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  • Jan 13 / 2013
  • Comments Off on God’s Plan for You is to Save You and Save Others Through You! (Romans 10:9-15)
New Year, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God’s Plan for You is to Save You and Save Others Through You! (Romans 10:9-15)

01.13

01.13.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last Sunday, I shared THAT God has plans for you – a plan for salvation, eternity, prosperity, etc.

God’s plan of salvation is for us and through us.

Before this, here is a basic question about salvation:

First, are you clear about this? Are you saved? Really? Are you assured of this?

  • If your answer is “no”, is there any reason you reject this offer of salvation?
  • If your answer is “yes”, how much and in what way does that salvation affect your daily life and lifestyle and attitudes and worldview and purpose and interests?

This morning, about this basic plan of God, I hope and pray that all of us may become very clear about this matter of salvation. It is very basic, but the final goal.

  • Acts 16:31 -”Believe in the Lord and you will be saved.”
  • Phil. – “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”
  • 1 Peter? “Continue to work out your salvation…”

The whole purpose of this life is salvation. 

It is a new birth, becoming a child of God, it is becoming a new creation. Regeneration, rebirth, union with Christ, justification, sanctification, glorification.

Characteristics of salvation and how to do it is very simple, not hard, eternal, not temporary.

  • “If you confess with your mouth” 
  • “Jesus is Lord” with your mouth. very simple.
  • “And believe in your heart”

3 times repeated.

If we have a mouth and a heart, we can be saved. If you have these things, it’s enough to be saved. There are no other conditions. It is so easy and free.

This is the paradox of salvation.

Here are 6 reasons and grounds why it is so easy and so free:

Some people cannot understand or rejects the gift of salvation because it’s too easy and too free – they want something hard, something to pay for salvation – thing there must be a price or a catch.

#1 – The Love of God (is greater far…)

  1. God IS love.
  2. God is Spirit.
  3. God is light.

Everything God has IS love and is FROM love. 

God wants all of us whom he loves to be free and love him.

  • John 3:16 “For God…”
  • John 3:17 “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

He wants anybody and everybody to come to repentance through him.

#2 – The Power of God (He is Creator)

God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He can do anything, anywhere, anytime he wants.

It is not you and I who save ourselves, but God who saves us.

In the matter of salvation, we are passive…God is active.

In the job of salvation, if God has 80% of all powers to save us, then God needs to ask us 20% of our powers to save us. If He has 99.99% power, he needs to ask us 0.01% from us. But, since God has 100% of power, he does not need to ask us – he is Almighty God – able to save all of us with no input from us.

#3 – The Price Jesus paid is sufficient (once for all)

“It is finished” = “salvation is finished, all you need is complete”

Not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. 

Jesus already paid the price for our salvation. 

  • Salvation is free, it’s free, it’s free.
  • But…not cheap.

It’s so very precious.

Why is it free? Because it is priceless.

Example – Isaac

He enjoys food, clothes, house – for free. 

He does not pay Daddy…

Somebody pays for everything for him.

If we go to Lotte Department store, how much do we pay for the elevator? Free.

But the owner of that building paid very much to install it.

Like this, it doesn’t cost you and me anything for our salvation, but it costs the provider, God, the price of the blood of His one and only Son.

It’s free for us, but super expensive for God. 

If we need to pay something to get salvation, that means that Jesus’ death is not enough. But it is really MORE than enough.

It is all already paid on the cross.

#4 – Absolute need of Salvation of all Humans

Every person on Earth needs salvation, forgiveness of sins – is there any person on Earth who cannot say “No, I don’t need that.” 

The sick needs healing, the lonely needs a friend, the sinner needs forgiveness.

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23

Also, “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that face the judgment…”

All human beings need salvation, absolutely.

No one can escape the needs.

#5 – Before salvation, at that time we were completely dead.

Ephesians 2:21? “At that time, you were dead in your sins…”

Following the kingdom of the air, the kingdom of wrath. 

