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  • Jan 12 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)

01.12

01.12.2014 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 


Have you received something freely? Undeserved?

Last time, Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them. He looked outside and said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Few = almost none

“Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus is the same then and now, so he also has compassion today on man, sinners, the lost. It is the dream/hope of Jesus Christ that every single Christian = a missionary/reaper. Why? Because there is somebody that every one of us must bring to God.

He asks us to see what he saw, do what he’s done, feel what he’s felt.

  • Matthew 10: The Missionary Chapter
  • The King’s Ambassador’s Chapter
  • 1 Cor 13 = Love
  • 1 Cor 15 = Resurrection
  • Hebrews 11 = Faith
  • Matthew 10 = Missionary
  1. Who is the Lord/King of the missionaries?
  2. Who are the missionaries?
  3. Where is their mission field?
  4. What is the main target?
  5. What is the main message?
  6. What are the main tasks?

1: Who is the Lord of the missionary?

This is the Missionary chapter. The key subject = HE (Jesus Christ). The Lord = Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Lord of Salvation.

v. 1 = “HE…”

The work of salvation can only be accomplished by Jesus Christ, but the witness of salvation can only be accomplished by his workers. That’s why Jesus needs (needs) these messengers.

In Isaiah, the prophet was before the throne of God in his vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.” God said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? (Trinity)” Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!”

Like this, if we really experience salvation, we must respond to the calling of Jesus Christ. Who shall go for us (Trinity)?

Chp 9 did say, “Pray for workers.” But that is not enough. We must also make ourselves available to serve him.

2. Who can be missionaries? Called and sent?

There are two steps in the calling:

1. Jesus calls a sinner to be saved (to be his disciple/learner/follower).

Yes, Jesus had MANY disciples – some only hangers-on, but some were truly converted. In his first calling, Jesus calls a sinner to be saved = salvation.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.

Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to salvation.

2. Calling for OTHER’S salvation.

From this large group of disciples, Jesus selected a smaller group of disciples (called apostles). In church today, we have no name “apostles” – but the most suitable name = “missionaries.”

v. 2-4 Can you memorize the 12 apostles?

  1. Simon (Peter)
  2. Andrew
  3. James (Zebedee)
  4. John
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew (this guy)
  9. James (Alphaeus)
  10. Thaddeus
  11. Simon (Zealot)
  12. Judas Iscariot

These guys are TOTALLY AVERAGE. Not rich, not academically gifted or learned, not high status, etc, etc.

They were very mixed – fishers, tax collectors (the most hated of the Jews), Simon the Zealot (very religious).

Zealots = the most nationalist of all nationalists – prepared to die for their country’s independence.

They had a strong resolution to undergo ANY suffering for their country – they were also ready to kill anyone who was against their country – with assassination or murder.

Imagine, if Simon the Zealot had met Matthew in another place (not with Jesus), he might have killed him.

The wonderful truth – 2-3 men who HATE each other can LOVE each other in Christ.

Who is God? He is the God who created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He can do something EXTRAORDINARY with ordinary people. Jesus sees not only who we ARE, but also what he CAN MAKE us.

  • Yes, we are ordinary – not great.
  • But Jesus can make us extraordinary – to do something great through us.

Why? Because Jesus is a great king.

Are you called for salvation? (#1). Are you assured of your salvation? Then you should give thanks in ALL circumstances.

“It is by grace you have been saved, not by works so that no one may boast.”

Are you called as a missionary (#2)? Then also give thanks in all circumstances – because we have nothing to boast.

1 Cor ?:27-29 “God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. God chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast.”

If you have a strong calling, and realize that you are also called as a missionary, and you have a heart to truly win people to Christ, then you are TRUE apostles – you are TRULY his ambassadors.

3. Where is the mission field?

If we are missionaries, where is our mission field? Who are the main target people?

v.5-6 Lost sheep of Israel. 

Jesus gave them very specific instructions regarding their ministry.

  • Not Gentiles
  • Not Samaria
  • Only lost sheep of Israel

Does this mean he opposed the others? Didn’t love them? Was a nationalist?

No, he’d already encountered the Gentiles in Matthew 8 and healed them, and in John 4, the Samaritan woman.

What does this mean? 

Jesus came not to the Jews ONLY, but to the Jews FIRST.

Why are the Jews called the “Chosen People?” Because they were chosen FIRST – to give the message of salvation to other nations.

In that time, the Gentile territory lay to the North and Samaritan territory to the South. This is the very FIRST evangelism activity for the apostles – it was not long-term, but short-term. They must come back soon and report to Jesus. Now is also before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

So, this time is for maximizing efficiency and effect – not for exclusivity, not for partiality, but for FRUIT, concentration of limited energy for a specific target.

After his crucifixion and resurrection, THEN Jesus commands, “Go into ALL nations, ALL Creation and proclaim the Good News!”

So, how can we apply this principle in our own mission fields? If we are truly missionaries, we need to have 2 attitudes:

  1. Personal evangelist – be ready at all times to preach the Word of God, in season and out of season
  2. Specific target – we are limited in time and place, and wisdom, so we need a specific target for maximizing the fruit of our ministries.

3. What Was Their Message?

v. 7 “As you go…”

The message: short, simple, clear

“The kingdom of heaven is near.”

Jesus himself is the kingdom of heaven – kingdom = the king’s domain, country.

John the Baptist’s message was also the same.

It means, “The King is hear, the King is near, receive him!”

Now, we are after his crucifixion and before his Second Coming – so now what is our key message?

  1. Jesus DIED for your sins
  2. He was RAISED for your salvation
  3. He is COMING again soon

4. What were their tasks?

  1. Heal the sick
  2. Raise the dead
  3. Cleanse those with leprosy
  4. Drive out demons

Can you do these things?

We cannot. But Jesus can do them through us.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever in his power and authority. Yes, these things can happen literally if Jesus wills. But, more importantly is the SPIRITUAL ministry.

Basically, fundamentally, the ministry of the missionaries is these things:

  1. The lost are sick – unable, invalid, hopeless, powerless. If he accepts Jesus, he is healed perfectly, immediately.
  2. The lost are dead (Eph 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your sins and transgressions…”). If he accepts Jesus, he is ALIVE immediately. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, though he dies.” Accepting Jesus Christ means rising from the dead immediately, physically, spiritually, eternally.
  3. The lost are lepers – without sense of spiritual things – unclean and ugly. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately cleansed, purified, forgiven, restored in fellowship. Accepting Christ = purification.
  4. The lost are under the control of devils spiritually. Do you believe? “You belong to your father, the devil” – Jesus says to those who reject him. Whether we understand or agree or not, this is the spiritual truth. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately freed to serve Jesus.

Accepting Jesus =

  1. Healing
  2. Resurrection
  3. Purification
  4. Freedom

Freely we have received. Freely we are to give.

John 10:10 “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”

If we are in Christ, we have eternal life. But God wants us to enjoy this life abundantly, fully. How? The secret = by giving freely. Give THIS life freely to others and you will experience THIS life more abundantly.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 05 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Yes, Lord! (Matthew 9:27-38)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Yes, Lord! (Matthew 9:27-38)

01.05

01.05.2014 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. 32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

The Workers Are Few

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


Amen.

This is the Word of God. Happy New Year. 

Let us give thanks to God for the New Year.

Bible says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Yet also, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has come, the new has come.”

We remember Jesus’ first miracle – turning water into wine. After that miracle, the master of the banquet testified “Everyone else brings the cheaper wine out second – but you have saved the BEST wine until now!” What is the message we can get from this?

First, for wine: The older the better. 50-year-old wine is better than 20-year-old wine. How many years do you need to make the BEST wine in your lifetime? A: We cannot make the best wine in our lifetimes no matter how long or hard we try. We cannot make the best things no matter how hard we try.

Best joy, best peace, best freedom, best salvation – we cannot make these in our lifetimes. 

But, Jesus can make these things in the twinkling of an eye! 

He gives us the best salvation, the best joy, the best freedom.

John “Whoever hears my Word and believes in the One who sent me will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.”

  • From meaningless to meaningful.
  • From purposeless to purposeful.
  • From hell to heaven.
  • From death to life.
  • Without Jesus, life is flat, dull, uninteresting. 
  • When Jesus comes, life is FULL – exhilarating, joyful, wonderful.
  • The joy Jesus gives is ever-new, ever-satisfying – from eternity to eternity.

