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  • Dec 20 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Meaning of Christmas (John 1:14)
Christmas, Sermons

The Meaning of Christmas (John 1:14)

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< The meaning of Christmas >

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

0. The meaning of Christmas

When we celebrate Christmas every year, what do people usually do to celebrate?

We may sing Christmas carols, decorate the Christmas tree, exchange gifts, and so much more.

But of the many people who celebrate Christmas, relatively few know the true meaning of Christmas. So for this Christmas service, I’m going to share a message titled “The meaning of Christmas” from John Chapter 1.

1. Who is Jesus?

John 1:1-4

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Christmas is the day we celebrate the human birth of Jesus.

In other words, this the day set aside on the Christian calendar for Jesus’ birthday.

But why is Jesus’ birth so important? We need to know who Jesus is, the master of Christmas.

Jesus has the same divinity as God.

Jesus was with God in eternity before the creation of the world.

He is the source of all things. Through him all things were created, and even now, he is sustaining all Creation. There is light and life in him.

2. What is human existence?

John 1:9-13

9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband`s will, but born of God.

Jesus came to the people as light and life.

But people did not recognize Jesus, and they did not confess him as their savior.

Therefore, those who do not recognize Jesus, the master and source of life, are defined as sinners by the holy God. But for those who confess Jesus as their savior, God no longer sees them as sinners. Rather, God has given them the right and privilege to be called his children, the children of God. This confession of faith in Jesus Christ is the dividing standard between God’s children and sinners, or non-believers.

3. What is the church?

If you have confessed Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have been recognized as a child of God through this confession which is based on your faith.

The problem with your sins has been solved through your faith in Jesus.

So then, why does the church exist, if the problem of sin has disappeared through faith in Christ?

In John chapter 1, John testifies about the light and life in Jesus.

And this light and life is bestowed abundantly upon the church due to the grace of Jesus.

The church is a community of people who believe in Jesus Christ, and the reason the church exists is because Jesus remains with us and in us and continually gives us grace. Jesus wants Christians to gather, so that his light and life will be passed on to the world through the church.

4. Why did the Word become flesh?

John 1:14; 17-18

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father`s side, has made him known.

It is very important for us to know why Jesus came to us in flesh.

First, we must look at the meaning of “flesh” in verse 14. 

“Flesh” is a term for “finite human expression” and is distinguished from the eternal being of God.

The Christian idea that God can come down to Earth in flesh and achieve salvation for us was ridiculed by the religious thought leaders in the surrounding world at the time John wrote his gospel. But nevertheless, the Christian church continued to strongly testify about Christ in this way.

If we read the Old Testament, we can see the truth that “no one can see God.”

But in Jesus, something amazing happened. God revealed himself to man in a physical representation. This was God’s self-revelation. This is Jesus Christ.

God came to us in the form of a human being in order to save our lives. God, the creator of all things, humbled himself and took on the appearance of one of his own creations to commune with his creation, to have fellowship with us, to empathize with us, and ultimately to rescue us from sin and death. This is God’s amazing grace for us.

5. What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

To believe in Jesus is to make a complete acknowledgement of God’s self-revelation, in the form of Jesus, where the Word of God has become flesh. It is to open ourselves completely to Jesus, to submit our lives, our will, our hopes and plans, our future, our destiny to him, and obey him completely and wholeheartedly. So let us celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time and confess him as our Savior!

‘I welcome Jesus as the King of Hope!’
‘I welcome Jesus as the King of Peace!’
‘I welcome Jesus as the King of Love!’
‘I welcome Jesus as the King of Joy!’
‘I welcome Jesus as the King of Kings!’


< 성탄절의 의미 >

14 말씀이 육신이 되어 우리 가운데 거하시매 우리가 그의 영광을 보니 아버지의 독생자의 영광이요 은혜와 진리가 충만하더라

요한복음 1:14

0. 성탄절의 의미

 우리는 매년 성탄절을 맞이합니다.

사람들은 성탄절에 보통 무엇을 할까요?

크리스마스 캐롤 부르기, 크리스마스 트리 장식, 선물 교환 등이 있습니다.

그러나 성탄절의 의미를 잘 알고 있는 사람은 많지 않습니다.

오늘은 <성탄절의 의미>라는 제목으로 요한복음 1장의 말씀을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

1. 예수님은 누구신가?

