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  • Oct 20 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Prayer With Power (Acts 4:1-37)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Prayer With Power (Acts 4:1-37)

10.20

10.20.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Peter and John before the Sanhedrin

1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. 5 The next day the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

The Believers’ Prayer

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “’Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and their rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what you power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

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.


In Acts 3, we saw the healing of the lame man during the hour of prayer. Peter had raised him up after he asked for money (in the name of Jesus). – Miracle of Jesus.

This gave opportunity for them to share their testimony in Solomon’s Colonnade (like an arcade around the temple). Peter was teaching/preaching, etc.

Luke, here, is developing an important theme – the reason for and extent of the Jewish leader’s opposition to the apostle’s message. They first encounter resistance here in Jerusalem, and then throughout the rest of the area. John is referenced here, but doesn’t really do much – Peter is the focus.

The temple guards/Levites come. The captain of the guard was a VIP, second only to the high priest. The Levites (temple police) kept order in the temple. They made sure the Gentiles didn’t enter into the Jewish only areas.

The Sadduccees (chp 3, 4) – most high priestly families are these. Every high priest from Herod to AD 33-66 – this was their lineage. The high priest held this position by permission of the Romans. They worked with the Romans (collaborators) and didn’t want anything to upset the status quo. They didn’t want anything to change. So, they saw Jesus as a threat – a revolutionary.

In John 11:37-48? Jesus was winning favor with all the people EXCEPT the Sadduccees and priests – now they begin plotting against him because they fear the Romans would take away their nation and temple on account of Jesus.

Sadduccees were descendants from the M…. (Jewish priest kings) 140-66BC ? This was the beginning of the Messianic Age. They were the guardians of old proper teachings – they didn’t believe in angels, demons, or the resurrection (at the end of the age) – so they thought they’d catch Jesus out in this (gospel? Luke? chp 19) – “If a man has 7 brothers, and he marries a woman, he dies, so his brother marries her, etc, etc. Who’s the woman’s husband in the resurrection?” Jesus says, “Eh, you totally misunderstood that part….”

God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the Living.

Jesus frustrated their attempts to catch him out.

Annas, the high priest for 9 years – then son-in-law Caiaphas (reigned for 18 years). Now, Caiaphas = the ruler, kind of, but the previous one = Annas – the real power (probably like the President of the council).

Since they didn’t believe in the resurrection, they opposed Jesus (also he seemed to be making a fundamental change in the way the temple worked – i.e. Luke 19? – drove out the sellers) – and they opposed the apostles who carried on his teaching on the resurrection.

These guys had gotten the crowd to cry out “Crucify him!” – they’d thought he was gone and dead, but now his followers are back – no wonder they’re frustrated.

So they arrested the two – threw them in prison – yet the number of MEN grew to 5,000 (probably the congregation = 20,000).

The miracles, preaching, healing, got through to many people and they believed.

The next day, the council got together to decide what to do.

  1. Rulers = high priests
  2. Elders = men of high standing
  3. Teachers = teachers

The question they ask of the apostles = “By what power/name did you do this?”
(They are people of power themselves, so they want to know who they are up against)

The same question was asked of Jesus (Luke 20:1-2) – as Jesus was teaching, the teachers of the Law came to him, “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things?”
Jesus, “OK, you tell me – JB’s baptism – was it from heaven or from man?”

They thought, “Hmmm – if ‘from God’ then ‘why didn’t you believe in him?’ if ‘from Man’ then they people who believed in him will stone us.”

Jesus “Then I won’t tell you either.”

Now, here they are again, with the Jesus question again. And they have a big problem – the man was over forty, the healing was genuine, all the people knew… Now what should they do?…

They could have insinuated that it was the devil’s power that healed the man. Jesus was also accused of this when he healed the man with a demon who couldn’t speak, “By demonic power he drives out demons.” Jesus said, “Duh, why would Satan fight against himself? Besides, then how do YOU drive them out?”

Now Peter declares the risen glory of Christ. Luke 21:12-15 – Jesus had promised wisdom that would outsmart their opponents.

Peter accuses the leaders of being responsible for Jesus’s death and quotes an OT proof text (Ps 118:22) “the capstone” to prove it. Jesus even used it himself (Mark 12:22?)

When the Psalm was written, it was about Israel – despised and rejected by other nations. Jesus applies it to himself (more accurately) and Peter also applies it to him.

Capstone = the IMPORTANT stone in an arch that keeps everything else together.

It’s only in Jesus name (Acts 4:12) that we can be saved. He’s the key point. He’s kind of a big deal.

Remember that David had wanted to build the temple, but he’d been a man of blood – so he passed it on to Solomon to build. Yet, David prepared it all – made contracts – the blocks of stone would have no tools used on them – they had to be made in a totally different place and brought WHOLE to the temple.

The legend goes that they had a lopsided stone, they pushed it aside, threw it away and when they finally needed to finish the temple, they found out it was actually that stone that they’d rejected previously.

This is Jesus – he is the key, the capstone, the only one who fits, the one who holds everything together.

Now the Sadduccees are confused – these are unschooled men and yet, they KNEW the Scriptures as well (perhaps better) than they. It put them to silence.

Jesus was a carpenter’s son and they had earlier marveled at his learning without having gone to their prestigious Harvard-esque Temple schools.

Jesus had healed a man born blind as well. The apostles did. Jesus knew the Scriptures, they did as well.

These things are all being repeated here. What Jesus did, they did, what Jesus knew, they knew, Jesus did good, they are doing good.

  • Problem: what to do with these men?
  • Solution: Can’t really do anything except “Ya! Don’t talk about that! Ya!”

Peter: “Hey man, we’re just saying it like we saw it. Let the people rejoice.”

Do miracles like this healing still happen today? They aren’t as frequent or spectacular perhaps (but remember that all these events in the Bible aren’t happening wham bam one after the other – there is much time between them).

One man said, “I believe Jesus can turn liquor into furniture.” Because he’d been an alcoholic and had lost all his furniture, but then Jesus saved him and he started to become responsible, and he stopped drinking and was able to get furniture back.

And besides, check out Peter’s transformation. He had been a weeping sissy “I don’t know that dude!” and now he’s filled with the Spirit – powerful and bold saying “I don’t care what you do to me – I KNOW this guy!”

Let’s leave it there.

Now, a testimony.

  • Oct 13 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Christ Jesus is Our Very Golden Rule (Matthew 7:1-12)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Jesus is Our Very Golden Rule (Matthew 7:1-12)

10.13

10.13.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Judging Others

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 

9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


Amen. 

Heb 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment…”

This is one sentence. If the first part is true, then the second part is also true. 

Our Lord and King closed this important sermon on the Mount with the subject of judgment. Chapter 7 is the story of judgment.

3 different judgments.

  1. Our judgment of ourselves (1-5)
  2. Our judgment of others (6-20)
  3. God’s judgment of us (21-29)

God doesn’t forbid us to judge others. It is important. Christian love is not blind. “…your love should abound in knowledge so that you may discern the wisdom of God and be blameless…”

Imagine, if we believe everything and accept everyone who is “spiritual” we will experience great confusion. BUT, before we judge others, we must first judge ourselves.

v.1 “Do not judge, or you will be judged.”

Remember: we shall be judged.

The tense of the verb = “once for all” final judgment. When we judge others, we are preparing for ourselves that final judgment. We must judge ourselves to see if we truly believe in Jesus or not – because that will determine our destiny.

1 Cor 1:5? “Test yourselves and see if Jesus Christ is in you… Do not fail the test.”

#2: Other people are judging us right now, continually (v.2) “in the same way you judge,you will be judged.”

Luke 6:37-38 Parable “Do not judge and you will not be judged, not condemn, give and it’ll be given to you. A good measure poured out…with the same measure you use, it will be poured out on you.”

We receive from others exactly what we give to them. We reap what we sow. Judging others = judging ourselves more.

#3: We must see clearly to help others. (v. 3-5)

Interesting but serious. “Why do you look at the sawdust and ignore your own plank?”

The purpose of self judgment is to prepare us to help others. We are obligated to help each other to grow in grace and faith. If we do not judge ourselves, we hurt ourselves and those we minister to. 

In judging others, at least three things we should know:

#1: You never know the whole fact, behind the story – every person has something good in them.

Our task is not to condemn from superficial unloveliness, but look for the underlying beauty. 

There is a big difference between speck and plank.

#2: It is impossible for any person to be perfectly impartial in his/her judgment.

Only the perfectly impartial has the right to judge – only God can judge. No human can say “I am perfectly impartial.”

#3: No one is good enough to judge anyone else.

Only the faultless person has the right to find faults in others.

Please look at your neighbor’s eye. If you see blue, it means your eye glasses are blue. If you see a speck in his, yours has a plank. After we take the plank from our own eye, if we see his eye, there is no more speck.

“You hypocrite!” – whoever criticizes, judges others to make himself look good. But we Christians should help others to make THEM look good. We cannot criticize others unless we are prepared to get judged in the very same situation. 

BUT, sometimes we must judge others.

Homework: We should NOT judge others, but we should judge others. (Exercise your discernment).

Not everyone is a sheep. Some are dogs, some are pigs, some are wolves.

As God’s people, we are privileged to handle the Holy things of God, because he has entrusted to us His holy Word. 2 Cor 2:7? “We have this treasure in jars of clay…”

In the OT time, no priest would throw holy food to dogs, or a purse to pigs. 

We must not cheapen/belittle this gospel by a ministry that lacks discernment.

Our remaining task is to preach the gospel to the world, but we must be very careful. We should notice Jesus, our Lord and King. He met individuals needs according to their spiritual conditions. He didn’t use a memorized speech for every person. He spoke of “living water” to the Samaritan woman. He spoke in context. He refused to answer bad questions by the Pharisees.

A wise Christian will first observe the heart of the other person before sharing the gospel with them. 

It may be sometimes impossible to talk to someone else about Christ – they are blind, hard, intellectually proud, skeptical, mocking – they will immediately reject anything. But at the same time, it is always possible to show them Christ. 

The weakness of the church is NOT in the lack of good arguments, but rather the lack of good LIVES. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, his good and pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2?

  • Don’t give dogs what is sacred.
  • Don’t give pearls to pigs.

We must judge others not to condemn, BUT to be able to minister to them more wisely.

Next, Jesus gives us a resource.

Prayer Promise:

v. 7-11 Ask, Seek, Knock

“How much more…” do you believe the word of Jesus? Why does he discuss prayer NOW again? This is the direct sermon of Jesus on the Mount in chapter 5-7. There was no division of chapters and verses in the original Bible. This sermon was not divided into “parts” as it is in today’s Bible. This is ONE sermon and it contains ONE main subject: prayer.