At that time, we were dead.

“At that time, I was dead.”
Not almost dead, not nearly dead, but totally dead.

As long as you think you can do something to save yourself, you can actually never be saved by the power of God. 

At that time, we were totally powerless. 

That’s why God is providing salvation so easily and free.

#6 – To make all humans unable to say “Excuse me…” and unable to boast about our salvation

In evangelism, many people say, “Excuse me…I’m too busy for that…the church is full of hypocrites…some Christian hurt me…”

There are many excuses…

The DNA of “Excuse me” is running in our veins – Adam and Eve started it. 

  • In the Garden, God said, “Why did you eat?”
  • Adam said, “The woman made me do it.”
  • Eve said, “The snake made me do it.”

(Adam basically blamed God – “the woman YOU gave me…” i.e. “if you never gave me that woman…”)

All excuses.

On that day, the final day, nobody can say before God, “Excuse me.” All of them will be speechless.

Romans 1:18,19,20

“Since the creation of the world, all of God’s qualities, his divine nature,…have been clearly seen, so that men are without excuse.”

“It is by grace, through faith that you have been saved, so that no one can boast.” 

  • For the unsaved, they cannot say “Excuse me”
  • For the saved, they cannot say “I can boast of my salvation”

God made salvation so easy and free.

v. 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Let us call “Jesus is my Lord”

Toward the outside, for somebody to hear.

Also do you believe in your heart?

Jesus died for my sins, and rose again and is alive in Spirit?

We can see again 4-5 times “how”

  1. “How can they call on the one they have not believed in?”
  2. “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?”
  3. “How can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
  4. “How can they preach unless they are sent?”
  5. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

This is the paradox of salvation.

It is so free and easy, but after we receive the easy, free gift of it, asks ALL we have – to commit all we have for Jesus, to take the gift to others. This is the mystery, the attraction, of salvation. 

We are saved so easily, so freely.  

But that salvation demands not optionally, but absolutely to commit all we have to Jesus Christ for the salvation of others.

Matt 13:44-45 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field – when a man found that treasure in the field, he went and sold all he had and bought the field in his great joy!”

When a merchant found a great pearl, he went and sold all he had to buy that pearl. 

When saved, you commit, sell, give away, your whole life for that gift.

Jesus sent his only son Jesus to preach the message of salvation so that people could accept the gift of salvation, and that person is then sent to preach that gift to others, then the next is sent to preach to be saved, and he is sent, preaches, saves, he is sent, preaches, saves, etc, etc.

1 -> 2 -> 4 -> 8 -> 16 ->32 -> 64 -> 128 -> 256 -> 512 -> 1024 -> etc

This is the chain of salvation. 

It does not mean that baptism is not important – it is, to follow Jesus, to show your new life – but God did not send Paul to baptize but to preach. 

If we go to the office to work, to make money, to study, to teach, – but inwardly, before God, to yourself, to God, we must say all the time, “Christ did not send me to teach English, to make money, but to preach the gospel of salvation.”

Can you say that before God, to yourself, honestly, definitely?

This is a sign that you are truly saved. 

Paul confessed, “if I preach the gospel of salvation, I cannot boast, because I MUST preach. If I don’t, woe is me…I consider my physical life worth nothing to me if only I can finish the race and complete the task given to me, – to preach and save others.”

This is God’s plan of salvation for you and from you to others.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 06 / 2013
  • Comments Off on God Has Plans for You! (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
New Year, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Has Plans for You! (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

01.06

01.06.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

At the time of this writing, Israel was divided into north and south, the people were exiled, it was a generally terrible time. 

And from this, God spoke these words.

Even today, the world is a mess. Can we be certain that anything is meaningful? Or is everything meaningless? 

God has a plan for you!

The Bible illustrates this.

Long before our physical mothers had us in their minds, God has us in his mind.

In this season, our resolutions should start with God, not with ourselves. 