요한복음 1:1-4

1 태초에 말씀이 계시니라 이 말씀이 하나님과 함께 계셨으니 이 말씀은 곧 하나님이시니라 2 그가 태초에 하나님과 함께 계셨고 3 만물이 그로 말미암아 지은 바 되었으니 지은 것이 하나도 그가 없이는 된 것이 없느니라 4 그 안에 생명이 있었으니 이 생명은 사람들의 빛이라

성탄절은 예수님의 탄생을 축하하는 날입니다.

즉, 이 날은 예수님의 생일입니다.

우리는 성탄절의 주인인 예수님이 누구이신지 알아야 합니다.

예수님은 하나님과 동등한 위격을 가지고 있습니다.

예수님은 세계 창조 이전의 영원에서 하나님과 함께 계셨습니다.

예수님은 모든 만물의 근원이시며, 그 분 안에는 빛과 생명이 있습니다.

2. 사람은 무엇인가?

요한복음 1:9-13

9 참 빛 곧 세상에 와서 각 사람에게 비추는 빛이 있었나니 10 그가 세상에 계셨으며 세상은 그로 말미암아 지은 바 되었으되 세상이 그를 알지 못하였고 11 자기 땅에 오매 자기 백성이 영접하지 아니하였으나 12 영접하는 자 곧 그 이름을 믿는 자들에게는 하나님의 자녀가 되는 권세를 주셨으니 13 이는 혈통으로나 육정으로나 사람의 뜻으로 나지 아니하고 오직 하나님께로부터 난 자들이니라

예수님은 빛과 생명으로 사람들에게 찾아오셨습니다.

그러나 사람들은 예수님을 알지 못했고, 예수님을 그들의 구원자로 고백하지 않았습니다.

하나님은 자신의 생명의 주인과 근원인 예수님을 모르는 사람들을 죄인으로 규정하셨습니다.

그러나 하나님은 예수님을 자신의 구원자로 고백하는 사람들을 더 이상 죄인이라 부르지 않았습니다. 오히려 하나님은 그들에게 하나님의 자녀가 되는 권세를 주셨습니다.

이 고백은 하나님의 자녀와 죄인을 규정하는 기준이 됩니다.

3. 교회는 무엇인가?

 당신은 예수님에 대한 개인적인 고백을 통해 하나님의 자녀로 인정받게 되었습니다.

당신의 죄과 관련된 문제가 예수님에 대한 당신의 믿음을 통해 해결된 것입니다.

그렇다면 죄에 대한 문제가 사라졌는데도 불구하고 교회가 존재하는 이유는 무엇일까요?

요한복음은 예수님 안에 있는 생명과 빛에 대해 증언합니다.

예수님의 은혜로 생명과 빛이 각 교회의 몫에 따라 나누어집니다.

교회는 예수 그리스도를 믿는 사람들의 공동체입니다.

교회가 존재하는 이유는 예수님이 우리 안에 계시면서 은혜를 주고 계시기 때문입니다.

예수님은 그리스도인들이 모이기를 원하시며, 교회를 통해 생명과 빛이 세상에 전해지길 원하십니다.

4. 말씀이 육신이 된 이유는?

요한복음 1:14; 17-18

14 말씀이 육신이 되어 우리 가운데 거하시매 우리가 그의 영광을 보니 아버지의 독생자의 영광이요 은혜와 진리가 충만하더라

17 율법은 모세로 말미암아 주어진 것이요 은혜와 진리는 예수 그리스도로 말미암아 온 것이라 18 본래 하나님을 본 사람이 없으되 아버지 품 속에 있는 독생하신 하나님이 나타내셨느니라

왜 예수님이 육신으로 우리에게 오셨는지 아는 것은 매우 중요합니다.

가장 먼저 14절에 나타나는 “육신”에 대한 의미를 알아보아야 합니다.

“육신”은 유한한 인간 존재에 대한 표현으로 하나님의 영원하신 존재와 구별됩니다.

하나님이 이 육신의 차원으로 내려와서 구원을 이루실 수 있다는 그리스도교 사상은 요한복음 저자의 주변 세계의 종교 사상에서 비웃음 거리였습니다.

그러나 그리스도교 교회는 바로 이것을 강력하게 증언하였습니다.

우리는 구약성경을 통해 어떤 사람도 하나님을 볼 수 없다는 사실을 알 수 있습니다.

그런데 놀라운 일이 일어났습니다.

하나님이 스스로를 사람에게 드러내신 것입니다.

