are very clear in teaching:

  1. What we NEED to be saved
  2. HOW we can be saved

#1 What do we need to possess to be saved?

We need a MOUTH and HEART.

Do you have these? Then you can be saved.

The Bible says:

  1. Confess with your MOUTH
  2. Believe in your HEART
  3. You will be SAVED

It does not say anything about your character, merits, deeds, actions, wisdom, knowledge, wealth, honor, education, family, career, degree, etc.

What do you need? MOUTH and HEART

Salvation = as close as your MOUTH and HEART

  • Salvation = available for ALL human beings and accessible by ALL human beings – because God wants ALL to be saved and come to a knowledge of his Son – God wants to see no one perish.
  • Salvation is an immediate and instant event.
    • This is the BIRTH of a new life.
  • Salvation is a gift of God. (Eph 2:9 “It is by GRACE you have been saved – not by works so that no one can boast”)

We can be saved by believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for the dead for our lives, and then by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is “Lord”.

This is both VERY easy, and VERY difficult.

v. 10

  1. It is with you HEART you believe and are JUSTIFIED
  2. It is with your MOUTH that you profess your faith and are SAVED

Justification and Salvation are not mutually exclusive. They are not different. To be saved without justification, and to be justified without salvation – impossible. They go hand-in-hand. They are two parts, two sides of the same coin. To believe and to confess = a WHOLE person’s commitment. This is the key point of this verse.

To believe (HEART) and confess (MOUTH) = two parts to a single step.

  • To believe WITHOUT confession = false / fake faith / non-saving faith

For our salvation, we must truly believe that God rose again from the dead. Do you believe this?

1 Cor 15 = The Resurrection Chapter

“If Christ has NOT been raised, then our (whole) faith is USELESS and we are still in our sins. We (Christians) would be the MOST pitiful people on Earth.”

Only Jesus is the only Lord to have risen from the dead. His resurrection makes Christianity MORE than a philosophy of life, more than any other religious option. Jesus is different and distinct from all other religious leaders – because this is the ONLY way to be saved.

If you believe, then you can feel / recognize Jesus’ presence with you anywhere, everywhere, because Jesus is alive.

Confess with your MOUTH

“Jesus is Lord!”

What is the meaning?

At that time, “Lord” = curios (Greek)

  • That means, “I am acknowledging his rank, superiority, highest authority, Lordship, kingship, saviorship, Godship, divinity, ownership, mastership.”
  • Also, “I am placing my whole life under his protection for safe keeping.”
  • Also, “I am pledging my total obedience and worship to him.”
  • “I’m pledging myself and all resources to his direction, government, and service.”

We should notice “with my mouth.” Do you have this?

Imagine, if it is enough to confess this before God, then we can confess with our HEARTS alone before God – we don’t need Mouths before God.

However, this is to be audible for others to HEAR – we “confess” before MEN for them to hear.

Jesus says, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my father in heaven.”

Please remember, these two ALWAYS go together.

HEART and MOUTH.

  • A silent Christian is not a “shy” Christian.
  • A silent Christian is not a Christian.

Jesus says, “My believer is my witness.”

How can you testify / witness something in a courtroom? With your mouth. “My believer is my witness.”

  • Remember, silent Christian is not a Christian.

How can they KNOW you are Christian? By your confession.

This is our acknowledgment, our witness.

“Even though I’m in this world, I’m not of this world. I’m of heaven.”

God bless you to be a TRUE Christian before God, before men, before Satan and angels and demons.

Conclusion:

First part is quoted from Isaiah 28:16

“1 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “

Second part is from Joel 2:32 – 700 years before this

The same Lord is the Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

As my conclusion, I want to make one thing very clear before you:

  • We know God has sovereignty.
  • We know God has many projects (creator, designer, maker)
  • God has ONE nonnegotiable project, permanent project:

A day, a BIG DAY, will come, when all human beings will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Colossians 3:23? “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

This is the final purpose of God’s creation.

His purpose is NOT for our salvation, but for his own glory.

His purpose can be fulfilled by all things in the universe (“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm))

Phil 2:9-11 “God exalted his one and only Son to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name, every knee should bow, on the earth, above the earth, and under the earth, and all tongues confess that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ – to the glory of God the Father.”

Remember:

  • If we confess with our mouths on earth that “Jesus is Lord” then we will continue this work (worship) in heaven.
  • BUT if we reject this belief (HEART) and confession (MOUTH), then we will do this job (confessing “Jesus is Lord”) forever in hell.
  • Remember, our earthly lives are a blessing / chance / opportunity / one time gift to confess that Jesus is Lord.
  • If we reject this chance to confess in this world, then we will confess eternally in hell.