God bless us all in 2014 – this year to be MUCH BETTER than last year – every TODAY to be much better than yesterday – because IN CHRIST “the old has gone, the new has come.” 

Now, here, Jesus is healing – and he is looking for workers who will do what he has done. 

v. 27-31

“Yes, Lord!”
Let’s say it together. “Yes Lord you can!” “Yes Lord I believe!” “Amen” = very many meanings, including this “Yes, Lord!”

Last time, Jesus was at Jarius’ house to raise his daughter. Today, Jesus went on from THERE – from Jarius’ house and he was walking on the street when these two blind men followed him and called out to him “Take pity on us!”

Strangely, Jesus didn’t give them an immediate response on the street, until he got to the house at which he was staying. So, the two men had to follow him until he got to that house.

  1. Jesus wanted to be sure that these two men sincerely, honestly wanted the healing he could give them.
  2. They needed to be alone. All humans must go home and be alone at some point. And we must confront Jesus Christ alone at home.

It’s easy to make a decision for Christ in a spiritually-charged, emotional, passionate environment. The real test, what really matters is when we are alone. Not what we do in the crowd, in the multitude, but what we do when we are alone with Jesus Christ. 

Jesus faced these men alone and asked them only ONE question. 

The only one essential for a miracle = faith.

“Yes, Lord!”

Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to YOUR faith, it will be done to you.” Immediately, their sight was restored. Blindness = a symbol of spiritual blindness. Even though they could not physically see, they COULD see who Jesus was. Sadly, there are many people around us today who can physically SEE, but cannot really see WHO JESUS IS.

1. Is Christ Savior? YES. 

Whether we agree or not, whether we accept it or not, He is.

2. Is Christ Lord? YES.

Whether we agree or not, whether we accept it or not, He is.

3. Is Christ YOUR personal Lord? Yes?

Is He? Is He Lord of EVERY area of your life?

  • Time?
  • Thoughts?
  • Actions?
  • Behavior?
  • Feelings?
  • Passion?
  • Dreams?
  • Purpose?
  • Materials?
  • Money?
  • Talent?
  • Treasure?
  • Wallet?
  • Credit Card?
  • Eternity?

You don’t need to answer aloud for all to hear, but we must be very careful, sincere, honest, with Jesus Christ alone, in private, not in the crowd.

Is Jesus the Lord of every area of my life?

  • Romans 9:10 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” 

LORD = personal Lord

This is not Savior here – but Lord.

Many people want to receive Christ as Savior, but NOT many people want to receive Christ as LORD. 

  • We cannot receive what Jesus GIVES and refuse who He IS.
  • We cannot receive His salvation and refuse His Lordship.
  • We must confess his Lordship – it simplifies service.
  • We cannot accept his Lordship and serve other masters. “No one can serve two masters.”

Did you choose/decide on Jesus Christ as Lord?

This is your LAST independent decision you ever made. If you say, “Yes, Lord! You are my Master!” you have no more personal choice. If you say, “Yes, you are my master!” then you also say, “Your will is my will! Your pleasure is my pleasure!”

v. 32-34

“It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” What a curse on them…

To this ONE event, there were two reactions:

  1. The crowd: Amazed and shouted “Woah! Amazing!”
  2. Pharisees: “He is a devil! A servant of devils!”

Can you say like that to Jesus? Never.

At least 3 times the Pharisees criticized Jesus in just this chapter Matthew 9.

  1. When Jesus said to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.” “Blasphemy!”
  2. When he ate with sinners, “You are a sinner!”
  3. When he cast out demons, “You are a devil!”

What a curse they were storing up against themselves. What more, we should not follow them, their example.

1. The Pharisees were too set in their own ways to change.

To them, all the great things belonged in the Past. To change anything was a great SIN. Anything NEW was wrong to their eyes. 

Jesus came with a new interpretation of what real religion was, they hated him as they hated the prophets long ago.

2. They were too proud and self-satisfied to submit.

If Jesus was right, they were wrong. They were so proud that they could not see. They saw no need to change, no need to repent.  

  • Do you like change?
  • Do you like repentance?

Jesus’ first message was “REPENT! For the kingdom of God is near!” 

  • Repentance = change of mind, attitude, behavior, actions, belief.
  • This is the first gate by which we enter heaven.
  • This is the first step to salvation.
  • We accept that we are wrong and we accept change. 

They hated anyone who wanted change. Jesus wants to change us. Will you hate him or love him?

3. They were too prejudiced to sin.

They were so blind that they could not see the truth in Jesus Christ. They could not see the power of God. 

If we accept change, we can see the wonders of God in our lives. 

Do you want to change? Do you accept change? This means spiritual growth. 

I cannot change you. You cannot change me. Husband cannot change wife. Wife cannot change husband. ONLY Jesus Christ can change. Why? Only Jesus is unchangeable, immutable in his power. 

  • I cannot change you because you are changeable. 
  • You cannot change me because I am changeable.

v. 35

Jesus did many things in his earthly ministry, but all can be summarized by:

  1. Teaching
  2. Preaching – commitment
  3. Healing – wholeness

These prove that he is from God, he IS God.

v. 36

Even today, Jesus is filled with compassion (pity) for us – inner, deep mercy. He was moved to compassion by the world’s pain, sorrow. He was filled with a great desire to wipe every tear from our eyes. He was moved to compassion by our hunger – he fed 5000+ with his compassion.

No Christian can be satisfied to have TOO much while others have TOO little.

Jesus was moved to compassion by our bewilderment, confusion. 

So, even today, he is looking for workers to continue his job even today.

v. 37-38

Therefore = conclusion – because his heart is filled with compassion for the sinners outside.

Jesus = the Lord of the Harvest

John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If we open our spiritual eyes and look outside, this world is FILLED and RIPE with lost sinners who are wandering without rest, without peace, without joy – only with confusion, doubt, pain, suffering. That’s why Jesus is looking for workers.

At this moment, I’ll give you the SAME question. 

Is Jesus your PERSONAL Lord? 

Be very careful, very honest with Him.

IF he is not YET, you MUST accept him – NOW! Quickly! We have no time to lose!

But if He IS your personal Lord, there is no doubt, no question, the WORLD is your mission field. You are a missionary in the world and you are a minister in this church – in AICF!  

If he is my Master, I am his Servant.

Can you imagine a servant who is doing NOTHING for his Master? No, it is IMPOSSIBLE. 

  • So, we must be able to see what Jesus has seen.
  • We must feel what he has felt.
  • We must do what he has done for world salvation.

If you are DOING something in AICF (the body of Jesus Christ) – outside, inside – do not think you are doing it for me as pastor – No, you are doing it for your Lord, for your Master. We are merely co-workers for HIM.

God bless us all to be faithful, diligent, honest workers.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 29 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead (Matthew 9:14-26)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead (Matthew 9:14-26)

12.29

12.29.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his clock, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. 23 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, “Go away…


Remember, fasting must be done at the right time, for the right reason, with the right motivation.

  • Pharisees fasted very often, but with the wrong reason at the wrong time.
  • John’s disciples fasted to prepare themselves to receive the coming Messiah, but he’d already come, so they should have been feasting with him, not fasting. John’s disciples fasted with ignorance.
  • Pharisees fasted for “show.” They wanted to show others that they were Super Holy Dudes. The fasted with pride and self-righteousness.

A wedding is a time of celebration and feasting. Likewise, Jesus’ coming is a time of celebration and feasting.

There is a time coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them (John 16) – the crucifixion and death and burial of Jesus. You will weep and mourn while this world rejoices. – Jesus told them.

But their sorrow turned into joy when they saw their risen resurrected Lord.

To be with Jesus Christ is a sign of celebration.

Someday, we must die, all relationships must end someday. Only Jesus remains forever the same. Only the joy of heaven lasts forever and ever. Nobody can take the joy of heaven from our hearts.

New wine and wineskins (v.16-17)

At that time, they stored wine in wineskins.

The illustration of the cross shows that Jesus came to give wholeness, not just patch us up. Also, the wineskins show that Jesus is giving completeness. The old Judaism is the old wineskins – the Law. He didn’t come to repair or mix with the old religion. He came with a new covenant, the covenant of Grace, a new way to express personal faith – the newness of the gospel could not be combined with the legalism of the Pharisees.

Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them. He is the END, the FULFILLMENT of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

He didn’t come to repair and fix up the old Judaism. His purpose is to bring something totally new. The message that the Son of God offers to all people the forgiveness of sins – the reconciliation of God and Man and life everlasting. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Cor) “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts)

There are 2 miracles that follow here – restoration of broken hope, broken families, broken homes. (Also in Luke and John)

v.18-19

This ruler’s name is Jarius. Mark 5, Luke 8, also show this story in more detail. He is a synagogue ruler. When he came to Jesus first, his daughter was CLOSE to death, not dead. “My daughter is DYING” he said. But the delay caused by the healing of the next woman gave death the opportunity to do its work. Jarius’ friends came after the healing and said, “Your daughter has died.” But Jesus quickly reassured him.

——–

Just then, a woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years touched his cloak.

Her bleeding made her ceremonially unclean. So even everybody and everything she touched became unclean. She was cut of from the synagogue and other men and women. She did EVERYTHING possible to be saved from this terrible life of isolation. She actually should not have even been in this crowd surrounding Jesus. Because if they had known it, she was infecting many people with her uncleanness. So, she came quietly, secretly and touched Jesus’ garment with her hand. Jesus said, “who did that?”

Jesus actually knew and his disciples knew he knew, but he kept looking around for her anyway. She eventually came out and trembling with fear, kneeled down before him. “Take heart, daughter. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jesus not only gave her physical healing, but also PEACE – heavenly healing. He gave her more than she wanted. Eph “God is able to do immeasureably MORE than we ask.”

Yesterday, today, and forever, he is living with us in his Spirit. He can do more and more than we ask, than we wish. 

While he was talking with this woman, Jarius’ friends came and said, “Your daughter is dead.”

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. Just believe.” Jesus went to his house with only 3 disciples – Peter, James, and John?

There was a funeral procession there – loud weeping and crying and a large crowd. He said, “Go out” but they laughed at him. Mark: Jesus said, “Talitha, get up.”

A lack of crying was disrespectful, a disgrace. Jarius was a synagogue ruler/leader at that time, so lots of people came and expressed their sorrow with loud cries and weeping. Maybe Jarius was angry with the first healed woman because they delayed to arrive before they arrived. The problem wasn’t the woman, but his faith, his attitude.

God is NEVER late in answering us.

If you see a dead person, what do you see? A dead person? An unbeliever’s death = death to God’s eyes AND people’s eyes. A believer’s death = death to people’s eyes BUT sleep to God’s eyes.

We may also be laughed at because of our faith in Christ. 2 Cor “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to those who believe it is life.”

Have you ever been laughed at for your faith in Christianity? Do not lose heart. Take heart. The most dramatic of all, Jesus, rose again from the dead. ONLY Jesus has the authority and power to say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live even though he dies. Whoever believes in me will never die because I will raise him up at the last day.” (John’s gospel).

Soon, this is the last day.

The last day of 2013, the last day of school, last day of work, last day of friendship, the last day of life, the last day of the material world.

But in heaven, there is NO MORE last day. This is our hope, our faith in Jesus’ Christ.

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 15 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)

12.15

12.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” 33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.35 Then he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.


At the beginning of Acts 5, there was a lot of consternation because of the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphaira – deceivers of the HS and other disciples. They didn’t have the fear of the Lord they should have. And they paid the ultimate price because of it. That brought a great fear on the church.

Also, there was great grace during that time. They prayed in the evenings for those who were troubled and afflicted by spirits or diseases.

So, in this great grace and great fear, many more joined the apostles, and many also stayed farther and farther away.

Many people benefited from the outpouring of the Spirit. The apostles were preaching and teaching and the church was growing, and the Pharisees and Sadducees started to become jealous and had them arrested. They wanted to punish them so they put them in jail – but at night an angel came and freed them and sent them back to preach some more. So, they did. At daybreak, the members of the Council sent for the disciples – who weren’t there. They went back to report, and at the same time someone else reported “Hey! Those dudes are back!” So, they sent someone to arrest them AGAIN. Then they appeared before the Council.

The Pharisees said, “Didn’t we tell you not to preach in THAT name?” (Couldn’t even say the name “Jesus”).

All the apostles agreed that it was their duty to obey God rather than men and to continue preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus.

Now the Council members get quite angry, because Peter had pretty much showed that they were responsible for Jesus’ death – but he wasn’t out to BLAME them for it. They said, “You put the guilt of this on us!” He said, “Jesus was raised by God as a man, from the dead, in his ascension.” (3 steps). Because he was glorified, he was therefore also called out on the Pentecost (the HS – his Spirit). He was also sent to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus was raised as the Savior of the world (the WHOLE world) – first to the Jew, then the Gentile.

Even though Peter presents his case in this manner, the Pharisees were angry. Peter says, “You hung him on a tree.” In Greek (zulon) = something made of wood.

In Deuteronomy, anyone who was guilty of a capital was hung up on a tree or a pole during the day, but the body had to be taken down at nightfall because it was believed to be condemned by God.

  • Peter is basically saying, “You thought of him as a curse (probably still do). YET, this was God’s plan from the Beginning anyway. This was to be God’s plan for restoration.”
  • Paul: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having been cursed for us – because it is written ‘cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.’”

Remember the Old Covenant under Abraham. If the people obeyed God, they would be blessed in every way. But if the disobeyed God, they would receive the curses of God – disease, hurt, trouble.

Even though they said, “We will obey” they didn’t understand their own inability to do so. So, God made a way for them to be cleansed regardless – the spotless lamb that was sacrificed. Paul says that this was just a “warm-up.” The true sacrifice, the eternal sacrifice is Jesus. Paul points everything to Jesus. Even the Centurion who guarded Jesus’ body at his death said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Romans “There’s not one righteous, no not one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Derick Prince (theologian) “Everything is provided in the cross.” – He suffered our hell for us, he took our punishment, he was wounded for us – so that we would be made whole, we would be healed, we could have eternal life.

What we all need = spiritual healing. Physical, mental, emotional healing is all appropriate as well and Christ (ultimately) has provided all these.

Prince was very sick (after WWII) and read and meditated on the Scriptures and became well. His wife as well – after meditating on the Scriptures.

We can do so as well – but must also get rid of any barriers that might prevent healing – such as unforgiveness or hidden sins.

The scapegoat (in the Old Testament) was given all the sins of the people, then led off into the wilderness and was destroyed. Jesus was OUR scapegoat – he bore the penalty for our sins. He exchanged his righteousness for our sins, and we have received his righteousness in place of our sins. What a cost.

He was punished, wounded for us. He was made SIN for us. He died. We all die. Why do we die? Sin brings death. (Genesis 2 “You may eat of any tree in the Garden except that one. If you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 3 Snake “You won’t die…” – but that sin brings death – not instantly, but inevitably).

If we receive Christ, his spirit is an eternal Spirit, so that we might have life. Jesus says, “I’ve come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (Gospel of John).

Jesus also became poor for us. If the OT Law was broken, then poverty, a loss of all things was the consequence. Jesus didn’t even have a grave – a different guy – a rich guy – donated one for him. Even the presence of his Father in Heaven was taken away “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He died in poverty, but rose again in splendor and glory.

When people receive Jesus, they are blessed – inevitably.

Example: Alcohol, sexual addictions, drugs – when you receive Christ and know that he is enough (and you don’t need your old crutches) – you become blessed. You get cleaned up, help others get cleaned up. Jesus takes away the barriers to your blessing.

Jesus bore our shame. When we sin or even are sinned against – violence, abuse, sexual abuse – even if it’s not your fault – sometimes you experience guilt and shame. But Jesus KNOWS that same shame – he bore it – he TOOK it. He was naked and abused, hanging and dying on that cross. Shame is eliminated in the cross.

  • He bore our shame that we might share in his glory (not his intrinsic God glory) – but his heavenly, resurrected glory. He is the first of our family in heaven.
  • He also took our rejection as he bore the consequence of our sin. He = our rejection. We = now accepted by God.
  • He bore the curse of the broken law.

(Gap for spent battery)

Let’s pray…

  • Dec 08 / 2013
  • Comments Off on What Have You Lost For Christ? What Have You Gained In Christ? (Matthew 9:1-13)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What Have You Lost For Christ? What Have You Gained In Christ? (Matthew 9:1-13)

12.08

12.08.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thought, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe, and they praised God, who had given such authority to men. 