  • Psalm 139:13-14 “God knit me together in my mother’s womb – that’s why I praise God, because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  • Jeremiah 1:9 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to all nations.”
  • Ephesians 1:4 “God chose us before the creation of the world to be holy, to be blameless in his sight.”

God has plans for you!

We must remember that without the purpose of God, life is meaningless activity, a directionless path.

The will and plan of God is the biggest purpose that we should know. John: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” Therefore, God’s plan is that we have life to the full! God who is creator, maker, designer of all things should be interested in our small lives. He who hung the stars in the sky should have a plan/hope for us.

Can you imagine parents with no hopes for their children? Can you imagine a man with no special plan for a woman he accepts as wife? Can you imagine a head coach with no plan for his players? A captain with no plan for his soldiers? A king with no plan for his country? A boss with no plan for his workers? Absolutely not.

How much more, God, who created us in his likeness?

There are 4 reasons why God’s plan is not only the best, but also the ONE AND ONLY best plan for our lives.

Only when we discover God’s plan can we find true meaning and purpose for our lives.

#1. Only God knows the future – so we must learn about God’s plan.

There is a great interest into looking into the future. Daily horoscopes, fortune tellers, end-of-the-world predictions, are everywhere.

In the Old Testament, diviners, fortune tellers, should be killed immediately. It is very foolish to look into the future.
Proverbs: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what lies ahead. 

Job 23:10 “Only he knows the way I will take. After he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

You do not know about tomorrow – not even one single minute later. 

It is only God who can lead us through the uncertainties of tomorrow. 

No matter how dark the storms of life may appear, God can lead us through them.

That’s why God’s plan/purpose/will is so important.

#2: Only God knows what is the best.

One of the biggest mysteries of our lives is…we all know what we “like” but we don’t all know what we really “need”

Sometimes we want God’s stamp of approval in our desires, even selfish desires. But God wants to lead us in HIS purposes.

That doesn’t mean that God wants to make us suffer under his plan – he is our father, and like a father wants us to enjoy our lives. But he also knows, like a father, our inabilities, our incapabilities of planning our own lives.

We cannot be in two places at once, or do two things at once, or go two ways at once. So, God knows which way is the best way.

Romans 8, 16? “In this same way, the HS helps us in our weaknesses. Many times, we do not know what we should pray for so the HS intercedes for us with groans.”

#3: Only God has a plan for blessing /hope /prosperity.

Is your life all that you want it to be? Are you experiencing the best you can? We can, through Christ. We can confess like David, “We are created fearfully, wonderfully.” We are a special and precious creation of God – who cares.

Even though we’ve sinned, even though we’ve defaced God’s creation, salvation is still readily available for us.

The message of the gospel is that God has a plan for us that reaches from eternity past to eternity future.

Eph. 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship made in his likeness and created to do good works he has set aside for us to do from the beginning of time.”

#4: We want to do God’s work?

Jonah is a classic example of a man who wouldn’t follow God’s plan – he disobeyed.

God’s plan was that he be an instrument to reach a people for Him – but Jonah disobeyed and sailed away. So, God had to judge Jonah. He had to put him in a place where he would listen to God’s voice and be willing to hear God’s voice.

Eph 5:17 “Do not be foolish. Understand what God’s plan is, what the Lord’s will is.”

How? We discussed the WHY – now, HOW can we discover and find God’s plan?

There are prerequisites.

#1. Salvation – without this it is impossible to know God’s plan.

Without salvation, we are spiritually dead. Is it possible for the dead to know something? No, therefore, the first step for us to know God’s plan is: to be alive – spiritually alive – get salvation – only through Jesus Christ, dead, resurrected, coming soon. 

John “To those who received him, to all those who called on his name, he gave the right to be called children of God.”

#2: Surrender, Submission

Without an attitude of surrender, submission, it is impossible to enter further, to see further the plan of God. Why do we want to see the plan? To obey. Knowing and not doing is double disobedience. God never is cheated, he is wise. His foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.
Conclusion of Sermon on the Mount: “Whoever hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The winds came, the rains beat on the house, but the house stood. But he who hears and does not do is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. In the storm, the house fell and was destroyed.” 

