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  • 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
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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.

  • May 10 / 2020
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

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.

  • May 03 / 2020
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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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Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Download Notes in a .MD file

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.

  • Apr 26 / 2020
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race (Hebrews 12:16-24)

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Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race

Hebrews 12:16-24 (Pastor Heo)

16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


The Christian life is like a marathon. Jesus is the perfecter of our faith, the final goal of our faith.

Chp 12 begins “Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles…. let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

One of our terrible sins that we must escape – and one that God also hates – is sexual immorality.

v. 16

“See to it that no one is sexually immoral…”

Sexual immorality should not be tolerated in the church because the church is the body of God. Sexual immorality has the power to destroy us spiritually, physically, emotionally, shamefully. Sexual immorality has devastated countless lives – even nations and churches. God warns us very strongly to protect us from damaging ourselves and others.

This verse gives us a warning against godlessness – with the example of godlessness in the life of Esau.

v. 16-17

“16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.”

[Genesis 25-27]

Esau was the first son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. He was a skillful hunter. One time he came in from the field very hungry, and his brother was cooking stew.

  • He said, “Quick, give me something to eat! I’m starving to death.”
  • Jacob: “Then sell me your birthright.”
  • Esau “I’m gonna die over here, who cares about that birthright?”

He “despised” his birthright in this manner.

Sometime later, Isaac was close to death, blind, and wanted to bless Esau. But Jacob snuck in during that time and was blessed instead. Esau came later and cried, “Is there only one blessing? Bless me as well!” It was too late. He could not turn back the clock.

The Bible gives us Esau an example of godlessness. What was the problem?

Esau seems like not really a bad man. He was a good hunter, he loved his father. Today we also can find Esau around us, maybe even in ourselves. So what was his godlessness?

We must know that this means “life without awareness of, consciousness of, or interest in God.”

It is living in this world for the wants of the flesh and the body and the instinct first, without being able to see what is unseen – to see what is seen only. It is like losing important things (spiritual things) to gain unimportant, temporary things.

“The wrath of God is being revealed in heaven against men … their thinking became futile, their foolish hearts darkened.”

There are two kinds of examples. Esau: bad example that should not be followed.

Q: Are you a good example or not?

God bless us to be good examples to somebody else around us.

How often do you make decisions based on what you want and feel at the moment vs. what you need in the long run?

Impulsiveness can bring heartache and grief, so we must look up because we are running a long distance marathon.

Col 3:1 “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, in heaven.”

How can we continue to look up, to fix our eyes on Christ?

There is a big contrast in the next verses between the old and new covenant – the giving of the Law of Moses vs. the giving of the covenant of grace of Jesus.

v. 18-21

  • Mt. Sinai represents the Old covenant

v. 22-24

  • Mount Zion represents the new covenant given by Jesus Christ.

So we must move from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion.

Mt. Sinai:

v. 18

  • “You have NOT come to a mountain (Sinai)”

v. 22

  • “You have come to Mt. Zion…”

v. 18-21

“18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.””

[Exodus 19-20]

In the third month, after the people left Egypt for the Promised Land, the people arrived at Mt. Sinai. The people camped there, and the Lord came down to give the Law to Moses. The camp was covered with smoke and the Mt. was trembling. The people could not approach nor touch the mtn – even animals would be killed. This means that God was too holy and great for them to approach.

God was an unapproachable, transcendent God.

v. 22-24

“22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Mt. Zion represents the new covenant, the giving of grace by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev “The Deliverer (Savior) will come on Mt. Zion… The Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world is standing on Mt. Zion.”

All Mts in the Bible show us only our sin, but do not provide the remedy for sin. The remedy for sin is provided only in the blood of Jesus Christ.

God is a holy and righteous God – and he cannot grant forgiveness simply on the grounds of a sinner’s repentance. He can forgive and pardon sin only when the penalty is first paid. So, in order to forgive sin, but also have the penalty paid at the same time, Jesus paid the price for us.

Therefore, Jesus’ blood is an absolute necessity for us if we are sinned.

Romans 3:23-34 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” He was given as an atoning sacrifice for us, so that we might be forgiven by putting our trust in him.

In the Old Testament, God was untouchable, unapproachable. But in Jesus Christ, the unapproachable God becomes approachable. The untouchable God becomes touchable.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made its dwelling among us and we have seen his glory.”