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


Matthew is the book of the King. Is Jesus your king? If so, do you acknowledge his authority and power in all areas of your life? Maybe. Sometimes… 

Matthew is the book of the King of Kings. Matthew closes the last chapter and verse with “his authority.” “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” 

  • Chp 5-7 = his authority in his Word
  • Chp 8 = his authority over Nature and the Spiritual Realms
  • Chp 9 = his authority over Man (healing) and to call Man

Both stories are written in Mark and Luke as well. 

Jesus came to his own town. Once, Jesus said, “I have no place to put my head.” So, where is his town? Capernaum. (Born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, during his ministry, he became so identified with Capernaum it became his “hometown” i.e. his “base of operations”).

This was a good choice for his base of operations because it was a RICH city and a CULTURAL capital/melting-pot. At that time, the Roman garrison was there and it kept peace there. Then, in his town, he went into a house – maybe Peter’s house, and he was teaching. Some people at that time (4) brought a paralyzed man. 

In Mark and Luke – so many people gathered around Jesus that there was no room left – even outside the gate. There was no way to take the man to Jesus, so they went up on the roof of the building and took off the tiles to make a hole to lower the man on his mat (tied with ropes on the four corners). He was teaching with a huge crowd and SUDDENLY – a mat came down in front of him.

This is a beautiful picture of faith. It is important. Traditionally, these men are “friends” but we don’t actually know – family, relatives, neighbors, friends, mixed? Anyway, this man couldn’t help himself but he had some helpers – with love, faith and enthusiastic action.

The very interesting thing = Jesus saw THEIR faith and said to HIM “Son, take heart, your sins are forgiven.” So, was this physical sickness the result of sin? We don’t know, but we cannot conclude that all sickness is from sin, nor that forgiveness results in healing. 

But, fundamentally (Genesis 3), all sickness and death ARE the result of sin. This man was paralyzed because of sin – fundamentally. Sin is the root, the cause of all problems. Even though he was paralyzed in body, he needed spiritual healing. To Jesus, the heart (sin) is more important that the body (temporary). 

Spiritual healing/sickness is Jesus’ primary concern – even NOW. He wants us to have a right relationship with him even now. 

Jesus saw THEIR faith and forgave the paralyzed person. This man was healed and forgiven by the faith of the other men. If it hadn’t been for them, he’d have never reached the healing presence of Jesus. Do you have this kind of true faith in Christ? If so, you can help others to come to Christ. You can help others to be healed spiritually and physically.

Do you have any friends or family members who don’t know Jesus or aren’t concerned with Jesus or who are hostile to Jesus? Our duty/privilege is not to let that man go until we’ve brought him into the presence of Jesus Christ. Obviously, we cannot force someone to be a Christian, but we can do everything we can do to bring others into the presence of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is your Savior and King and YOU enjoy forgiveness and freedom? WHY don’t you also bring others so that they may experience God’s blessings on their lives?

Now, there is somebody against Jesus. 

v.3 “This fellow” (Jesus) “is blaspheming.” They were SUPER Bible scholars (probably memorized whole books). They KNEW only God could forgive sins. But they didn’t know that Jesus was God. Do you believe Jesus is God? 

“Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?” God is all-knowing, all-understanding, ever-present – he had the access to every person’s thoughts. Interesting how he called them out on what they were THINKING and not even what they said…

Even on this Earth, Jesus never ceased to be God. He became man (completely) and remained God (completely). 

Jesus continued to say (v 5-8) “Which is easier?”

Forgive sins or heal? “The Son of Man has authority.”

At this, the man went home with a sound (healed) body and soul. At that time, the scribes (Pharisees) believed that nobody could just up and walk without his sins being forgiven. So, for them, this should have been unconditional proof that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins.  

  • It is easy to say “Your sins are forgiven.” 
  • It is much more difficult to UN-paralyze someone.

Jesus backed up his Word by healing the man. He proved his Words were true by healing. 

Here is one very important lesson:

Our language can be meaningless if our actions cannot back up our words.

“Of course I love you.” And do nothing. Empty words.

How will, how DO your actions back up your words? In Jesus’ story/life, his actions and Words ALWAYS went together.

————– 

The calling of Matthew

v. 9-13 “Follow me” while he was on the clock at his day job. And Matthew just GOT UP. – He left everything – including his boss and desk and money.

At Matthew’s house, many “sinners” joined for dinner. Why? Jesus “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Jesus quotes also Hosea 6:6 “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

At that time, many people had two names – Matthew (Roman) and Labai (Jewish)? Jewish name and Roman name.

At that time (possibly still today) tax collectors were universally hated – but not for just collecting taxes (as today). At that time, the tax collectors joined with the conquerors of a nation and leached off of their own people. They cheated their own people and cheated the Romans – they accepted bribes.

The Jews REALLY hated them. The Jews were fanatical nationalists. They even banned the tax collectors from all religious fellowship – they were forbidden to enter the temple. The were lower than dirt – PURE sinners. 

  • Jesus called a man who ALL men hated.
  • He loved a man who ALL men hated.

This is one of the greatest examples of Jesus’ power to see into his heart to see what he really was and what he had the capability to become. No one else can see into your heart like he can. 

The fact that we are all here today shows that Jesus wants to receive us all AS WE ARE, but also that Jesus has hope for WHO WE WILL BECOME in his kingdom. 

So, Matthew dropped everything and followed.

Let’s think together. 

  1. What did Matthew LOSE for following?
  2. What did Matthew GAIN for following?

Lost:

chair, table, tax records, computer, comfortable job, big income, full benefits and retirement package, 

Gain:

forgiveness, peace of heart, salvation, eating together with Jesus at the same table, becoming one of 12 disciples, privilege of writing THIS book Matthew

Since this event in Matthew, 2000 years has passed. Now, from OUR perspective…

Then (gain):

It still remains up to now and will remain forever. He is alive in heaven forever. His book lives on and many people study and receive blessing from this book.

Then (lost):

It was all gone within the week. IF he hadn’t followed Christ, it would all be gone at his death – if not sooner.

  • What about OUR story? Are you disciples? Are you true Christians? 
  • What have YOU lost? What have you GAINED?

Sometime take your quiet time and write down a list in your notebook.

What I have Lost: What I have Gained:

  1. 1.
  2. 2….

Have you lost your money? Your job? A relationship? 

You know. 

What have you gained? This is between you and God. You know.

  • What you HAVE in this life will be lost sooner or later whether or not you follow Jesus.
  • What you will/have gained will be eternal if you follow Jesus.

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

Knowing this very well, the apostle Paul confesses “Yes, I know what I’ve lost, I know what I’ve gained.” 

“Whatever I had gained, I now consider loss. And whatever I’ve lost, I now consider great gain for my Savior. I consider all that past to be rubbish, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.”

By nature are you righteous or sinners?

Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

May God bless us all so that we may lose more and more for Him and that we may gain more and more in Him.

  • Dec 01 / 2013
  • Comments Off on All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)

12.01

12.01.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees,were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin–the full assembly of the elders of Israel–and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. 25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. 27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”


Previously, Ananias and Sapphira died after lying to the community of believers by falsifying the amount of money they’d received and given after the sale of their property.

Before that, Peter and John had been released from prison by God, and they’d prayed for signs and wonders from God for healing. There were some.

The church agreed to sell and give their money at times to give to the poor among them so that no one would be in need. Barnabas was a good example of this. He sold a field and gave all the money to the apostles.

Ananias and Sapphira also sold a field and tried to give the impression that they were giving ALL the money, BUT, that was a lie. Peter said, “Why has Satan filled your heart with these things?” Ananias fell down dead and three hours later, his wife arrived and lied as well – she also fell down dead.

Great fear came upon the church.

Later in Acts, we read that “great grace was upon them all.”

We’ve all been guilty of hypocrisy, but it was likely the intensity of the power and Spirit of God there that their attitude was taken and dealt with more harshly. It had to be cut out. (I believe they were “promoted to heaven” early before they could do anything else.)

We can’t just emphasize the LOVE of God without also emphasizing his HOLINESS. He has a HOLY love. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the beginning of wisdom.

Jesus delighted in that – in Isaiah we read that he was filled with and walked in the fear of the Lord. Is this enslaving fear? No, perfect love casts out all fear. There is, however, a reverence for God. A fear of grieving Him, of walking outside of His will, it keeps us from evil.