#3: Separation

It is the plan of God that the believers live separated, holy lives – set apart from the world, set apart from sin.

Romans 2:10 “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and aprove what God’s will is, his good and pleasing and perfect will.”

We should be free from sexual immorality, and all other kinds of immorality.

John – “Do not love the world, or anything in the world, because anyone who loves the world, the love of God is not in him…this world and its desires pass away soon, but only the man who lives according to the will of God will live.”

Separation WITH holiness is imperative.

If we are not separated, not holy, we cannot see into God’s plan for our lives.

#4: Sincerity

To see the plan of God, deeper, higher, wider, there must be more than head desire, there must be heart desire – passion, zeal, yearning, faithfulness before God.

God does not show us his plan to let us toy with him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.”

Especially this year, may God bless all of us.

I don’t know your situation, your background. But regardless, God has a plan and a purpose for you.

At the same time, God has a plan and a purpose for AICF. Because AICF is the body of Christ, it is the congregation of God’s servants, God’s children.

2013 AICF Prayers:

Definitely God has a plan, purpose, desire for AICF so that his name may be glorified fully.

We are not here by accident – I want to ask you individually, personally – do not be here MERELY as observers, onlookers. We all have a part, if we are members, we ALL have something to do here.

Jer. 29:12 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

  • CALL, COME, PRAY.
  • ASK, SEEK, KNOCK.
  • PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

29:13 “Call to me, and I will answer you, so greatly that you will not understand.”

All the time, God is ready to listen to our cries. Without praying, it is impossible for God’s will to be fulfilled and realized. 

He will accomplish his plan when we pray and call on him. Whenever we get together, let us pray for AICF for His glory.

1. Unity and Growth of AICF is very important

Eph. 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – there is one body, one baptism, one Spirit, one father of all who is above all and in all and through all.”

Gal 3 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, in Christ…”

  • We are different in visible details.
  • But in invisible details, we are ONE.
  • Visible things are temporary.
  • Invisible things are eternal.
  • What is unseen is more important.
  • If we can see the unseen, we are spiritual.

2. 200+ worship together

This is not the final goal, just the middle. This is not about numbers, but about more people meeting Jesus. 

Can you see outside? As long as there are the lost on the street, God is never happy or satisfied with all the people in the church.
What is the first and original plan of God?

  1. Be fruitful
  2. Increase in number
  3. fill the earth
  4. subdue it
  5. rule over all creation.

The original plan/blessing of God.

The story of the father in the book of Luke (prodigal) – one son (us, church people) were always at home helping Daddy. The other son (those people on the street) went off to enjoy himself. But Daddy always watched and waited at the window for the lost son to return home. This is the heart of God.

We should increase in quality and also number.

3. Our own space – we are very crowded, busy.

This year the main church has a 30 year anniversary – we expect and pray for action for a new building this year. If you want this, pray for it. 

4. Active koinonia in cell groups – we will start with 5.

We will have cell activity this year. Our body (church) has many cells and increases in size and maturity by the division of cells – so we hope and pray for more and more cells.
Koinonia – Greek – difficult to translate in a single word – very visible in Acts – fellowship, relationship, holy intimacy, service, sharing, helping, building, in many ways this word was translated in Acts.

5. More mission – we are living at the last time of last times.

Matthew 24:14 “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and THEN the end will come.” To mens’ eyes, there are many many local churches. But to God’s eyes, there is only one global church – so we must pray for AICF, for Antioch Church, for Jeonju’s churches, for Korea’s churches, for all the churches and missionaries of the world.

Shall we pray?

Communion

John: “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

  • Dec 30 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-19)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-19)

12.30

Bulletin_12.30.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes as .RTF file>

This all happens after Paul preached his “farewell” sermon to the other Christians – so this time is very emotional.