It has 107 verses and 22 verses = prayer. So more than 20% of this sermon is about prayer.  

  • chp 5: “Pray for those who persecute you…”
  • chp 6: “When you pray…” Lord’s prayer
  • chp 7: “Ask, seek, knock…”

It is very simple and clear for true Christians: we are to pray. 

Christian life = prayer

“A Christian life without prayer is like a human life without breath.”

Heavenly life on earth is possible with prayer. 

We are human, fallible, and make many mistakes. So we need to pray and ask for wisdom and direction (James “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask and God will give graciously…”)

Young king Solomon knew he lacked wisdom, so he prayed to God, and God graciously, generously answered him. If we are to have spiritual discernment in our ministry, we must KEEP ON asking, KEEP ON seeking, KEEP ON knocking. 

  • Ask = one question
  • Seek = question, question, question, question
  • Knock = seek, seek, seek, seek, seek.

God and Creation = he said “very good.” All that God is, does, has, gives is GOOD. If you receive an answer to your prayer, rejoice and give thanks. If there is no answer, rejoice and give thanks more. If there is no answer, he is preparing BETTER than what you ask because he KNOWS deeply what you need more. 

Guiding principle in verse 12:

“Therefore (as a result) do to others what you would have them do to you.”

This sentence = Golden Rule, Pinnacle of Social Ethics, Capstone of all Discourse.

Some religions also teach the negative version of this verse as their highest value. 

  • Confuscius said, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
  • Judaism “Do not do to others whatever is harmful to you – whatever you hate to receive.”
  • Jesus’ teaching = totally NEW here. 

Is it difficult or easy to NOT do to others what we DON’T want? Soooo easy. If I give NOTHING to others, then I’m keeping this principle perfectly.

Very easy only logically, but not practically. We know that the humans around us are not doing this. They act wrongly (traffic) but don’t want to have other act wrongly toward them. They cheat and don’t want others to cheat them. 

Sometimes we may be not different from them by nature. If this is true/so, then HOW difficult it is to DO to others what we WANT done to ourselves. Totally impossible for us – but possible in Jesus Christ. In human history, only Christ Jesus has the ability to say this truthfully. 

Don’t misunderstand Christianity. It is NOT a religion out of many other religions made by man. It is a living relationship with Jesus. It is LIFE in Christ. It is where we give and show others what we have already received from God. 

As a Christian, what are you giving? What are you showing to others?

Final question: By what you are showing/giving to others, do they recognize you as a child of God? 

Only Jesus Christ is our Very Golden Rule. Only in Christ can it be done. The Christian life is the channel of Christ’s life. Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ. The life I live, I live no longer in the body but by faith in Jesus Christ. 

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 06 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Power of Jesus’ Name (Acts 3:1-26)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Power of Jesus’ Name (Acts 3:1-26)

10.06

10.06.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Acts 3 describes the healing of a crippled beggar. We’re not sure how long after Pentecost this happened.

This chapter also describes the preaching of the gospel in the temple in Jerusalem by Peter and John. It shows how they preached.

John is mentioned, but not “active” in the story. Why? Perhaps because of a legal purpose (they were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection – in Deut. it says that one witness is not enough for any conviction. For example, one person might be angry and accuse someone – it’s less likely with two. They needed at least two people to witness an event).

Acts is a story of two apostles – Peter and Paul – the emphasis is on these two.

It was the hour of prayer. There were three times for prayer in the temple: 9:00, 12:00, 3:00. The morning and evening prayer coincided with the sacrifices they offered. These were very important to the Jews.

Josephus – Jewish/Roman War – though starving, they continued the practice of the morning and evening sacrifices.

This event shows that the Jewish disciples continued to follow the Jewish forms of worship and customs. They stayed at the heart of Jewish national life where they could reach people with the gospel message.

Many miraculous signs and wonders were performed by the disciples – they had the same HS that had descended on Jesus. That same power was in and on the apostles. Demons were cast out, people were healed.

Not only the apostles, even the deacons – anyone filled with the spirit – did them. Jesus had proclaimed that truth ( “and even greater things than these” ) but Peter didn’t get the glory, Jesus did (does).

The healing of the beggar = one of these signs.

The beggar (crippled from birth) asked daily for alms (gifts of money). The Jews believed that they were given merit (credit in heaven) for giving money to the poor.

Nobody knows which gate is called “Beautiful.” It’s not mentioned in the Talmud (commentary on the Bible), nor by Josephus. But, regardless, it was a “beautiful” gate for the beggar.

Peter and John approached and the beggar asked for money. Peter said, “Look at us” and wanted his full attention. He said, “I’ll give what I have. In the name of Jesus, walk.” Instantly, his feet and ankles became strong.

  • He’d asked for alms, but got feet.
  • He’d asked for a handout, but got a hand up.
  • He’d asked for charity, but got clarity regarding Jesus’ name and the power.

Luke (the doc) piles on details. ( “His feet and ankles became strong, he walked, he leaped!” ) He walked and leaped into the temple and praised God. All the people recognized him as the beggar. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened. (AWEsome, really).

This was a similar miracle to one Jesus had performed earlier in Capernaum – lowering their friend through the roof of the house – through a trap door in the roof.

Can you imagine this happening? The roof coming off and a guy coming down. Jesus said, “Cheer up! Your sins are forgiven!” He was probably in a pretty serious situation – ill, concerned about his sins. Jesus took away his sins. The Pharisees had come to listen and when they heard this…SCANDAL! “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Actually, in the OT, a Levitical priest could SAY “Your sins are forgiven, by God” if they sacrificed and made penitence for his sins.)

But here, the Pharisees knew he wasn’t a Levite, so he said, “Why do you think evil? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Rise up and walk.’”

Talk is cheap. You can SAY “your sins are forgiven” and there’s no real PROOF of such. SO, Jesus told him to rise and walk – and he did. This demonstrated his power and his ability to (truthfully) say “your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus dealt FIRST with the primary matter, the heart. Before healing the body, he healed his soul. The man would later die anyway, but Jesus forgave his sins first.

All men eventually die – even Lazarus – raised by Jesus from death.

The primary thing: your heart, your sins.

If we get the bonus of physical healing as well, wonderful! (But we shouldn’t expect that first.)

A prophecy said “the lame will rise up and walk” and here this was fulfilled.

Also healings could be given and received by ordinary humans who had faith in Jesus’ name.

So, many people immediately came rushing to Solomon’s Colonnade (it ran around the outer court – the court of the Gentiles). It was here that the teachers relaxed and talked, the merchants sold things and exchanged money.

Jesus had also been here when he was a boy. He was left behind by his parents at age 12 and when they found him later, he was in this Colonnade.

It was also in that place that he drove out the money changers. There was obviously a lot of dirty dealing going on down there – cheating, etc. He drove them out saying, “My Father’s house is to be a house of prayer, but you’ve made it a den of thieves.”

Now, Peter gets a chance to preach the gospel here (it’s similar to what he said at Pentecost). He focuses on Jesus, particularly as the “suffering servant” (Isaiah). He also says that Jesus is the prophet that was raised up like Moses (if the people didn’t give heed to him, they would be cut off). This sermon gives further teaching about the person of Jesus. He is God’s son, the Author of Life, and the prophet like Moses.

Peter also stressed the rejection of Jesus by the Jews and God’s vindication (removable of criminal charges) of him. Thus, God’s vindication of Jesus proves he is the Messiah and sits at God’s right hand.

Peter again calls for repentance. Change of heart/mind. A new Age had dawned with the giving of the HS.

He also deals with the surprise of the onlookers. It was important that they understood where the healing power came from. “Men of Israel, why do you stare at us, as if by our own power we made him walk?” People were staring with their eyes wide and jaws dropped. Then, he gives his solution, Jesus is the one God has glorified – the God of our Fathers – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

This is also how God revealed himself to Moses “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

By the time of the NT, this phrase connected the glory of ancient Israel to the idea of the nation of Israel as God’s remnant chosen people.

When Jesus was discussing this with the Saduccees, he mentioned this phrase. He emphasizes the present tense in this case ( “I AM the God…” ).

God has glorified his servant Jesus. Peter emphasizes the “suffering servant” that is prophesied about in Isaiah. Acts 3:26 “When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” Also in Acts 4 – he is referred to as God’s servant.

Though the word servant is only found in a few texts, the whole concept of the suffering servant is throughout the NT. Matthew ?:6-17 “When evening came, people brought their sick to him and he healed them – this was to fulfill that in Isaiah, ‘for he took up our iniquities…’”

Also in Matthew 12:18-21, “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen…I will put my spirit on him and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not cry out and no one will hear his voice in the streets.”

Perhaps this refers to how LOUD the attention-seeking Pharisees were when they were in the streets.

Jesus usually said, “Shh, don’t tell anyone I healed you, just go to the temple.” But they usually told anyway…

  • “…a bruised reed he will not break…” Jesus won’t break those who are concerned or depressed with their own lives/sins. Also, reeds were made into flutes and if damaged, would be thrown away. But Jesus wouldn’t thrown them away, he’d heal them
  • “…a smoldering wick…” This is a bad aroma – sometimes the things we do give a bad aroma to God – but Jesus wants to bring those things back to life, to wonderful smells.
  • “…the Gentiles will put their hope in him…”

Where is your hope?

John Lennox – often debates atheists and carries a Gideon’s Bible. He was reading it and a scientist across from him on the train said, “what do you do?” (He’s a scientist at Oxford, teaching math.) The man said, “You can’t explain the Bible, why do you read it?” Lennox said, “Explain consciousness.” (We can’t. We know it’s there, but can’t explain it.) Lennox said, “What hope do you have?” The man had none, but Lennox (and all Christians) have great hope.

Now remember that when Jesus was crucified, the Jews had asked for Barabas to be released (he was a rebel/murderer). And they’d cried out to “Crucify Jesus!” So the criminal went free, and the innocent man was crucified.

Jesus took the place for Barabas first.

He said he was the “son of God” and that made people pretty upset.

We’ve all sinned like Barabas (maybe not the same sins) so we are part of Barabas’ identity. Jesus took his place (our place) on the executioner’s block.

Peter said that the Jews had disowned and killed the Author of Life. But in Jesus IS Life. Jesus said, “I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand.”

He is the leader/pioneer – the firstborn of the dead. Romans “For those that God preknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

Greek arcaegos = pioneer.

On a ship, if the ship was sinking, this man would swim with a lifeline to shore and attach it to something. He would then return to the ship and help others across. Jesus does this for us.

In his sermon, Peter proclaimed that they were witnesses to Jesus. He was the Author of Life, the Holy One, the Beautiful One.