이것이 하나님의 자기 계시입니다.

이것이 바로 예수 그리스도입니다.

하나님은 우리의 생명을 살리기 위해, 육신의 형태로 우리에게 오셨습니다.

창조자인 하나님께서 피조물인 사람의 모습으로 나타나셨습니다.

이것이 바로 우리를 향한 하나님의 놀라운 은혜 입니다.

5. 예수님을 믿는다는 것은 무엇인가?

 예수님을 믿는다는 것은 무엇입니까?

그것은 말씀이 육신이 되어 온, 예수님의 자기 계시를 전적으로 인정하는 것 입니다.

예수님께 완전히 우리 자신을 개방하고 그 분에게 복종하는 것 입니다.

우리 이 시간, 예수님의 탄생을 축하하며 그 분을 나의 구원자로 고백합시다!

‘나는 소망의 왕으로 오신 예수님을 환영합니다’
‘나는 평화의 왕으로 오신 예수님을 환영합니다’
‘나는 사랑의 왕으로 오신 예수님을 환영합니다’
‘나는 기쁨의 왕으로 오신 예수님을 환영합니다’
‘나는 만왕의 왕으로 오신 예수님을 환영합니다’

  • Dec 23 / 2018
  • Comments Off on What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)

Download Notes in a .MD file

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming?

Matthew 2:1-11 (Pastor Heo)

The Visit of the Magi

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were **overjoyed**. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.


Merry Christmas!

I wish you a Merry Christmas, yes, but I also want to ask you a question: to whom can Christmas become really Christmas? Is Christmas really a merry Christmas to you?

We know the spelling of “Christmas” = “Christ” + “mass”

  1. “Christ” = Greek christos (The Anointed One, the Promised Messiah, the offices of King, Prophet, Priest)
  2. “Mass” = Latin? mas or mista? (this means “worship”)
  • So, “Christmas” = “worship Christ”
  • “Merry Christmas” = “worship Christ merrily”

So, when you greet others, please let them know the REAL meaning of Christmas. Please, bless your neighbor with “Merry Christmas” from your deep heart.

Based on this story, not only at THAT time, but even today, there are 3 reactions of man toward Jesus’ coming.

When hearing these, consider: which is mine?

# 3 Reactions to Jesus’ Coming

1. Reaction of Herod

Hatred / anger / fear

He was a temporary king, and was so afraid of a “real” king that he gave orders to kill ALL the baby boys in that area under 2 years old. He was afraid that this little baby would interfere with his power, position, influence, etc. So, he wanted to kill the baby Jesus.

Even today, there are those who want to (spiritually) kill Jesus – even in their attitudes – because they wish to do whatever they like / want to do. But Jesus will not allow them to.

The man who only wants to do whatever he wants has no use for Jesus Christ.

The coming of Christ is the greatest challenge in this world.

Imagine if I say: “Change your job / hobby / health / hairstyle / weight / etc” – this may be a big challenge and he will be angry at me.

But Jesus’ coming can be the GREATEST challenge and attack to his life. This means: “Change your Lord / Savior / Master / life purpose / priorities / etc”

Please remember, the Christian in the one who has STOPPED doing only what he likes and has committed himself to doing what CHRIST likes and wants.

This is the true identity of a Christian in front of Christ.

2. Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law

Indifference / apathy

At that time, they were so engrossed in their own temple actions and rituals that they completely disregarded Jesus Christ. Jesus meant NOTHING to them.

This is a strange story.

The chief priests were the MOST religious leaders, so their FIRST concern should be God. But when God became man, they missed it.

The teachers of the Law were doctors and masters and professors in the matter of Scripture. The theme of the Scriptures is the Messiah to come – but when the Messiah himself CAME, they did not recognize it. How sad!

Imagine:

  • they spend their WHOLE lives studying Scripture and
  • the WHOLE topic of Scripture is Jesus Christ,
  • but they MISSED Christ.

This is also possible today:

Someone spends his WHOLE life and activity attending church, but he missed Christ.

Thus, a Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ. Please, do not forget: A Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ.

A believer’s first purpose, first interest should be Jesus Christ.

3. Reaction of the Magi

(wise men from the East)

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

God bless you to be wise men.

  • Say, “I’m wise…”
  • Tell your neighbor, “You look so wise!”