Luke uses the first person “we” so he is obviously with them at this time.

He is the travel guide at this time, and describes the port-by-port journey of the group.

Here we see Luke’s attention to detail, as he describes the ship traveling port to port along the shoreline.

In that day, whenever someone wanted to travel by ship, they had to find an outbound one with cargo. At every port, they would have to unload cargo and reload cargo. So, over the course of those days, Paul and his group would go into town and find some disciples.

Some of those Jews were probably Helenistic – who had fled after Stephen was stoned.

v. 11 – Was this a genuine prophecy?

We do read up to this point many times that the Holy Spirit was warning Paul about Jerusalem.

Perhaps now, their own nature and consciences kicked in to warn him away – the people strongly urged him (with their own emotions) to stay away.

Yet, Paul had the inner conviction that he should go to Jerusalem and face whatever consequences.

After a week, Paul and his group were ready to continue their journey. This scene is reminiscent of his departure from Ephesus – the whole church went with him to the port and prayed with him and saw him and the group off.

Caesarea served as the main port for Jerusalem, and the Roman capital of Judea. Here, they stayed at the house of Philip – the evangelist – he was last mentioned in Acts 8:40.

Here’s an overview of Acts 8 (about 20 years earlier):

This follows the events of Acts 7 – where Stephen was stoned to death.

The Jews were so enraged at him for preaching this that they stoned him, then they laid their cloaks at the feet of Saul of Tarsus – who was in hearty agreement with the stoning. They all saw Stephen as a blasphemer and heretic – someone who taught wrong doctrine of the Law.

In Acts 8, the church was persecuted badly, the disciples were scattered and Saul (soon-to-be Paul) was arresting the Christians.

Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ to the city, and the Spirit gave him the ability to preach with power, with miracles, with healing. Many were being saved, delivered, healed, there was great rejoicing in that city.

At the same time, there had been a magician in the city named Simon – he could do SOME magic tricks and feats, but even HE believed after witnessing these signs – he was baptized, then followed Philip around to see how he did it.

While all this was going on in Samaria (off limits to the religious Jews, and probably even the new Christians at this time – when Jesus went to the town in John 4? and spoke to the woman and revealed himself to her as the Messiah, she was absolutely surprised by his visit).

Another visit to Samaria was James and John preparing for Jesus to go to Jerusalem. They were forbidden to go through the towns, and asked Jesus to allow them to bring down fire and brimstone from heaven to destroy the towns. Jesus rebuked them and had to show them that the gospel was for all people.

Now, after all this, Philip is preaching to the despised people and God had blessed it.

In Jerusalem, they heard that the Samaritans had received the gospel, and been baptized in the name of Jesus, so they sent Peter and John down to lay hands on the believers, and pray for them, and they received the Holy Spirit with signs (as before). Simon saw this happening and offered to pay for the same “talent.” Peter rebuked him and said, “Ha, to think the gift of God could be bought with money.” Simon then asked them to pray for his forgiveness.

After this, the apostles traveled back to Jerusalem.

The Spirit spoke to Philip, said, “come to the road between Gaza and ….” There he met an Ethiopian returning home via carriage or chariot – after he had worshiped at the temple in Jerusalem. Philip noticed he was reading from the Scriptures, and offered to help him understand the Scriptures. He was reading Isaiah 53:7 – about a Lamb led silently before its shearers.

Philip, from that verse, preached Jesus to him – foreshadowing prophecies and fulfillments of those prophecies in Jesus.

The eunich then saw a body of water, and they agreed “Hey, wow, let’s get baptized.”

There they go – immersion baptism. The man looked around and didn’t find Philip anywhere, “the Spirit of God had snatched him away.” The Ethiopian was happy and went away nevertheless. Later, Philip was found in a different town.

Nowadays, 20 years later, after married with 4 daughters (with the gift of prophecy) – Paul and his group are coming to stay with him.