Can you imagine the beggar’s experience? One day, suddenly (over 40), he was transformed. On this particular day, he was performed. It was by faith that he was healed – in who? He probably didn’t even think about healing until it happened. Probably it was Peter’s faith that caused it.

We all are like this. Crippled in our sin. But one day, the gospel hits home, God grants us faith and repentance, and our whole lives are transformed overnight.

Jesus was beaten and marred and disfigured beyond any man, beyond description.

It’s like a man who was walking along a street and saw a picture of Jesus in a window. A boy came as well and said, “Jesus was crucified for our sins.” The man continued along and found a tugging on his coattails. “Oh, I forgot to tell you sir. He rose again!” That makes all the difference.

Like the hymn says, “Crown him, crown him…”

Let’s celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus as we take Communion today.

  • Sep 29 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Choose Your Master: God or Money (Matthew 6:19-34)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Choose Your Master: God or Money (Matthew 6:19-34)

09.29

09.29.2013_Bulletin

(FULL) Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .PDF file>

Matthew 6:19-34
Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Do not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor of spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Amen. This is the living Word of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless all of us with this living Word of our Lord and King, Jesus.

09.29-illustration

Today’s topic is: Choose your Master: GOD or Money?

Did you choose? Did you choose already your Lord? You know, we have a tendency to divide life into two parts: the spiritual and the material. But this is not right. Our Lord Jesus makes no such division. In his many parables, in his many teachings, Jesus makes clear a right attitude toward materials. A right attitude toward money is a mark of true spirituality.

We know in the Bible, the Pharisees loved money and used money to make money in the name of “religion.” You know, if we have the true righteousness of Jesus Christ in our lives, we will have a right, proper attitude toward materials, toward money.

In the Bible, Jesus never praises poverty anywhere. Jesus never criticizes being rich materially because we know God made all things including our clothes, food, precious metals. Anything and everything, God made them, and God has declared all things he has made “good.” So, it is not wrong for us to possess materials, but it is wrong for materials to possess us.

Materials vs. Materialism

Materials themselves are not bad, but Materialism is bad. Materialism enslaves our hearts, our wills, our souls, even our spirits. The Bible never says, “Money is evil. Money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Do you like money? But, the Bible says, “The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows and griefs.” (1 Tim 6:10)

And Heb 13:5 says, “Therefore, keep your lives free from the love of money. Be content with what you have because God has said, ‘I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.’” You know, the Bible says there will be three kinds of Loves that will grow and grow as the last day comes nearer and nearer:

  1. The love of Self
  2. The love of Stuff (Money)
  3. The love of Sex (Pleasure) – The love of physical pleasure, the love of lust.

Shall we see once again, from verse 19-24? Let me read, you can see together.

Hate the one and love the other: idolize one, demonize the other.

We need to underline, “You cannot serve both God and Money.” You know the literal meaning in the Greek Bible is, “You cannot be a SLAVE both to God and money.” Whether we like it or not, we are made to be a slave to somebody or something. Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that when you offer yourselves to somebody to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey?” But, even though we are slaves, we have the right to choose our own Master, but we cannot have two Masters or more. We can have two friends or more, but we can have only one Master, only one Lord.

God vs. Other Gods

Then, we need to notice, Jesus does not say in the last sentence, “You cannot serve both God and Mohammed” – or God and Buddha – or God and somebody else – or God and something else. But Jesus says, “You cannot serve both God and Money.”

It means, to Man, to human beings, money is a god, practically. Money is more influential, more powerful in a human’s practical life. The power of money, the influence of money is almost equal to God in our practical lives. We cannot deny it.

Then, the first verse, verse 19…

It means it’s very safe. It means it will last forever and forever, “where thieves do not break in and steal.” What does this mean? To “store up our treasures in heaven”? You know the Earth is the symbol of what is temporary. Then, Heaven means the symbol of something that is eternal. It means, USE what is temporary FOR what is eternal.

Check your spending style

At this moment we need to check our money spending style.

  • For example, how much do you spend for food?
  • How much do you spend for your clothing?
  • How much do you spend for your housing and furniture?
  • How much do you spend for ONE cigarette?
  • For the lottery?
  • For our hobbies or sports?
  • How much do you spend for face renovation?
  • How much do you spend for helping others?
  • How much do you spend for winning souls to Christ?
  • And how much do you spend for tithes and offerings?

Yes, there are MANY ways for us to store treasures in heaven, not on earth, but the Bible is very clear in teaching us one of the BEST ways for us to store our treasures in heaven is tithes and offerings. That’s why the Bible says this:

Malachi 3:8-10

8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, “How do we rob you?” “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food [the symbol of my treasure] in my house [literally, it means the temple, the symbol of heaven]. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

[One of my personal favorite verses]

This is the Word of God Almighty.

During our Christian lives, we do continually tithes and offerings, but we need to know the true meaning of tithes and offerings, biblically – for God and for me. At this moment, I want to say just six points about the meaning of tithes and offerings, briefly.

6 Points about the Meaning of Tithes and Offerings

#1 First, as mentioned in Malachi 3:8-10, tithes and offerings is one of the best ways to store up our treasures in heaven.

Please remember whenever you give your offerings and tithes.

#2 Second, tithes and offerings is the action of obedience.

Tithes and offerings is not an optional choice, but an essential command in the Bible, not only in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament.

  • Already we read together Malachi 3:10, “Bring your whole tithe.”
  • And Exodus 23:15 says, “No one is to appear before God empty handed.”

Also in the New Testament, it’s the same.

  • In the New Testament, in Matthew chapter 23, Jesus our Lord agrees that we should give our tithe.
  • Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “That’s why each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give. Not reluctantly or under compulsion because God loves a cheerful giver.”

#3, tithes and offerings is a thanksgiving sacrifice.

We can show our thanksgiving to God by giving, by our action.

#4 Also, tithes and offerings is an acknowledgement of God’s ownership and our stewardship.

#5, tithes and offerings is a kind of prayer for more blessing.

Also, tithes and offerings is sowing with the expectation of reaping. Also a holy investment for harvest. You know, Jesus says, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” We are not allowed to test God. Do you agree? But, in the Bible, in the whole Bible, there is only one area in which we are allowed, we are encouraged to test God. This area is tithe. We read already, God encourages us, God challenges us to “Bring the whole tithe and then test me in this and see if I won’t bless you more and more! I will open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for that.”

Also 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: whoever sows little will reap little, whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, but whoever sows generously (bountifully) will reap generously (bountifully).”

#6 And finally, let me say one more, tithes and offerings is a proclamation of freedom from the love of money.

We know the last sentence, “We cannot serve God and Money” but we can serve God with money. With our tithes and offerings, we say to money (please, do you have money in your pocket? Say to your money), “I need you, but I am not your slave. You are my slave. Please follow me, I don’t follow you. You have no right to control me, but I have the right to control you.” We can say this to money with our tithes and offerings.

Please remember, God knows we need money. So, if we serve God, God will provide us with money, as much as we need. But, money doesn’t know we need God. That’s why, if we serve money, money gives us only worry. So, the next topic is worry. In the next passage, we can see the word “worry” at least 6 or 7 times. Worry, worry, worry. Do you like worry? Please, do not worry about worry. Shall we see the next paragraph? At this moment, I bless all of us, God may bless, so that we may be free from worry. Verse 25:

The Real Reality of Worry (v. 25-34)

At this moment, we need to know what is the real reality of worry. I want to say at least four points about the reality of worry.

#1, first, please remember, worry is totally needless, useless, and even positively, actively harmful, injurious.

Worry it cannot affect the Past – the Past is passed. Like this, worry about Tomorrow is useless. Worry about Tomorrow is a wasted effort. You know, worry about Tomorrow can do nothing for Tomorrow except taking away the joy, energy, and effectiveness of Today. God has provided for us Today. You know, the regrets of the Past and the worry of Tomorrow destroys the quality of Today. Then, worry is worse than useless. Worry is harmful – positively, actively harmful.

We know already, worry is one of the great causes of physical sicknesses and diseases, such as headaches, stomach ulcers, coronary trouble. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a worrying heart dries the bones.” How right it is.

  1. Worry wears out our heart, our mind, our soul, our body.
  2. Worry affects our judgement.
  3. Worry weakens our decision power.
  4. And finally, worry makes us gradually, progressively unable to deal with our life.

Please remember that.

#2, second, worry is blind.

Worry makes us blind. Worry makes us unable to see, unable to learn the lesson from nature. Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air…” Do you know, do you believe that we are more valuable than the birds of the air? Do you agree? And Jesus says, “Look at the grass, the lilies of the field…” Do you believe we are much, much more valuable than grass, flowers. Do you believe this? We are created in his image.

But remember, Jesus does not say, “Look at the birds of the land… Look at the birds of the tree…” But Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the AIR.” You know, to be in the air, to be in the sky, birds should fly, and fly continually with their eyes opened. Jesus does not say, “Look at the lilies of the bottle… Lilies of the living room…” But Jesus says, “Lilies of the field.” You know, to remain standing in the field, lilies should put their roots under the ground, and should draw water from below, and should confront the wind and the sunshine – sometimes cold, sometimes hot. It means, they are in the RIGHT place, doing the right jobs according to God’s original designs for them. But they do not worry, they depend on God. God never fails.

“No worry” does not mean “no work, or no plan, no thought.” “No worry” means “no worry” and being in the right place according to God’s original design for us, and doing the RIGHT jobs according to God’s original design for us. Where is the right place we should be according to God’s original designs? The answer is we must be in God, in Jesus Christ.

#3, worry is essentially irreligious.

Please remember, worry is a matter of the heart, not a matter of outward circumstances. In the same circumstances, one man can be peaceful, can be serene, and another man can be worried to death. Peace and worry come not from circumstances, but from the heart.

You know one day a gentleman met a beggar on the street and:

  • That gentleman said to the beggar, “Hey, my friend, may God give you a good day.”
  • The beggar said, “I thank God that I never had a better day.”
  • Then, the gentleman said again, “My friend, may God give you a happy life.”
  • The beggar said, “I thank God I was never unhappy.”
  • Then that gentleman was surprised and said, “What do you mean?”
  • Then the beggar said, “Well, when it is fine, I thank God. When it is raining, I thank God. When it is cloudy, I thank God. When I have much, plenty, I thank God. When I am hungry, I thank God. Because God’s will is my will. Because whatever pleases God pleases me. Why should I say I’m unhappy because I’m happy?”
  • Then in astonishment, in surprise, the gentleman asked, “Who are you?”
  • The beggar answered, “I’m a king.”
  • The gentleman asked again, “What? You are a king? If you are a king, where’s your country? Where’s your kingdom?”
  • The beggar answered, “In my heart.”

Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything else, above all else, keep your heart, guard your heart because it is the source of life, the fountain of life, the wellspring of life.”

Please remember, if we think about a matter with fear over and over, it is worry. But, if we think about Jesus Christ with the Bible over and over, it is meditation. So, we have already a great ability to meditate very well. No problem.

#4 Worry is a sin to God

Let me say lastly one point. Please remember, worry is mistrust, unbelief, disbelief to God. In conclusion, worry is a sin to God. Shall we say together, “Worry is a sin to God.” In verse 30, Jesus says, “Oh you of little faith.” Oh you of no faith. What does this mean? This means that worry is evidence of little faith, no faith. And verse 32 says, “for the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

This means that worry is the pagan’s lifestyle. Today in our version, worry is the unbeliever’s lifestyle.

Yes, outwardly, we may worry because of this, because of this, because of that, such and such, many things we may worry, but the fundamental reason, the basic reason why I worry is because I do not trust in God, because I do not believe in Jesus Christ. Please remember, as long as we live in this world, the fundamental remedy, the fundamental solution for worry is believe in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord and King and Master, really, truly, and act on that faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives peace of heart

Jesus died for us. Who died for us except for Jesus Christ? Jesus died for us, and that same Jesus who died for us and rose again from the dead gives us eternal life, abundant life. Jesus says, “I give you eternal life. You shall never perish, no one shall snatch you out of my hand.” Just if we believe in Jesus Christ, that eternal life is ours. That abundant life is ours. Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. I give you my peace, peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as this world gives. So, do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.”

We know we want peace of heart. We want, we need that kind of peace. But this kind of peace can be found only in Jesus Christ. First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast, throw away, cast all your anxieties, all your worry, on God because he cares for us.” Trust in Jesus Christ and to worry cannot go together.

Choose

Today is the moment. Today is the day for us to choose our true Master, our Lord: God or Material, God or Money, God or Worry.

First, Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends, which surpasses all understanding, all wisdom, all knowledge will keep your hearts and minds in our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Shall we pray together?

I want each of us to take a short time before God, very honestly, please, right now, ask to yourself, WHO is your Lord? Who is your Master? Truly, practically? And if your Lord, true Lord, is Jesus Christ, let us give thanks to him, who died on the cross for our sins, and who gave us eternal life, salvation, real peace, real joy, real safety.

Let’s pray.


Father God,

Thank you so, so much for giving us real freedom, real joy, real peace that cannot be found in this world. Father God, we know only we can be free from all kinds of worries, all kinds of anxieties, all kinds of troubles only in our Lord Jesus Christ, only by trusting in our God who is our Creator, who is our Maker, who is our Designer, who is our God, also Father.

Father God, help us please, not only through our tongues, but also from our deep hearts, our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ may be acceptable by you as real faith, real trusting.

Father God, fill us with the Holy Spirit. We cannot do that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, without the filling of the Holy Spirit it is impossible for us to get victory against the temptation of the material world in this world.

Father God, by your Spirit, by your power, by your wisdom, let us be victorious in this world. And let us live your life, heavenly life in this world, even though our body is here on this earth, we are not of this world because our citizenship is in heaven already. Help us to store our treasures in heaven eternally, not temporarily on Earth.

Thank you for your teaching us, thank you for your guiding us,

In Jesus’ name I pray.

Amen.

  • Sep 15 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)

09.15

09.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘ 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Amen

In the previous verses, Jesus said, “Do not keep babbling like pagans. They think they will be heard because of their many words. Our Father knows what we need before we ask. This then, is how you should pray…”

This is the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus gave it first, and to his disciples, and as a pattern – but not an incantation.

When we pray, we should pray as the first time and last time, the same – sincerely, from our deep hearts.

There is one fact we should know.

This prayer = given to disciples. It is a prayer that ONLY disciples can pray. Only those fully committed to God can pray it. We can only pray it when we know what we are praying. We can only know it when we enter into true discipleship with God.

This is not a baby’s prayer. It is a disciple’s prayer. God bless us to not be babies.

“Our Father…”

To WHOM do you pray? What is he like? Who is listening? Do you know who you are talking with? Who is hearing your voice?

#1: We pray to God – God Almighty – the One True God.

God is spirit, invisible, eternal, immutable, unchangeable, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, gracious, compassionate. Also, he is a person, with a personality – he can speak, he can listen, feel, love, hate, be angry. He is a PERSON.

When we pray, we pray to GOD ~ not men, not angels, not demons, not A god…

“…in heaven…”

There is a big gap between God and we, his Creations.

  • He is infinite, we are finite.
  • He is perfect, we are imperfect.
  • He contains all Creation, we cannot contain all of Him in our brains.

But, we can call such a God in heaven “our Father.” He has become our Father – our imminent Father. Unknowable God becomes knowable Father. Invisible God becomes visible Father. This is the MOST intimate form of communication, between a Father and his children. God loves us, cares for us, as Father.

Can you call God “Father”? 

How is this possible? Only in Jesus Christ. Only through and by Jesus Christ. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at his right side has made him known.”

“To those who believed in him, God gave the right to be called ‘children of God.’”

If you believe in Jesus, acknowledge him with your mouth, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, make him Lord over your life, THEN, you are a “child of God.” ONLY THEN, you can call God, “Father.” There is no other way.

Can you call God “Father”?

“OUR Father…”

Not “my Father…” – he IS my Father, but there are NO singular pronouns here – “our Father… our debts… our sins… our daily bread…”

We must remember we are a part of the Universal church – over the whole world. We must not pray for something that would be bad for other members of God’s family. If we pray rightly, we pray for things that become blessings for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

From this prayer, we can see the missional heart of God – he wants all humans to be saved by belief in Christ. If we know this, then we know next for what we should pray.

TWO Parts with 6 items.

Each part has 3 items.

  1. Part #1: For GOD (3 items)
  2. Part #2: For Ourselves (3 items)

Sometimes the Bible divides prayer into two parts (prayer and petition) Ephesians = “pray in all occasions with prayers and petitions” Philippians = “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, present your requests to God.”

Generally speaking, whatever we say to God = prayer.

Narrowly speaking, asking FOR God = pure prayer. Asking for OURSELVES = petition.

Firstly, we must ask for GOD, and THEN, for ourselves.

Remember, this is a disciples’ prayer.

  1. For God
  2. For YOU
  3. For ME

Remember, babies pray:

  1. For Me
  2. For Me
  3. For Me

This prayer =

  1. For God’s name to be holy
  2. For his kingdom to be come
  3. For his will to be done

#1: HOLY in Greek = “hagios” = separate/different from other things.

Let God’s name be treated differently from other names – let him be given a supreme position. Let God’s name be given its proper position. His qualities, personalities, attributes deserve and demand this.

When will this prayer be accomplished?

“When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” THEN this prayer will be fulfilled.

God gave Jesus the name that is above all names… until this day comes, we must continue to pray “hallowed be your name” “holy be your name”

#2: Your Kingdom come

Matthew 6:33? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well.”

This is central to the message of Christ – “the kingdom of Heaven is near – repent!”

  1. It existed in the past “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets were in the kingdom of Heaven.”
  2. It exists currently in the present “it’s in the midst of you, among you, in you, near, at hand” – it’s a present reality.
  3. It will come in the future – we must continue to pray that more and more people will enter the kingdom of God. One day will come when all evil will be destroyed and God will establish a new heaven and new earth (it’s not here yet – Shinchonji…)

Your job is not a secular job, it’s a holy job.

  1. We make money.
  2. We contribute to this world.
  3. We build the kingdom of God (and worship Him through our work).

Outwardly, I’m here to make money.

Inwardly, I’m here to advance HIS kingdom.

Let us pray for God’s kingdom to come among us.

#3: Your WILL be done.

Babies pray to change God’s will to satisfy his OWN will.

Disciples pray to submit OUR wills to God’s will.

The kingdom of God and his will cannot be separated. The kingdom of God is a society on earth in which his will is done perfectly as it is in heaven.

Anyone who did God’s will perfectly in the past was in the kingdom of God. Anyone who NOW does God’s will perfectly is in the kingdom of God.

1 John “This world and its desires pass away, but the man who stands in the will of God will last forever.”

The accomplishment (fully) is still, yet to be, in the future.

Are you in the kingdom of God now?

This is to submit (fully) and obey (fully) God’s will.

To pray for the Will of God = to pray to submit our own wills to the will of God.

  1. His name = glory
  2. His kingdom to come
  3. His will to be done

————-

NOW, we can pray for ourselves…

#1: Provide for our needs (daily bread) – providence

This refers to physical AND spiritual needs. EVERY necessity. “Daily” means God’s constant, non-stop, steadfast provision.

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

John “I am the Bread of Life – he who believes in me will never go hungry, will never be thirsty.”

Do you think you provide for yourself because you work? WRONG. God gives you the ability to work – he is your provider and your sustainer.

Jesus does not pray “Give ME my daily bread” but rather “Give US our daily bread” (i.e. don’t be selfish). We can be a channel/tool in God’s answering OTHER people’s prayers. This is not only for US to RECEIVE our daily bread, but also a prayer for us to SHARE our daily bread with others.

God provides our breath, that’s why we breathe. Our houses, clothes, everything we have and enjoy is from God, and for his glory.

#2: Forgive us our debts AS we have ALSO forgiven our debtors.

We must CONTINUALLY pray for forgiveness.

In Jesus, there is no more condemnation, true, we are righteous and holy in Christ. BUT, at the same time, as long as we are in this world, we are not perfect in character, life, tongue, so we continually need God’s forgiving mercy and grace. Every day we wash and shower, like this we need God’s forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

v. 14-15 “If you do not forgive, God will not forgive.”

Actually, God’s forgiveness is not dependent on our own forgiving of others. We are forgiven already in Christ. This sentence means, “if we have FULLY experienced the forgiveness of Christ and we do NOT forgive others, then we have NOT fully experienced God’s forgiveness.”

  • If you can’t forgive, you don’t know God.
  • If you can’t forgive, you are in essence, asking God to not forgive you.

We must learn to love others more and more, to forgive, to forget (God forgets greatly).

#3: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (this world is God’s but under Satan’s influence).

We must continue to pray for our salvation.

What does this mean? Can we lose our salvation? NO. That salvation we received is VERY sure. It CANNOT be lost in Jesus Christ.

But, IF we are saved, we must CONTINUE to pray for our salvation.

If we have been saved from the condemnation of sin, we still must pray to be saved from the temptation of sin. We must pray continually for victory over sin.

We cannot escape oxygen – we also cannot escape temptation. 

“Help us escape temptation. Help us get victory.”

We must become more and more like Jesus: our model, our perfect example.