Jesus says in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7) “Anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. When the rains come and the winds blow, the house remains standing because it is built on the rock – with a firm foundation…”

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

Yes, our life in this world is a journey. On coming to the house (3 or more? because there are 3 kinds of gifts), they saw Mary and Jesus (maybe Joseph as well) – but they worshiped Jesus ONLY.

Joseph and Mary are NOT the objects of our worship. Worship belongs to God alone – this means that we recognize that Jesus is God – the very nature God.

When we recognize the love of God IN Jesus Christ, we also should be lost in wonder and praise.

  • They came to worship Christ as their best gifts.
  • We must know that for our worship to be true worship, we must give Jesus our best gifts as well.

Gifts of the Magi

They knelt down and worshiped him with their BEST gifts. These are very symbolic gifts: characteristic of his ministry and person:

1. Gold = for a KING

Jesus was born to be King of the world

Whether he or she knows it or not, EVERYONE has their own king.

Jesus is to rule over our whole hearts and lives – he is our personal king. Before we can be best friends with Jesus Christ, we must submit to him. When we say, “Jesus is my King” it means we are totally ready to give our complete submission to him and to kneel down before him.

What is the gold you will give Jesus today?

2. Incense (frankincense) = for PRIESTS

This perfume was used in the temple.

We know the main job of the priest was to open the way for God to man. “Pontifax” = bridge builder = between God and man.

Because of sin, there is a big gap between God and man. This is what Jesus did. Jesus opened the way to God for us. But he did not say, “I made the way to God for you.” But rather he said, “I AM the way.”

“No one comes to the Father except by me.” He is:

  • Wonderful Counselor,
  • Mighty God,
  • Everlasting Father,
  • Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

3. Myrrh = to embalm the one who was to die (PROPHECY)

Jesus came into the world to live for us and then to die for us. He came to give his best for us, and his death for us.

He gave us his BEST gift, so it is only natural (our privilege) to also give OUR best gift to him. Isn’t that just logical?

Jesus: “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for all people.”

Remember, since the creation of the heavens and earth, Jesus is the ONLY person whose ancestry, birth time, place, manner, reception, rejection, suffering, persecution, crucifixion, resurrection was ALL prophesied – even hundreds of years before he was born.

This means that Jesus is the CENTER of the world’s desire, the keystone, the foundation, the cornerstone of ALL prophecy from the creation of the world.

So, the WISEST man is the one who gives his BEST to Jesus.

There is hope.

The WISEST gives Jesus his BEST.

To give to Jesus is the BEST investment, the best insurance, the best savings, the best deposit in eternity and for eternity.

How and for what do you spend your

  • Time,
  • Treasures, and
  • Talents?

Merry Christmas! (Really?)

Yes, I wish a Merry Christmas to all of us until we stand before Christ as Lord and God.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 20 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015


12.20.2015

12.20.2015-PHeo

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  • Dec 21 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Immanuel (Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20) – Christmas 2014
Christmas, Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Immanuel (Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20) – Christmas 2014

12.21.christmas

12.21.2014-PHeo-Christmas

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Immanuel (Christmas 2014)

Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20 (Pastor Heo)

23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


 

The key message of Christmas is “God With Us”. How is this possible? By nature, we have no right/authority for God to be with us.

  • God is spirit, we are physical.
  • God is Creator, we are his Creations.
  • God is in heaven and heavenly, we are on the earth and earthly.
  • God is absolutely pure and holy, all human beings are totally unclean and sinful.
  • By nature, God is unreachable, unapproachable. Then how is it possible that God is with us, among us, and IN us?

That became possible by the Christmas story, by Jesus coming into the world as a FULL man, as a person.

John 1:14 “God became man and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory. The glory of his one and only Son.”

  • Q: Do you recognize, enjoy, experience that God is with you wherever you are and whatever you do?
  • Q: If “yes”, how much does this fact affect you and your daily life?

In the Bible, the word Immanuel has different meanings – there are 5 levels in the Bible.

Let me share with you these 5 kinds of Immanuel in the Bible.

#1: Level 1 – one-dimensional Immanuel (“God with us”) – applied to ALL Creation.

God is with ALL things – living and unliving, all his things and Creations, he is “with” them.

God is with men, bad men, women, trees, stars, the sun, moon, birds, mountains, fish, everything, everywhere, God is “with” those BECAUSE God is Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, Governor over all things.

  • Eph 4:6 “There is only One God, the Father of all who is above all, and in all, and through all.”
  • Heb 1:3 “The Son, Jesus, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being, and is sustaining ALL things with his powerful Word.”