Ananias and Sapphira ignored that fear and paid the price ultimately.

The atmosphere of the early church was charged with grace and now also with this kind of fear.

In v 12, the apostles performed many signs and wonders.

A&S didn’t repent, Peter gave them a chance, so they were killed. There was a holy fear, holy awe both in and OUT of the church after this.

Luke, the writer of Acts uses “ecclesia” for the first time in the book – this is the Greek word for “church.” He uses it to describe both the local and the universal church. This is a different word from “synagogue.” It actually means, a citizen’s assembly. These are the citizen’s of heaven – so it is appropriate here.

Church sometimes has bad meanings that ecclesia doesn’t.

  1. Do we “go” to church? We are the church. We GO.
  2. Is the church the building? We are the church.

Luke writes that the apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. Earlier they’d prayed that God would do this. A&S’s deaths were also examples of supernatural powers (this was a negative example among many positive examples). In fact, the supernatural powers of God were so great that if people merely lay under Peter’s shadow, there were ALL healed. Imagine that. People lining the sides of the street…

It was in this atmosphere that people were healed.

Jesus had also said that the apostles would do greater works than he had. In fact, even just the amount of the converts on Pentecost was greater than Jesus’ work previously. But, it was Jesus’ spirit in them that enabled that.

When a woman came asking Jesus for help for her daughter, Jesus tested her faith. “It’s not fit to give the children’s bread to the dogs.” She responded well, “But it’s OK for the dogs to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” She wasn’t a Jew, she wanted the crumbs from the Master’s table – Jesus was pleased with her faith and said, “Go, the demon is out of your daughter.” This was an instance of a distance healing.

In Acts 19:11, through Paul, God did extraordinary miracles through Paul – just by touching a handkerchief he touched, people were healed.

The church now regularly meets in Solomon’s Colonnade – a part of the temple. And they are held in such awe and reverence that “no one dared join them.” (v. 13). No one was willing to pretend to believe unless they actually did. They’d seen what had happened to others.

Yet, more and more DID believe and were added to their numbers. There were some whose minds and hearts were opened and who joined the community.

William Barclay: “Of the others, no one dared to meddle with them – interfere without invitation.”

v. 16 – Gospel is spreading to the towns around Jerusalem and is advancing into all of Judea. But the effectiveness of the words and deeds of the apostles causes the religious leaders to become jealous and take action.

The High Priests and the “Sad You Sees” arrested the apostles – ALL of them and put them in the public jail. Essentially, they are being punished for the (Counsel’s) order to not preach in Jesus’ name. Yet, another miracle happens – the doors are opened by angels – and they tell them to go BACK to the temple and continue preaching about this “New Life”.

The new life has a present and a future tense.

  • Future: resurrection – some to eternal life (great for those who believe) some to eternal condemnation (not so hot).
  • Present: those who believe begin a literal NEW life RIGHT NOW. They grow in faith, the fruit of the Spirit, try to go away from sin and toward God.

1 Corinthians 15: “Now brothers I want to remind you of the gospel which I preached and on which you’ve believed…if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, and haven’t believed in vain.”

The new life also means the “after-conversion” life. They are buried with Jesus in his death (in baptism) but are also raised with Christ in his resurrection (Romans 6:4). “We too may live a new life.”

Do we have that new life? How do we get it?

By believing that Jesus was the Son of God, came to earth to die for our sins, to be a substitutionary attonement for our sins, to grant us forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life forever after. And to continue believing that.

We begin the life of faith by believing, we live the life of faith by belief, and we end the life of faith by belief.

In the Counsel, someone rushes in and says “Hey guys! Those guys! Preaching to other guys!”

An angel set them free and they are back making more trouble in the temple. So, the religious guys go from the temple, to the jail, back to the temple, back to jail – they aren’t there, back to the temple, arrest them AGAIN (they don’t resist) and the religious leaders are concerned that they are being singled-out for the death of Jesus “The apostles are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Apostles, “No, no, no, it’s all about repentance man!” They say, “we should obey God rather than men.”

Communion next. Let’s prepare our hearts. Examine your hearts so that we can partake worthily of the elements that represent the body and blood of Christ.

  • Nov 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Following in Faith is True Following (Matthew 8:18-34)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Following in Faith is True Following (Matthew 8:18-34)

11.24

11.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Cost of Following Jesus
8:19-22pp — Lk 9:57-60

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms the Storm
8:23-27pp — Mk 4:36-41; Lk 8:22-25 8:23-27Ref — Mt 14:22-33

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men
8:28-34pp — Mk 5:1-17; Lk 8:26-37

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.


Jesus is healer. 

Last time, Jesus healed many people at Capernaum – his ministry gathered a lot of attention. He gathered large crowds, but he had to do ministry in other places as well.

At that time, a scribe (teacher of the Law) came to him specially. They were highly respected, professional students and teachers of the Law. They were generally his opponents.  

But this one came to him personally and said, “Teacher, I want to be your disciple.”

Jesus answer here is a little strange. This is the first time Jesus calls himself the Son of Man – it is repeated 80 times in the gospels – but only by Jesus of himself. No one else ever uses this term. This is his private term for himself – pointing to himself as the suffering servant. 

He started his earthly life in a borrowed body, in a stable – he was originally homeless.

Jesus answer was not “Yes” or “No” but “think about what you are doing – count the cost”. In the context of his present ministry, following him, and being his disciple meant to be constantly on the move, from place to place as itinerant preacher.

Once a disciple, your whole life = discipleship. Without commitment, we can’t be his true disciples. If we are true disciples, we must willingly put aside our worldly security. We must be willing even to give up our homes, our security. The way to glory always involves the cross. Luke 9:23? “Whoever wants to follow me must take up his cross daily and follow me.”

What does he mean “let the dead bury the dead”?

“Let the spiritually dead bury the physical dead.”

It’s much better to not just wait for them to die and bury them nicely – so no matter how many “important” things we have to do, we should follow Christ without delay. Even though we have others human loyalties competing for our attention.

There are many OT stories to show what true discipleship is. For example, Ruth. Ruth told Naomi, “where you live, I will live. Where you die, I will die. Your God will be my God.”

In the genealogy of Jesus, she is mentioned. True discipleship is like this, wherever Jesus is, we follow. But don’t worry, the final destination of Jesus is the place of glory, eternal life.

Then Jesus once again showed his power and authority over all nature (not only diseases). He is the Creator of nature. (v. 23-27)

Jesus was sleeping in the boat. If Jesus sleeps near you, sleep. Don’t wake him up.

The Lake (Sea) of Galilee is about 13 miles long (N-S) and 8 miles wide (E-W). At that time, it wasn’t unusual for violent storms to come. Undoubtedly he knew the storm was coming – but he ALLOWED it. Why? To give some spiritual lessons for us today. 

In the OT, do you know Jonah? Jonah met a storm because he disobeyed God’s command. But in this case, they met a storm BECAUSE they followed Christ.

We can meet storms whether we follow Jesus or not. This world is a world of storms. What is most important is our reaction to storms. 

They followed Jesus in body, but not in faith. Still today, it is possible to GO to church all the time with little faith. It is FAITH (Heb 11:6) he wants to see in us. ( “Without faith, it is impossible to please God..”)  If they’d had true faith, they could have enjoyed the storm, they could have slept beside Jesus even in the storm. If we have true faith in Jesus Christ, we can even enjoy storms. In order to sleep in storms, don’t sleep in sermons.

“You of little faith.”
Jesus rebukes the wind, the waves, persons, demons, ALL creation – he rebukes and they obey completely. In life, Jesus is still king, Lord, master. Wherever Jesus is, the storms of life become calm. 

The most terrible storms turn to peace when the cold wind of sorrow blows, there is calm and comfort in the presence of Jesus. When the HOT storm wind blows, there is peace and security. When the storm of doubt blows, there is security and safety. In every storm that shakes our heart, there is peace if we are with Jesus. Jesus is in control of any storm in life. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Jesus shows his power in the supernatural realm next. 

After the storm became calm, they arrived at the next place (and another storm – spiritual – was waiting). Yes, in our lives, one storm finishes and another is waiting for us. But don’t worry. The solution is if you are with Jesus Christ.