This is the meaning of Phil 2:9-11.

  • All knees will bow – in heaven, on earth, under the earth
  • All tongues will confess – “Jesus Christ is Lord” to the glory of God the Father.

God bless you to be a true Christian and witness.

“A believer is a witness.”

“I’m a believer before God; a witness before men.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 15 / 2017
  • Comments Off on By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)

Download Notes in a .MD file

By Works or by Faith?

Romans 9:30-10:4 (Pastor Heo)

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.


Spiritual things can only be discerned spiritually.

Spiritual truths can only be understood through the ministry of the Holy Spirit – as Jesus said, “The Counselor will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

The Spirit also helps us in our weakness. Many times we don’t know what to pray for, but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8?).

Today in the study of this text we need the guidance of the HS to understand this word.

These verses seem strange outwardly:

“9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not *by faith but as if it were by works*. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.””

These are quoted from Isaiah 8:14, 28:16.

These can be said easily like this:

  • Those who try to save themselves by works – efforts – are not saved.
    • But those who did not try to save themselves by works – but only came to Jesus by faith – are saved.
  • Those who try to have a right relationship with God by their own power, did not find it.
    • But those who came to Christ only by faith, found it.
  • Those who thought they could please God with works, could not.
    • But those who came by faith, pleased God.

This is the meaning of these sentences. The point is: We must understand, clearly, biblically, what salvation is like.

For example:

  • Genesis 1:1 – God created all things. In the work of Creation, all the Creation did nothing to be created. Only God took initiative to create all things. Salvation is like this.
  • As we know, Jesus turned water into wine.The water did nothing to become wine. Only Christ took initiative to turn it into wine. Salvation is like this.
  • Jesus raised the dead Lazarus – buried underground with a bad smell. Lazarus did nothing to raise himself. Only Jesus did. Salvation is like this.
  • Also, the HS caused Mary to become pregnant with the baby Jesus. She did nothing of her own power to become pregnant. Only the HS did. (In this case, Mary was like the clay in the hands of the potter – last week) Salvation is like this.
    • “Salvation is like birth.”
    • Salvation is a kind of birth.
    • “You must be born again.” – born of the HS.
    • Salvation is birth AGAIN – rebirth – birth from the HS.
  • Yes, we know of the story of babies. The babies do nothing to be conceived, nothing in choosing genes, DNA, gender, parents, birthplace, blood type, etc. Only parents (and God) did anything for the baby to be born. Salvation is like this.
  • We did not ask Christ to come into this world to save it – nor to die on the cross – nor to rise again from the dead – nor to rise to heaven – nor to come again. Absolutely, on his own choice, according to God’s sovereign will, Christ did all these things for us. Salvation is like this.

Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

Do you believe this? Then the biggest error and mistake of the Israelites was that in history they waited a LONG time for the Messiah (this is Christ). “In him was life, that life was the light of man … when he came into this world, the people (esp of Israel) did not recognize nor receive him.” This is the biggest error.

Jesus says in John 9 directly to the people of Israel, “You diligently study the Scriptures thinking that by them you have life. But these are the Scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“I and the Father are ONE.” (I am God.) Yes, Jesus claimed that.

At this, the Jews picked up stones to stone him, and he said, “Why do you stone me?” They said, “Blasphemer!” (You, a mere man claim to be God.) That’s why they crucified him. They did not believe he was God.

Yes, even today, people believe he was a good man, good prophet, good Savior. But we must believe he is true GOD.

Next, let us see the study of chapter 10.

In chp 9, 10, 11 – this is the story of the Vindication of God through the nation of Israel.

  • Chp 9 = Israel’s PAST election
  • Chp 10 = Israel’s PRESENT rejection
  • Chp 11 = Israel’s FUTURE redemption

Today, we study Chp 10. You know, even today, Israel is one of the most difficult nations on earth to be evangelized.

Chp 9 = emphasized God’s SOVEREIGNTY (will/election) – God has mercy/compassion on whom he wants

“Does not the potter have the right to make some clay common and some noble?” Israel did nothing to be elected/chosen by God. Only God chose them (for a special mission – the salvation of the world).

Chp 10 = emphasizes Human RESPONSIBILITY

Through the study of Israel, we can see that even Divine Sovereignty does not negate Human Responsibility

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we must choose only one. These are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they cooperate with each other – even though we may not fully grasp these truths.

This is a paradox:

  • God has 100% sovereignty
  • We have 100% responsibility

Do you have will power? Choice? This means we are responsible beings.

“I am a responsible being before God.” Really?

Actually, the more we recognize God’s sovereignty, the more we are to recognize our responsibility.

