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

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

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We are Building our Life Building

1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (Pastor Heo)

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

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

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


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

Remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earthquake, typhoon, flood, these destroy some buildings.

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

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

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

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

Let me share 4 things.

1. We must build on the right foundation

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

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

Foundation is the most important thing.

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

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

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

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

v. 10-11

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

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

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

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

The foundation of our life building is Jesus.

2. We must build with good materials

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

v. 12-17

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

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

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

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

This is symbolic:

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

What is the commonality?

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

Fire = symbol of the Final Judgment

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

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

A lazy worker cannot gather gold, silver, diamonds.

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

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

3. We must build by holy wisdom / power

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

v. 18-20

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

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

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

Ex:

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

These are totally different.

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

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

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

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

Chp 1 “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

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

Jesus is our power and wisdom.

4. We must build for right purpose

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

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

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

Answer these Qs:

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

v. 21-23

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

Answer these Qs:

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

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

Can you know how rich we are in Christ?

We have perfect freedom, perfect liberty in Christ.

v. 22

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

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

Second question: We are Christ’s

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

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

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

God bless you.

“I’m a builder of my life building.”

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

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

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

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

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Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature)

2 Corinthians 3:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

On Divisions in the Church

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 1-4

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

4 Characteristics of Worldly Man (Immature Christians)

1. Not ready for solid food

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

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

Babies need milk, grown adults need meat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Easily jealous, envious, quarrelsome

v. 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. More interest in human leaders than in God

More concern in visible things than invisible things.

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

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

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

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

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

4. Little desire to grow

Children -> Teenagers -> Adulthood

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

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

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

v. 7 “…but only God…”

v. 5-9

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

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

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

We can learn 3 lessons from this image.

1. Diversity of ministry

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

Example, in agriculture:

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Each has ONE purpose (v. 8)

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

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

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

3. Humility of spirit for the reward

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

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

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

4. To give us reward

v. 8

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

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Wisdom From the Spirit

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

God’s Secret Wisdom

3 points

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

All will die in one man – Adam.

1 Cor 15:22 “In Adam, all die.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m a child of God.”

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

v. 10-16

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

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

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

There are two kinds of humanity / people:

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

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

“I have the mind of Christ” x3

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

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

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

“Every day is a good day”

“Every time is a good time”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 28 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

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Jesus is our Wisdom and Power

1 Cor 1:18-31 (Pastor Heo)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

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

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

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

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


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

The Corinthian church was mixed: Jews, Greeks.

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

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

v. 18 is one of my personal favorite verses

v. 18

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

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

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

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

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

v. 21-25

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

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

v. 24-25

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

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

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

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

What is real power and what is real wisdom?

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

v. 26

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

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

v. 27-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex: Jesus’ ministry

Several times this may have happened.

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

The Bible recognizes him by recording his name: Batholemus

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

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

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

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

v. 30-31

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

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

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

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

4 keywords:

1. wisdom

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

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

2. righteousness

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

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

3. holiness

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

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

4. redemption

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

There are three tenses of perfect salvation:

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

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

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

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

True power? = Self-giving, others-centered

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

One story (illustration):

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

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

This is the picture of the cross.

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 21 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

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Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

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

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


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

v. 11

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

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

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

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

v. 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 10

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

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

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

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

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

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

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

v. 13

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

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

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

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

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

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

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

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

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

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

v. 10

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

What is it?

v. 14-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 14 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

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The Intro to 1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

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

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

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

Thanksgiving

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


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

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

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

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

God bless us with this new book.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • chp 13: Love
  • chp 15: Resurrection

v. 1

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

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

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

v. 2-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 8

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 07 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Benediction – God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 13:20-25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

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Benediction – God Bless you Through Hebrews

Hebrews 13:20-25

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

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

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

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

25 Grace be with you all.


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

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

v. 22

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

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

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

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

v. 23-24

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

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

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

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

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

v. 20-21

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

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

Jesus is a God of Peace

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

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

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

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

God is the God of peace and reconciliation.

Jesus is the God of Life

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

v. 20

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus is our Great Shepherd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 20-21

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


From this benediction, know:

1. God has a purpose for us

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

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

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

Through this benediction, we can also see that:

2. God wants to do his work through us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 25

“Grace be with you all.”

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • May 31 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Obedience and Prayer (Hebrews 13:17-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Obedience and Prayer (Hebrews 13:17-19)

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Obedience and Prayer

Hebrews 13:17-19 (Pastor Heo)

17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.


Why does God bless us? We know from the example of Abraham – he blesses some to bless others. Through Abraham, all people on earth will be blessed. Also today, we are channels of heavenly blessing.

So, our relationship with God is revealed through our relationship with man.

  • We pray like this in the Lord’s Prayer “forgive our debts as we also forgive our debtors…”
  • Bible says, “If you forgive others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, if not, then not…”
  • and also “If you say you love God but do not love others, you are a liar.”

All of these things make it clear about our relationship with God – we can see through our relationship to others.

Today’s two keywords = Obedience and Prayer

Obedience: surrendering to God + submission

Also, our obedience to God can be seen as a reflection of our obedience to man. And we must pray for our coworkers and leaders.

Obedience

Do you like surrendering, submission? This is not a popular word, it looks like “loser.” But these days in the modern culture, we like the words, “overcoming, fighting, winning, etc” – but we must know that obedience is essential to a Christian life. Christ says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

3 Reasons to surrender to God:

1. Surrendering is the heart of worship

Worship is our lifestyle – the heart of our lifestyles, and the heart of worship is obedience

Romans 12:1 “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.”

The word: to worship and, to surrender are the same in root.

From Greek: proscunero

English = prostrate (throwing our bodies flat on the ground with faces touching the ground in full submission and surrender) so full worship = to surrender

You will not surrender to God unless you trust him. You cannot trust him until you know him better.

If you say “I know God” but do not obey you are a liar.

2. We are humans and he is God – we are created beings with limitations

Yes, we accept our limitations mentally, but sometimes we do not accept them emotionally – we react with anger, resentment. We want to be stronger, healthier, more talented, taller, more beautiful. We want to do it all, have it all, and when we can’t, we become upset. When we see others have what we want and we do not have, we react with envy, anger, self-pity.

Yet, we must accept our limitations by surrending.

3. Humans are designed to surrender

We are designed to surrender to God – if not God, it will be something else: money, pride, our ego, sinful nature, etc

We are designed to worship God, but if we fail, then we will create other things to give our lives to – this is called idolatry.

What is surrendering to God?

This is not passive resignation, nor an excuse for laziness. This means a positive attitude to fulfill God’s will on me – a holy enthusiasm to please God for his glory.

When we live a surrendered life, that decision will be tested. This means sometimes doing a difficult or unpopular job – doing a dangerous job, or doing the opposite of what we FEEL like doing.

Paul: “I die every day.” What does this mean? There is a moment of surrender.

Also, the practice of surrender is moment by moment and life-long. We must make this a daily habit. That is why Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Let me share the blessings of obedience and surrender. Can you imagine how blessed you are in surrendering to God?

3 blessings in surrendering to God

1. This makes our life meaningful.

Is your life meaningful or meaningless?

For example, this microphone is meaningful because it is used by me. It is useful as long as it is being used. But if no one is using it, it is meaningless.

Like this, we are made by God – he is our maker – so our life is meaningful only when he is using us, because he is our creator and maker.

God can use anybody and everybody. He can use tall, short, rich, poor, black, white, educated, uneducated. But he cannot use the disobedient.

Being obedient is an essential element to being used by God.

We know the story of the virgin Mary. God used her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, not because of her status, but because of her surrender – even though she could not understand fully. Yet, she obeyed fully, saying, “I’m a servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.”

2. We can receive peace and blessing

God is love. Surrendering to him brings peace, not bondage, and freedom. When we surrender to Christ, we can discover he is a friend and brother, not a dictator.

When we accept Christ as our Lord, he accepts us as his friend. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Surrender to him and you will find real peace and freedom.

3. Surrendering brings power and victory

Surrendering to bring us power is a paradox.

The more we surrender to God, the more powerful we become. The importance of a surrendered life is in the hands of God. Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God.

If you surrender to God, there is nothing to fear in this world.

The faith displayed in chp 11 shows many experienced great power and victory – but only when they surrendered fully, immediately to God.

This is the secret to be powerful and victorious in this life.

How, practically, can we obey God and surrender our whole lives to God?

1. First of all, we should surrender to Jesus Christ and accept him as our personal Savior.

This is the command of all commands in the Bible.

“One day they came to him and asked, ‘what must we do to do the work of God?’ Jesus answered, ‘Believe in me.'”

Phil 2 “At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord.”

The first thing we must do to surrender to God is accept Christ as Savior and Lord.

2. Obey human beings and human leadership – especially church leadership

We show our obedience to God by obeying man, also we must obey man in order to obey God.

v. 17

“17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Romans 13 “Everyone must submit himself to the human (governing) authorities because all authorities that exist have been established by God.” So, he who rebels against the human establishment rebels against God.

1 Peter 2:18 “Servants, submit yourselves to your human masters, not only good and considerate masters, but also harsh masters.”

Obeying human leaders is not easy, but obeying harsh masters is even more difficult.

We obey human leaders in order to obey God, but this is not an easy job – so we need his help.

Even to surrender to him, we need his help, his power. That’s why we need to pray.

v. 18-19

“18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.”

Jesus is our example and we are to be like him. He is the supreme example in the Bible.

We know his example: In the garden before his crucifixion, he prayed until his sweat became as drops of blood on the ground, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me, but not my will but yours be done.”

Hebrews summarizes his whole life: “While on earth, he offered up prayers with loud cries and he was heard and accepted because of his obedience.”

Even still, Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God and praying for us. So, if he is still praying for us, we also must pray for others.

If the Son of God needed to pray, how much MORE do we need to pray.

Please meditate on these two keywords: Obedience and Prayer.

Let us be obedient to God and pray for his grace and mercy.

God bless his church, his children.

Let’s pray.

  • May 24 / 2020
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Therefore, Let us Offer to God a Sacrifice of Praise (Hebrews 13:7-16)

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Therefore, Let us Offer to God a Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13:7-16 (Pastor Heo)

7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

v 7-8

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

If you are a Christian today, you owe much to those who came before you, who preached to you and others, and have helped bring you to this place (your leaders).