Philip was also mentioned as one of the Seven Deacons appointed to take care of elderly women. He’d also been faithful as an evangelist.

The Greek word for evangelist only appears 2 other times:

Eph 4:11 – this is one of the spiritual gifts.

The Body of Christ is a “BODY ministry” – it’s not just about the pastor. Evangelist is also a gift.

2 Timothy 4:5 – “Keep your head in all situations, … do the work of an evangelist…”

So, here they (Paul and co.) are at Philip’s house. There was a prophet there as well Aggabus – he had earlier prophesied about a severe famine that would happen over much of that part of the world.

Now, he came down and tied up his own hands and feet and prophesied about Paul’s imprisonment.

The prophecy was fulfilled in principle, but not in every detail. The Jews didn’t bind him, they didn’t hand him over, but rather, the Romans rescued Paul from a Jewish mob. But he was imprisoned.

Jesus “Journey to Jerusalem” and Paul’s “Journey to Jerusalem” were very similar.

Prophecies at that time were similar to the Old Testament prophecies – actions and words were prophecies. The prophets tore clothes, shattered pots, built models to show how kingdoms would be torn and destroyed and besieged.

So, the disciples pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but his inner conviction was stronger than theirs and he went. He said he was perfectly ready to be “bound” for the sake of Christ.

It was important to preach to the Gentiles – even Peter who’d had the vision to do so, later wavered and Paul had to preach to him to not be so legalistic. So, Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem to cement the relationships between the Jewish churches and the Gentile churches.

Eventually, they gave up and said, “God’s will be done.”

Next, Luke starts a pinnacle chapter in Paul’s life with the words, “When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly.” (v. 17)

Again, Luke is talked in “us” and “we” terms – this is the last time he will use these pronouns, though he does join Paul on his dangerous sea voyage later.

They met with James and the elders as he’d done earlier – when they decided that SOME things needed to be followed by the Gentiles in order to have fellowship with Jewish Christians as well.

Here, James and the elders recognize that God had guided Paul in his ministry to the Gentiles, and Luke wants to emphasize this.

In Acts 11, after Peter first preached to the Gentiles, they rejoiced and spoke to these same elders, and now here is Paul again speaking with them. This delegation is also welcomed by the brothers, and relates what GOD has done. In both instances we see the brothers giving glory to what God has done. In both cases, they welcomed Paul – they and Paul are in fundamental agreement.

He had earlier had concerns about his relationship with the church in Jerusalem – he had asked them to pray for him “that my service to the saints in Jerusalem would be acceptable.”

And here, the Jewish and Gentile portions of the church had remained united and they welcomed and accepted Paul.

The next portion of Acts is a new saga.

We’re coming up to the New Year.

“It’s a brand new day that’s dawning…”

It’s a brand New Year that’s coming – wouldn’t it be good to have assurance of salvation? If you believe with all your heart that Jesus is Lord and confess with your mouth that God raised him from the dead, you’ll be saved.

Let’s pray.

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

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

12.23

Bulletin_12.23.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

christmas-bg-2012

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

Do you have peace now?

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

Secular greetings ask questions with uncertainty.

Christian greeting is a blessing, proclaiming with certainty.

“Peace to you!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we become peace makers in this world?

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

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

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

Glory to God!
Peace to you and us!

God bless you in Jesus name.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 09 / 2012
  • Comments Off on What is Your Decision in Dealing with Christ? (John 18:28-40)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What is Your Decision in Dealing with Christ? (John 18:28-40)

12.9

Bulletin_12.09.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Jews had already arrested Jesus in the Garden, but had no authority to execute anyone.

In John, there are three stages of Jesus’ trial, before the court.