At that time, tombs were fit only for lepers, demon-possessed, and dead. The demons said, “What do you want with us? Jesus, Son of God, are you here to torment us before the appointed time.” The demons KNEW Jesus and his power and authority and their own final destruction. Rev 20:10 “The dragon will be thrown into the lake of fire and tormented forever and ever… 

“What do you want with us?” means “What do you mean to us, we have nothing to do with each other.” Jesus purpose = heal, give life. Demons = kill, destroy. This shows their ultimate rebellion. 

From some distance there was a herd of pigs. Probably 2,000 pigs (Mark 5).

“Please send us to the pigs” = they wanted to avoid their final destruction – they knew Jesus could do it at that time. Why didn’t he? The time for that work had not yet come. 

Jesus healed so many people from the destructive effects of demons, but he didn’t send them to their final destruction. That job had not yet come. Revelation shows Jesus’ final victory over demons and evil. 

Some people even today ask “Why?” Why does’nt Jesus destroy demons now? Why do evil people prosper and the righteous have a hard time? The time for that has not yet come. 

Demons have no faith in Jesus. By faith we must believe what Jesus has done for us – he is the only one who can save us from sin. We must live out our faith by obeying his commands. Jesus said to the demons “GO!” and they went. They lost their powers totally and immediately they rushed into the herd of pigs and rushed them out off the sea bank where they died. 

Can you imagine this picture? More than 2,000 peaceful pigs were feeding, and immediately, they all became crazy and stampeded with full speed to their destruction and floated at the edge of the lake. Can you imagine this marvelous picture? All the town’s people came to see Jesus.

They could have responded with:

  1. Joy – for the full recovery of these men
  2. Overjoyed – at seeing this Jesus in their town
  3. Fulfilled – as eyewitnesses
  4. Repentance – seeing Jesus and accepting him

Instead, to our sadness, they begged and pleaded “Please, go away! We don’t need you.”

There is no record that Jesus ever returned here again. How foolish, but easy it is to value materials, money, possessions more than human lives. Please remember, ONE human life is MORE valuable than ALL the money and investment in this world. Still today, Jesus wants to heal us and give us everlasting, exciting life. 

This kind of life can only be obtained in Jesus Christ – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 17 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Generosity and Judgment (Acts 4:32-5:11)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Generosity and Judgment (Acts 4:32-5:11)

11.17

11.17.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Ananias and Sapphira

1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Happy Chusu Kamsa Jeol! (Thanksgiving Day)

Taking a break from typing today to give my wife a break!~

  • Nov 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Healer of All Diseases (Matthew 8:1-17)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Healer of All Diseases (Matthew 8:1-17)

11.10

11.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Man With Leprosy
8:2-4pp — Mk 1:40-44; Lk 5:12-14

1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosycame and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The Faith of the Centurion
8:5-13pp — Lk 7:1-10

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Jesus Heals Many
8:14-16pp — Mk 1:29-34; Lk 4:38-41

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. 16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”


Matthew is the book of the King.

Up to now, we have seen the PERSON of this King.

  • Chp 1: Genealogy
  • Chp 2: Birth
  • Chp 3: Baptism
  • Chp 4: Temptation
  • Chp 5-7: His Principles
  • Chp 8-9: His Power (here we can see 10 miracles of Jesus – mostly healings – physical/spiritual)

It is very natural – what good are his credentials/principles – if he doesn’t have the power to accomplish his will.

Why did Jesus perform miracles?

  1. Jesus wants to meet human needs. God is good. He is conscious about our temporal well-being – not only our eternal joy/happiness/peace.
  2. He wanted to prove his claim as Messiah.
  3. He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies. Isaiah 53:4 “He took up our iniquities and carried our sorrows.”
  4. He was revealing the saving truth. These miracles are sermons IN ACTION.

Today, in the reading, he healed many.

  1. Leper
  2. Gentile’s servant
  3. A woman (mother-in-law of Peter)

All of these are “outcasts” according to the Pharisees. (Many prayed at that time, “I give thanks to God that I’m a MAN, I’m a JEW, I’m FREE – and not those others.”)

v. 1-4

Healed the leper

  • In Chapter 5, when he saw many crowds, he taught them on the mountain side.
  • In Chapter 8, he came down from that same mountain – still large crowds followed him.

In that situation, a leper came and said, “Lord, heal me.” Jesus touched him and healed him.

In the ancient world, leprosy was the most terrible disease of that time (kind of like skin cancer – it decays all parts of the body progressively – every part loses feeling, parts fall off, eyes become staring eyes, the voice becomes hoarse).

Long ago, Korea had lepers. There was a saying, “If a leper eats a baby, he will be healed.” So, if a leper appeared in a village, all the people cursed him, closed their doors and windows, and watched carefully. They treated lepers worse than animals, as if they were dead. They were completely separated and banished from ALL society. They could never participate in any social or religious activities. And if they walked on the street, they had to yell, “I’m unclean! Don’t come near me!”

From this story, we need to note that the leper approached Jesus.

1. This man came to Jesus will courage, passion, enthusiasm, zeal, desperation.

There were MANY people there – he was FORBIDDEN to go. It was possible for the people to riot against him and kill him. But he wanted to become a person again so badly, to be reunited with his family/home, he needed to approach Jesus.

Also, in this sinful, adulterous generation, we need passion and courage to approach Jesus.

2. This man came with confidence, assurance, faith, trusting.

IF Jesus willed, he could make him clean. He had confidence that Jesus would accept him as he was, even though his own family members cast him out. Jesus could do something no one else could do.

In our lives, there is no uncurable, unforgivable thing before Jesus.

3. He came in humility, with a broken heart.

He didn’t ask directly, he said, “IF you are willing…” This means, “I have no right to ask you, but have pity on me.” In your divine condescension, you will give me your grace.

Even today, God gives grace to the humble, but rejects the proud and arrogant.

4. He came with reverence and worship in his heart.

He knelt before Jesus. Note that word. KNELT. Greek = proscunane (prostrate) – translated as “kneeling” and “worship”. In the NIV, and ESV, this is “knelt” but KJV, NASB translate as “worship”. Living Bible = “knelt AND worshiped”. In this translation, Living Bible is the best. He felt that he was in the presence of God.

Do you feel you are in the presence of God?

  1. Jesus reached out and TOUCHED him, and cleansed him. He could have done it without touching him. We know everyone shunned him, but Jesus touched him in unclean robes.
  2. Jesus BECAME unclean willingly (Leviticus…)
  3. Jesus took the uncleanness from his body into himself. This is Jesus’ sermon in action. Leprosy = sin, sin is deeper than leprosy. Both spread, defile, isolate. Both bring death in the end.
  4. Jesus came down from heaven to earth and became a man and touched our sinful souls and took our sin upon him. Isaiah 53:6? “We all have gone astray…”
  • 2 Corithians 5:21? “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us….”
  • 1 Peter 4:22? “Jesus Christ bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to him…”

When Jesus touched him, whole, perfect, healing happened. Salvation is like this. If we are saved really, truly, we must obviously continually work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. But the INITIAL salvation happens only by his power, immediately, wholly, perfectly.

v. 5-13

Question to yourself: Do you believe, think that even today, Jesus is touched, moved, or impressed by our great faith? I hope so.

Centurion is an officer of 100 soldiers in the Roman army at that time. From a human perspective, it was very difficult for him to come to Jesus. He was a fighter, a Gentile. Jesus was a man of peace, a Jew. At that time, the Jews hated the Romans, and thought of them as unclean.

This man came, not for himself, nor family members, but for his servant – maybe his slave.

Jesus said, “Yes, I’ll go.”

Centurion was probably shocked by his quick response. He knew the principle of authority through experience – so he knew Jesus had authority to heal with a word.

Jesus honored his faith and praised his faith highly. “Many will come to the feast in the kingdom of heaven, but the subjects will be cast out into hell.”

This means “I am for EVERYBODY.” There is no difference from Jews and Gentiles. Jews with NO faith will be rejected. Gentiles WITH faith will be accepted.

From this story we can see many lessons, but the most important lesson = we must understand and apply the principle of authority and the chain of command.

TRUE authority = nothing to do with physical distance, nor physical presence.

In the world, Brazil is the farthest country from Korea – but the Korean ambassador is under the authority of the Korean President. If the President wants something, she need only call. This is true in the physical world, but in the spiritual world, it is MORE.

The greater the leader, the less necessary his presence to fulfill his will. (Good for Twitter)

True authority comes out from authority. Authority comes from “author”. Jesus is the author of authority.