Only Jesus, though, is unchangeable, immutable.

The cycle from life to death is a testament to a human’s changeableness. Even the sun, the moon, the sky, our character, personality, culture will change. Only Jesus is unchangeable.

v 8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

All change must be to the better or worse, but Jesus does not get better – not more holy, more righteous, more worthy – because he is NOW perfect. Nor does he get worse.

Also, his immutablility must not be confused with immobility.

He is not immovable, but he enters into dynamic relationships with us, changeable and mutable human beings. Therefore, he must enter into relationships in different, changing ways, because we are all different. He also deals with us differently when we commit to him and when we don’t, when we sin and when we don’t.

He is always good, righteous, and truthful. He is the same yesterday (past), today (present), and forever (future).

  • Yesterday: served faithfully, offered prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears.
  • Today: he serves faithfully, interceding for us to God (Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, he is able to save those who come to God through him because he lives to intercede for us.”)

Because of these things, he is more than sufficient, more than enough for any need any person will have now or in the future. He is good for our future, our benefit.

Enjoy this, it is truth for us.

v 9-10

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Two keywords:

  1. Grace (v 9)
  2. Altar (v 10)

We need grace because we are saved by grace, through faith (not of ourselves, but as the gift of God).

Water flows from high to low, it brings life, fruit, and growth. Grace is carried to the lowly in heart. Grace flows to the humble – this is an unchangeable spiritual law.

Consider rain: it falls from heaven everywhere, but only soft soil receives it and reaps its benefits. Hard soil rejects it and doesn’t enjoy its benefits.

Like this, God’s grace falls everywhere:

  • “God causes his sun to rise on the good and the evil.”
  • “God sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous.”

But if our soul stands proudly against God, then that grace cannot penetrate our hard hearts, and we cannot enjoy that grace.

Second keyword: the altar (Jesus’ cross) is where we receive this grace.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… you will find rest for your souls.”

“The Law came through Moses, but grace came through Jesus Christ.”

“God gives grace to the humble” (repeated 3x in the Bible)

God bless us to be humble.

How? By confessing Jesus Christ and kneeling down before that altar, the cross of Jesus Christ.

v 11-14

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

OT animals were burned outside the camp.

Likewise, Jesus suffered outside the city gate to become the sacrifice for all people.

The animals offered for sacrifice were a symbol of Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice.

On the Day of Atonement:

  1. A bull was offered for the sins of the High Priest and his family.
  2. Then a lamb was offered for the sins of the people.
  3. These were taken inside the Holy of Holies.
  4. Afterward, the two carcasses were taken outside the city and burned.
  5. This was symbolic so that those outside the city gates would also have access to this grace.

Jesus was sacrificed outside the walls of Jerusalem, on the hill of Golgotha, for the sins of the whole world.

This means: he is accessible for anyone from all the world who comes to him. He is constantly accessible, as our daily bread, our daily life. He is with us, in us, all the time as our living Savior and Lord.

“I am the Bread of Life.”

Therefore, let us offer to God a sacrifice of Praise (all the time) – Sermon title

If this is true, what should our lifestyle look like? There is one final thing that will sustain us. Our lifestyle must be worship in works – by helping others in his name.

v 15-16

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

This is a sustaining lifestyle. This is one final statement about how our lifestyle should be – it must be simply worship, working for Christ.

  1. First spiritual sacrifice = praise to God (v 15)
  2. Second = good works, sharing with others (v 16)

Jesus became sin, and the atoning sacrifice for sin, once for all. If we believe this truth, then our reaction to this truth must be also sacrifice, but a different kind.

  • Jesus became the sacrifice of sin.
  • In response to this, our sacrifice is a sacrifice of praise.
  • Jesus sacrifice was once for all.
  • Our sacrifice is ongoing, for a whole life.

Romans: “Therefore, I urge you dear brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. Then you will be able to test and approve his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

Jesus forgives our sins, hears our prayers, shoulders our burdens.

God is eternal, sovereign, preparing the most glorious future for our lives.

v. 16 – this is two sides of one coin “Do not forget to do good and share with others…”

  1. Do good
  2. Share with others

True worship always involves giving of ourselves in living sacrifice. Jesus “Whatever you did / did not do for one of these the least of my brothers / sisters, you did / did not do for me.”

A great gift of sacrifice is to bring the gift of help to one of his children in need.

Eph “It is by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not of yourselves so that no one can boast. .. We are all God’s workmanship created in Christ to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God bless us all to continuously praise God through our whole lives to be living sacrifices.

Let’s pray.

  • May 17 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Purity, Contentment, and Confidence (Hebrews 13:4-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Purity, Contentment, and Confidence (Hebrews 13:4-6)

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Purity, Contentment, and Confidence

Hebrews 13:4-6

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”

What we act reveals what we believe. Last week, we saw three keywords about a Christian’s social life: Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy. Today, let’s look at three keywords showing how a Christian’s private live should be: Purity, Contentment, and Confidence.

Purity

v. 4

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

The home is the first place where Christian love should be practiced.

“Marriage should be honored by all…”

At that time, there were two bad decisions about marriage:

  1. Asceticism : Marriage is worldly, carnal, and secular. So, to keep unmarried = to be more holy (WRONG)
  2. Libertarian-ism : I’m free to do whatever I want. To marry or not or anything (WRONG)

Marriage is not made by man – it is designed and planned by God. In this world, there are only two institutes originating and designed by God originally:

  1. The church : Christ = the head of the church, God says, “I will build my church”
  2. Marriage : between one man and one woman (Genesis 1-2, after the Creation of the world, the first thing God did was to marry Adam and Eve “It is not good for the man to be alone, so I will make a suitable helper for him.” And he united them as husband and wife. “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.”

Jesus also honors marriage by repeating this same sentence. “The two will become one flesh so let not man separate what God has joined together.”

Paul also honors marriage:

  • “Wives, submit to your husbands as the church to Christ.”
  • “Husbands, love your wives as Christ to the church.”

In this world, the best relationship to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church is the relationship between husband and wife.

Practically, how can we honor marriage?

  1. Purity – by honoring our spouse and being faithful to each other, delighting in each other, serving each other

“…the marriage bed kept pure…”

What is this marriage bed? It is a euphamism to show a sexual relationship. The Bible shows that sex outside of marriage is highly destructive.

Are you a Christian? Then your standard must be the Bible. Our standard is not what the majority does, not our feeling, not our convenience. Our standard is what the Bible says.

God HATES and judges adultery and fornication – also marriage between man and man, and woman and woman. Remember, our lifestyle is worship.

Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, which is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Then you will be able to test and approve the will of God.”

God bless us all with purity.

Contentment

To keep our purity, we must be content with what we have.

Satisfaction: Are you content now? Are you fully satisfied with what you have?

v. 5

“5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

The Bible does not say, “Love is sin / bad” but rather the “love of MONEY” (and not just money).

To LOVE and to HAVE are two different things:

  • It is possible to LOVE money without having it
  • It is possible to HAVE money without loving it

In this world, we are to control and manage the money that God gives us – wisely, according to God’s will. If we really love God first, we will have a right relationship to money. But if we love money first, we will be controlled and driven by it, and become slaves to it.

Jesus: “You cannot serve both God and money. It is impossible for you to have two Masters.”

So, we must choose. What / who is my Lord? What is controlling and directing my whole life? The love of money is covetousness. Covetousness is idolatry. The root of all sins in the relationship to others = covetousness. So, the LAST of the 10 commandments = “You shall not covet.”

  • A millenial is asked: “How much money would it take to be satisfied?”
  • A: “One million more than I have.”

Covetousness = desire to have what I don’t currently have

Remember: If we put our desires and hopes in things that go away, then when that thing goes away, our hope goes away. Many people today think that MORE will make them happy, content, secure. But that is wrong.

  • We must remember that our value is not determined by our valuables.
  • Our heart should not be possessed by possessions.

Money can never satisfy our hearts, souls, spirits.

Real security can only be found in what can never be taken away from us. Our real security is our personal, individual relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why he says, “Watch out and be on your guard against all kinds of greed for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possession.”

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures that will be destroyed by rust and moth. But store up for yourselves treasures that will not destroyed by rust and moth. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”

We know that we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out. So if we have food and drink, we can be content with what we have.

The Bible strongly challenges us to be content with what you have. Are you content with what you have, now and here?

What is contentment?

It does not come from visible materials.

Yes, in this world, we need money and materials, but we must remember that real contentment does not come from money or materials. Contentment is not giving up these things completely, nor a purposeless life, nor an easy life, or challenge-less life, nor not making progress for a better life.

  • Contentment means: materials and money are not high in my priority list.
  • Contentment means: the power to give thanks in any and every circumstance.
  • Contentment means: The power to enjoy peace and joy in our Lord Jesus Christ in any situation, and confessing that “he is my Lord.” (Psalm 23)

If Jesus is my Lord, he is enough. In him, I can find anything and everything I need. He is MORE than enough because everything is provided by him.

“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”

He provides us with everything we need.

Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”

How was his situation at that time?

  • no money
  • jail
  • bound and chained

Yet he confessed, and proclaimed: “I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation.”

Confidence

(Assurance & conviction)

v. 5b-6

“because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”

We are very familiar with the first part because God said this often in the OT to Joshua and Israel. Jesus also promised in the last verse of the last chapter of Matthew: “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

“…so we say with confidence…”

  • Without confidence, contentment is impossible.
  • Without contentment, purity in this world is impossible.

“…so I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

What kind of confidence do we need?

  • Assurance of God’s presence with me all the time –
  • his provision
  • his protection
  • Assurance of forgiveness
  • Salvation
  • Ultimate / final victory and glory

Do you have this kind of assurance? We need this.

How can we have this kind of wonderful assurance? What is the ground on which we can have this kind of assurance? The ground is very important. Without a foundation, this building cannot stand. Likewise, without assurance, our faith can be shaken.

  1. The ground of our assurance is not what we have done, but what Christ has done for us
  2. The ground of our assurance is God’s promise and character, not our own merit and character (which is very changeable)
    1. Only God’s character is unchangeable

What has Jesus done for us? Died on the cross for us, and rose again for our salvation, justification, and glorification.

“Who is it that condemns? Jesus was crucified for us and raised from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of God the father in heaven.”