#2: Level 2 – two-dimensional Immanuel

Applied to only human beings – ALL human beings. Yes, God is with ALL human beings, believers and non-, good and bad, the saved, the lost, ALL men.

There’s no place we can be hidden from God. We cannot flee from the presence of God.

Unbelievers do not know/recognize God’s being “with” them BUT regardless of their ignorance that God is with them, he IS with them.

“God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain and snow on the righteous and unrighteous – and causes money and blessings to come to the believers and unbelievers alike.” (Proverbs?)

This unlimited favor to ALL human beings = “General Grace”

#3: Level 3 – three-dimensional Immanuel

Applied only to believers – those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, Lord, and God.

This Immanuel guarantees no penalty for sin, and guarantees special freedom in Truth. And absolute heavenly peace and joy and intimate relationship and fellowship with God and the right to pray (directly to him) anytime, everytime. We have access to God with confidence and assurance to get help in our time of need.

  • Jesus says, “I give you eternal life. You shall never perish. No one can snatch you out of my hand.” (John’s gospel)
  • Jesus says, “My Father who has given you to me is greater than ALL so that no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
  • Immanuel God promised, “I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you.” This promise given only to believers is called “Special Grace.”

#4: Level 4 – four-dimensional Immanuel

The BEST/highest Immanuel that we, true Christians can experience in this world.

This Immanuel is applied to only evangelists, preachers of the gospel – to make disciples of ALL nations.

Matthew 28:18-20 = The “Great Commission” for world salvation and evanglization.

“All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go, baptizing all men in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you, and surely I am with you always until the very end of the age.”

“…to the very end of the age.” = There is a limitation in time – ONLY until the end of this “age.”

It means, this kind of Immanuel is applied ONLY in this “age” and it means that this Immanuel will be no more after the end of this age.

This kind of Immanuel is applied only (1) in this age, (2) to true believers who (3) go and preach the Word to all nations.

Q: What is the effect of this 4-dimensional Immanuel? This is where the power and authority of Jesus Christ is revealed through the people who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Example: Moses:

  • God called Moses and said, “Go to Pharaoh and save my people out of Egypt.” This means (today) “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
  • God gave him a promise – the best promise he could give him that “I will be WITH you always.”

This promise was a 4-dimensional Immanuel promise. This means, Moses became LIKE God before Pharaoh, before the people, before his brother Aaron.

Moses performed 10 miracles before Pharaoh. After coming out of Egypt, in front of the Red Sea, Moses raised his staff and stretched out his hand and the Red Sea was divided and they crossed by walking on foot.

Later, Moses made drinking water out of the rock. Moses performed many miracles. God’s promise “I will be WITH you” meant “my power will be done/manifested through you as long as you DO the mission I gave you.”

Today, in our time, this is the same.

Jesus says, “All authority is mine… Therefore, GO, and make disciples of all nations… Surely I am always WITH you to the very end of the age.”

This means, whenever you “go and make disciples” Jesus authority will be manifested through YOU who preach the gospel of salvation.

#5: Level 5 – five-dimensional Immanuel

Applied in the LITERAL heaven – in the world to come after this world. This means the redemption of our bodies. We will be LIKE Jesus – seeing him face-to-face – in heaven forever and ever.

At that time, we will receive spiritual, heavenly, immortal, glorious, radiant, REAL, recognizable as the SAME person – bodies.

1 Thess 16:17 “The Lord (Jesus) will come back again from heaven with a loud command with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and then the dead in Christ will be raised first. And we who are alive in Christ will be caught up in the air to receive him in the air, and we will be caught up to heaven and be with him forever and ever.”

May God bless all of us with Immanuel God.

“God be WITH us.”

Remember and enjoy abundantly this last sentence: God is WITH you IN Christ Jesus who was

  1. born for us,
  2. died for us,
  3. was raised for us, and
  4. will come back for us, and
  5. live with us forever and ever Amen.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 22 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Christmas Story is…! (Luke 2:10-11) – Christmas 2013
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Christmas Story is…! (Luke 2:10-11) – Christmas 2013

12.22

12.22.2013 Christmas Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

These two verses are one of the shortest and clearest verses of the Christmas story in the Bible.

Evangelion = gospel = bokeum

This morning = what the story of Christmas is.

What the gospel is in 3 things.