God created the heavens and the earth with just a word. God made something out of nothing. Man makes nothing out of nothing. Only God has the authority.

When God created Adam, he gave Adam ALL authority over Creation. When Adam disobeyed the authority of God, immediately he lost all authority over Creation.

Do you want authority over your children, students, etc? The more we obey the authority of Jesus, the more authority we will be given. The less we obey the authority of Jesus, the less authority we will be given.

If you obey the authority of Jesus, you will obey his word and act on it.

This is true faith by which Jesus will be astonished and surprised.

v. 14-17

Peter’s mother-in-law probably had a type of malaria at that time.

If we are healed by Jesus, we must wait on him.

That is why church is called a “worship SERVICE”.

From this passage, Jesus has healed all kinds of diseases and all kinds of humans. He is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. Even still today, his authority and power over all diseases, disabilities, mentalities is available. Do you believe? It will be done as you believe.

Put your trust in Jesus and act on his word, and Jesus will do his work in us.

May God bless us with his word.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Signs, Wonders, & Sharing (Acts 4:23-37)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Signs, Wonders, & Sharing (Acts 4:23-37)

11.03

11.03.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Previously, Peter and John went to the gate, found a crippled man who begged for alms, but they healed him. People were amazed and a crowd gathered, but Peter pushed any credit away from himself and onto Christ – the Healer.

They then began proclaiming the gospel, that Christ was the Messiah, had died and risen from the dead, and that his good works would be multiplied in his apostles and disciples.

The early church was baptized by the HS on Pentecost to carry out Jesus’ work. Likewise, Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan by JohnB.

After Jesus baptism, he went out into the wilderness and was tempted (as Adam was tempted the first time – though Adam failed, Jesus overcame temptation).

After his temptation, Jesus went and began his ministry through the power of the HS, and he began to dismantle Satan’s kingdom.

Jesus had said that the disciples would also receive power when the HS came upon them (Pentecost) and they would be able to heal and do miracles through the power of the HS, in Jesus name.

This previous healing was one of the most significant up to that time.

Now when the temple guards and priests heard about this (those in the higher class – Sadduccees) they didn’t like it, came and arrested Peter and John. They put them in prison and brought them before the Sanhedrin. This was difficult, because the healed man was also with them.

A notable miracle had obviously been performed, the man was obviously healed, people obviously had heard, so they decided to just tell them to quit preaching – and they let them go. Peter said, “Whether to obey you or God…”

This brings us up to where we are now.

They went back and told the church people about what had just happened, and they began to pray in earnest. The Sanhedrin had POWER – aligned with the Romans, upper-class, etc. The church realized they needed divine help.

They used Psalm 2:1-2 as a basis for their prayer.

This was a common practice in the OT. “Peshuh?” It meant to take an old text and bring it into the modern day and interpret it as applicable to their time. They believed the prophets didn’t know fully what they had written because they couldn’t see into the future.

When they predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glory that would be revealed, they knew it was from God. “Even angels long to look into these things…” Peter – the real, inspired writings could only be interpreted IN the actual times and events with which they transpired.

People still try to do this. “The end of the world is coming!!!!” “This guy is the Anti-Christ!!!! He has all the marks of the AC!!!”

(These are usually all wrong – even Jesus said “no man knows the day nor the hour…” – not even Jesus knew.)

In Acts, the church is saying that Jesus’ death and persecution of God’s people were foretold in the Scriptures. God knew these things were coming and told his prophets.

4:28 “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”

Here is an interesting parallel stream of (1) what God knows and (2) man’s free-will.

Where Man makes his own free choices and yet fulfills what God foreknew. – a bit of a mystery.

Matthew Henry – “Justice must be satisfied… As to the people’s act, it was an awful act of sin and folly.”

Genesis 45 – Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. (He was Jacob’s obvious favorite baby vs. 11 other brothers. They became murderously envious, and wanted to kill him – instead they sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph was taken into the house of Potiphar. He was accused of trying to rape his wife – he was put into prison. Many, many bad things happened to him, but in prison he interpreted dreams of the Pharaoh’s servants. One died, one went back to work. Pharaoh then had a dream and the butler said, ‘Oh, that dude Joseph can tell you about your dream.’ Joseph came and said, ‘Wow. 7 years of plenty and after 7 years of famine.’ Pharaoh, ‘Wow. You’re the man to do it. 2nd in command, son ;)’ Then, in Canaan, the famine was affecting the family of Jacob – they went down to Egypt for food. And though they hadn’t recognized him the first time, they recognized him the second time when he revealed himself. So there is lots of fear, guilt and shame for all the time they’ve harbored this sin.)

In Genesis 45 Joseph said, “Don’t be too hard on yourselves. God sent me ahead of you to save you.” He saw God’s sovereign hand at work from the painful past into the promised future.

Joseph is a type of Christ. Transpose those same words to Jesus, “Don’t be too hard on yourselves (for your sin). God sent me ahead of you to save you.”

We’re all guilty of “selling” Jesus – crucifying him on the cross. We all sin, we all fail. Jesus alone provides the righteousness that we lack. Through his death on the cross, we are saved.

1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

There is a dual working together of God in his sovereignty ( “nobody can be snatched out of my hand” Jesus ) and the fact that we also must guard ourselves. (Martin Luther “all of Christian life is one of repentance.”)

The whole tenant of the gospel is that God has taken the initiative, and we must accept his free gift through faith.

We will take the Lord’s supper, but as Paul says, “examine yourselves”. So if we sin – or sin during the week – remember those words “don’t be too hard on yourself” and confess your sins.

Jesus has taken our guilt and suffering and shame. Hebrews “Jesus bore the cross, despising its shame…”

Derick Prince – received a testimony of a young woman who’d been gang-raped in her younger years, and had married a Christian man – but had never been able to truly consummate their union because of the past. You know, when Jesus was crucified, he was naked on the cross – he’d borne HER shame, he was naked, he was a man, he was her Savior. If she loved him, she loved the one he represented. That healed her – she finally understood how Jesus had borne her shame. It healed her personal life and marriage.

Jesus took our rejection.

His own people rejected him. He had gone around doing good, healing, and because of the jealousy of the priests, he was lied against and brought before Pilate – and they freed a criminal in place of him. How did he feel as a man? Rejected.

Then, whipped, scourged, crucified.

Then, on the cross, he’d been conscious of his Father God all through his life – but finally, even God couldn’t look at him “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Now, no one could say that we are totally rejected.

Because Jesus was totally rejected, shamed, and bore all our guilt FOR us – now we are accepted.

In Paul’s letters (even Corinthians – the wild early Christians), we are called “Saints” – not by anything we’ve done – but because of what HE’S done.

Remembering all these things, the only thing that can hold us back – is if we don’t forgive others.

“If you don’t forgive others their sins, then your sins also won’t be forgiven.”

That’s the secret of the Christian life – forgiving others AND forgiving ourselves (if you don’t forgive yourself, aren’t you putting yourself in the place of GOD in your life? He’s already forgiven you. Are you greater than God? So that you won’t forgive yourself?)

Psalm 2:1-2 “The nations rage in vain.”

After crucifying Jesus, Herod and Pilate (former enemies) became friends (or frienemies) because they are united against Jesus.

The apostles’ prayer is also humble – they don’t want relief, but boldness and healing SO THAT they gospel will be heard and God’s name glorified.

In Acts, all things that are done effectively are done in the name of Jesus.

  • Acts 9: Barnabas told of how Saul had been saved by Jesus and how he’d preached fearlessly in Damascus in the name of Jesus.
  • Acts 8:16 Peter and John arrived in Samaria prayed for the people that they might receive the HS, they’d simply been baptized into the name of Jesus – but they still needed the empowering of the HS.
  • Acts 10:43 Sins are forgiven – Peter goes to Cornelius’ household and says, “All the Prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness from sins.”
  • Acts 15:17-18: Demons are cast out. A girl following Paul shouts out “These guys are God’s servants that are telling you how to be saved!” Paul got frustrated after many days, and he addressed the spirit and said, “COME OUT!” And he came out – but the owners of the slave girl had lost their fortune-telling spirit. The spirit was of Satan.

Just because it was right didn’t make it TRUE. Even prophets who prophecy something “right” doesn’t make it TRUE. If it takes worship AWAY from the Lord, it’s trouble. Especially the occult – even a Ouija board – needs to be repented of.