The Israelites were VERY aware of their privilege (as God’s chosen people) but tended to neglect their responsibility (for world evangelization).

What was Israel’s problem?

(This is not to criticize, but to teach us today.)

#1 They did not understand what salvation was like.

10:1 “1 Brothers and sisters (Israelites), my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”

Maybe the Jews would be shocked by this prayer of Paul for them.

  • They THOUGHT they WERE saved, but actually, they were NOT.
  • They thought the Gentiles had to come up to the level of the Jews to be saved. But actually, the Jews had to go down to the level of the Gentiles to be saved.

The biblical understanding of salvation is the pre-requisite to enter into true Christian life.

  • They thought that being physical children of Abraham would guarantee their salvation. But salvation is only found in Christ.
  • They thought they could fulfill their salvation by works. But it is only obtained by faith in Christ. They thought they had much to boast of. But they had to be humble.
  • They thought God was exclusively God only for them. But God is God of ALL human beings.
  • They thought they were righteous, in no need of salvation. But they were unrighteous.
  • They were proud. But deserved to be condemned.
  • They rejected the visible God, Jesus Christ. But they should have recognized him.

Israel is still one of the most difficult nations on earth to evangelize – but God remains faithful to them.

#2 They had zeal without knowledge

Zeal = passion, enthusiasm – this is necessary to do something big or small successfully. Without zeal, we cannot do anything successfully. The problem is zeal without KNOWLEDGE.

How dangerous would this be?

  • Big ZEAL for driving without knowledge of the road rules or car controls…
  • Big ZEAL for guns without knowledge of the safety of guns.
  • But in religion, big ZEAL is much more dangerous.

“2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Personally, Paul personally know the danger of zeal without knowledge. There was a time before his conversion when he had wonderful ZEAL for God, but without knowledge. When he had this, he persecuted the church. He killed and jailed so many children of God and THOUGHT he was doing it FOR God.

So, zeal without God is fanaticism (fanatics). It’s like heat without light.

This was zeal for their own traditions, laws, cultures, and made them proud and arrogant.

“I must study. I must learn. I must learn and learn. Until heaven.”

#3 They did not know Christ is the END of the Law

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

  • “For everyone” – does this include YOU?
  • If you believe, are you involved in this sentence? Yes.

I said several times, the Theme of the book of Romans is the Righteousness of God.

Even today, we can see the word “righteousness” is repeated several times.

What does this mean: “Christ is the end (culmination) of the Law”? Four points:

#1 Christ is the fulfillment of the demands of the divine Law

Only Christ fully met the requirements of the holiness of God.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law. I have come to fulfill it.”

Only Christ is the full satisfaction of the Law of God. The Law of God is grounded in his very nature, so the breaking of that Law brings with it a penalty, condemnation, punishment, separation from God. ALL sinners cannot meet the demands of this Law. Only Christ as our representative and substitute can – through his obedience and sufferings. He fully met the demands of the Law.

Romans: “What the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful Nature, God DID by sending his Son that the requirements of the Law might be met in us who do not live by the sinful Nature but by the HS.”

#2 Christ is finishing “legalism”

There is no more “legalism” – “we are not under Law but under Grace.”

The relationship between God and his children is no longer a creditor/debtor relationship, or a judge/accused relationship. But the basic relationship has become Father/children.

This means Christ is the end of legalism.

#3 Christ is THE reality of all realities / shadows / types / patterns / signs

Gal 3:24 “The Law was given as a charge to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith.”

All the signposts throughout the Bible. All the prophesies, signs, patterns, foreshadowing, etc, point to Christ who is THE way to life, salvation, heaven, God, a righteous relationship with God, reconciliation with God, peace, joy, real success, real well being, victory, glory, glorification. THE way is only Jesus Christ.

Since the Creation of the world, it is only Jesus Christ who has the right and power to say, “I am THE Way, the Truth and the Life.” (I am the ONLY ONE WAY). “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

#4 Christ is MY righteousness

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

“Therefore, since we have been justified though faith in Christ, we have peace with God, and gain access to this hope in which we now stand.”

1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, holiness, sanctification, salvation.”

God bless you in this sentence.

Let us pray.

  • Oct 08 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God is the Potter, We are the Clay (Romans 9:19-29)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God is the Potter, We are the Clay (Romans 9:19-29)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God is the Potter, We are the Clay

Romans 9:19-29 (Pastor Heo)

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”


God has absolute sovereignty. Last week we saw that God chose Isaac, not Ishmael. He chose Jacob, not Esau. This is not a matter of the actions of the person, but a matter of the grace of God.

This is a matter of his divine mercy and grace according to his Sovereignty.

God’s sovereign will seems to create a problem.