#1: The Christmas story = NEWS (Good news) What kind of news? Good news! of Great Joy! for ALL the people! Forever! Eternally!

Every day there is news. We don’t pass even one day without news. International news, domestic, regional, local, family news, etc.

Think about ALL the news we receive or hear everyday. How many of them are joyful? Good? The majority of the news in this world are NOT good. Rather terrible, ugly, sad, bad news… Sometimes there is good news – SOME – but there is never joyful news to ALL the people at the SAME time.

For example, the news that country A defeated country B in the World Cup = good news to country A, but bad news to country B. It’s the same news, but different for different people. This same news to MANY countries is uninteresting, neither good nor bad.

The news that my son is in the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1% of schools with a FULL ride scholarship is AMAZING news to me and my family!!! But what happens at the same time to some other people? IF it had not been for my son, the SECOND place student would have been #1. THIRD place would have been #2. FOURTH would have been #3. And so on… Finally, the student who failed, would have passed…

The point: In this world, there is NO news that is joyful, good, grateful to ALL people FOREVER. (Except of course, THIS news… the GOSPEL.)

The Christmas story is the gospel. Gospel = the one and only Good News of Great Joy for all the people forever and ever.

That news is that Jesus was born! (Happy birthday!) The news that Christ came into the world. God became Man to give us eternal, abundant, joyful life.

#2: Christmas story = gospel. Gospel = history.

This event, Luke 2, REALLY happened, 2,000 years ago on a certain day which was called “today” in a town in Bethlehem. This is a historic FACT – a reality. This is the BIGGEST, GREATEST event since the Creation of the world. As the history of all histories, as the event of all events, this is the standard for ALL other stories and events and histories. We call this year “2013” on what basis? On the GROUND of THIS event.

Each of us has his own history – bio-data.

What year I was born, when I graduated, when I started/finished something, when I married, etc. On what grounds can you say your own personal history? On THIS SINGLE event.

We say World War II finished in 1945. When is 1945 really? On what ground do we call it 1945? Before Christ = B.C. After Christ (A.D.) The Old Testament and the New Testament are divided on what grounds? THIS EVENT.

ALL history is divided by Christ’s birth. He is the central figure of ALL history.

If I say a certain date, do you remember what happened? July 29, 1969? On that day, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

The President of the U.S. at that time (Nixon) stated (regarding this marvelous event), “The greatest event in human history happened when man first put his foot on the moon.” But later, Aldreen? another astronaut reacted on Nixon’s statement. “God, in Christ, stood on the Earth. The most marvelous accomplishment in all of human history is not that man stood on the moon, but that God stood on the earth.”

The greatest history and experience in all of human history is when God, in Christ, came to earth and planted his feet on this soil. Amen.

Christmas story as history = God, as Christ, came to Earth and put his Word in our hearts to seek and save the lost.

#3: Christmas story = gospel. Gospel = prophecy.

This is the foretelling about the future on the grounds of the present.

The manger – with a baby lying in it wrapped in clothes – the angel did not say, “A baby was born in a poor and pitiful condition. Let’s help that poor and pitiful family. Let’s take pity on them.”

Rather the angel said, “A SAVIOR has been born to you. He is Christ, the LORD.”

They, at that time, should wait at least 30 years from this event to see this same baby grown up as a man, to appear and act as a Savior, Christ, Lord, publicly.

The gospel message, the Christmas story is a prophecy. 

The shortest gospel message = “Repent! And believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you will receive eternal life, abundant life!”

“Repent and believe!” When? Now!

“Now is the day of salvation and you will be saved!” When? Now! (And forever, and forever, until eternity.)

The Christmas story is the gospel, it is news, it is history, it is prophecy. 

The gospel is the greatest prophecy which reaches eternity in its fulfillment and fruit.

********

  1. News = today’s story.
  2. History = yesterday’s story.
  3. Prophecy = tomorrow’s story.

********

In this world, there is NO story that is yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s story at once.

  • There is no news that is history that is prophecy.
  • There is no history that is news and that is prophecy.
  • There is no prophecy that is news and history.

For example, World War II is history, but not news for today – not prophecy for tomorrow.

But the gospel is ALL these things.

If you say the Christmas story, the gospel message to others:

  • You are heaven’s announcer.
  • You are the greatest historian.
  • You are a perfectly infallible prophet. Wow.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow in saving the believing sinners and giving freedom, peace, joy, and abundantly eternal LIFE.