We can approach, touch, feel, the presence of God in Jesus Christ, through his word.

There is also here a comparison between the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus Christ.

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Keywords: Jesus, mediator, new covenant, blood, speaks, better word, blood of Abel (almost all words)

This is a comparison between Jesus’ blood and Abel’s blood.

  • Abel was the first person in history whose blood was shed because of his sacrifice.
    • And Jesus is the first, last, and only person whose blood was shed on behalf of the sins of others.

Do you remember Abel? In chp 11, “Abel is still speaking through his blood.”

And Jesus’ blood is speaking better things than the blood of Abel.

What are the differences?

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

  • The blood of Abel spoke from the ground, from the earth and cried out for justice.
    • But the blood of Christ is speaking from heaven and announces mercy and grace for sinners like you and me.
  • The blood of Abel made his brother Cain guilty and drove him away in despair.
    • The blood of Christ set us free from guilt and opened the way to God.
  • The blood of Abel called out for vengeance.
    • The blood of Jesus opens up the way of reconciliation, the way of peace.

The blood of Christ made it possible for us to become friends of God. This is possible only through the blood of Jesus Christ.

That’s why the Bible says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God…” We are also reconciled to God through the blood of Christ.

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice in the Lord always!”

After Jesus came, lived, and died, and rose again, and now lives forever, the God who was very far distant was brought near to us, and we can enjoy his presence at any time through Jesus.

“The blood of Christ purifies us from all sins.”

God bless you to enjoy the power of the blood of Christ through your daily lives.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 19 / 2020
  • Comments Off on We are Spiritual Marathoners (Hebrews 12:12-15)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Spiritual Marathoners (Hebrews 12:12-15)

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We are Spiritual Marathoners

Hebrews 12:12-15 (Pastor Heo)

“12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Warning Against Refusing God

14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

We are in Hebrews. Chp 12 starts as we studied a few weeks ago. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

“Let us run the race…”

We can say that the Christian life in this world is like a spiritual marathon. Do you know about marathons? We know about physical marathons. They are 42.195km. This is a LONG distance. We know how difficult it is to finish this full course well. So, since we know how difficult it is to finish well, when they do finish well, they are filled with a big smile.

Like this, when we finish this race set before us well, we also will be very happy and satisfied.

2 Tim “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, and there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, that the Lord will award to me and to all who have longed for his second appearance.”

Remember, the Christian life is a marathon. God bless us to finish the race well.

v. 12-13

“12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

God is our coach, pushing us beyond our limits.

Yet, difficult times should not cause us to fear, but we are not to be satisfied with only self-survival in mind. We must be good to others to follow Christ very well. We must run tough and hard, very well. We must not choose the easy way for ourselves, but make an easier way for others to believe in Christ – by becoming good examples.

As we know, in every Christian community and society, there are some who are weaker, likely to go astray and abandon the struggle. So it is up to us to put fresh vigor into weak arms and fresh strength into failing feet.

One of life’s greatest privileges is to become an encourager to one who is in despair and a strengthener of one whose strength is failing.

As Christians, we have double-duty – before God and before man. Make your way straight in the sight of men, and God, then we will find favor before God and men. We must have a pure heart before God and an upright life before man. We are long-distance runners in this world.

So, let us run rough and tough together.

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps.”

If we want to become a good example for others, we need discipline, and suffering. We must run hard and run together as co-marathoners in this world.

v. 14

“Make every effort [do your best] to live in peace with all men [even your enemies] and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

This means, without holiness we cannot be saved. Let us run rough and tough and run after peace and holiness. In our marathon, all the time, we must run after peace and holiness.

Peace

Peace is not negative in the Bible – it is intensely positive. God bless us with his peace.

Peace = everything that is made for man’s highest good and happiness (i.e. to be found in obedience to God), also right relationships between God and man, and man and man. Hatred is no more and each person pursues his neighbor’s good.

We must pursue peace with all people in this world. We must have peaceful relationships with our unbelieving relatives and neighbors, our enemies, and people in the church.

Yet, in this imperfect world, we know it is impossible for all men to live together in peace – but we must DO OUR BEST.

  • Romans “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.”
  • Romans 14 “Let us do all we can to bring peace and mutual edification.”
  • Romans 5 “Therefore, we have been justified, so we have peace with God.”

How is this possible? Only through Christ.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons and daughters of God.”