In this manner, we pray:

Our Father in heaven…

Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer as YOUR prayer, individually, as a disciple.

  • Sep 08 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Promise is For You (Acts 2:38-47)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Promise is For You (Acts 2:38-47)

09.08

09.08.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 WIth many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.


God has brought salvation to the Gentiles AND the Jews.

The HS came in a sovereign way as the Word of God was preached. There was the water baptism and the signs of the Spirit for the Gentiles as well.

Paul later found some other believers and said, “How were you baptized?”

“In John’s baptism.”

“Don’t you know that John said, ‘Look for the one coming after me.’?” So he baptized them into Jesus’ name.

Here 3000 were added to the church.

Luke doesn’t give us a clear-cut pattern of when the Holy Spirit is given. BUT water baptism is a public declaration of faith in Jesus and the laying on of hands is the congregation supporting that.

The baptism should be Triune – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

When people were baptized into Jesus, it was “in the name of Jesus.” This denotes the power and authority through which the church carried out its actions.

Acts 3 – Peter and John had gone to the temple at 3pm (the hour of prayer) – there a beggar, lame from birth, lay. He looked up and said, “Gimme.”

Peter looks and says, “Silver and gold I have not, but I’ll give you what I have. Rise up and walk.” He did. People praised God. He had never walked, but here he was leaping for joy.

A preacher once said:

In an affluent church, we can’t say “silver and gold we do not have…”

Another man said, “Yes, and NEITHER can we say ‘Rise up and walk.’”

Where riches increase, don’t depend on those. Where is the power of Christ in the church?

Acts 5 – the apostles/disciples were preaching and doing signs and wonders. People were getting exocised of unclean spirits. Everyone was rejoicing! (Except those super religious people. -They put the disciples in prison – but God released them (broke them out actually.))

Later, the disciples were brought before the Council of Super Holy Dudes and they said to them, “Hey, what are you doing? You’re making us look guilty.” And the disciples said, “Hey man, we have to obey God, not men (i.e. not your super holy rules).”

Whenever, wherever Peter preached the name of Jesus, people were baptized into the name of Jesus.

In baptism, it was customary to make an outward confession of Jesus as Lord/Savior. Acts 8:36-37:

The Ethiopian eunuch had been to Jerusalem and was returning home, reading the Scriptures, and the HS said to Philip, “go join him.” He was reading Isaiah.

  • Phil: “Do you understand?”
  • E: “How can I? Unless someone explains it to me.”
  • Phil: “Check it out. This is all about JESUS…”
  • He explained baptism to him as well and the Ethiopian said, “Look, here’s water! Let’s do it!”
  • Phil: “OK. If you believe with all your heart.”
  • E: “I believe that JC is the Son of God.”
  • Phil: Baptizes him then SUDDENLY caught up in the Spirit and taken to another city.

The Ethiopian continued on home.

Acts 16:31 – Philippian jailer. Paul was imprisoned and beaten, there was a great earthquake as Paul and companion praised God.

The earthquake opened all the doors, so the jailer thought “Oh great, there they all go. I’m dead meat.” Paul: “Don’t kill yourself! We’re all here.”

  • Jailer: “What must I do to be saved?”
  • Paul: “Believe in Jesus and be saved – you and all your house.” So he did and was baptized.

Romans 10:9: If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you’ll be saved. For it is with the mouth you confess, and with your heart you believe.

The Holy Spirit is distinguished from the gifts he brings. The gift of the HS IS the HS. “The Promise (of the HS) is for You.”

Repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift of the HS – the Promise is for you and your children.

How does the Lord call us? Through preaching primarily. The Lord anoints the Word and convicts us and leads us to Him.

Jesus was no longer with the disciples except in his Spirit. The prince of this world had been judged at the cross. Satan was defeated – his head was CRUSHED. (Genesis 3 – the snake would bruise his heel, but the heel would CRUSH his head.)

Jesus triumphed over the spiritual darkness, the principalities and the powers.

A triumph is MORE than a victory.

  • Victory = get the spoils, win, etc.
  • Triumph = Bring back the spoils invite us in to share it with him.

Long ago, the rulers and peoples of conquered lands were brought back to the winning side’s home for slavery, etc. With Jesus, you’re on the winning side.

“For all who are far off” – physically, or spiritually far off.

The Lord calls us through his Word, through the preaching of His Word. The question: Have you responded? Don’t think: “I’m not worthy.” Actually, NO ONE is worthy.

“Be saved from this perverse/corrupt generation.”

We cannot save ourselves, but we can receive the one who does save us. You’re drowning in the ocean, Jesus throws out the lifeline. Are you going to grab it? Or keep swimming, floundering, drowning?

Andrea Bocelli? At the end of the concert, it was PERFECT. Nothing more could possibly be added.

When Jesus said, “It is finished” it was with that same feeling. Nothing more could possibly be added.

In the OT, when there was a sacrifice, the priest had to examine it for perfection before the sacrifice. If so, “It is perfect.” with the same feeling.

Jesus was perfect, spotless, his work was final, perfect, untouchable.

God is the one who does the work through Jesus. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Are you assured of your salvation? If your life is demanded of you tonight… Jesus invites you to come and receive.

Eternal salvation is an issue – but those who accepted Peter’s call could also be saved from the destructive war between the Jews and the Romans. Luke 20:21-24 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know it’s destruction is near. Everyone should flee – get out – don’t enter! This is the time of punishment and fulfillment of prophecies. There will be great distress for all people. They will be taken and trampled on by the Gentiles until the Time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.”

When Jesus was crucified, there was a time of fruitfulness. But later the Romans came and laid seige to the city, the people suffered terribly. Yet, those who listened to Jesus were preserved – they were able to flee to another city.

Yes, eternal salvation = primary. If we’ve heard the gospel, we need to respond to it. We all sin, we need to repent, TURN from them.

Scripture: He who hides his sin will suffer. He who turns from his sin will prosper.

Have you been baptized? Some at that time had, but hadn’t received the HS. Have you been baptized in the Spirit? Have you been filled? Have you found leakage? (Water/spirit dripping out).

Paul: Examine yourselves to see if you’re in the faith.

If we are lacking in repentance, repent!

We need the anointing of the Spirit. Even Jesus (the God Man, God in flesh) needed the presence of God the Father and the Spirit to do his ministry effectively.

The gift, the promise is for you. Just ask.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 01 / 2013
  • Comments Off on We Must Choose Only One: Reward From Men or Reward From God (Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We Must Choose Only One: Reward From Men or Reward From God (Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18)

09.01

09.01.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Giving to the Needy

1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

Fasting

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Last time, chp 5 pt 2 – Jesus repeated 6 times “you have heard that…but I tell you…” He explained the true meaning of murder, adultery, oaths, retaliation, love for enemies.

Today, he repeats 3 times “I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full…”

  • See “reward”? It’s found 7 times. This is a kind of payment. Who can go to the office or school to work without payment.
  • See “hypocrite”? It’s found 3 times. 

In the study of chp. 6, the most serious question is: “What is the place of the reward in the Christian life?” 

Whenever Jesus speaks of the Last Day, he speaks of Reward and Punishment. 

A goodness that achieves no end is a meaningless goodness. The end of the bad man and the end of the good man cannot be one and the same. To remove all rewards and punishments = “In God there is no love nor justice.”

Rewards and punishments are NECESSARY in life and to show God.

  • Here are some to show Rewards.
  • Chp 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult, persecute, curse you because of me… Great is your reward in heaven… If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get?”
  • Chp 10:10 “Anyone who receives a prophet because he’s a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward… If anyone gives a cup of water… he will never lose his reward…”
  • 1 Cor “He who plants and he who waters work on the same… but each will be rewarded for his work.”
  • Phil 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to gain the reward for which God has called me heavenward.”
  • Col 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for men because you will receive your reward from the Lord.”
  • Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please God… he will reward those that honestly seek him. 
  • Rev 21:22 “Behold, I’m coming soon. My reward is in my hand and I will give to everybody according to what he has done.”
  • Hebrews 9:27? “Just as man is appointed once to die and after that to meet Judgment.”

We cannot escape Judgment – in that sentence it means Reward or Punishment. 

We will all receive a reward. What is important is “From Whom?” From men or God?

We must do our deeds secretly and check our motivation, not expecting a reward:

  1. Giving to the Needy
  2. Prayer
  3. Fasting

These should not be self-centered, but God-centered. Don’t make US look good, make GOD look God.

Matthew “Let you light shine before men that they might praise your Father in heaven.”

If we do good to make us look good, it’s no longer good. We must do good to make God look good so that good remains good.

We must apply this to every area of life. Jesus warns of hypocrisy – using religion to cover his sin. Hypocrisy = double-sin. 

In Greek, hypocrisy = actor (he wears a mask to pretend to be somebody he isn’t – to do something good only for the appearance). 

One thing Jesus dislike the MOST = hypocrisy.

True righteousness must come out from within. 

We know human weaknesses = we have the tendency to be influenced by what man sees and says MORE than by what the righteous God sees and thinks.

Alms giving, Prayer, Fasting = essential things in the Christian life. Jesus doesn’t say, “IF you give… IF you pray… IF you fast…”

He says, “WHENEVER…”

These are therefore very essential in the Christian life. The right kinds of giving, prayer, and fasting will have their own rewards from God. 

#1: Helping the Poor (v. 1-4)

Deut 15:11 “There will be poor people in the land, therefore I command you to be open handed toward them…”

Prov 19:17 “The one who is kind to the poor, lends to the Lord, so the Lord will reward him for what he has done.”

But, if we use alms giving to gain favor from God and/or attention from men, that’s hypocrisy. No amount of giving can purchase salvation. Salvation = FREE. 

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by the grace of God you have been saved, this not of yourselves, but of God…”

To live for the praise/applause of men = foolish. The glory, praise, attention of men = temporary.

1 Pet 4:29? “All men are like grass, flowers…all men fall and fade, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.”

If our motives = pure and pleasing, in love and praise to God, yes, we will give our gifts without calling attention to ourselves, and we will grow in faith, and God will be glorified and others will be helped.

But, if we give with the wrong motivations, we rob God of his blessing.

Is it wrong all the time for giving openly? Not always. The point = MOTIVATION. We cannot check our motivation too much before God. If we do something for the praise, attention, honor of men, we have received our reward already in full. 

  • For one thing, how many payments? ONE.
  • For one thing, how many rewards? ONE. Can’t get reward from men AND reward from God. Choose only ONE. 

2. Prayer (v. 5-8)

Do you pray? If NO, you’re not a Christian. 

“Prayer for the Christian is like breathing. There’s no life without it.”

Do you have your own prayer room? “Go in there, close the door…”

And when you pray… = 3 times repeated.