Jesus says, “I give you eternal life, and you shall never perish. No one will snatch you out of my hand.”

Jesus is so faithful and powerful in keeping his promise.

Romans: “Now there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His power sets us free from the law of sin and death.”

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

Acts “For there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Jesus’ name means: “He will save his people from their sins.”

This week, remember and meditate and pray about how you can apply these three keywords:

  1. Purity
  2. Contentment
  3. Confidence

God bless us with these three as well as his assurance of salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥ 허목사님 설교 완역(2005017)

►제목: 순결, 만족 및 확신(Purity, Contentment and Confidence)

►본문: 히브리서 13장 4- 6절

〔설교 전문〕
할렐루야. 주님을 찬양합니다. 하나님 계신 곳(presence)에 오심을 환영합니다. 하나님께서 우리 모두를 축복하시기를 빕니다.
우리는 하나님 말씀을 우리 삶을 바꾸는 권능인 것으로 믿습니다. 하나님 말씀은 우리를 더욱 강하고 지혜롭게 만들 수 있는 능력이 있습니다. 여러분이 이를 믿으시면 하나님 말씀인 성경을 여시기 바랍니다.
하나님 말씀은 히브리서 13장 4-6절입니다. 히브리서 13: 4-6, 단 3절입니다. 다 같이 두 번 읽겠습니다. 히브리서 13: 4-6.

4: 모든 사람이 결혼을 거룩하게 여기고, 혼방을 순결하게 유지하라. 하나님은 간음하는 자들과 성적으로 타락한 모든 자들을 심판하시리라(Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.)

5: 너희 삶이 돈에 대한 사랑에서 자유로움을 유지하며, 너희가 가진 것에 만족하라. 하나님은 “결코 내가 너희를 떠나지 않겠으며, 버리지도 않겠노라”고 말씀하셨기 때문이니라(Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”).

6: 그러므로 우리는 확신을 가지고 말하느니라. “주님은 나를 돕는 자이시니, 내가 두렵지 않겠노라. 사람이 내게 무엇을 할 수 있겠는가?”(So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”)

아멘! 우리 모두에게 하나님의 축복이 내려주시기를 바랍니다. 먼저 우리 가족, 우리 가정, 그리고 또한 우리 자녀들 및 우리 결혼을 축복하시기를 원합니다.
우리가 알고 있듯이 이번 달 5월을 우리는 일반적으로 가정의 달이라 부릅니다. 5월 달력에는 어린이날, 어버이날, 아버지의 날, 어머니의 날, 성인의 날 및 부부의 날(couple’s day)이 있습니다. 하나님께서 우리의 가족, 우리의 아이들, 우리의 결혼, 우리의 가정, 특히 크리스천 가정에 축복을 내려주시길 빕니다.
예, 우리는 축복과 책임은 함께 간다는 것을 압니다. 우리가 하나님으로부터 축복을 받는다면 우리는 다른 사람들에게 축복이 되어야 합니다.
우리가 믿는 것은 우리가 하는 행위에 의해 드러납니다. 우리가 하나님과 가지는 관계는 우리가 인간들과 가지는 관계, 즉 다른 사람들과, 심지어 하나님이 창조하신 피조물들과의 관계에 의해 드러납니다.

지난주에 우리는 신앙인들의 사회생활에 관한 3개의 키워드를 확인하였습니다. 여러분은 지난주에 우리가 공유한 3개의 키워드를 기억하고 계십니까?
사랑, 후덕 및 동정심 이 세 가지이었죠?
오늘 저는 다시 여러분과 크리스천의 사생활이 어때야 하는가에 관한 세 가지 키워드를 공유하고자 합니다. 이 세 가지 키워드는 정결(purity), 만족(contentment) 및 확신(confidence)입니다. 다시 한 번 말씀드립니다. 정결, 만족 및 확신.
이 세 가지 키워드 하나하나에 대하여 말씀드리겠습니다.

본문에 의하면 첫 번째 키워드는 정결입니다. 4절을 다시 한 번 읽어보실까요?

4: 모든 사람이 결혼을 거룩하게 여기고, 혼인 방을 순결하게 유지하라. 하나님은 간음하는 자들과 성적으로 타락한 모든 자들을 심판하시리라.

가정은 크리스천의 사랑을 실천해야 할 첫 번째 공간입니다. 크리스천 가정은 결혼에 의해 출발합니다. 이는 충성심(loyalty)과 정결을 의미합니다. 헌신하는 크리스천 가정은 땅에서 하늘과 가장 가까운 곳입니다. 가정은 결혼으로부터 출발합니다. 이 문장(4절)은 다음과 같이 시작합니다.

“모든 사람이 결혼을 거룩하게 여기고,”

이는 당시에 결혼을 더럽히는(dishonor) 사람들이 있었음을 시사합니다. 그 당시에 결혼에 관하여 두 가지 극단적인 그릇된 견해가 있었습니다.

하나는 금욕주의(asceticism)입니다. 이 견해, 금욕주의에 속한 사람들은 결혼은 좋은 것이 아니라고 생각했습니다. 결혼은 속세의(worldly) 육욕적(carnal), 세속적인(secular) 것이므로, 높은 영성(spirituality)을 유지한 채 거룩해지기 위해서는 결혼하지 않는 것이 더 좋다고 생각했던 거죠. 이러한 주장을 금욕주의라 합니다. 이는 잘못된 견해이죠. 비성경적입니다.

결혼에 관한 또 하나의 그릇된 견해는 자유주의(libertarianism)입니다. 이는 “나는 내가 하고 싶은 대로 무엇이든 할 수 있는 자유가 있다. 나는 내가 하고자 하는 대로 무엇이든 할 수 있다”는 주장입니다.

성서적 가르침에 따르면 이 두 가지 견해는 모두 옳지 않습니다. 결혼은 모든 사람들에 의해 존중되어야만 합니다.
예, 우리는 결혼은 사람이 만든 것이 아님을 알아야 합니다. 우리는 결혼은 하나님에 의해 설계되고 계획된 것임을 알아야만 합니다. 이 세상에는 하나님에 의해 직접 만들어진 단 두 가지 제도(institution)가 있음을 여러분은 아십니까?

그 하나는 교회입니다. 우리 주 예수님은 말씀하셨습니다.

“나는 내 교회를 짓겠노라”

이것이 교회를 하나님의 몸이라 부르는 이유입니다. 그리스도는 교회의 머리라 불립니다. 그러므로 우리는 교회를 거룩히 여겨야 하는 것입니다.

하나님이 만드신 또 하나의 제도는 한 남자와 한 여자 사이의 결혼입니다.

예, 우리는 창세기 1, 2장의 창조 이야기에서 하나님이 세상의 창조 사역 이후 처음 하신 일은 아담과 이브를 결혼시키는 일이었습니다. 하나님이 친히 말씀하셨습니다.

“남자가 혼자 있는 것은 좋지 않다. 그러므로 그를 위해 적합한 도우미를 만들어 주겠노라.”

그래서 하나님은 여자를 만드셨고 그녀를 아담에게 주었으며, 이 둘이 결혼함으로써 남편과 아내로 결합시키셨습니다. 이어서 하나님이 말씀하십니다.

“이러한 이유로 남자는 자기 아버지와 어머니를 떠나 자기 아내와 결합할 것이니라.”

우리 주 예수님 또한 동일한 말씀을 반복하심으로써 결혼을 거룩히 여기셨습니다.

“이러한 이유로 남자는 자기 아버지와 어머니를 떠나 자기 아내와 결합할 것이니라. 이들을 한 몸(flesh)이 될 것이니라. 이들은 둘이 아닌 하나가 될 것이니라. 그러므로 하나님이 합해 놓으신 것을 남자로 하여금 갈라놓게(separate) 하지 말라!”

또한 성령도 사도 바울의 말씀을 통해 결혼을 거룩히 여기십니다.

“아내들이여 교회가 그리스도에게 복종하듯이 남편에게 복종하라(submit). 남편들이여 그리스도가 자기 교회를 사랑하셔서 교회를 위해 자신을 희생하시듯이 너희 아내를 사랑하라!”

성령은 동일한 말씀을 반복하십니다. 성경 전체적으로 같은 문장이 세 번 반복됩니다.

“이러한 이유로 남자는 자기 아버지와 어머니를 떠나 자기 아내와 결합할 것이니라. 이들은 더 이상 둘이 아니라, 한 몸이 될 것이니라.”

이것은 하나의 심오한(profound) 미스터리입니다. 그러나 저는 그리스도와 교회에 대하여 이야기하고 있습니다. 이는 이 세상에서 그리스도와 교회의 관계를 보여주기 위한 최고의 관계는 남편과 아내의 관계임을 의미합니다.
그러므로 결혼은 우리가 섬기는 삼위일체(trinity) 하나님에 뿌리를 두고 설계되고 거룩히 여겨졌기 때문에 우리는 결혼을 거룩히 여겨야만 합니다.

그렇다면 실천적인(practical) 측면에서 어떻게 우리가 결혼을 거룩히 여길 수 있을까요?

첫째로, 순결을 통해 우리는 결혼에 경의(honor)를 표할 수 있습니다.
자기 배우자(spouse)를 존중하고, 서로에게 신실함(faithful)으로써, 서로로부터 기쁨을 취함으로써, 서로에게 봉사함으로써, 자기 배우자를 있는 그대로 받아들임으로써 우리는 결혼을 거룩히 여길 수 있습니다.

두 번째 문장은 다음과 같이 계속됩니다.

“혼방(marriage bed)을 순결하게 유지하라”

여기서 혼방은 무엇을 의미할까요? 혼방은 성관계를 직접적으로 나타내는 대신 사용되는 완곡한 표현(euphemizm)입니다. 예, 성경에서는 혼외정사(sex outside marriage)는 매우 무섭고 범죄적이며 매우 파멸적(destructive)임을 아주 확실히 선언하고 있습니다.
또한 이 문장에서는 계속해서 말합니다.