2 Cor “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come.” If you memorize this, you must also memorize the next verse. 18 “All this is from God who reconciled himself to us and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

This means we have been given the ministry of reconciliation – to reconcile people to God and reconcile with other men. We are to be kind, thoughtful, considerate, to help others, pray for others, even for our enemies – even those who hate us.

But the best way to make peace between God and man and man and man: To preach the gospel – the “good news of great joy for all the people.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

Jesus is the author of our peace and the source of our peace. That’s why long ago, before he came, it was prophesied, “He will be called Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah) and in Eph “He himself is our peace.” Only real peace can be found in Jesus Christ.

Holiness

We must be holy. What is the meaning? It is literally: different and separated.

  • “Holiness” applied to God = his moral perfection and the fact that he is totally separated from all humanity and all creation.
  • “Holiness” applied to us = set apart, consecrated, set aside for a purpose.

Remember, the world’s standards are not our standards.

Romans 12 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Our actions, thoughts, concerns, purpose. Our final goal is different.

“Without holiness, no one can see God” because sin always blocks our vision of God. If we want to see God, we must renounce sin and obey God.

Important: We are made holy once for all by the one-time sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are perceived as holy by what Jesus has done for us on the cross and we are called “saints” which means “holy ones.”

But in a practical way, “holiness” means “honoring God in how we treat others” – neighbors, husband, wife, spouse, employees, children, parents, co-workers, and how we run our business, how we behave at work, etc. Holiness causes us to behave differently from unbelievers.

Yes, we must do our best to live at peace with everyone, but at the same time, we must be different (set apart) from the world.

1 John 3:2 “Yes, dear friends, we are now children of God. If we are, though what we will be has not been made know now, yet when he appears we shall be made like him and we shall see him as he really is.” This is the fulfillment of holiness when we finish our marathon course.

This is why we run after peace and holiness.

Finally, we need his grace. Without it, we cannot finish this race well. His grace is essential for us to continue our race and finish very well.

v. 15

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

We must run in the grace of God.

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God” means that it is possible to miss it. Remember, the grace of God does not fail, but we can fail to depend on his grace. The grace of God brings us the opportunity / chance to make our lives what they are meant to be. But we can miss that chance because of our sin, ignorance, laziness, procrastination, and pride. So, against that, we must be on watch in spiritual visions.

Romans 5:20 “Where sin increased, the grace of God increased all the more.” What does this mean? We should not misunderstand this sentence. It does not mean that we should sin more to experience more grace, rather it means that the more we realize HOW MUCH we need his grace, the more we realize HOW GREAT his grace is.

  • “It is by grace that you are saved by faith. It is not of yourselves, but is the gift of God so that no one can boast.”
  • Romans 5:2 “Through Jesus Christ, we have gained access into this grace in which we now stand.”
  • James 4:6 “God gives us more grace, greater grace, but he rejects the proud, but gives more grace to the humble.”

For our daily needs, there is daily grace. For sudden needs, there is sudden grace. For overwhelming needs, there is overwhelming grace. His grace is always available to us.

“Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Remember, his grace is always very near us, but we must be spiritually vigilant to appreciate and enjoy this grace.

Yes, the Christian life is like a marathon. So let us run hard, but let us also run together. Let us run toward peace and holiness. And let us run focusing our eyes on Jesus Christ – only he is the author and perfecter of our faith and he is the final goal of our faith.

God bless you with his peace, holiness, and grace.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Easter, Sermons

Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

2020 Easter Service

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Resurrection power is available for us in our daily lives.

1 Corinthians 15
The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


Christ is Risen! Amen!

Christ is alive in your life all the time? Yes, Christ is risen. He died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is still alive now forever and ever.

Rev “That Jesus is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.”

Yes, Jesus is the reason we celebrate. What power! What love! What victory! What triumph!

v. 1 “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you,”

Every Sunday, I preach the gospel to you, but let me now remind you of the gospel message. It is “Good News” of great joy for all the people, eternally. Yes, every day we need good news, especially nowadays especially in these not good looking situations thanks to corona virus.

Imagine, if a perfect vaccine for corona virus is made and all patients are cured immediately, what good news! Yes, I pray and hope for peace for the suffering of those people with the virus.

But the gospel is so much BETTER news than even that kind of good news.

v. 2 “By this gospel you are saved.”