If God is sovereign, who can resist him? And if someone resists, what right has God to judge him?

  1. God had mercy on Moses, but condemned Pharaoh. Is this just?
  2. God elected Israel, but rejected Egypt. Is this just?

YES. (but why? – because it is GOD who did it.) God is not righteous because he is DOING something righteous. Rather, God is righteous always, SO whatever he is doing is righteous.

To this question, we must note three things. Let me go into detail about these THREE things next time.

#1 God is the potter, I’m the clay in his hands

v. 19-21 “19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”

A potter was a very common and necessary vocation in ancient times – since most cooking was done in various types of clay pots. Yes, the potter has every right to take one large lump of clay and use some part to make a delicate vase (for noble use) and some part of the same clay to make a pot just for common cooking and ordinary use. Neither vase nor pot has a right to complain and ask why the potter did this. The potter has every right to do what he wants. Like this, God has every right to do with us what he wants. So, we are stupid to question his will.

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to him who quarrels against his maker… does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you thinking?'”

The clay has no right – it is absolutely passive in the hands of the potter. Nobody chose their own parents, blood type, DNA, birthday, race, birth place, etc. We should believe that these matters are in the hands of God. But these do not excuse our responsibility. So, even though we are the clay in the hands of God, we can resist him if we choose.

Pharaoh had great opportunities to know about the true God, but chose to rebel. God is absolutely sovereign, so we are privileged to have ANY relationship with him at all. So, we must remember all the time, God is the potter, we are the clay. But also, God is much wiser than we are. So no one has the right to complain and ask God, “WHY ME?”

#2 God has a purpose for you!

v. 22-24 “22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?”

God has a purpose. We can even see two times in this passage, “What if?”

God endured Pharaoh for a long time, with long suffering. In Exodus, “Yes, I have seen my people in misery in Egypt – I have heard them crying out.” The fact that God waited a LONG time indicates that God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to be saved.

1 Tim 2:4? “God wants all men to be saved and come to a saving knowledge of him.”

God wants ALL men (including KJE) to know him.

  • “God is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness.”
  • “God wants no one to perish but all to come to repentance.”

Yes, God prepares men for glory, but sinners prepare themselves for judgment.

  1. In Moses, God revealed his mercy.
  2. In Pharaoh, God revealed his power.

But since neither DESERVED mercy, God cannot be said to be unfair.

Yes, Moses and Pharaoh experienced the same things:

  • Moses & Pharaoh:
    • but Moses came nearer and nearer to God because of the wonders, signs, and miracles of God he experienced.
    • But Pharaoh went farther and farther away from God because of the SAME signs and wonders and miracles.
  • Sunlight:
    • We can see some things grow well in direct sunlight.
    • But other things die quickly in direct sunlight.
  • Weather:
    • Some people thank God for the sunshine, rain, snow.
    • Other people complain to God for the SAME sunshine, rain, and snow.
  • Sermons:
    • Even today, in the same church, some people are blessed and thank God for this sermon.
    • Others may be bored, complain to God, and watch his watch during the SAME sermon.

The very important point is – God has a purpose for us. Yes, we are weak in many ways, but we are all created in the image of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are not meaningless accidents who have been thrust into this place at this time.

Still salvation is at hand – the news of the gospel is that God has for YOU a plan of blessing that began in eternity past.

Eph 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ, to do good works, which he determined in advance for us to do.'”

Yes, we may wonder why we were chosen while others were rejected. The answer is that God is absolutely sovereign, and no one has any claim on his mercy. God prepared us in advance by his gift of salvation. God will show his glory in us when we are with him in eternity.

Yes, God has no obligation, duty, responsibility to show his mercy and grace to us. But he loves to do this.

We are all students before God. The main job of a student is to get knowledge and information. Remember, the best knowledge we can get in this world is to know God’s will for all of us.

#3 God is fulfilling prophecy

25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

  • Verse 25 is a quotation of Hosea 2:23.
    • This is a statement that says God will turn from the Jews and call the Gentiles as his loved ones.
  • Verse 26 is a quotation of Hosea 1:10.
    • It proves that God’s called people will be called “Children of God.”

As we know, Hosea was a faithful, merciful, gentle husband to a woman named Gomer. She was a faithless, adulteress woman. He named their first child Jezreel “God judges”. The next two children were not his own (they were from another man). But he named them Lo-Ruhamah “Not my people” and Lo-Ammi “Not my loved one”.

Hosea was faithful and long suffering with Gomer. This shows how long suffering and faithful God is with us.

The idea in the OT is the idea of the Remnant – to prove only a remnant of the Jews would be saved while the greater part would be judged.