Since we are coming around the table of the Lord soon, it’s important to examine ourselves. Even somethings that look innocent or insignificant, ANY sin is an abomination to the Lord.

Keep yourselves clean and clear from anything that involves the occult. These things are loathsome and an abomination.

All of these things are done in Jesus’ name.

The NAME of Jesus Christ reveals the PRESENCE of Jesus Christ.

Flawed humans can bring about salvation by proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ.

In his name we can overcome, we can be forgiven, and we can forgive others.

Let’s take some time to examine our hearts – to confess – we just “say the same things as” the Lord. We just say “Yes, Lord, you don’t like that, I confess that” and then we turn away from those things (repentance = doing a 180 away from sin, not MERELY saying “oops, sorry.”) and then we accept his salvation and his sacrifice for us.

On the day he was crucified, Jesus took the bread and the wine and said, “Do this in [loving] remembrance of me.”

  • Oct 27 / 2013
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Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We Must Choose Only One, Not Two! (Matthew 7:13-29)

10.27

10.27.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

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The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 

26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.


This is the Sermon on the Mount – of our Lord Jesus Christ directly. This is a wonderful, yet shocking sermon.

This morning, we are in the closing time of the Sermon on the Mount. In this chapter 7, in finishing, Jesus discusses JUDGMENT. (Also, last time we saw judgment in verse 1).

  1. Our judgment of ourselves
  2. Our judgment of others
  3. God’s judgment of us

In every action of life, we have a choice. We cannot escape choice. We cannot stand still. 

In daily lives, from waking to sleeping, we continually choose one thing out of multiple things. What to do, not to do, where to go, who to meet, what to eat. We continually choose one. So, we must take only one way. We cannot take two ways at once.

One common thing this morning – all of us have CHOSEN to attend this service. Those not with us have CHOSEN other things.

Deuteronomy = the farewell sermon of Moses to the people (30:15) “Now, see, I put before you life and prosperity and death and destruction. Choose one. If you follow the Lord, you will live and increase. But, if you turn away, you will surely be ruined. This is the time you must choose. Choose life so that you and your children may live.”

Joshua also gave a similar challenge when his time was near (24:15) “Now, choose for yourselves whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

In today’s story, there are two very contrasting things. 

  1. Two different gates/ways
  2. Two different trees
  3. Two different builders/houses

These are 3 different (and yet the same) stories (from different angles).

#1: The Two Gates (v. 13-14)

To our sadness, only a few find the narrow gate toward eternal life. 

  • The broad gate = attractive, well-known, popular – many walk through this gate. But the final terminal destination of this subway line = hell, distress, regret, sadness.
  • The narrow gate = difficult, lonely, long – only a few find this way. But the final terminal destination of this subway line = heaven, God’s glory, eternal life/happiness.

There is no third way. Only two ways. Choose one. You cannot go both ways at the same time. Can you right foot go to Seoul and left foot to Busan? Impossible. Check yourselves. Which way are you walking on? Be honest (not before men, but before God), which way am I walking?

On Earth, democracy, the majority decision is a very wonderful, powerful thing. It looks right while the minority looks wrong. But, remember, IF truth depends on a minority or a majority, it is not an ORIGINAL truth. TRUE truth must be true regardless of popular opinion. 

If there is a hell and everyone thinks there isn’t, there is. 

Listen carefully to this way to eternal life. I cannot force your choice, the choice is yours. Just listen carefully and choose.

3 Things about this way to eternal life:

#1: Narrow and small = no space, no room

Last year, I and my wife moved. We moved much furniture and gave away much furniture – not because I was generous, but because I had no space, no extra room.

This way to heaven is so small and narrow that there is no extra space to carry other things.

We CANNOT carry the baggage of worldliness, sins, etc. We cannot carry the things that heaven does not like. 

If I want to visit Philip’s house, I cannot bring something he doesn’t like. Remember, we cannot bring the baggage/luggage of sins and worldliness.

  • Hebrews 12:1 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and so easily entangles. But let us run with perseverance the race before us.”
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

Are you walking this way? We must remove and drop the baggage of sin and worldliness.

#2: Narrow and small = it’s hard, difficult, lonely

The test is = Did your profession of faith in Christ cost you anything? 

Last Sunday, we dedicated baby Tristan. At that time, I learned much from his story. We are still now expecting many babies.

All babies actually pay NOTHING to parents to get life. No baby paid the price to get his life because life’s price = priceless. Tristan got a beautiful life because of the lovely job of his parents. But sometime later, when he recognizes his parents – who they are, what they’ve done for him – he will do something GREAT for them. 

Likewise, this is salvation. To be born again, we paid NOTHING. Jesus Paid It All. Eternal life’s price = doubly priceless. But if we are truly saved, we will pay all we have for that salvation.

Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me.”

  • “The kingdom of heaven is like a field – a man sold all he had and purchased it.”
  • “The kingdom of heaven is like a fine purse – a man sold all he had and purchased it.”

Likewise, this is salvation and eternal life.

But true discipleship demands servanthood, sacrifice. Sometimes true Christians must give up a lot – ALL we have – to follow Christ. Sometimes we receive harsh treatment, suffering, torture, even death. But through all of it, we have Christ – he is with us hour by hour through all of it. (This is the secret of the Christian’s joy in adversity.)

If you have Christ, what did you pay for Christ?

#3: Narrow and small = only ONE way

There are no two options, this is entirely exclusive. This way is Jesus Christ alone. 

  • “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • “I am the Gate for the sheep. Those who came before me were robbers and the sheep didn’t listen to them. Whoever comes to me will come in and go out and find pasture.”

If you believe Jesus is “A” way to eternal life – as well as some other ways – you will not find the path to life. Jesus is the ONLY way.

Next, fruit and builders.

(v. 15-20)

The next test/question = Did your decision for Christ change your life? Your attitudes, actions, values? 

The two trees show the true faith in Christ and produce fruit for the glory of God. In nature, everything reproduces according to its kind.

John _:9 “I am the Vine and you are the Branches…if anyone remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit…but if anyone does not remain in me…those branches are picked up and thrown into the fire…You didn’t choose me, I chose you – to go and bear much fruit.”

  • Fruit of apple trees = apples.
  • Fruit of Christians = other Christians.
  • The fruit of the Spirit = love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control

About the two builders. 

We are builders of our own house:

(v. 21-29)

“Practice” (v.26) makes perfect.

In this story, Jesus shows us the truth (spiritually) with these pictures.

  1. Two ways = the start of the life of faith
  2. Two trees = the growth of faith (in here)
  3. Two builders = the END of the life of faith when God calls everyone to the final judgment. 

Remember, in this final judgment, what is REALLY important is not (1) what we think of us, nor (2) what others think of us, BUT (3) What GOD thinks of us. 

What should we prepare?

Answer is simple: DO/OBEY God’s Word

  • The doing is not simple.
  • The test (at the end) is not oral, not written, not multiple-choice, not essay, not memorizing Bible verses or songs. 
  • The test is to OBEY the Word of God.

If we are truly saved, we have the Spirit of God living IN us – he enables and empowers us to know his will, do his will, and serve others.

  • We are definitely saved by FAITH, not works. 
  • BUT having a saving faith WITHOUT works is impossible. 

James “So a body without (breath) is dead, so is faith without works DEAD.”

DOING stuff for God is great and can be divinely inspired, but that’s not enough. We cannot stop with just hearing the Word of God, “be doers” “don’t deceive yourselves” (James).

There are two houses built on the rock and built on the sand. Both look fine outwardly. BUT, when the judgment of the heavy rain – typhoon – comes, the house built on sand will be destroyed totally with a great crash. But the house built on the rock will stand firmly. 

What is the difference? 

It’s not the exterior. It’s the foundation. Under the ground. This is the obedience to the will of God through the Word of Jesus Christ. This is the stone upon which we must build our house.

(v. 28-29)

“The crowds were amazed!”

Are you amazed?

After his resurrection, “All authority and on earth has been given to me.” 

  • Human preachers preach FROM divine authority.
  • Jesus preaches WITH divine authority.

If you hear the voice of Jesus who is holding ALL authority, we should submit, surrender, bow down and obey him and his will – otherwise we will be destroyed.

He is the Gate, He is the Way to life, He is the Tree to cling to, He is the Rock to build on. 

Acts 2:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

That name is Jesus Christ. 

Let’s pray.

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