“Your Father KNOWS what you need before you ask him.” 

Christian’s life = praying life. 

Jesus gives us “right prayer” guidelines:

1. Pray in private BEFORE praying in public

(i.e. don’t reserve your prayers for public places only – get in the habit of praying privately). ALL men of God in the Bible prayed in private – SO, their public prayers became powerful and faithful before God. 

Do you pray privately, secretly, when nobody sees you? Public prayer without it = acting, a show.

2. Pray sincerely.

Repetition of the same word, same sentence = no problem, it can be an expression of strong, honest, eager petition. Even Jesus repeated his prayer before God in Gethsemane. 

The problem = babbling. The sound of a drunkard, a baby, a babbling stream. Empty words = nothing. (Martin Luther quote…?)

3. Pray continuously?

If we have a right relationship with God, his presence = safety, strength, encouragement. But, if we sin against him, his presence may be an irritation or burden. 

If we have a regular prayer life, and we know he knows what we need, then it encourages us to pray more. 

Prayer is not like sending an order paper to a supplier. It develops our intimate, personal relationship with God, who is a loving Father. He knows us all deeply, individually, privately. 

Prayer is not just talking before men, but before God, who knows the deepest secrets of our hearts. Prayer = living communication with God. 

God the Father knows the best for me. So, we can bring our prayer requests confidently to God. 

3. Fasting

Do you fast? Sometimes? (v. 16-18)

“WHEN you fast… do not look somber… they show men… BUT when you fast… it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting…” 

God is not mentioned as God, but as Father. The word Father is repeated 7 times here.

There will be a reward from God when we fast in the right way, with the right motivation, with the right purpose. Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights before starting his mission.

True fasting helps us to control/discipline our physical bodies and keep our spiritual priorities straight. 

Also, the Pharisees fasted twice a week. But they did it so other people would see them – to be praised “Woah~ you so holy~”

So, they gained their nicknames “hypocrites.”

We cannot check/test our motivation too much before God. Motivation is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, sooooooooo important. 

Hypocrisy robs the Christian life. It robs us of character and gives us praise. 

We must not pray anything we do not mean from our deep hearts. Our motivations must be to please God alone – we must cultivate (cultivate = raise like plants, carefully, lovingly, diligently) our hearts in a secret place.

May God bless us all.

Colossians 3:23-24

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Keep this in your heart. Memorize and practice it.

Let us take 30 seconds individually to pray “Father, purify my motivation. Cleanse my intentions, cleanse my hidden parts that only you see.”

  • Aug 25 / 2013
  • Comments Off on What Shall We Do? (Acts 2:21-38)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

What Shall We Do? (Acts 2:21-38)

08.25

08.25.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Peter’s preaching in Acts was shaped by Luke.

Acts 2 = summary of what Peter actually said.

Luke says Peter “warmed the crowd” with many other words (not recorded here).

Things of note:

1. Luke used the Septuigen version of the Scriptures (septuigenta = Latin = 70) – these Scriptures were made by 70 Jews. At that time, many Jews were spread throughout the world and didn’t know their mother tongue of Hebrew – so this was the Greek translation of the Scriptures. Most of the early church took most of their Scripture quotes from this version (LXX Version).

This was the main source of the Scriptures for the early church. Also, Joel is different (2:28 – “It shall come to pass afterward that I’ll pour out my flesh on all people…”) Afterward there = meta… = could be indefinitely. Peter here changes that word to “the last days” (it has a more specific time element).

For the New Testament writers, the “Last Days” began with Christ’s first appearance, and would end with his Second Coming. “You have been dreaming of the day of God – when he’d break forth into history – now the day is here in Jesus.” (William Barclay).

Peter obviously didn’t know how long it would be until Jesus returns. Even in 2 Peter, he defends the decades-long-no-Jesus-returning-period “In the last days, scoffers will come, following their own evil desires, and saying, ‘Where is this second coming?’ But they deliberately forget that in the Beginning, God formed the world and flooded the world with water and destroyed it. Now also the heavens are reserved for fire. But don’t forget that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. God is patient with everyone, not wishing any to perish, but ALL to come to repentance.”

Not everyone WILL obviously repent, but the opportunity WILL be presented.

Near the end of Peter’s life, 1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near” he thought that the End was near – especially since there was so much time between Jesus’ resurrection and the Second Coming.

The Holy Spirit here has now been poured out and the Age of the Spirit had become. The times in Joel’s prophecy had come – it was now time to put faith in Jesus – because as Joel’s prophecy says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The note here = every ONE – personally. Not just since you go to church, or since your family goes to church, or since your friend goes to church.

Peter is sure that these are the Last Days of which Joel has prophesied. So, now he turns his argument over to “Jesus IS Messiah” and he goes to show (in the Scriptures) how many things prove he is. This is also the emphasis of the early church’s preaching.

Jesus was a man of God, approved by God, and through his signs and compassion, that proves (outwardly) that he was of God.

Peter argues that what was God’s apparent “weakness” (the crucifixion) was actually the power and plan of God (Romans 1:16 = Paul also says this). Peter argues that by the Jews putting Jesus to death, the Jews actually have fulfilled the prophecies (especially in Isaiah). Then, he quotes a proof text (a Psalm of David) that Jesus’ resurrection was appointed and prophesied previously – AND that God would establish an eternal throne in David’s line.

Psalm 16:8-11 – this is an exact quote from the Septuigen Scriptures. He quotes it Messianically (proving that Jesus is the Messiah). It says that “your servant shall not see decay” yet everyone KNOWS that he died and did decay – so the verse MUST apply to a future descendant of David. The people (and Peter) acknowledge that David is a prophet so it is true that he should be able to see the future.

Jesus also says, “Everything in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms is about me.”

Peter argues that these prophetic words were about Jesus – and the apostles are witnesses to these facts. The proof that the Spirit was present = fire, tongues, etc.

Psalm 101:1 = another proof text.

“Sit at my right hand…”

This verse was difficult to understand – the explanation depended on the way you understood the “lords” – “the Lord said to my lord…” or “the lord said to my Lord…” or … etc.

The Saduccees debated over this, but Jesus debated with them – “how then is the Christ the son of David? He calls him ‘my Lord.’”

The proper understanding of the Lords = the key to understanding the text. Jesus interpreted it messianically as referring to himself.

In fact, this text is not earthly but heavenly, not about David, but Jesus – the disciples were witnesses to Jesus’ Ascension.

In Jesus’ trial, the Pharisees asked “Are you the Son of God?” Jesus, “You have said rightly.”

Peter uses 4 points to argue for Jesus as Messiah.

  1. Peter’s personal testimony
  2. Miraculous events of Pentecost
  3. Information about Jesus that the audience had themselves (he was famous throughout the land at that time)
  4. The Scriptural proof texts

Then Peter concludes with the point he made throughout – Jesus = Lord, Messiah, Anointed One. (Romans 10:9 – “if you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth” 1 Cor 12:3 “no one who is speaking by the Spirit says ‘Jesus be cursed’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Spirit.” Phil “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.”) – this (from Peter) became an early creed.

Peter’s speech produced a strong emotional reaction in the crowd – OBVIOUSLY, Jesus was the Messiah and they were convicted, humbled, and teachable and asked “What shall we do?”

Peter = the GOAL he’d wanted “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.”

Luke 24:47 Jesus foretells “Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be told to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Metanoia = a change of mind/behavior/heart/etc.

This word is used repeatedly in the NT and especially Acts to talk about repentance.

  • Acts 3:19 – Peter preaches in Solomon’s colonnade “repent then and turn to God that your sins may be white and times of refreshing come.” These are God-fearers in the temple he’s talking to (church-goers)
  • Acts 5:31 – Peter speaks to the Sanhedrin (counsel of Jews) who tried to stop them preaching about Jesus “God exalted him to his own right hand as Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness to the people of Israel.” Here, people in religious leadership.
  • Acts 8:22 – Peter speaks to Simon the magician (the occultic magician). Simon wanted to offer money for the gift of the Spirit “Repent of this wickedness, perhaps he’ll forgive you for this thought.” Here, people in the occult also need to repent (today, many people are involved in the occult – wittingly or unwittingly – but whether we know it or not, God condemns the occult).
  • Acts 11:18 – explaining the conversion of Cornelius (Roman Gentile seeking God – God led Peter to his house, he preached, the HS fell on them, and it was evident that God had accepted them) “When they heard this they had no further questions, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance.’” (This was pretty amazing – unclean GENTILES too?)
  • Acts 13:24 – Paul in the synagogue gives a word of preaching/teaching – “Before Jesus, John preached repentance to Israel…”
  • Acts 17:30 – to pagan philosophers in Athens (Aeropogas) – “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent – for he has set a day to judge the world – and proves it with Jesus’ resurrection” – some believed here though most mocked him.
  • Acts 19:4 – Paul speaks to some disciples in Ephesus “Did you receive the HS when you believed?” “The what?” “How were you baptized?” “Into John.” “John preached repentance, but said, ‘Look to the one who comes after.’ So, let’s baptize you into the one who comes after.” Now, they were baptized into the HS. (This is similar to Apollos who knew the Scriptures well but needed more info to help him be better.)
  • Acts 20:21 – the elders at Ephesus “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in Jesus.”
  • Acts 26:20 – before King Agrippa “first to those in Damascus, then Jerusalem, then Judea, then the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

Consider again the crowd that Peter was addressing, they were God-fearing Jews who worshiped and obeyed God already. They are presented as blameless in keeping the Law, so they didn’t really need to repent – they weren’t murderers, etc – but the one thing they needed to do was change their minds with regard to Jesus and enter a new relationship with him as Savior.

Do you have that relationship with Christ?

Have you repented from your sins? (There’s no real forgiveness without repentance – it’s not “cheap grace”).

We may have asked ONCE, got our “fire insurance” – but there must also be commitment to the Lord.

Paul “examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” We don’t need to be burdened with guilt, but this is an ongoing process of examination and repentance.

Let’s pray this prayer – if you’re not quite sure, you can join this prayer. It can help your heart.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 18 / 2013
  • Comments Off on But I Tell You… (Matthew 5:21-48)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

But I Tell You… (Matthew 5:21-48)

08.18

08.18.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ ‘No’: anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

An Eye for an Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Hebrews says “everything will be laid bare” and everything will be known.

Jesus repeats 6 times:

  • “You have heard that it’s been said…”
  • “But I tell you…”

Jesus took 6 important commands of God in the OT and reinterprets them in light of our new life in the NT and in his grace.

Last time, “I have not come to abolish the OT, but to fulfill it.”

Jesus therefore here makes a fundamental change, without altering God’s word. He deals with our attitudes and the motivations of our hearts. He doesn’t get rid of the commands, but shows the deeper meaning and motivations in our hearts.