This is the Christmas story, the gospel message. May God bless all of us with the Christmas story from now, until forever, in Jesus’ name.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 23 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Peace to You – Christmas 2012 (Luke 2:14)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Peace to You – Christmas 2012 (Luke 2:14)

12.23

Bulletin_12.23.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

christmas-bg-2012

Jesus came to give us peace – eternal peace, heavenly, earthly, peace.

Do you have peace now?

  • Chinese greeting is “Ni hao ma?”
  • Tagalog is “Como esta…?”
  • Tanzania is “….”
  • English is “How are you?”
  • Korean is “Annyonhasayo?”

Secular greetings ask questions with uncertainty.

Christian greeting is a blessing, proclaiming with certainty.

“Peace to you!”

After Genesis 3, the Fall, sin, all men became peaceless, restless wanderers.
Apart from God, anyone, everyone, is peaceless and a wanderer, true peace cannot be found in this world.

True peace, heavenly peace can only be found in Jesus Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, I do not give as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” – Jesus

Ephesians 2:14 ‘Jesus Christ himself is our peace, he has made the two one…’

  • This world says, “If you want peace…prepare for war!”
  • The Bible says, “If you want peace…proclaim for Christ!”

#1 Now, I bless that you and I may have peace with God.

Romans “Therefore since we have been justified by grace through faith into this peace in which we now stand…we have peace with God…”

2 Corinthians 5:25 “Be reconciled to God.”

How can we have peace with God?
There is only one way, only one condition. By believing Christ as our Lord, proclaiming that he is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, we can have peace with God.

By turning away from sin, and TO God in Christ in our deep hearts, we can have peace with God.

And then, possessing this true peace with God, Proverbs says, “peace of mind, heart, conscience.”

#2 Bless that you may have peace with others – with our neighbors.

How can we have peace with our co-workers, brothers, neighbors, people on the street?

We can have peace with others by blessing others with peace.

Matthew 10:12 “As you enter the home, speak your peace. If that home is deserving, leave your peace there, if not, let it return to you.”

And we can have peace with other by forgiving them and accepting them as Jesus did with us.

Matthew 6:14 “If you forgive man when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your sins. BUT, if you do not forgive, your Heavenly Father will NEVER forgive your sins.”

In the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
So, we must remember that even very difficult people for us to forgive are the very people for whom Jesus came to die.

Also, we can have peace with others by remembering that judgment and avenging are God’s job, not our job.
Please remember humans, our neighbors, are not objects to fight against, but to live together with in peace.

Romans 12:18-19, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with EVERYONE, but leave room for God’s wrath, for as it is written: ‘I will repay’ says the Lord God.”

#3 Bless that we may become peacemakers (peace creators)

Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God in this world.”

How can we become peace makers in this world?

We can become peace makers by making Christ, the Prince of Peace, known to this world, by proclaiming the Gospel of Peace.

2 Cor 5:18 “God reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

“Peace to you!”
So, like this, when we have peace with God, peace of heart, conscience, mind, peace with others, it will be glory to God.

Glory to God!
Peace to you and us!

God bless you in Jesus name.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 25 / 2011
  • Comments Off on Salvation & Mission (1 Timothy 1:15) AKA Return to Sender? (Christmas 2011)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Salvation & Mission (1 Timothy 1:15) AKA Return to Sender? (Christmas 2011)

12.25.2011

Sunday_Bulletin_12.25

Sermon Notes

Salvation is a FREE gift offered to all men. But once we accept the free gift, Jesus asks us to pay everything (Matthew 10: “37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”)

So, how do you feel? Cheated? Like you bought salvation on credit? Like your whole life is an installment plan to repay the gift of salvation?

Do you want to “Return to Sender”?

return-to-sender-art-christmas-2011

Art by: Aaron Snowberger

 Return to Sender? How Salvation and Mission are Inseparable.

Christmas Sermon by Pastor Heo – 1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

***NOTE: This post is based upon the Christmas sermon preached by Pastor JaeBum Heo at Antioch International Christian Fellowship on Christmas Day, 2011. I’ve taken down some sermon notes and will fill in the gaps here to create a full and complete post based on those sermon notes. (Aaron)

Salvation

Salvation is that thing that Christians are constantly talking about. And anyone who’s ever spent time in a church has probably heard the term. Basically, salvation is deliverance from sin and its consequences (sin, of course, being wrongs a person has committed in their lives). The consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death…”). And while all men die physically, this is only part of sin’s consequence. Spiritual death; separation from God; life eternal apart from heaven – these are the true consequences of sin. Therefore, for the Christian, salvation exempts them from these consequences. It brings spiritual life, union with God, and life eternal in heaven.