Yes, we also should be found to be a part of the Remnant when Jesus returns. “I’m a Remnant.'”

  • 9:28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”

This probably refers to the Tribulation in Revelation – when only a Remnant will remain in Christ during this time of trial.

The application today = only a Remnant of the Jews remain with Christ today.

Last verse (conclusion):

“29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.””

To emphasize this verse is to emphasize the unconditional grace of God in sparing the Remnant. This proves that God was not unjust in saving some and rejecting others. God was just fulfilling the OT prophecies given centuries ago. God would be unjust if he did not keep his word.

This also makes possible the salvation of the Gentiles – including you and me.

  • The last verse is quoted from Isaiah 1:9.

These two cities were destroyed by heavenly fire. If this had happened to us, we would still have nothing to complain to God. By nature,

  • “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23?)
  • “We were dead in our sins and transgressions”
  • “everyone is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

We are all destined to go to Hell.

“Unless…” (in the verse) – without the unconditional grace and mercy of God – we would be like Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • If I were lost, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, I’m saved by the grace of God.
  • If I were to go to hell, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, I’m guaranteed safety in Christ by the grace of God.
  • If we had nothing to eat, drink, no shelter, we would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, we have enough by the grace of God.
  • If I had been killed years ago by sickness, typhoon, car accident, guns, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, we are still alive and breathing by the grace of God.

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.”

As long as we live, we have nothing to complain to God – we only must praise him. “Give thanks in ALL circumstances.” As long as we are breathing, we should praise him and give thanks to him. He is God all the time, good all the time, merciful, faithful, righteous.

  • “I think, therefore I am.” (Descartes?)
  • “I thank (God), therefore I am.” (Christian motto)

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 01 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God has a Purpose for You! Part 1 (Romans 9:19-24)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God has a Purpose for You! Part 1 (Romans 9:19-24)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God has a Purpose for You!

Romans 9:19-24 (Pastor Heo)

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?


God has absolute sovereignty.

Last week we saw that:

  1. God chose Isaac, not Ishmael.
  2. He chose Jacob, not Esau.

This is not a matter of the actions of the person, but a matter of the grace of God.

God’s sovereign will seems to create a problem.

  • If God is sovereign, who can resist him?
  • And if someone resists, what right has God to judge him?
  1. God had mercy on Moses, but condemned Pharaoh. Is this just?
  2. God elected Israel, but rejected Egypt. Is this just?

To this question, we must note three things. Let me go into detail about these THREE things next time.

So… during the next week, think and pray and meditate about these questions.

  1. God had mercy on Moses, condemned Pharaoh. Is this just?
  2. God elected Israel, rejected Egypt. Is this just?

These are very serious questions.

Let us pray.

  • Sep 24 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God has Absolute Sovereignty

Romans 9:1-18 (Pastor Heo)

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


Romans consists of 3 parts. Last week, we finished the first part. Today, we start the second part. The theme of this book: the Righteousness of God.

  1. Part 1: chp 1-8 (Revelation / Manifestation of God’s Righteousness)
  2. Part 2: chp 9-11 (Vindication of God’s Righteousness)
  3. Part 3: chp 12-16 (Application / Practice of God’s Righteousness)

In the 3 chapters, 9, 10, 11, Paul is revealing the vindication of God’s righteousness using the story of Israel. In these three chapters, the main material used to reveal the attributes of God = Israel. This is the story of Israel (literal, historic, Israel – located in the Middle East).

So, why is this necessary for us to study the story of Israel at this moment? A careful study of these chapters is necessary to reveal and vindicate God’s righteousness.

Yes, from chp 1-8, we have been strongly persuaded that Once Justification, Once Salvation = Always (it never fails).

Last time, chp 8 closes with great joy and shouting about “no condemnation in Christ and no separation from the love of Christ.”

8:37-39

“37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Someone might challenge this. “Hmm, IF this is true, then, what about the Jews? Israel?” The OT is the story of Israel – the Chosen people in God’s redemptive history. They are set apart from the love of God and God is building his church with a new people – the Gentiles. It seems that the Jews were abandoned and rejected by the love of God. So, did God’s plan fail with regard to Israel?

(This is a very serious question – because the character of God is at stake. If God were unfaithful to the Jews, how can we be sure he will be faithful to us?)

So, through these next 3 chapters, God’s righteousness is vindicated.

  • Chp 9: Israel’s past election
  • Chp 10: Israel’s present rejection (human responsibility)
  • Chp 11: Israel’s future redemption (God’s faithfulness despite human unfaithfulness)

Israel is very small geologically. But spiritually speaking, Israel is the ONLY country that has a history with God – past, present, future.