“하나님은 간음하는 자들과 성적으로 타락한 모든 자들을 심판하시리라”

여러분은 크리스천이십니까? 예, 우리는 크리스천입니다. 크리스천으로서 우리의 기준(standard)은 하나님의 말씀인 성경이어야 합니다. 우리는 이 세상이 우리의 기준이어서는 안 된다는 것을 기억해야 합니다. 우리의 기준은 ‘다수(majority)가 하는 일’이 아닙니다. 우리의 기준은 우리의 감정, 우리의 편의(convenience)가 아닙니다.
우리의 기준은 ‘성경이 말씀하시는 것’입니다. 아시는 바와 같이 성경은 처음부터 끝까지 하나님이 간음(adultery)과 간통(fornication)을 강력히 증오하시고 심판하신다는 것을 매우 명확히 해두고 있습니다. 또한 남자와 남자 혹은 여자와 여자 사이의 결혼도 하나님은 싫어하십니다.
그러므로 우리는 계속적으로 우리의 삶은 예배, 우리의 라이프 스타일은 예배라는 말씀을 나누고 있습니다. 로마서 12: 1-2은 말씀하고 있습니다.

1: 그러므로 형제들아 내가 너희에게 권하노니(urge), 너희 몸을 거룩하고 하나님이 기뻐하시는 산 제물로 드려라. 이것이 너희가 드릴 영적 예배이니라.
2: 너희는 더 이상(any longer) 이 세상의 패턴을 따르지(conform) 말고 오직 마음을 새롭게 하여(renew) 하나님의 선하시고 기뻐하시고 온전하시고 거룩하신 뜻이 무엇인지 분별하도록(test and approve) 하라.

그러므로 우리는 도덕적 순결, 정직, 충절(fidelity) 및 고결(integrity)은 하나님께 적합한 예배를 드리는데 필수적임을 기억해야만 합니다. 이런 문제에 있어 하나님이 우리 모두를 축복해 주시기를 바랍니다. 하나님께서 순결로 여러분과 저를 축복하시길 기원합니다. 아멘.

두 번째 키워드를 보실까요?
두 번째 키워드는 만족입니다. 순결을 유지하기 위해서는 우리가 가진 것에 만족해야만 합니다. 이것이 우리가 두 번째 키워드를 필요로 하는 이유입니다. 두 번째 키워드는 만족(contentment, 다시 말하여 satisfaction)입니다.
여러분은 지금 만족하고 계십니까? 스스로 확인해 보십시오. 당신은 만족하십니까? 당신은 당신이 가진 것에 대해 완전히 만족하고 계십니까?
다음 절인 5절을 보실까요?

5: 너희 삶이 돈에 대한 사랑으로부터 자유로움을 유지하며, 너희가 가진 것에 만족하라. 하나님은 “결코 내가 너희를 떠나지 않겠으며, 버리지도(forsake) 않겠노라”고 말씀하셨기 때문이니라.

성경은 사랑이 죄악이거나 나쁜 것이라고 말씀하지 않습니다. 성경은 그렇게 말씀하지 않습니다. 그러나 돈을 사랑하는 것은 죄악이라고 말씀하십니다. 돈에 대한 사랑이 모든 종류의 사악(evil)과 불의(wickedness)의 근원인 것입니다. 갖는 것과 사랑하는 것은 다른 것이죠. 돈을 가지지 않고 사랑할 수 있습니다. 또한 돈을 사랑하지 않고 가질 수도 있습니다.

실제로 우리에 대한 하나님의 뜻에 따르자면 우리는 돈을 통제하고 관리해야 합니다. 또한 돈은 물질의 한 종류입니다. 그러므로 우리는 하나님의 뜻을 따라 돈을 잘 통제하고 관리하며 사용해야만 합니다.
우리가 정말로 하나님을 제일 사랑한다면 우리는 돈과 올바른 관계를 가질 것입니다. 그러나 우리가 돈을 사랑한다면 우리는 돈에 이끌려(driven) 통제되고 관리되고 지배를 당할(rule) 것이며, 결국은 돈의 노예가 될 것입니다.

그러므로 우리 주 예수님께서는

“너희는 하나님과 돈을 모두 섬길 수는 없느니라.”

고 말씀하신 것입니다. 우리는 두 주인(master, lord)을 모실 수는 없습니다. 우리는 예수님께 “주님이시여, 주님이시여!” 이렇게 부릅니다. 여러분의 주인은 누구입니까?
두 주인을 섬긴다는 것은 절대 불가능하다는 사실을 기억하십시오. 우리는 오직 한 주인만을 진정으로 섬길 수 있을 뿐입니다. 그러므로 우리는 누가 혹은 무엇이 우리 주인인지 선택해야만 합니다. 누가 내 온전한 삶을 이끌고(drive) 통제하며 지휘하고(direct) 있는지 진지하게 우리 양심 앞에서, 하나님 앞에서 성찰해 보아야 합니다.

돈에 대한 사랑은 탐욕(covetousness)인 것입니다. 또한 성경에서는 탐욕은 우상숭배(idolatry)라 말하고 있습니다. 아시는 바와 같이 다른 사람들과의 관계에 있어 모든 죄의 근원(root)은 탐욕입니다. 이것이 10계명 중 마지막 계명은

‘탐욕하지 말라’

인 이유인 것입니다. 매우 명료합니다.

백만장자가 이런 질문을 받습니다.
“얼마나 많은 돈이 있으면 당신이 만족하게 될까요?”
그 사람이 이렇게 대답합니다.
“내가 가진 돈 보다 백만이 더 있으면요.”

탐욕이란 무엇일까요?
탐욕이란 우리가 필요하든 필요치 않든 더 많은 것을 원하는 것을 말합니다.
여러분이 꼭 기억하셔야 할 것은 우리가 만약 우리의 소망을 돈이나 물질에 둔다면 그 물질은 우리로부터 사라지고 우리의 소망도 우리에게서 달아난다는 사실입니다. 우리가 잘 알듯이 오늘날 많은 사람들이 돈에 대한 사랑, 즉 물질주의에 이끌려 살고 있습니다. 그들은 많은 돈을 갖는 것이 자기들을 더 행복하게, 더욱 값어치 있게, 더욱 안전하게, 더욱 의미 있게(meaningful) 만든다고 생각합니다. 그러나 이것은 큰 오해(misunderstanding), 큰 착각(misconception)입니다.
우리가 알아야 할 것은 우리는 하나님에 의해 자기 형상(image)대로 만들어졌기 때문에 우리는 가치 있는(valuable) 존재라는 사실입니다.
그러나 우리는 우리가 가진 재산(valuables)에 의해 우리의 가치가 결정되는 것이 아니라는 사실을 기억해야 합니다. 우리의 마음이 우리의 소유물(possessions)에 의해 소유되어서는 안 됩니다. 왜냐하면 돈이나 물질은 결코 우리의 마음을 충족시킬(satisfy) 수 없기 때문입니다. 돈은 결코 우리의 혼이나 영을 충족시킬 수 없습니다. 눈에 보이는(visible) 물질, 눈에 보이는 재산은 다양한(a variety of) 통제 불가능한(uncontrollable) 요인들(factor)로 인해 순식간에(instantly) 사라질 수 있습니다.

진정한 안정(security)은 오직 우리에게서 절대 빼앗아 갈 수 없는 것에서만 찾을 수 있습니다. 그것은 곧 우리 주 예수 그리스도 안에서 우리가 갖는 하나님과의 관계입니다.
반드시 이것을 기억하십시오. 우리 주 예수 그리스도를 통한 우리와 하나님과의 개인적인(personal, individual) 관계야말로 우리의 진정한 안정인 것입니다.
이것이 우리 주 예수님께서 다음과 같이 말씀하신 이유입니다.

“조심하라. 조심하라. 온갖 종류의 욕심에 대해 늘 너희 자신을 경계하라(on one’s guard against)!”

왜냐하면 사람의 삶은 자기 소유의 풍요함에 놓여있는(consist in) 것이 아니기 때문입니다. 우리 주 예수님께서는 우리에게 권면하시고 도전을 주시고 계십니다.

“네 자신을 위해 보물(treasure)을 땅에 쌓아두지(store) 말라. 거기서는 좀(moth)이 들거나 녹(rust)이 슬어 그 보물을 파괴하고, 혹은 도둑이 들어(break in) 훔쳐갈 것이기 때문이다. 오직 너희를 위해 하늘에 보물을 쌓아 두라. 거기는 좀도, 녹도, 도둑도 없기 때문이다. 너희 보물이 있는 곳에 너희 마음이 있을지니라.”

예, 우리는 이 세상에 아무것도 가져 오지 않았음을 압니다. 인정하십니까? 예, 우리는 이 세상에 아무것도 가져 오지 않았습니다. 그리고 언젠가, 아마도 머지않아 우리는 이 세상을 떠납니다. 빈손으로(empty-handed) 이 세상을 하직하게 됩니다(depart from). 우리는 이 세상으로부터 아무 것도 취하지 못할 것입니다. 이것이 성경에서 계속 다음과 같이 말씀하시는 이유입니다.

“너희는 음식과 의복이 있으면 만족할 수 있을지니라.”

또한 이 절(5절)은 이렇게 출발합니다.

“너희 삶이 돈에 대한 사랑으로부터 자유로움을 유지하며, 너희가 가진 것에 만족하라.”

오늘 여러분이 가진 것을 확인하십시오. 성경은 우리에게 강력하게 말씀하십니다. 우리에게 권면하고 도전을 주십니다.

“너희가 가진 것에 만족하라.”

여러분은 오늘 여기서 지금 가지고 계신 것에 대해 만족하십니까?

만족이란 무엇입니까? 만족하지 않는 것이란 무엇입니까?

먼저 우리는 만족은 눈에 보이는 것에서 오는 것이 아님을 알아야 합니다.
예, 우리는 우리가 이 세상에 사는 한, 돈이 필요하고 물질이 필요하다는 것을 압니다. 우리의 몸이 물질이기 때문입니다. 그러나 우리는 진정한 만족은 물질에서 오는 것이 아님을 기억해야 합니다.

만족이 아닌 것은 무엇입니까? 만족이란 단념(giving up)이나 포기(abandonment)나 체념(resignation)을 의미하는 것은 아닙니다.
또한 만족이란 목적 없는(purposeless) 삶이나 소망 없는 삶, 꿈이 없는 삶을 의미하는 것은 아닙니다.
만족은 단지 쉬운 삶이나 도전 없는 삶을 추구하는 것을 뜻하지 않습니다. 만족이란 자기 개발(development)이나 발전(progress)을 위한, 더 나은 삶을 위한 노력이 없는 삶을 나타내는 것은 아닙니다.

