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  • 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)

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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

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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

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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

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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