“All Israel will be saved” – just before the Second Coming of Christ. (not individually, but generally, and nationally returning to Christ)

First, we see Paul’s concern for the spiritual well being of his brothers (Israel):

Paul’s concern for Israel

v. 1-3

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,” (Jews)

At that time, Paul was considered a traitor to the Jewish nation – because he was a minister for the Gentiles, not Jews – and he preached of Freedom from the Law of Moses. He preached in many synagogues and “caused trouble” for the Jewish religion.

So at this point, Paul wants to show his love for his brothers and sisters, and his desire for their spiritual well being.

Remember chp 8?

“I’m convinced NOTHING can separate me from the love of Christ.”

Now, chp 9

“I wish that I COULD be cut off from Christ – for the sake of my brothers.”

There is a similar prayer in Exodus 32 –

While Moses was on the top of the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments. At the bottom of the same mountain – the people made idols and ran wild. When Moses came down and saw that sin, God was very ANGRY.

  • God said, “I will destroy / kill all Israel – and I will start again to build a great nation with you – Moses.”
  • But Moses did not say, “Amen.” He said, “No, God, please, forgive them. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – forgive them. If you do not, remove me from the Book of Life.” (Send me to hell if you don’t forgive them.)

Of course, God forgave all of them, and did not remove Moses’ name from the Book of Life.

Yes, parents here, maybe you have this experience. When your child is sick, sometimes you say, “I wish it was ME who was sick, not this child. I would take your place.”

This is a true heart of love.

If you are really a born-again Christian, we have two opposing attitudes.

  1. 1. When we see Christ, we abound in love and joy at his salvation
  2. 2. When we see the lost, we abound in unceasing anguish for their spiritual loss

May God bless us to be true Christians in the eyes of God.

Next, we see the election of Israel. We have no right to ask God, “Why did you choose Israel?” This is God’s will.

The Election of Israel

v. 4-5

“4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

God gave the people of Israel a divine promise and also the Tabernacle. God gave the Law to Moses. He gave the Promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, David, etc (these are the Patriarchs). What is the purpose of all these blessings?

Key Point:

  • v. 5b “from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

Jesus, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, was to come through Israel. This is why all the blessings are given to Israel. They were to receive Christ, and then introduce him to all other nations – so that all nations might be saved together.

But unfortunately, when the Messiah they had waited for eagerly, finally appeared on Earth, they did not recognize him, and crucified him.

chp 3 “What is the advantage to being a Jew? Much! They have been entrusted the very Word of God.”

But even the failure of humans is inconsequential to God – who is always faithful.

Question today:

  • What is the advantage to being a Christian today – in this unbelieving world?

Ans:

  • Much in every way. We are entrusted with the very word of God – the gospel message.

This is a very simple message, but has life-giving power. “Believe in Christ and you will be saved – live forever in the presence of Christ.” But who can preach this message except the children of God? (You and me.)

God’s absolute sovereignty / redemptive will in choosing man

v. 6-10

“6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.”

What does this mean?

In chp 2, remember that a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly. No, he must be one inwardly.

There is a difference between:

  • natural, physical seed of Abraham, and
  • the spiritual children of God.

As we know, in the OT, Abraham had 2 sons. Ishmael and Isaac. According to principle, Ishmael was the first-born, so he should have been chosen. But it was Isaac who God chose.

Also, Isaac had 2 sons: Esau and Jacob. Esau should have been chosen, because he was first. But God chose Jacob. These two shared the same father AND mother (unlike Ishmael and Isaac).

This shows that God did not choose based on physical condition (blood first-born), but by God’s absolute sovereignty.

If we are saved, it is not because of our physical condition, but because of God’s will and purpose.

Also, we can see that God’s election was not based on the character of the person. Is your character good? Good enough to be saved?

God’s purpose in Election

v. 11-13

“11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” “

Please do not misunderstand the meaning of this sentence, esp v. 13 “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. Actually, God chose Jacob before he was born. They had done NOTHING before that. God’s choice is sovereign – and based on nothing from the people themselves.

Malachi wrote this “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What does this mean?

This does not mean Individual Choice, but National Election for World Mission.

  • “Jacob I loved” = I chose Israel as the mission country for world mission and evangelism
  • “Esau I hated” = Not personally, but he did not choose to use Edom for world mission

This means, even though our character and actions are sometimes evil, God remains faithful. He chooses not based on human merit, but on his own will and for his own purposes.

“God has absolute sovereignty” He is God.

v. 14-18

“14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

Why? Because he is God.

Nobody has the right to say to God, “Why me?”

God is God.

Is God unjust or unrighteous? No, not at all.

The fact that God chose one and not the other seems to indicate that God is UNrighteous. Do not misunderstand.