Gospel is the perfect vaccine for life.

v. 3-4 is clear in the message of the gospel.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

This is very clear. This is the core message of the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation.

Here, we can see twice “according to the Scriptures” (v. 3, 4).

From Genesis to Revelation, this phrase appears only 2 times, here. So what does this mean?

You may think it means, “as prophesied in the OT”, and that is not wrong, but it means so much more than that. It is the summary of the whole Bible – the message, the theme, the main topic of the whole Bible:

  • Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our salvation.

This is what “according to the Scriptures” means.

Now, let me summarize the gospel message.

  • OT: The prophecy of the coming Messiah, his death, and resurrection.
  • Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John): The literal fulfillment of this – and Jesus’ death is a substitutionary death for us. That is why these books are called gospels.
  • Acts: The fruit of the resurrection of Christ: the church (called the body of Christ) – He is the “head” of the church.
    • So the period of time between his resurrection and second coming = the period of Mission – the growth of the church.
  • Revelation: the future, the coming king, the lord of lords, the final God.

There is no gospel message without the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the heart, the core of everything we believe, receive and experience both on earth and in heaven later.

Jesus said, “It is finished.”

He was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah)

God made him who was without sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter: Jesus himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and rise to righteousness.

1 Peter 3:18 Jesus died for the sins of this world, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you and me to God.

Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been reconciled, how much more shall we be saved through his resurrection.” The cross and the resurrection go together all the time, they are inseparable.

Without the resurrection, the cross is a complete failure.

“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised for our life. Who is it that condemns? … He is able to save completely those who come to him.” (Romans?)

Remember, by his resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies, and Satan. He defeated the source of sin, all worry, anxiety, bitterness, the past, the shame, all problems which come from sin. Satan was defeated and conquered and under the feet of Christ. This means, Satan is not “going to” be defeated at some point in the future, but he “was” defeated in the past already. Jesus sealed Satan’s defeat by his resurrection. So we must know that Satan has no power over you and me unless you give power to him. He has no authority unless you give it to him.

Col 2:15 “Jesus Christ has disarmed all powers, authorities, principalities, and has made a public spectal of them, triumphing over them by his cross.”

His resurrection power sets us free from all enemies, from Satan, from sin, from worries, from anxieties, shame, the past, bitterness.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because he lives in you.”

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available in you.

Resurrection power does not come from heaven tomorrow, but is in you now.

Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall live even though he dies.”

This is the resurrection power.

Then, how is it possible to enjoy this resurrection power in our practical lives?

How can we enjoy this?

Let me share HOW we can enjoy this power practically and really this power in our daily lives. Let me share 4 things about this power in our lives.

1. By believing

– By faith we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord, we can experience and enjoy his resurrection power.

We know that resurrection power / life is available for us. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He rose for our salvation. But we must believe it, we must accept it by faith. When you believe it, the truth becomes a reality. We must recognize the reality of God’s spirit living in us and making our mortal lives immortal.

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Behold! The old has gone, the new has come!”

2. By confessing

– With our words, our mouths, our tongues we can enjoy this power.

Speak with your words what you believe in your heart. Your word has power. “My word has power.”

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

Please, every morning when you wake up, declare, “Jesus’ resurrection power is living in me! It is available for me! It is living and working through me today.”

3. By applying

– The name of Jesus Christ, the blood of Christ, the resurrection power to every situation, we can enjoy resurrection power practically.

Yes we know Satan is defeated already. If any challenge or trial comes to you, for example, fears, worries, shame, bitterness, temptation to sin, etc, apply the name of Jesus and declare, “The curse is OVER in my life!” Declare it and act on it.

The enemy is defeated, we know that. He was sealed, we know that. But we must still act on it.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, he will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives in you.”

Practically, this means that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available for you and me, by faith. So, every day, we must apply the blood and name of Christ.

4. By preaching the gospel

– (very important)

Let’s return to the text:

v. 1 “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you”
v. 3 “what I received I passed on to you as of first importance”

Please remember all the time, the gospel is Good News of great joy for the salvation of everyone who believes.

If we accept this, and believe it, we are to preach it to others as well.

If you are saved, the gospel message is passed on to you by somebody.

Why was it passed on to you? In order to BE passed on to others.

Gospel: “Good news” News should be announced. News is news when it is announced and shared with others. That’s why after his resurrection, there was one comment and commission he left for us to do as his followers as of first importance.

Mark: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Amen.