먼저, 만족은 물질이 1순위, 2순위, 3순위 등, 나의 우선순위(priority) 목록에서 높은 위치에 있지 않음을 의미합니다. 만족은 어떤 상황, 무슨 환경에서든 감사를 드릴 수 있는 능력을 말합니다.
또한 만족은 어떤 상황에서도 우리 주 예수 그리스도 안에서 평강과 기쁨을 누릴 수 있는 능력을 의미합니다. 만족은 예수님이 내 구주임을 고백하는 것입니다.
시편 23편에서도 비슷한 고백을 하고 있습니다.

“여호와는 나의 목자(shepherd)시니 내게 보족함(in want)이 없으리로다.”

이는 만약 예수님이 내 주인이시면 나는 그 분 한분으로 충분함을 의미합니다. 나는 그 안에서 무엇이든 모든 것을 찾을 수 있다는 뜻입니다. 만약 예수님이 정말로 나의 주인이시면 그는 내게 충분하고도 남음이 있습니다. 그에 의해 모든 것이 공급되기 때문입니다.
빌립보서 4: 19에서는 말합니다.

“나의 하나님이 우리 주 예수 그리스도 안에서 자기의 영광스러운 풍성함(riches)에 따라 너희의 모든 필요한 것들(needs)을 채워주시리라(meet)”

그가 나의 주인이시라는 것은 그는 나의 보호자(protector)이심을 의미합니다(아멘?). 그는 나의 공급자(provider)이심을 의미합니다. 그는 우리가 필요로 하는 모든 것을 제공하는 데 신실하십니다. 그래서 바울은 우리가 알고 있듯이 다음과 같이 말합니다.

“나는 어떤 상황에서든 만족하는 비결(secret)을 알았노라.”

그가 이렇게 만족한다고 고백했을 때 그가 처한 상황은 어떠했습니까?
그는 많은 돈이 없었습니다. 그는 옥(jail, prison)에 갇혀 있었습니다. 그는 쇠사슬에 묶여 있었습니다. 이러한 무서운 상황에서 그는 “나는 어떤 상황에서든 만족하는 비결을, 신비(mystery)를 알아냈습니다”라고 고백한 것입니다, 선포한 것입니다.

어떻게 이것이 가능할까요? 만족하는 비결은 무엇일까요? 우리는 만족하는 비결, 만족하는 신비를 배울 필요가 있습니다. 이것이 우리가 세 번째 키워드를 필요로 하는 이유입니다.
그러면 마지막 세 번째 키워드를 살펴보실까요?

마지막 세 번째 키워드는 확신(confidence, assurance, conviction)입니다.

마지막 절을 다시 읽으실까요? 마지막 절에 들어가기 전에 먼저 5절의 하반부를 다시 보시겠습니다. 5절 하반부에서 이렇게 말합니다.

5: 하나님은 “결코 내가 너희를 떠나지 않겠으며, 버리지도(forsake) 않겠노라”고 말씀하셨기 때문이니라.

우리는 이 문장, 같은 문장에 매우 익숙해 있습니다. 동일한 문장이 몇 차례 반복됩니다.
예로서 구약에서 하나님이 여호수아에게 이 말씀을 하십니다. 하나님이 여호수아를 불러 약속하셨습니다.

“나는 결코 너를 떠나지 않겠노라. 나는 너를 버리지 않겠노라. 내가 모세와 함께 있었듯이 나는 너와 함께 있으리라. 그러므로 네가 어디에 가든 나는 너와 함께 있으리라. 너는 성공할(successful) 것이며, 번영할(prosperous) 것이다”

또한 우리 주 예수께서는 이렇게 약속하셨습니다. 마태복음 마지막 장 마지막 절에서 말씀하십니다.

“볼지어다, 내가 세상 끝 날까지(to the very end of the age) 너희와 항상 함께 있으리라”

다시 (본문의) 6절을 보시겠습니다.

6: 그러므로 우리는 (무엇을?) 확신을…

확신이 없으면 만족은 불가능합니다. 만족이 없으면 이 세상에서 이 음행의 세상에서 순결을 지키기가 거의 불가능합니다. 이런 이유로 본문에서는 이 세 가지 키워드가 함께 다니고 있습니다.

6: 그러므로 우리는 확신을 가지고 말하느니라: “주님은 나를 도우시는 분이이니, 내가 두려워하지 않겠노라. 사람이 나에게 무엇을 할 수 있겠는가?”

그렇습니다. 우리는 확신을 요합니다. 어떤 종류의 확신을 우리는 필요로 할까요?

첫째로, 우리는 하나님이 언제나 나와 함께 계심(presence)에 대한 확신을 필요로 합니다.

본문에서는 말씀하십니다: “너를 결코 떠나지도 버리지도 않겠노라”고. 우리는 하나님이 늘 나와 함께 계신다는 이 같은 확신, 또한 그의 공급(provision), 그의 보호(protection)에 대한 확신, 예수님 이름으로의 죄사함(forgiveness)에 대한 확신, 구원과 영생에 대한 확신, 최후의 승리와 영광에 대한 확신을 가져야 합니다.

여러분은 이런 종류의 확신을 가지고 계십니까? 우리는 이런 종류의 확신을 필요로 합니다. 빠른 속도로 반복해보겠습니다. 하나님이 나와 함께 계신다는 확신, 그의 보호하심에 대한 확신, 그의 공급하심에 대한 확신, 예수님 이름으로의 죄사하심에 대한 확신, 구원과 영생에 대한 확신, 최후의 승리와 영광에 대한 확신.
여러분은 이 모든 확신을 가지고 계시나요?

두 번째 질문으로서, 우리는 어떻게 이런 놀라운 확신을 가질 수 있을까요? 달리 표현하면, 우리가 이런 확신을 가질 수 있는 토대는 무엇일까요?
토대(ground)나 기초(foundation)는 매우 중요합니다. 예를 들어 기초가 없으면 이 건물은 서 있을 수 없습니다. 이것이 토대가 없으면 우리의 확신이 흔들릴 수 있는(shakable) 이유입니다. 그러므로 우리가 확신을 가질 수 있는 토대가 매우 중요한 것입니다.

첫째로, 우리 확신의 토대는 우리가 하나님이나 다른 사람들을 위해서 한 일에 있는 것이 아닙니다. 우리 확신의 토대는 예수님께서 우리를 위해 하신 일에 있습니다. 이것은 아주 중요합니다.
또한 우리 확신의 토대는 우리의 인격(character)이나 장점(merit)에 있지 않고 하나님의 약속과 그의 인격에 있습니다. 우리의 인격은 매우 가변적(changeable)입니다. 저는 목회자입니다만, 제 인격은 매우 변하기 쉽습니다.
오직 하나님의 약속만이 절대적(absolute)이며, 또한 그의 인격만이 절대적이고 변하지 않습니다. 이것이 우리의 확신의 토대가 예수님이 하신 일과 그의 약속과 그의 인격에 있는 이유입니다.

예수님이 우리를 위해 하신 일은 무엇입니까?
여러분이 아시다시피 예수님께서는 우리를 위해 십자가에서 죽으셨습니다. 또한 예수님께서는 우리의 구원을 위해, 우리의 칭의(justification)를 위해, 우리의 영화(glorification)를 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다.
로마서 8: 34에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“누가 정죄하리요(condemn)? 죽으셨고 더 나아가 죽음으로부터 다시 살아나신(rise to life) 그리스도 예수께서 지금 하나님의 우편에(on the right-hand side) 앉아 계시고 또한 지금 우리를 위해 중보하고(intercede) 계시니라”

예수님께서는 우리에게 구원과 영생을 약속하셨습니다. 예수님께서는 우리에게 다음과 같이 약속하셨습니다.

“내가 너희에게 영생을 주겠노라”

여러분이 만약 진정으로 예수 그리스도를 여러분의 개인적인 구원자요 주님으로 믿는다면 여러분의 이 자리에 여러분 이름을 올릴 수 있습니다.

“내가 너희에게 영생을 주겠노라. 너희는 결코 멸망치(perish) 않을 것이며, (할렐루야!) 어느 누구도 너희를 내 손에서 빼앗아갈 수 없느니라.”

라고 예수님께서 우리에게 약속하셨습니다. 예수님은 자기 약속을 지키는데 매우 신실하십니다. 예수님은 자기 약속을 지키는 일에 매우 능력이 있으신 분이십니다. 그것이 로마서 8: 1-2에서 다음과 같이 선포하신 이유입니다.

“이제 그리스도 예수 안에 있는 자에게는 더 이상 정죄함이, 더 이상 심판이 없으니, 이는 그리스도 예수를 통해 생명의 성령의 권능이 나를(여러분을) 죄와 사망의 법에서 해방시켰기(set free) 때문이니라.”

성경은 우리에게 약속하고 있습니다.

“너희가 너희 입으로 예수님이 주님이라고 고백한다면, 하나님께서 그를 죽음으로부터 살리셨음을 너희가 마음으로 믿는다면 너희는 (무엇을?) 구원을 받을 것이다”

구원은 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만 받을 수 있을 수 있습니다. 사도행전 4: 12은 이렇게 선포합니다.

“구원은 다른 이에게서는 얻을 수 없나니, 하늘 아래 우리에게 구원을 주기에 마땅한 어떤 다른 이름도 주어진 적이 없음이니라.”

그 이름은 예수 그리스도입니다. 예수라는 이름은 그의 백성을 죄에서, 죽음에서, 지옥에서 구한다는 의미입니다.

그러므로 이와 같은 확신은 우리가 서 있을 수 있는 우리의 토대이자 기초입니다.
적어도 이 주일에는 이 세 가지 키워드를 기억하고 되씹어 생각하고 묵상하고 또한 어떻게 적용할 것인지 기도하시기를 바랍니다. 여러분은 지금 이 세 가지 키워드를 기억하십니까? 순결, 만족 및 확신.

하나님께서 순결, 만족 및 확신으로 우리 모두를 축복하시기를 기원합니다. 아멘!
무엇보다도 죄사함에 대한 확신, 구원과 영생에 대한 확신, 최후의 승리와 영광에 대한 확신의 축복이 임하시길 바랍니다.
하나님께서 여러분의 가족, 여러분의 결혼, 여러분의 가정, 여러분의 공동체(community)에 복 주시기를 축원합니다.
갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도합시다.