If we think, “God chose this person, but not that person” we might this “God is not holy.” But, actually, if God acted only on the basis of his own righteousness, NOBODY would be saved at all. All people should go to hell immediately – if God treated each person “fairly, equally, and according to what he has done.”

God’s election is not about personal righteousness, but about God’s mercy.

Paul quoted Exodus 33.

Actually, all the people of Israel committed a terrible sin – idol worship. If God had judged them according to his righteousness, ALL of them should be killed. Rather he just killed 3000 of them – not because some were “better” than others, but simply because he was merciful to the others.

In this passage, Paul is using two examples:

  • Pharaoh and Moses.
    • Actually, before God, they were equal – both murderers.
  1. God raised Pharaoh up to show his power through him.
  2. God used Moses to show his mercy and redemption through him.

Pharaoh was a king, Moses was a slave – but Moses is the one who received God’s mercy. Why? Because God chose this way. God acted according to his absolute sovereignty.

The hardening of Pharaoh:

v. 18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

This “hardening” is reference 14? times in Exodus. Sometimes “Pharaoh hardened his heart” and sometimes “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. Actually God gave Pharaoh a chance (many) to repent, but he did not.

That’s why the Bible says, “When you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.”

Please, whenever you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts. Make your heart soft when you receive the Word of God.

God’s faithfulness is still unchangeable.

Let’s pray.

 

  • Sep 17 / 2017
  • Comments Off on No Separation from the Love of God (Romans 8:28-39)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

No Separation from the Love of God (Romans 8:28-39)

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No Separation from the Love of God

Romans 8:28-39 (Pastor Heo)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  • Romans 8 opens with: No condemnation in Christ (v. 1)
  • Romans 8 closes with: No separation from the love of God

Romans 8 is the Christian’s proclamation of freedom in Christ

  1. Freedom from condemnation
  2. Freedom from defeat
  3. Freedom from discouragement
  4. Freedom from fear (today)
  • There is no judgment because we have the righteousness of God
  • There is no defeat because we have the Spirit of God
  • There is no frustration because we share the glory of God
  • There is no separation because we experience the love of God (v. 35)

v. 35 “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

v. 38-39 “38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

v. 28 “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What is important is: Do you love God?

If you love God: then you are “called according to His purpose” – AND in all things, he works for your good.

Just remember, because of our limitations in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, faith, we may many times feel like saying, “Everything is going AGAINST me!” – but actually, “Everything is OK with me.” This is due to my own limitation.

Example of Jacob:

Once he said, “Everything is going against me” – but actually, everything was going well with him.

  • Jacob thought his dearest son Joseph was killed by wild animals.
  • Another time, there was no food – famine – so he sent his 10 sons (except Benjamin) to Egypt for food. Only 9 returned (not Simeon).
  • Sometime later, there was no food again, so he had to send 9 sons – but they said, “We must take Benjamin! Or we cannot get food!”
  • Jacob said, “No! Why? Everything is against me! Joseph and Simeon are no more. Why are you taking my last, dearest son?” Jacob shouted like this.

But the truth was the opposite. Joseph was the Prime Minister in Egypt. And Simeon was with him, in the rich land of Egypt – filled with food. And they waited for their whole family to come.

We also can be like Jacob. So, we must be faithful to remember that GOD is faithful – not only with our words “God is good, all the time” – but also with our actions – our daily, practical lives.

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

The Golden Chain of God’s full salvation

v. 29-30

“29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

  1. Foreknew
  2. Predestined
  3. Called
  4. Justified
  5. Glorified

#1. Foreknowledge

God is infinite in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, nothing is hidden. But what does THIS mean?

Matt 7:22 “Jesus: ‘On that day, many will come to me and say to me, “Lord, we did much in your name” but I will say to them, “I never knew you.”‘”

Jesus saying “you are evildoers” means he knows what kind of person they are – but this “knew you” = have a personal relationship with you

The meaning of God’s “foreknowledge” = has a relationship, plan, purpose for you.

#2. Predestined

God ordained, determined, decided, in advance to save you and me – before we were born – even before the Creation of the world.

Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight, and God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ in accordance with his good pleasure and purpose.”

#3. Calling

For an active relationship and communication, calling is very essential. You call your children, for example. This same God who called Moses, Abraham, etc, is still calling his people today.

There are TWO callings – and we must respond personally, individually by faith, not sight:

  1. Calling for salvation
    1. TO Christ
    2. OUT of this world – to be holy, separate, different from the world
  2. Calling for blessing
    1. INTO this world – to be a herald of Christ – a transformer of the world – we serve them with the message of the gospel

Are you hearing this calling? God is calling us all the time.