By believing in Christ,
by confessing with our mouth,
by applying the name of Christ, the blood of Christ,
by preaching the good news of Christ,
we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)

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A real child needs discipline for growth

Hebrews 12:5-11 (Pastor Heo)

12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Today’s message is a little solid food for adult children of God. God bless us with this solid food.


Here’s one simple question: very important. Are you a child of God? Are you a daughter / son of God?

Before receiving this passage, we must be clear in this matter – because today’s passage is for the children of God.

If you are sure of your sonship / daughtership of God, then today’s passage is just for you. One keyword: “children / son” this word is repeated 7x.

v. 5 “The word of encouragement that addresses you as sons…”

We must be children of God to receive today’s passage. How can we become children of God. It is very simple, but only in one way. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord can we become children of God.

John 1:12-13 “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be call children of God…”

Only Jesus is the source of our faith – the ground, object, foundation, author, perfecter, pioneer, finisher of our faith. If we are really children of God, he will provide what we need – both in this world and the world that comes next.

However, we must also realize that discipline is essential.

Another keyword: “discipline.” In these 7 verses, the word “discipline” is repeated. The root of “discipline” and “disciple” are the same etymologically. This may have many meanings: punish, rebuke, train, teach, instruct. If we are really children of God, then discipline is essential for our growth and maturity.

Think about your personal experience between father / son, parents / children. Once, we were all children to our fathers and mothers. Today we may be fathers or mothers to our own children today.

v. 9 “moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it… “

If our human fathers are normal and faithful to their human children, they will discipline them. Without discipline, our children may become tyrants. If I let my son do whatever he wants all the time, with no rules, he will become a bad boy, and I will be a bad father.

Sometimes we may feel like spanking our neighbor’s children, and they may feel like spanking our children, but we do not do that. Human fathers only discipline their own children, this shows that the children are their own.

Yes, sometimes human parents discipline children when they should not, or in the wrong way. And sometimes they do not discipline when they should. No human fathers are perfect but they do their best in the time the have with their children. And this human imperfection reminds us of the perfection of our heavenly father.

v. 8 “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

At that time: “illegitimate children” were from slave girls or concubines. They received no recognition from their fathers, no discipline, no inheritance.

So, if we are disciplined by God, we can be encouraged that we really are children of God. “…if indeed we share in his sufferings that we may share in his glory. We know that our current sufferings cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans)

God disciplines only adult children, those he loves.

Also, as parents, we do not discipline infants – we only care for them.

And so if we are disciplined by God, it shows that we are growing and maturing and given adult standing in God’s family.

In our personal experience, there are many kinds of discipline, but let me say according to the Bible, roughly speaking, there are three kinds of discipline:

1. Corrective discipline

When we sin or do wrong we can receive corrective discipline – because he is our father and loves us.

When he disciplines us, he is not happy, he doesn’t enjoy it, he feels pain. But he disciplines us when we do wrong, when we sin, because he wants us to grow and mature.

King David is a good example of this. We know some of his stories.

He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband Uriah killed in the battlefield to hide his sin. But God knew, and like this we can hide nothing from God.

Then, his son Amnon raped his half sister. Absolom killed him, then rebelled against David to become king.

This was STEEP correction – but through this, David learned much and grew in grace. He confessed, “My God, my God, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, and cleanse me from my sin. I know my sin. I was sinful at birth from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Yes, through this terrible experience, David grew in knowing God more. God disciplined David because he loved him so much, he was a son to God.

2. Preventative discipline

The apostle Paul is a good example of this. We know he was very dedicated and committed for his whole life to preaching the gospel. He was humble. Nevertheless, God gave him a thorn in his body to keep him from becoming conceited due to the great revelations he had from God. God allowed him to have weakness and sickness to keep him humble. Paul prayed 3 times to remove this weakness, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul confessed, “For Christ’s sake, I rejoice in my weakness, in my difficulties, in my persecutions, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Through his physical weakness, he experienced the power of Jesus Christ manifested and demonstrated through his weakness.

3. Educational discipline

Job is a good example of this. God gave him to us as a good example of patience, perseverance, and endurance. Recently, today, we need these more than ever.

Job was blameless, upright, feared God, worshiped God sincerely, shunned evil. God was so proud of him even before Satan. But Satan challenged this, “Does Job fear you for nothing? If you take away all the blessings you’ve given him, then he will stop worshiping you.”