               - 아 멘 -     
  • May 10 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)

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Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy

Hebrews 13:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

Concluding Exhortations

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.


This is the last chapter of Hebrews. In the Bible, there is no division between:

  • Doctrine / Duty
  • Revelation / Responsibility
  • Theology / Application
  • Believing / Behaving

These two always go together.

In the last section, the emphasis is on living by faith – as we studied in:

  • chp 11 – the examples of faith,
  • chp 12 – encouragement to faith,
  • chp 13 – evidence of faith that should appear in our lives if we are really living by faith, not by sight.

Last week, “our God is a consuming fire” and also “consuming love.”

From fire to function, from vertical to horizontal, from love for God to love for human beings. It is clear: what we think about God determines how we think / act toward human beings in this world.

The relationship with God will be acted out in our relationships with other human beings, strangers, the lost.

Last week, our God is “consuming fire” of Mt. Sinai, and also “consuming love” of Mt. Zion. So, the relationship we have with God is revealed in the relationship we have with human beings.

10 commandments

  • 1-4 = vertical relationship, between God and man,
  • 5-10 = horizontal and ethical, the relationship we must have with our brothers and neighbors.

In chp 13, we read only 3 verses, but we can see three keywords of evidence of living by faith.

These three keywords: Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (empathy).

As we know, we worship such a God. We saw last week that worship is our lifestyle, so our worship must be done in our practical relationship with our brothers and sisters in this world.

Let us see these keywords one by one.

Love

v. 1

“1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.”

Early Christians faced hatred and persecution from the world so they should be able to find love and encouragement in the church.

The commandment to love is a very Old commandment (Leviticus 18:19 “Love your neighbor as yourself”)

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: love one another as I have loved you. In this way, people will know that you are my disciples.”

This old command is called “new” by Jesus – this means, “to love each other in the same way that Jesus loves us.” We are to love based on Jesus’ sacrificial love on the cross. Such love brings people to Christ and makes us strong and united in this world.

Jesus is the living example of God’s love. Like this, we are to be living examples of Jesus’ love in this world.

Romans “Christ demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 “God so loved the world…”

1 John 3:14 “He laid down his life for us…”

Bible says, “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and truth.”

“God loved us first and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

“No one has ever seen God, but if anyone is in God …”

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear. Fear has to do with punishment…”

How? How can we love as Jesus loves? It is more than warm feelings, but it reveals itself in actions.

How can we love our brothers and sisters? By helping when not convenient, by giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others without complaining or fighting back.

This love is very difficult – so people notice when we do it and they can know that we are his disciples when we do this.

We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ. These terms are not merely sentimental, but facts. No matter how many Christians there are, we all share one father.

We know how happy parents are when children love each other, likewise God is pleased when we live together in unity.

Psalm “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.”

God bless us to dwell in his love and love each other with his love.

Hospitality

v. 2

“2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Ex: Genesis 18, Abram and his wife Sarai received 3 strangers and entertained them without knowing they were angels.

Widely speaking, messengers sent by God are angels – because “angel” means “messenger.”

“Hospitality much be practiced.”

1 Peter 1:9 “Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.”

1 John 1:8 “Show hospitality to others…”

Why is teaching on hospitality needed so much even 2000 years later.

In the ancient world, hotels, inns, were dangerous, dirty places, often pagan and even criminal activities were done there. Also many Christians suffered deportation by society or their own families. Wandering preachers and evangelists were always on the road. Slaves had no home of their own to go to. Businessmen also had travels and journeys to make. All of them needed hospitality.

Even today, we have homeless people, emotionally, spiritually. They need a homelike place.

Yes, Jesus lived his earthly life like a homeless person. He spent many nights on the mountain to pray. “Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to put my head.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, he will say,

“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, thirsty, something to drink, stranger, you welcomed me in.”

“When? How?”

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Hospitality: to make someone feel welcome and at home

It is much better to practice hospitality than miss the chance to entertain angels.

Still today, they need hospitality to show that God is in this world.

Sympathy (empathy)

v. 3

“3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Jesus became flesh – he identified with us in our humanity, our weaknesses, our temptations.

Hebrews 2:18 “Because he suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

“We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He has been tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin. So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to help us in our times of need.”

Sin is like a slave market in which a sinner is sold to sin. Sin is like a prison in which a sinner is bound under the sentence of death. Jesus bought us from this market – indicating complete deliverance and freedom from this market. Jesus loosens bonds and sets us free by paying a price, the price of his blood.

He redeems us from the curse of death under the Law by becoming a curse for us.

He frees us completely from the prison of sin, death, hell.

Gal 5:1 “It is for freedom that Jesus has set you free. So stand firm, do not let yourselves be burdened again with a yoke of slavery.”

All kinds of real freedom can be found in Jesus Christ.

“I’m the truth. Know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, Jesus will say,

“When I was in prison you came to see me.”

“When? How?” “

Whatever you did for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did for me.”

We have power, authority, privilege, blessing, to share this kind of real freedom in Christ with those who need freedom in Christ.

v. 3 “Remember”

At least this week, let us not forget these three keywords:

  1. Love
  2. Hospitality
  3. Sympathy

God bless us with these so that we may share these with others who need it.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥허목사님 설교완역(200510)

► 제목: 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy)

► 본문: 히브리서 13: 1-3

「설교 전문」
하나님 계신 곳에 오심을 환영합니다. 하나님께서 그의 자비와 은혜와 기쁨으로 여러분을 축복해 주시기를 바랍니다. 하나님의 축복이 여러분과 이 교회에 임하시길 축원합니다. 아멘.
이제 하나님의 거룩한 말씀을 보시겠습니다. 히브리서 13장 첫 3절입니다. 1절에서 3절까지입니다. 히브리서 13: 1-3. 같이 읽으시기 바랍니다.

1: 서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라(Keep on loving each other as brothers).

2: 나그네 대접하기를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라(Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it).

3: 마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희 자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는 자들을 기억하라(Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering).

아멘.
우리는 히브리서의 마지막 장을 시작하고 있습니다.
성경에는 교리(doctrine)와 의무 사이, 계시와 책임 사이, 논리적 지침(logical instruction)과 실제적 적용(practical application) 사이, 믿음과 행위 사이에는 구분(division)이 없습니다. 이들 두 가지는 늘 같이 다니는 것들이죠.
히브리서의 마지막 부분에서는 믿음에 의한 삶(living by faith)에 강조점(emphasis)이 주어져 있습니다. 이는 우리가 앞서 이미 확인한 바와 같습니다.
가령 11장에서는 믿음의 본보기(example)에, 12장에서는 믿음에 대한 격려(encouragement)에, 그리고 13장에서는 우리가 정말로 보이는 것(sight)에 의해 살며 일하지 않고 믿음에 의해 살며 일하고 있을 때 우리 삶에 나타나야 할 믿음의 증거들(evidence)에 초점이 주어져 있습니다.
우리가 지난 주일에 확인한 바와 같이 전 장 12장의 마지막 절은

“우리 하나님은 소멸하시는 불(consuming fire)이다”

입니다. 또한 그는 다 쓰시는 사랑(consuming love)이십니다.

이제 마지막 장인 이 장 13장에서는 초점이 불에서 기능(function)으로, 수직(vertical)에서 수평(horizontal)으로, 하나님에 대한 사랑에서 인간에 대한 사랑으로 옮겨 갑니다. 그 의미(implication)는 매우 명료합니다.
우리가 하나님에 대해 생각하는 것은 우리가 우리 교회 안에서, 그리고 이 세상에서 사람들과 어떠한 관계를 가지고 있는가와 전적인 관계를 가지고 있습니다. 우리가 하나님과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가는 우리가 사람들과, 그리스도 안에서 우리 형제자매들과, 낯선 사람들과, 또한 길 잃은 자들과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가에 의해 나타나고 증명될 것입니다.
지난 주일에 보았듯이 우리 하나님은 시내산의 소멸시키는 불이시고 동시에 시온산의 다 쓰시는 사랑이십니다. 이는 우리가 하나님과 가지는 관계는 우리가 인간들과 가지는 관계에 의해 드러나게 될 것임을 의미합니다.

이러한 논리(logic)는 바로 10계명의 구조(structure)에 그대로 반영되어 있습니다. 10계명을 보면 처음 4계명은 하나님과 인간, 하나님과 우리 사이의 수직적이고 신학적인(theological) 메시지로서, 하나님과 인간의 관계, 즉 하나님과 우리의 관계를 강렬하게(intensely) 다루고 있습니다. 그리고 다음 6계명은 우리의 형제자매들과, 우리의 이웃들과 가져야 할 수평적이고 윤리적인(ethical) 관계를 역시 강렬하게 다루고 있습니다.
그러므로 이 마지막 장 13장에서 우리는 단 3절, 처음 3절만을 읽었습니다. 이 3절에서 우리는 믿음에 의한 삶의 증거로서 세 가지 키워드를 볼 수 있습니다. 저는 이 세 가지 키워드는 사랑, 후덕(hospitality) 및 동정심(sympathy) 혹은 공감(empathy)이라고 말하고자 합니다.
우리가 알고 있듯이 우리는 그와 같은 하나님을 섬깁니다. 우리는 지난주에 예배가 무엇인지 확인하였습니다. 그렇습니다. 예배는 우리의 삶, 우리의 라이프 스타일입니다. 그렇다면 실제로 우리가 이 세상에서 우리의 형제자매들과 맺는 관계에서도 우리의 섬김이 이루어져야만 합니다.
키워드인 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심 혹은 공감에 대해 하나씩 살펴보도록 하겠습니다.

자, 첫 번 째 절을 보십시다. 이 절은 매우 짧으면서도 우리에게 매우 강력한 메시지를 전달하고 있습니다. 제1절은 말합니다.

“서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라”

예, 우리가 알고 있듯이 초기의 크리스천들은 이 세상으로부터 박해(persecution)와 미움(hatred)에 직면했습니다(face). 그래서 소망하건대 교회 안에서, 신앙인들 사이의 교제에 있어 사랑과 격려가 있어야 했습니다. ‘우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다’는 계명은 매우 오래 된 계명입니다. 구약 레위기 19: 18에서 이렇게 말합니다.