#4. Justification

5:1 “Since we have been justified by faith in Christ, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Justification = the act of God – where he declares (as highest judge) – “you are innocent & righteous” simply because you put your trust in Christ as Savior and Lord.

This is a declarative word of God – not an action in us.

#5. Glorification

(Wait… is that PAST tense? – but glorification comes in the FUTURE, right?)

In the Greek Bible, the tense is “Past Perfect” = ONCE, done, for all.

Are you Christians?

Our final glorification is to be like Christ perfectly.

v. 29 “29 For those God foreknew he also predestined *to be conformed to the image of his Son*, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Review:

  1. Foreknowledge
  2. Predestination
  3. Calling
  4. Justification
  5. Glorification

Question: How far, from first to last? How long does it take to cover ALL steps? (God is not bound by time.)

  • In our experience, this process covers from ETERNITY PAST to ETERNITY FUTURE.
  • On God’s part, all five are INSTANTANEOUS – immediate and perfect at once.

This doctrine, “Predestination” is a GREAT mystery, but true and real.

  1. Point: Predestination applies only to the SAVED people. Nowhere does it say that “God predestined some to be eternally condemned.” – Predestination only applies to the Children of God. And this should make us humble, not proud. This should make us not doubt our salvation – but provide the ground for the Assurance of Salvation. Because this is not “you and me” – but GOD who initiates our salvation.
  2. Another point: This is not a source for debate, but rather a grounds for praise and worship to God.
  3. Last point: If we really believe this doctrine, “predestination” still DOES NOT excuse us from preaching the gospel. Rather, we must preach with GREAT responsibility for the lost. We must be very careful to understand the full heart of God in this case.

Story:

William Carey – the father of modern missions (British missionary to India)

Motto:

  • “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

At that time, his heart was burning for world missions. Before going to India, in his 20s, there was a very important meeting – many of the members were church elders. In this meeting, he stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we must DO world mission – we must send MORE missionaries abroad – please SEND ME!”

At that time, the Chairman said, “Hey! Sit down! You don’t know, God is Almighty, Omnipotent, can do ALL things. If God wants to save them, he can save them even if you do not go. But if God does not want them to be saved, he will not save them EVEN IF you go.'”

They understood only the “doctrine” of Predestination – but not the HEART of God.

Predestination means “God wants to save those he wants to save THROUGH OUR WITNESS.”

In the Bible, who uses this term “predestination”? Paul. (In Romans, in Ephesians)

This man who made the doctrine of Predestination clear confessed: 1 Cor 9:16 “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel of salvation. Even though I preach, I have nothing to boast. I’m forced to preach the gospel.'”

This is a REAL understanding of the Doctrine of Predestination.

This is the last review:

  1. Foreknowledge
  2. Predestination
  3. Calling
  4. Justification
  5. Glorification

If we believe this full course of our salvation, then we can SHOUT five things (with questions):

These are all rhetorical questions (spoken for emphasis): “Who knows” = “nobody knows”

1. (v. 31) If God is for us, who can be against us?

NO ONE

2. (v. 32) -how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

HE WILL GIVE US ALL THINGS – (what does he spare if he did not spare his own Son)

  • Phil 4:9 “My God will graciously meet all your needs”
  • Ps 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want”

3. (v. 33) Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

NO ONE

(But, actually, others may accuse us, even I can accuse myself – Satan always accuses us, prosecuting us – BUT all accusations against us are rejected and dismissed by God because HE has chosen us. For God to accuse us, it would mean his salvation job was a failure. Jesus already paid all penalties on the cross)

4. (v. 34) Who then is the one who condemns?

NO ONE

v. 1 “There is now no longer any condemnation in Christ” – there are 4 points:

  1. Jesus died for us
  2. Jesus rose for us
  3. Jesus is still alive for us
  4. This same Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God (dual intercession):
    1. Holy Spirit also intercedes for us (v. 28) and
    2. Christ intercedes for us at the right hand of God
      1. Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Christ is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he lives to intercede for them.”

5. (v. 35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are **more than conquerors** through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • “I’m a Super Conqueror in Christ.”
  • “We are more than conquerors.”

In Christ,

  1. We are COMPLETELY victorious – because Christ paid the penalty and we enjoy his righteousness.
  2. We have freedom from defeat because Christ lives in us and we have his life.
  3. We have freedom from discouragement because Christ is coming soon and we will reign with him.
  4. We have freedom from fear because Christ is interceding for us and we cannot be separated from the Love of God.
  • Romans 8 opens: NO condemnation
  • Romans 8 closes: NO separation

“If God is for you, who can be against you?”

Let’s pray.

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