God said, “OK, strike him, but spare his life.” So Satan afflicted him.

Usually, discipline comes because we are doing poorly. But also sometimes, discipline can come because we are doing so well.

Job was a spiritual athlete. Because of his excellence, God brought a greater challenge to him so that he might rise to higher levels of spirituality.

In the later chapters of Job, “God knows the levels he is testing me, and when I come out of the fire, I will come out as gold.”

When God disciplines us, Satan tempts us to believe, “God doesn’t care for me, he has left me.” Actually, the very opposite is true. He disciplines us because he is with us, loves us, cares for us, and he wants us to grow and grow and grow until we are like Jesus in our character and attitude.

What are the benefits of discipline? There are many, but we should remember God’s right discipline in the right time, in the right way.

God’s discipline is always for our good, for our highest good. “God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good.”

God’s discipline is always to our advantage. Here are some advantages to our discipline, sufferings, and difficulties, and problems. In this world, we cannot escape these things, but we must be able to respond positively by faith.

1. Helps us to look upward and forward instead of inward

God provides patience, endurance, good character, hope, love in our suffering.

Romans “Therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have gained access to this grace in which we now stand. We rejoice in the glory of God and also in our sufferings, which produces patience, endurance, character, and hope, which does not disappoint us because God has poured his love into our hearts.”

2. We can trust in God’s sovereignty for our lives

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

3. Sufferings enable us to help others who are suffering

2 Cor 1:4 “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we may comfort others in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

For children, remember, discipline is essential. But discipline is not the purpose, it is only the means.

What is the purpose of God? Let’s see the last two verses:

v. 10-12 “but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

God’s plan for us is righteousness, peace, joy and holiness, sharing in his nature.

So, what about this world around us? Why do we need discipline? To live a righteous life in this unrighteous world; to live peaceful; to live holy; to live godly life in this ungodly world. So, we must continually focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us continue running with patience this race set before us. God loves you so much and desires we grow and grow and grow without stop until we become like our example, Jesus Christ.

God bless you to be victorious in living a Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 29 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)
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The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)

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The conclusion of Chapter 11: Faith

Hebrews 12:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

God Disciplines His Sons

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Altogether, we must do it together.

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

v. 1

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

We are like runners, athletes, marathon runners.

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

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

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

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

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

2. We have witnesses / inspiration

v. 1

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

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

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

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

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

3. We have handicaps / weaknesses

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

v. 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…let us throw off every [weight]…”

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

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

4. We have means / method to endure

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

– endurance, perseverance

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

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

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

The conclusion: Jesus Christ

The answer to all the questions: Jesus Christ

v. 2-4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 4

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

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

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

He is an example and an enabler.

v. 3

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

Why / how could he do that and for what?

v. 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, today, what is our joy?

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

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

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

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

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

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By faith let us stand firm to the end

Hebrews 11:35-40 (Pastor Heo)

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

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


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

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


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

Faith has the power of balance.

Faith is unconditional.

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

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

Today, the story looks the opposite.

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

Faith provides empowerment.

To persevere and endure in suffering.

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

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

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

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

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

v. 36-37

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith looks to the future – to eternity

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

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

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

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

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

v. 38

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

The world was not worthy of them…

This sentence is very short, but VERY powerful.

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

Paul: a good illustration of this.

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

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

Example:

A container + a thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. 39-40

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

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

v 39 and v 2 are similar:

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

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

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

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

Hebrews is the book of better:

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

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

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

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

Faith is personal, individual, and private.

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

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

Faith is also social.

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

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

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

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

If we have faith, we can live without fear.

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

Jesus challenges us in this.

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 15 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)
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By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)

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Hallelujah!

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

Hebrews 11:32-34

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

And what more shall I say? ….

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


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

“By faith, we can experience victory!”

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

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

v. 32

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

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

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

Gideon

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

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

Barak

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

Samson

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

David

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

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

Samuel

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

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

The Prophets

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

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

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

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

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

In this passage, we see 8 examples:

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

Joshua experienced this wonderful victory and power against their enemies.

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

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

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

1. Victories against enemies

We also can experience this by faith in Christ

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

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

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

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

There is no longer any condemnation through Christ.

1. Victory through faith

2. God can deliver the faithful man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By faith, we can experience victory!

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

God wants to save someone through you

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scarlet = blood color

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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