“네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라. 나는 여호와이니라.”

네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라! 그러나 우리의 주님이신 예수 그리스도는 십자가에서 죽으시기 전 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다.

“새로운 계명을 너희에게 주나니, 서로 사랑하라. 내가 너희를 사랑한 것처럼 너희도 서로 사랑하라! 이것에 의해 모든 사람들이 너희가 내 제자들임을 알게 될 것이니라.”

이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다는 계명은 매우 오래된 계명입니다. 그러나 예수님은 “내가 너희에게 새로운 계명을 주겠노라”고 말씀하십니다. 새로운 계명이란 무엇을 말합니까?
이는 크리스천 형제자매들을 사랑하는 것은 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것과 똑 같이 서로 사랑하는 것임을 의미합니다. 우리는 예수님이 보여 주신 십자가상에서의 희생적 사랑(sacrificial love)처럼 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 그러한 사랑은 사람들을 그리스도에게로 데려와 우리를 강하게 만들고 하나님께 적대적인(hostile) 이 세상에서 우리를 하나로 합치게(unite) 만드는 것입니다.

예, 예수님은 하나님의 사랑에 대한 살아계신 본보기입니다. 마찬가지로 우리는 이 세상에서 예수님의 사랑에 대한 살아 있는 본보기가 되어야 합니다.
로마서 5:8에서 말합니다.

“우리가 아직 죄인이었을 때, 그리스도께서 우리를 위해 죽으신 가운데 하나님께서 우리를 위한 자기 자신의 사랑을 보여주시느니라(demonstrate).”

요한복음 3: 16을 통해 우리는 알고 있습니다.

“하나님이 세상을 이처럼 사랑하사 독생자(one and only son)를 주셨으니 이는 그를 믿는 자마다 멸망하지(perish) 않고 영생을 얻게 하려 하심이라”

요한일서 3: 14에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리는 (왜?) 우리 형제들을 사랑하기 때문에 사망으로부터 생명으로 옮겨진 것을 아느니라.”

우리는 바로 이를 통해 사랑이 무엇인지 알 수 있게 됩니다. 예수 그리스도는 우리를 위해 자기 생명을 내려놓으셨습니다. 그러므로 우리는 우리 형제자매들을 위해 우리의 생명을 내려놓아야 합니다. 이게 가능할까요? 쉽겠어요, 어렵겠어요?
성경은 계속해서(continually) 말씀하십니다.

“혀나 말로써 사랑하지 말고 행동과 진심으로 사랑하자!”

이것이 사랑인 것입니다. 우리가 하나님을 사랑한 것이 아니고, 하나님께서 먼저 우리를 사랑하셔서 우리의 죄를 인해 자기 아들을 속죄의 제물(atoning sacrifice)로 보내신 것입니다. 하나님께서 우리를 사랑하셨으므로 우리도 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 아무도 하나님을 본 사람은 없지만 우리가 만약 서로를 사랑한다면 하나님은 우리 안에 거하셔서 그의 사랑이 우리 안에서 온전케 이루어지는 것입니다.
사랑 안에서는 두려움이 없어집니다. 두려움은 징계(punishment)와 관계가 있습니다(have something to do with). 두려워하는 사람은 사랑 안에서 온전하거나 완벽해질 수 없습니다. 이게 가능할까요?

어떻게 우리는 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시듯이 다른 사람을 사랑할 수 있을까요?
그러한 사랑은 단지 어떤 감정 이상의 것입니다. 그것은 스스로 행동을 유발하는 하나의 태도(attitude)입니다. 어떻게 우리는 다른 사람들, 우리 형제자매들을 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것처럼 사랑할 수 있을까요?
쉽지 않은(not convenient) 상황에서 그들을 도움으로써 가능합니다. 아플 때 부조함으로써, 내 자신보다는 다른 사람의 복리(welfare)를 위해 정력을 바침으로써, 불평하거나 저항하지 않고 다른 사람들의 상처만을 쳐다봄으로써 이것이 가능합니다.

우리는 이런 종류의 사랑은 실천하기가 매우 어렵다는 것을 압니다. 이것이 우리가 그런 일을 할 때 사람들이 우리가 예수님의 제자임을 알아보게(notice) 되는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 초자연적인(supernatural) 근원으로부터 권능을 부여받게 됩니다.
예, 우리는 정말로, 진정으로 그리스도 안에서 형제자매들입니다. 형제자매들이라는 이 어휘는 단지 정서적인(sentimental) 표현에 그치는 것이 아니라 객관적(objective)으로 나타나는 사실을 말합니다. 왜냐하면 아무리 많은 크리스천들이 있다 하더라도 우리는 오직 한 분의 하나님만을 공유하기 때문입니다.

예, 우리는 우리 세상적인 부모님은 자기 자녀들이 형제자매로서 서로 사랑할 때 매우 행복해 하게 됨을 압니다. 마찬가지로 우리 아버지 하나님께서도 형제자매들이 하나가 되어(in unity) 함께 살아갈 때 기뻐하실 것입니다. 이것이 시편 133편 1절에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“형제들이 하나가 되어 함께 살면 얼마나 선하고 즐거운 일인가!”

하나님께서 자기 사랑으로 우리를 축복하셔서 예수 그리스도의 권능으로 우리가 서로 사랑할 수 있기를 축원합니다.

다음 두 번째 키워드는 후덕(厚德)입니다. 제 2절을 읽으실까요?

2절: “나그네 대접하기(entertain)를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게(without knowing it) 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라.”

(이와 관련하여) 여러분은 성경에 있는 어떤 사람을 아십니까? 예로서, 구약 창세기 18장에서 아브라함과 그 아내 사라는 그들이 모르는 세 나그네를 영접하고(receive) 그들이 천사인 줄을 모른 채 이들을 대접했습니다.
그렇습니다. 좁은 의미로 말하면(narrowly speaking) 천사들은 천사들, 즉 영적인 존재들입니다. 그러나 넓은 의미로 말하면 우리는 하나님이 보내신 사자(messenger)를 천사라 부를 수 있습니다. 문자 그대로(literally)의 천사는 사자 혹은 전령(herald)을 의미하기 때문입니다.
로마서 12: 13은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“후덕이 실천되어야 한다. 후덕을 실천하라!(Practice hospitality)”

또한 베드로전서 4: 9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“원망(grumbling)하지 않고 서로 후덕을 베풀라!”

요한 3서 1: 8에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“하나님 일을 하는 자들에게 후덕함을 보임으로써 우리가 진리를 위해 동역할(work together) 수 있도록 하라”

우리는 후덕에 관한 가르침이 2천 년 전에까지도 왜 그토록 매우 필요했던가에 대해 의아하게 생각할 수 있습니다. 우리는 2천 년 전의 그러한 상황에 대한 배경을 알 필요가 있습니다. 제가 당시의 시대적 상황을 일부 소개해드리겠습니다.

첫째로, 당시에는 고대의 호텔인 여인숙(inn)은 그 환경이 매우 열악(miserable)했습니다. 불결하고 위험한 곳이었던 거죠. 때로는 여인숙 안에서 이교도적 활동과 범죄행위들이 저질러지곤 했죠. 따라서 여인숙, 즉 호텔은 크리스천들에게는 마음에 내키거나(congenial) 건전한 곳이 아니었습니다.

둘째로, 당시에는 많은 크리스천들이 믿음 때문에 그 사회와 심지어는 그 가족으로부터 추방(deportation)당하는 고초를 겪었습니다. 또한 바울이나 그 동역자들처럼 여행을 다니며 사역하는 선교사들, 떠돌아다니는 교역자와 복음전파자들은 언제나 방랑길에 있었습니다. 노예들은 갈 수 있는 자기 집이 없었습니다. 소규모의 사업자들 또한 여행과 떠돌이 생활을 해야 했습니다.
이들 모두가 대접을 필요로 하는 사람들이었죠.

오늘의 경우는 어떻습니까? 예, 오늘도 우리에게는 집 없는 사람들(homeless people)이 있습니다. 말 그대로 뿐 아니라 정서 상으로(emotionally), 영적으로 집이 없어 거처를 필요로 하는 사람들이 많습니다.

예, 우리 주님, 우리 구원자이신 예수 그리스도는 이 땅에서의 자기 삶을 집 없는 사람들처럼 사셨습니다. 여러분은 이를 아십니까? 예수님께서는 수많은 밤을 산에서 기도하며 지내셨습니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하셨습니다.

“여우들도 구멍이 있고, 공중의 새들도 보금자리가 있거늘 나는 내 머리를 둘 곳이 없도다.”

예수님은 자신을 홈리스(homeless)와, 나그네들과, 가난한 자들과, 약한 자들과 동일시한(identify) 것이죠. 마지막 날, 심판(judgment)의 날에 예수님은 그가 이미 보여주신 대로 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다. 그는 자기의 진정한 추종자(follower)들에게 말씀하셨습니다.

“내가 굶주렸을 때 너희가 내게 먹을 것을 주었노라. 내가 목말랐을(thirsty) 때 너희가 내게 마실 것을 주었노라. 내가 나그네(stranger)이었을 때 너희가 나를 영접하였노라.”

이들이 놀라서 이렇게 물을 수 있습니다.

“주님, 제가 언제, 어떻게요?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 단 한명을 위해 무엇을 하든 너희는 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

그렇습니다. 후덕이란 무엇입니까? 후덕이란 단순히 다른 사람들이 안락하고(comfortable) 편안하게 느끼도록(feel at home) 해주는 것을 의미합니다. 천사들을 대접할 기회를 필요로 하는 것보다는 더 관대하게 후덕을 실천하는 것이 훨씬 더 낫습니다.
시대를 초월해서 기독교는 열린 문, 열린 마음의 종교임을 기억하십시오. 오늘도 그들은 이 세상에서 하나님이 누구이고 예수님이 누구인지 알 수 있도록 우리에게서 후덕을 필요로 하고 있습니다.

셋째로, 마지막 키워드는 동정심 혹은 공감(共感)입니다. 마지막 절인 3절을 읽으실까요?

3절: “마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는(mistreat) 자들을 기억하라.”