  1. Murder
  2. Adultery
  3. Divorce
  4. Oaths
  5. Retaliation (Revenge)
  6. Love for Enemies

#1: Murder (v. 21-26)

  • “Raca” = Aramaic = Babo, mungchung, idiot, empty-headed person
  • “Fool” = totally useless person

Do not murder = 6th of 10 commandments in Exodus. In the earthly kingdom, killing someone = murder. But in Jesus’ kingdom, anger = murder.

NOT “anger can lead to murder” but simply “anger IS murder.” Hating someone = murder. 1 John = “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.” James = “Man’s anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life God desires.”

There IS of course “holy anger” against sin, etc. But this anger is nursed inwardly.

There is causeless anger – it explodes into words – Raca, fool. Anger = foolish. We must know that anger = makes us destroyers rather than builders. It robs us of freedom, fellowship, and makes us prisoners.

Sinful anger must be confessed as a serious sin.

Now, if we remember someone – relatives, coworkers, etc, who have something against us – we must stop worshiping God right now, stand up, run to him/her, and make it right. Leave your offering here, make it right, then return to give your offering.

We are worshiping God now, but our regular offering is not enough – we must also have right relationship with God and our brothers and sisters. If we hate someone, refuse to forgive, we are destroying the very ground on which we are walking. We must forgive quickly, because the longer we postpone, the worse the bondage becomes.

Ask yourself – which kingdom do you belong to?

Jesus declares as a rule “murder = anger without cause.”

But I tell you…

#2: Adultery (v. 27-30)

“Do not commit adultery” = 7th of 10 commandments.

In this world, adultery = adultery.

In Jesus’ kingdom, THINKING lustfully = adultery.

In this passage, Jesus reveals the sanctity of sex – he created it, regulates it, has the right to punish those who rebel against his intent. Sexual immorality begins with the desire of the heart. The two are not identical in this world, but spiritually speaking, the act and the desire are equivalent.

Jesus says, “Look” (not casual glance – but a long stare with the purpose of lusting).

It IS possible for a man to see a beautiful woman and think “Wow, she’s pretty” and not lust. But this “Look” Jesus says = not accidental, but a plan to look and lust and feed the inner lust.

For us, if we see sinful pictures on our computers, we must gouge out our eyes, cut off our hands, cut off our legs, remove our brains because brain signals to approach, open, see, enjoy. Also heart should be removed because heart tempted, seduced, etc. We should die to be free from sin completely, absolutely. Physical surgery cannot make us free from sin. How can we be free? Purify our hearts, discipline the actions of our bodies. Colossians 3:5 “Put to death the desires of the flesh…” Psalm 119! “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to his  Word. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”

#3 Divorce/Marriage (v.__)

Give a certificate?

King James says, “sexual immorality” rather than “unfaithfulness.”

Marriage was designed by God from the time of Creation. In Genesis 1-2, God created Adam and Eve and said, “Therefore, a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife as one flesh.”

They had no father/mother, so this declaration of marriage = for ALL generations, including us.

Jesus deals with marriage in chp 19 later.

We’ll see more of this later.

#4: Oaths/swearing (v.33-37)

Leviticus 19:1 “Do not profane/blaspheme the holy name of your God.”

This is not the sin of cursing, but using oaths to confirm that what is said is true.

At that time, mostly the Pharisees used many tricks to sidestep the truth. The oaths are among them. They avoided using the holy name of God, but they came close using heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and some parts of their bodies.

We should know that our character, lives should be so true that we don’t need any special oaths/words to make others believe me. Oaths cannot compensate for poor character. Proverbs 17:10? “When words are many, sin is not absent. But he is wise who holds his tongue before God.”

#5: Retaliation/Revenge (v. 38-42)

Shall we practice?

The final sentence of this sermon = “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is a wise man (built his house on the rock).”

Leviticus 24:19-20 “If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him…as he has injured, so he must be injured.

This law was very fair – it kept the people from forcing the offender to pay a greater price than the offense deserved.

But, there was a problem for the sinfulness of human beings.

If person A hits person B, person B must hit back. Person A would complain “you hit harder than me! you hit in the wrong place!” so they pay again and again and again. So, revenge cannot solve the fighting. Revenge never stops, it makes the fighting bigger and longer. Retaliation makes the retaliator and retaliatee feel worse and the conclusion is worse, not better.

Jesus therefore says, Please, yourself, be willing to suffer loss rather than make another suffer.

It you get hit once, turn the other. This requires strong faith and love – we must trust Jesus. With Jesus this is possible, because he lives in me.

If someone wants to sue for your tunic (at that time, it was VERY valuable – there was no factory to make cloaks – they were very expensive and used for multiple purposes – clothes, blankets, sacks, mats to sit on, deposit to pawn shop, etc).

If someone forces you to go one mile (Jews were ruled, conquered by Rome – they were able to force the Jews to go up to 1 mile carrying something. If the Jews went just the 1 mile and stopped – loser. If they kept going for one more mile – overcome evil with good (Romans) Leave room for God’s wrath. “I will take revenge for you,” says God, “Do not overcome evil with evil, but with good.”

#6: Love for Enemies (v. 43-48)

Remove “hate your enemy”

At that time, to the Jews, tax collectors were the lowest class to Jews. Pagans were also the lowest class religiously.

  • Leviticus 19:18 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Exodus 23:4? “If you meet you neighbor’s horse/donkey wandering off, please be sure to take it back to him.”

In the OT, NOWHERE is it said, “Hate your enemy.” At that time the scribes added this sentence to the original sentence of God “Love your neighbor.” Our enemies are those who hate, persecute, exploit us. God challenges us to love our enemies.

Before this mandate of our Lord, we must remember (1) who is Jesus to me (2) who am I to Jesus – in our decisions, reactions, lives. Who/what controls us? Who is my Lord, Savior, example? What kingdom’s citizen am I?

We do live on earth, BUT we are also eternal citizens of the kingdom of God.

Those are basic questions we should ask. If we are really children of God. If we are really saved, it means we are totally different from others in our position, status, etc. We must be different in our attitudes, character, etc.

If we are really saved by the grace of God, it means we are better than them and because of that, we must BE better than them in our attitudes and reactions to different circumstances.

  • THEY don’t know that Christ died for them.
  • WE know that and we are reconciled to God.
  • WE know how Jesus reacted toward his enemies when he suffered and died – he didn’t retaliate, he trusted himself to God fully.
  • We know that we cannot do this ourselves. But Jesus’ command says we must – with him, with his power.
  • “I can do nothing without Christ.”
  • “I can do everything with Christ.”

Galatians

Our God, Jesus, our King expects us to be perfect. Like Father, like Son. This is the final vision of God in his calling us. Romans 8 “Those he knew, he predestined to be like Christ so that Christ would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters.”

May God bless us as children of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 11 / 2013
  • Comments Off on What Does This Mean? (Acts 2:1-21)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

What Does This Mean? (Acts 2:1-21)

08.11

08.11.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Pentecost = from Greek (Pentecostas = 50th)

This was the only OT festival determined by counting days. On the day after Passover, the Israelites selected a sheif of grain that became an offering to the Lord (Leviticus). They then counted 50 days after that day, and THAT day became the day of Pentecost. It was also called the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34) – because it took 7 weeks after Passover for this event. They then harvested the wheat at that time. This was also called Feast of the Harvest, Day of First Fruits. They all describe this particular feast.

In Judaism, Pentecost came to be regarded as the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. So, Pentecost came to have symbolic meaning for the church – God would manifest himself in a unique way. 50 days after the Exodus Passover, the Law/Covenant was given. For Luke, this is also significant in that Pentecost (the giving of the NEW Covenant/Holy Spirit) for Christians was 50 days after the Passover (Passion) when Jesus was crucified.

Remember the Transfiguration? Elijah and Moses and Jesus were there talking about Jesus’ “exodus” from this earth when he would die/be crucified. They were likely encouraging him. Moses represented the Law.

  • Elijah represented the Prophets.
  • Jesus represented the Fulfillment of the Law & Prophets.

For Luke, this Pentecost was fulfilled in the giving of the Holy Spirit – the giving of the Law of the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit replaces the Torah. The Law of the Spirit gives life – which comes through the new righteousness in Christ (Romans 8:1-2).

The new church continued to exist with some continuity with the Jewish church. They kept with some traditions, but there is a distinct difference between the Torah and Grace – the Torah had no power to bring anyone into communion with God because it couldn’t be followed by faith. Now, the Law of Grace of Christ can be followed by faith by sinners. “A righteousness apart from Law has been made known – to which the Law and the Prophets testify.”

Many lambs were sacrificed for sins.

Jesus = THE lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

In the OT, the best the sacrifices could do was temporarily cover up the sins of the people. It took a divine sacrifice to cover up all sins for all people for all time.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus opened their eyes, “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer and die?” He opened their eyes (and the other disciples) so that they could understand that ALL Scriptures point to Jesus. ALL Scriptures point to Jesus.

This righteousness from God comes from faith in Christ to all who believe. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

This new covenant makes it possible to experience oneness with God (Romans 5:5) “The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts…”

The OT was modeled after the Law (from Moses). This new covenant = a new law of the Spirit.

So, this festival, the Day of First Fruits, was an appropriate time for this gift/new covenant of the HS to be given. Isaiah 1:9? “The predators, wolves, who prey on others – they will neither harm nor destroy my holy mountain. For the waters will be full of my holy sea…”

In the house (household, building, temple), the Jews were gathered. In the last verse of Luke 24 describe the disciples continually at the temple praising/worshiping God. It might have also been the same upper room where the disciples met with Jesus for the last supper.

The began to experience supernatural phenomena.

The first: a hurricane sound of wind (neumar = wind/spirit) – it was a physical manifestation of the HS. Probably reminiscent of the appearances of God in the OT. Ezekiel 13:13 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says, ‘In my wrath, I will unleash a destructive wind…’” This is where he is prophesying against false prophets – a rebuke.

Also the audience in Pentecost probably related this with the trumpets and wind that accompanied the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 30?). “When the people heard the trumpet and thunder, they trembled with fear.”

This awesome aspect of God’s presence was to help them avoid sin (fear of God).

This loud sound of the wind on Pentecost also attracted MORE God-fearing, religious Jews. They were in Jerusalem to attend the festival and temple.

They ALSO saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that came to rest on each of them. Exodus 3:2-5 (Moses and the burning bush). Fire = a sign of the divine. Exodus 13:21 (The Pillar of Fire and Cloud). There are also other symbols of fire in the OT – Elijah and the prophets of Baal. John the Baptist had also spoken of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. “The people were waiting expectantly and wondering in their hearts if John might not be the Messiah. ‘I am not – another is coming more worthy than I.’”