This is the basic gospel of salvation that is preached by Christians. But whatexactly is salvation? Besides its obvious promises and effects, we can see 4 more principles of salvation as a union with God.

First, salvation is a spiritual union. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

Second, salvation is a vital union – indicating that it is a matter of death or life. This is apparent in the doctrine of salvation which says that salvation grants spiritual life everlasting, in heaven, with God the Father – and those without salvation will spend an eternity condemned and exiled from the presence of God, in hell. Colossians 3:3-4 says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Third, salvation is a complete and perfect union with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” There is no part of the body that is unnecessary, and the body of Christ is not incomplete. The church, as Christ’s body, is already whole, and each member has a unique purpose.

Fourth, salvation is an inscrutable, mysterious union. Ephesians 5:32 says, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Paul here relates the marriage union between man and woman with that of Christ and the church. We cannot precisely describe this kind of union with our human language. It is a profound, mysterious union, but a strong and lasting union nonetheless.

So, if this is salvation, there is only one question to ask: Do I have salvation or don’t I?

And if the answer is “yes, I have salvation,” then there are two more questions to ask:

  1. Why am I still here? (Because if we are saved from sin and death and sin’s consequences, shouldn’t God take us to heaven immediately after we receive salvation?)
  2. What am I to do? (If God has given me salvation – His purpose for fallen humanity, then what is my further purpose for remaining here?)

Christians constantly proclaim that salvation is a free gift: Jesus invites us freely to receive his sacrifice on the cross for no payment of our own. But few remind us that afterward, Jesus asks us to pay all. Matthew 10: “37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

So, how do you feel? Cheated? Like you bought salvation on credit? Like your whole life is an installment plan to repay the gift of salvation?

Do you want to “Return to Sender”?

Mission

The answer to the above two questions is MISSION. We are still here for mission. What we are to do, is mission. After Salvation, there is always Mission. Immediately. For ALL who are saved.

Salvation and Mission go hand-in-hand all the time. They are quite literally inseparable. If you are saved, you are given mission.

Let’s look in the Bible at some examples. All the time, Salvation is immediately followed by Mission.

  • Salvation: 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
  • Mission: 2 Corinthians 5:18: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
  • Salvation: Ephesians 2:8,9: “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
  • Mission: Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  • Salvation: Philippians 2:12: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
  • Mission: Philippians 2:13: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Without salvation, mission is not and cannot be given, for the two go hand-in-hand. Salvation comes first, but mission immediately follows.

So, before completely understanding mission, we should first understand what is NOT your mission.

  1. Your job (doctor, pastor, lawyer, teacher) is not your mission – this is a mission FIELD, and a mission TOOL, but not the mission itself.
  2. Meeting your own earthly needs is not your mission – these are essential and necessary parts of life, but not your mission, for those without salvation need these things as well.
  3. Doing good works is not your mission – this is not mission, though they are good and blessed things, even the lost can (and do) do these things.

So what is mission?

  1. Mission is given by God to the saved, not to the lost.
  2. Mission is something only the saved can do, unsaved cannot do it. (Although some other religions may go on “missions” and claim to have “mission”, these are really just man-made (and man-appointed, all through an application process), and not God-given upon receipt of salvation (witness where you are, as you are, all the time). These kinds of missions also tend to be more like initiation into adulthood (“Leave As a Boy Come Home a Man”) rather than ongoing, lifelong witness to preach Christ’s salvation.

We all have same salvation – Ephesians 4:4-6: “4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Also we have the same mission (fundamentally) – Matthew 28:19-20: “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mission is no less valuable than life and salvation – but it is given only aftersalvation.

In this world, what is so valuable that you must risk and invest your whole life? What is more valuable than life itself? It is Mission. Because Mission SAVES OTHER LIVES. To win persons to Christ, we must evangelize, preach the gospel, that there is “good news of great joy to all men,” forever.

Acts 20:24 gives the clearest verse about Mission to those who are saved: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task (mission)…” (same word in Greek) “…Jesus Christ has given me, the task of testifying to God’s grace.”

This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING. Because saving others is something we cannot do after death.

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