예수님은 육신(flesh)이 되셨습니다. 이것이 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요?
그렇습니다. 예수님은 인간이 되었습니다. 예수님이 인간이 되었다는 것은 그가 우리의 인간성(humanity), 우리의 허약성(weakness), 우리의 시험 들기(temptation)에 있어 우리들, 여러분과 저와 동일하게 되셨음을 의미합니다.
히브리서 2: 18에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“그가 시험을 당해 고난을 겪으셨으니, 그는 시험 당하는 자들을 도우실 수 있느니라.”

계속해서 이 책은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리에게는 우리의 연약함을 동정하실(sympathize) 수 있는 제사장(high priest)이 계십니다.”

우리가 시험을 당하듯이 그도 모든 방법으로, 그러나 죄를 범하지 않으시고, 시험을 당하실 수 있으십니다. 그러므로 확신을 가지고 자신 있게 은혜의 면류관에 다가가 긍휼을 받고 은혜를 받아 필요할 때 도움을 받으십시다.

우리는 옥에 갇힌 사람들(the imprisoned), 학대받는 사람들(the mistreated)과 마음을 같이 할 의지가 있어야 합니다.

죄는 죄인들이 죄 아래에서 팔리는 노예시장과 같습니다.
죄는 감옥과 같습니다. 죄는 죄인이 사형선고(sentence of death) 하에 묶여 있는 감옥과 마찬가지입니다. 그래서 예수님은 십자가에 죽으심으로 이 시장에서, 이 감옥에서 우리를 사 오신 것이며, 이는 죄의 사역으로부터의 온전한 구제(deliverance), 온전한 석방(freedom)을 의미하는 것입니다.
예수님은 보혈(precious blood)이라는 대가를 지불하시고 우리가 메인 죄의 사슬(chain, bond)을 푸심으로써(loosen) 우리를 자유케 하셨습니다. 예수님은 친히 우리를 위해 깨어진 율법의 저주가 되어 우리를 구속하셨습니다(redeem). 이는 예수님의 죽으심이 죄의 감옥, 죽음의 감옥, 지옥의 감옥으로부터의 우리의 온전한 구제, 우리의 온전한 자유를 위해 지불된 속죄 제물(ransom)이 되셨음을 의미합니다.
갈라디아서 5: 1에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“그리스도가 우리를 자유케 하신(set free) 것은 자유를 위함이라. 그러므로 굳건하게 서서(stand firm) 다시는 너희 스스로 종의 멍에(yoke)를 지지 말라”

오늘날 우리 주위에는 진정한 자유를 필요로 하는 사람이 많습니다. 여러분이 아시듯이 모든 종류의 자유는 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만 가능합니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다. 진리를 알지어다. 진리가 너희를 자유케 하리라.”

이는 자유는 오직 진리 안에서 찾을 수 있고 즐길 수 있음을 의미합니다. 그러므로 예수께서는 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다.”

또한 마지막 날, 심판의 날에 예수님께서는 자기의 진정한 추종자들에게, 진정한 제자들에게 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다.

“내가 감옥에 있을 때 너희가 나를 보러 왔었노라.”

그 때 그들은 놀래서 이렇게 묻습니다.

“주님이시여, 언제, 어떻게 그렇게 했습니까?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 자들 중 한 사람이라도 위해서 무슨 일을 하든 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

예, 우리는 능력이 있고 권세(authority)가 있으며 우리는 특권(privilege)이 있고 우리는 축복이 있어 예수 그리스도 안에서 예수 그리스도의 권능에 의해 진정으로 자유를 필요로 하는 사람들과 이런 종류의 자유를 나눌 수 있습니다. 꼭 기억하십시오.
2절에서는 잊지 말라고 말하고, 3절에서는 기억하라고 말합니다. 적어도 이 주일동안 만큼은 이 세 가지 키워드를 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시다. 이 키워드들을 여러분은 기억하십니까? 세 가지 키워드는

i) 사랑
ii) 후덕
iii) 동정심

입니다.

하나님께서 자기의 사랑으로, 자기의 후덕으로, 그리고 자기의 동정심으로 우리를 축복하셔서 우리가 이 세상에서 이 놀라운 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(공감)을 이와 같은 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심을 필요로 하는 사람들과 더불어 나눌 수 있기를 축원합니다. 아멘.
갓 블레스 유, 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도합시다.

             - 아 멘 -
  • May 03 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship (Hebrews 12:25-29)

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Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship

Hebrews 12:25-29 (Pastor Heo)

25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”


Hebrews =

  • Book of Warning / Encouragement
  • Book of Challenge / Assurance

v. 25

“25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?”

In the past, God spoke to the people of Israel through Moses many times. “Obey his word and be blessed.”

As a result of judgment, in the history of Israel, everyone who was 20 and older died in the wilderness except Caleb and Joshua. Imagine that picture 1,000,000+ dead bodies littered the desert. This was the penalty for disobeying God’s command on earth. Yet, imagine how much greater the penalty will be for disobeying his heavenly commands through Jesus.

“…in these last days, God has spoken to us through his son…”

What is the heavenly message of God through Jesus. It is the message of salvation – called “Good news of Great joy for all the people eternally”

This same book makes this clear: “Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of 2-3 witnesses. But how much greater the punishment if a man rejects Jesus Christ.”

We know that Jesus was a transmitter of God’s word, likewise Moses was a mouthpiece of God. However, Jesus himself is God, and his word is God’s word.

John 1 “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God…This word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

The Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth come through Christ. “My word shall never pass away.”

This book Hebrews is a book of warning / encouragement.

  • Warning:
    • If you reject the Law of Moses = great punishment.
    • Also, if you reject the word of Jesus = how much greater punishment you will receive.
  • Encouragement:
    • Obey the law of Moses = much blessing.
    • Likewise, obey the word of Christ, how much more blessing we will receive.

v. 26-27

“26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.”

At that time, when God came down on Mt. Sinai to give the commandments, his voice shook the mount, so that it trembled greatly, and the people shook with fear. Even Moses was terrified and the whole mountain was wrapped with smoke as God was a “consuming fire.” God was so bright, they could not approach. The people said, “If we hear God’s voice directly, we will die.”

This event happened 3500 years ago. At that time, God’s voice shook the earth. All that was then, is no more.

“Once more” what does this mean? In the near future, the final, ultimate, shaking of the earth (like 3500 years ago) will happen. At that time, he will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens and all creation, all visible, created, material things – all these things will be destroyed and disappear. All created things and visible things will be destroyed and a new age will begin again.

As we know, history is the story of the past. There were many kingdoms in the past that were destroyed and disappeared. The Greeks, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, all gone. Like this, our story will become history to future generations today.

Today, there are more than 200 human kingdoms – but someday in the future, they will all be shaken and disappear, and a new age will begin again.

What can remain unshaken when God shakes? NOTHING. There is only one thing: The kingdom of Jesus Christ and the people who belong to it.

So what should we do then?

If we are really wise, we should build our house, our lives on unshakeable ground, unshakeable foundation. What is it? Obedience / surrender / commitment to the word of Christ.

Jesus: “The heavens and earth will disappear, but my word and my kingdom will never disappear. Therefore, anyone who hears and obeys my word is like a wise man who built his house on a rock… It will stand firm because it has its foundation on the rock… All others, like foolish men who built their houses on sand… It fell with a great crash because it had its foundation on sand.”

Remember: ALL visible things will pass away, but HIS word and kingdom will never pass away. God bless us all to belong to his kingdom, truly.

v. 28-29

“28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.””

v. 28 = very clear. Only Jesus kingdom, word, people shall remain as unshakeable forever and ever in eternity. If we are really children of God and people of his kingdom first, then first we must give thanks to God.

“Give thanks under all circumstances” (1 Cor?)

How is this possible? If we have assurance, faith, confidence, then we can give thanks under every and any situation. We must give thanks to God for his faithful answer to our prayer, and also for his provision, and his character qualities, for our brothers and sisters in Christ, our ministry, mission, our jobs, our families, our homes. We must give thanks for what we have and also for what we do not have. We must also give thanks to God for salvation – what he has done for us, and what he is continually doing for us.

If we really belong to the kingdom of Christ, then our total, final job is: WORSHIP.

“…let us be thankful and so worship…”

So worship God with reverence and awe. God is a “consuming fire” – looking for true worshipers.

Romans 12:1-2

“Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God for this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed 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 his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

The moment you were born, God was there as an unseen (smiling) witness to your birth. This gave God great pleasure to see you born.

God had no obligation to create you and me, but he created us for his own enjoyment and pleasure.

So, living for the pleasure of God is your first purpose for your life and my life.

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

We are created to please God. Know that you are not insignificant. You are not meaningless. You are created by God for his purpose, for his pleasure.

God has emotions like we do: he can be angry, sad, merciful, compassionate, hatred, love, pleasure, delight, satisfaction, joy, smiling, laughing.

Bringing pleasure to God = worship.

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, this is your spiritual act of worship.”

A worship service may be like singing, prayer, announcements, communion, offering, decision of commitment, sermon, etc. These all may be part of a worship service, but worship itself is far MORE than just one of those. It should not be only part of my life, but my WHOLE lifestyle.

Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Anything we do can be transformed into an act of worship.

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

How is it possible to do all this to the glory of God?

Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, with all your mind, as working for the Lord, not for man.”

So, to work for the glory of God = to work in WHATEVER we do as if it were FOR him – and carrying an ongoing conversation with him while we do it.

Any action and behavior can be accepted by God as real worship – when he is kept IN it.

Worship is not a performance or ceremony, but our lifestyles as Christians.

Our God is a “consuming fire”. On Mt. Sinai, God came as a consuming fire. But this sentence uses present tense. God IS a consuming fire.

Meaning: The same God of Zion is the same God of Sinai a long time ago. God never changes.

So when we come to worship, we must keep both mountains in view.

  • Mt. Zion,
    • approachable,
    • with all-consuming love
  • Mt. Sinai,
    • unapproachable,
    • all-consuming fire

God is so jealous that if we worship other gods or other things as god, he cannot stand it.

We can approach with reverent confidence and reverent boldness.

Conclusion:

  1. Worship is our lifestyle.
  2. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.
  3. Whatever you do, do it as if you were doing it FOR Jesus.

God bless us to be found not only in church but in the market, in the office, to be found as true worshipers.

Let’s pray.

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