These signs were also instructive to the disciples (Luke 24) “Jesus said, ‘Stay in Jerusalem until you are clothed from on high with power.’”

Acts 1 “Jesus said, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father is sending.’”

This, Pentecost day, was the day.

So, the church was born through the Holy Spirit. On that first Pentecost, a third manifestation of the HS occurred. The HS enabled them to utter/say/speak in other languages. These uneducated disciples suddenly seemed to have skill in these other languages. The people were amazed by these “local languages” that were being spoken.

Why speak local languages? Many Jews spoke Aramaic or Greek (this is from Alexander the Great). Hearing languages in their home town dialects really grabbed their attention. It really brought home just how special all of this was.

  1. Wind
  2. Fire
  3. Tongues

were hard to ignore. Now, here’s the question “What does this all mean?”

But first, what of the international crowd?

There were Jews from every nation, there were converts (proselytes). They were there to celebrate Pentecost – many from Passover may have stayed (around 100,000 for Passover – estimated). Jews from the eastern kingdoms also came, the Roman Empire, Egypt, etc.

Some people wonder why Luke listed certain countries and why that order. He starts with 3 to the east of Jerusalem (Iran area), then some near Iraq, then some near Turkey, then some near North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Sireni?). He wanted to show how far from Rome they came.

As we read in Acts, the gospel had reached Rome long before Paul did. It was probably Christian teaching and opposition to that that caused riots there. Claudius (the governor there) had banned all the Jews from Rome at that time.

After the Roman Jews, Luke continues with the Mediterranean, Arabs, etc. Jews from all over were there. If these people were pilgrims and told people in their native lands, then word would spread quickly.

Obviously not everyone was impressed with these events saying, “they’re drunk!” But they obviously weren’t since it was 9am, much too early for that kind of behavior.

Peter begins to explain what this all means. He made a powerful and courageous witness to Christ. What a contrast from a few weeks earlier when he’d denied Jesus with oaths and curses (three times). Since then, Jesus had restored him, but he still needed the fullness of the HS to witness to others. Not only did he know Jesus, but he also wanted to witness.

Not only Peter had denied him, others had as well, but through this experience and the HS, Peter’s character changed dramatically.

Peter quotes from Joel and David (both well known to the Jews there) and he insists that this Pentecost is a fulfillment of the scriptures.

Peter also appeals to the experience of the Jews who’ve been in Jerusalem – they’d have known of Jesus and his deeds as well as the events/circumstances surrounding his death. Finally, Peter appeals to himself and the others as being eyewitnesses of these events. Then he appeals to the other Jews to repent.

There are 6 themes.

  1. The Age of Fulfillment has come to pass.
  2. The ministry (death and resurrection) = made this possible.
  3. As a result, Christ is at God’s right hand.
  4. The sign of Christ’s guidance and power is the HS.
  5. The consummation of the Messianic Age = the 2nd Coming.
  6. The proper response to all of this = repentance and baptism.

God forgives sins, makes clean. Pentecost = the final step/key in this whole story/process.

God gives eternal (full) life. The disciples waited and renewed their strength. You can as well.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 04 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Christ is Our Righteousness (Matthew 5:17-20)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is Our Righteousness (Matthew 5:17-20)

08.04

08.04.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


V.17 = Do not think…

OT = The Law and the Prophets, the Word of God

The Word of God starts with Genesis 1:1, not Matthew 1:1. Jesus didn’t come as a rabbi with new teachings, doctrines, but as the promised Messiah with a message heard from the Beginning. He didn’t come to abolish the Word of God. So, why did he say, “Do not think…?”

At that time, many thought that Jesus was breaking the Word of God, the Law of God, because Jesus didn’t keep the ceremonial handwashing before meals, and he healed deliberately on the Sabbath. So, he was eventually condemned and crucified as a Law breaker. 

But those who condemned him were ultimately those who were condemned. 

Please don’t misunderstand Jesus. Misunderstanding Jesus = total destruction, hell, etc. Jesus = THE way, THE truth, THE Life. 

1 John “This is eternal life, that they may know God and … have eternal life.”

Many people think (today as well) that Jesus is a “good man” or “prophet” or “religious leader.” Don’t misunderstand him. He makes it clear that he’s come to fulfill and accomplish and complete the Word of God.

God bless all of us to be persuaded and convinced that Jesus came to fulfill the Word of God. Are you convinced?

Then what does that mean? Much can be said under this topic. Limited time = 3 things for us to talk about.

#1: To KEEP, confirm the promises of God in the OT.

  • In Genesis 3:15 = the FIRST promise to send Jesus. “I will put enmity between you (snake) and the woman. You will strike his heel and he will bruise your head.”
  • Isaiah 7:14 “The Lord himself will give you a sign – the virgin will give birth to a son, they will call him Emmanuel.”
  • Isaiah 9 “To us a child is given, a son is born… He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
  • Micah 5 “You Bethlehem, even though you are very small, out of you one will come who will be ruler, whose origins are of old.”

There are two lines concerning the prophecies:

  1. Christ = Savior
  2. Christ = King

Sonship and Kingship go together.

Our Lord has come to keep all the promises, all the Prophets, everything in the OT.

#2: To SHOW, reveal God the Father.

Who can see God? Not us. God = spirit, we = material. Jesus came to show God. We can NOW see God by seeing Jesus. 

In Genesis, God = Creator, Governor, Ruler, Sovereign God, Mighty, Omnipotence, Omniscience,…

Jesus completes the revelation of God as FATHER.

John 1:18 “No one has seen God, but God the one and only who has seen him at the right hand has made him known.”

Philip said, “Show us God.” 

Jesus said, “Don’t you know me?”

We can see God by believing in Jesus Christ. There are many people around us who “believe in ‘God’” without believing in Jesus.
There is no God but Jesus. We cannot “believe in ‘God’” if we don’t believe in Jesus. 

#3: To SAVE sinners

His name Jesus = decided from the voice of heaven. “He will be called Jesus” Jesus = Savior, the Lord saves, Joshua = the Lord saves.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves to be accepted with full confidence: that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

In the OT, from Genesis to Malachi, one of the biggest plans of God = to save sinners through Jesus. John 3:16 …

Please remember there is NO sin God cannot forgive in Jesus.

1 John 1:7 “The blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin in Jesus.”

There is also NO sin God CAN forgive outside Jesus Christ.

John 16:9 “They sin because they do not believe in me.”

There are many sins, we have a sinful nature. Killing, lying, rebellion. Biggest sin of biggest sin – unforgivable sin against Father God = NOT believing in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save sinners. 

Jesus says continually (v 18-19) “not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen shall disappear…anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”

  • He says continually “I tell you the truth” 
  • Other translations “Verily, verily”

We know ALL his words are true. 

These words signal that the NEXT words are of VITAL importance. Jesus ascribes the highest authority to the Word of God. 

Until heaven and earth disappear, the Word of God will NEVER change.

There are 2 untils:

  • “Until heaven and earth disappear” = the eternal validity of the Word of God
  • “Until everything is accomplished” = the FULL plan of God

Not a single stroke will disappear. 

22 alphabet letters in Hebrew. (24 in Korean, 26 in English)

Some are very small. The smallest is called “yod” – looks like a comma or apostrophe in English.

Jesus held up the full truth of EVERY letter and every word of the Word of God. This shows the ABSOLUTE authority of the Word of God.

Every word in the Scriptures looked forward to Jesus and pointed (still points) to Jesus. EVERYTHING will be done that has not yet been done, everything that has been done is a fulfillment of prophecy.

Revelation = encouragement and also warning.

If anyone adds anything to the Word of God, God will add to him the curses and plagues recorded in here. If anyone takes away from the Word of God, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life.

1 Timothy 4:16? “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for rebuking, teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness.”

v. 20 “UNLESS…your righteousness…”

In conclusion, Jesus = our righteousness

Unless your righteousness beats everyone else’s on Earth for all time – (especially those professionally righteous Pharisees) – you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven.
“OH? Woah! OTL…”

Probably they were very surprised by this statement. 

At that time, the Pharisees tried with all their might to obey and keep the Word of God. They were “angels of holiness.” So the people thought that these were the standard they should follow.

In reality, in Jesus’ sight, it was the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who were actually abolishing the Word of God. By their hypocrisy and adding traditions to the Word of God, they were robbing the power of the Word of God. They were embalming the Word of God in their lives, so that there was no life in it nor them. 

Jesus exposed the truth. 

Here is a good illustration of that:

One day, some who were super arrogant and confident, Jesus said, “One day, two men went to church to pray. One is an awesome brother of yours, he stood in the middle of the square and prayed loudly. ‘Thank GOD I’m not like THAT dude~ I’m so awesome with my fasting and tithing!’ The other man was a big old sinner – tax collector. He couldn’t see heaven, bowed his head, and wept, and said, ‘God have mercy on me.’ The second man went home justified.”

He who humbles himself will be justified. (He who declares his unrighteousness will be justified by God.)

He who justifies his own righteousness will be declared unrighteous.

We cannot be righteous on our own.

Romans 3:20 “No one will be declared righteous by observing the Law.” (also Galatians)

We need ONLY Jesus Christ’s righteousness.

Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the end of the Law so there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

“Jesus is our righteousness, our holiness, and our sanctification.”

Attaining Jesus’ righteousness = justification

3 points:

#1: Only by the Grace of God

(Romans 3:24 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (3:23). We are declared righteous, we are justified freely, by God’s grace through the redemption that came through Jesus Christ.”

Redemption originates in the heart of God, not our own hearts. By admitting our powerlessness to attain righteousness, God provides it through Jesus.  

  • God had regard to our guilt.
  • God had regard to our misery.

The grace of God is the root for our justification, for our righteousness. Without a root, a tree cannot stand. But can you see it? No. The grace of God is the root of our justification.

#2: It is ONLY by the blood and power of Jesus.

  • Romans 4:24 “Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and raised to life for our righteousness.”
  • Romans 5:9 “We have been justified by Jesus’ righteousness, how much more will we be justified – God is able to restore us to his favor.”

In justification, our sins are not excused, but PUNISHED – in the person of Jesus Christ.

The blood and resurrection power = the ground, foundation of our justification.

#3: It is ONLY by faith

Romans 1:5 “Therefore since we have been justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have peace with God… 

Faith is not the ground – it is not FOR faith we are justified, but BY faith.

Ephesians 2:9 “It is through faith you are saved, not by works, so that nobody can boast.”

We must be better than the Pharisees in getting the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Jesus came to fulfill the promises of God, to reveal God as Father, and to save us from sin.

May God bless us. Let’s pray.

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