  1. Arrested, bound, brought to Annas
  2. v.24 Still bound, brought to Caiphas
  3. v.28 Brought to Pilate

If we see all the four gospels, Matt, Mark, Luke, John, there are 6 stages

  1. Before Annas (retired High Priest) as preliminary hearing. (Jews thought, “once a HP, always an HP”) They tried to prove that Jesus and doctrine were against the Law. Jesus, “All I’ve done was in public, nothing in secret.”
  2. Brought to Caiphas – “Are you the Christ? The Son of God?” Jesus, “Yes, you will see in the future, me at the right hand of God.” Caiphas tore his clothes, and yelled, “You are worthy of death, why more witnesses? You should die!” And they spit and slapped and struck him.
  3. Brought to Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) – before the Sanhedrin, they decided to kill Jesus (although that was not the purpose, to judge, but rather to justify their preconceived notions about Jesus).
  4. Brought to Pilate – “He claimed to be a king.” Pilate – “Are you?” Jesus – “Yes.” He was afraid and didn’t want to judge, heard he was Galilean, so, sent him to Herod.
  5. Herod had long wished to see Jesus’ miracles. But Jesus did nothing before him, though he asked many, many questions.
  6. Back to Pilate.

First three stages were before the Jewish leaders.

Second three stages were before the Gentile political leaders.

Pilate was in office from AD 26-36. He was in charge of Judea. From these trials, we can see that he was weak, compromising, fearful.

At that time, Rome’s motto was, “Let justice be done, even though the heavens fall.”
Pilate was not concerned about justice, just to protect his job, his position.

Three times he said, “I find no charge against him, he is innocent.” But he refused to release Jesus. 

v. 28-29 At that time, entering the house of Gentiles was unclean – they could not enter a Gentile’s house (where they took Jesus for trials – they literally pushed him in, but they kept outside). If they entered that house, they would not be able to participate in the Passover Feast or other ceremonies.

So, Pilate kept coming in and out and talking to them. 

Inwardly, the Jews kept the traditions and ceremonial laws, but inwardly, they were full of murderous intent. Hypocritical.

v. 32 – “This happened so that the word Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.”

They’d already decided to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t do so – they needed permission of the Roman government. Jewish captial punishment at the time was stoning – they could do it without the permission of the Romans. Roman capital punishment was crucifixion.

So, they absolutely needed the permission of the Roman government. Why did they choose to crucify Jesus and not stone him?

If they wanted to stone him, they could do so immediately. Why? To fulfill the prophecy of Jesus.

Several times, Jesus predicted his going to Jerusalem and his arrest, trial, and handing over to the Gentiles, as well as his death and resurrection.

Jesus’ sacrificial death is absolutely essential for our salvation. The method was already laid out by God for several reasons.

4 Points why it had to be crucifixion

#1 – Accuracy of long-standing prophecies 

(None of the Messiah’s bones would be broken – Ps.Isa., he would be pierced – Isa.53)

#2 – It combined the Jews and Gentiles in a conspiracy of death – meaning the guilt of the death of Jesus was upon the Jews AND Gentiles – the entire world. Therefore, the entire world, all men for all time, are guilty and accountable for the death of Jesus.

#3 – It visualized and actualized an Old Testament illustration (Num 31) – On the way to Canaan, they disbelieved God, complaining of no food – so God sent snakes which killed many. They said, “We’ve sinned, we’ve sinned.” So Moses prayed, and God told him to post a bronze? snake on a post and anyone who was bitten by a snake would need to look up at the snake on the stake to be saved. 

John 3:14

Only one way to be restored and healed fully – to look up to Jesus Christ on the cross.

#4 – It symbolized God’s commanded form of death for anyone who is under God’s curse. Galatians 3:5 – Christ redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for us, because it is written “Cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree.”

In the remaining verses, Pilate asked a clear question “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “I am A King, but my kingdom is not of this world…anyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate, “What is truth? (veritas?)”

Jesus asked also, “Is that your own idea? Or did others tell you?”

What kind of king to you have in mind? Religious/political/secular, Jewish/Roman?

Now, looks like it’s not Jesus on trial, but Pilate on trial.

He made 4 attempts in dealing with Jesus.

#1 – He tried to put his responsibility on someone else (sent him to Herod, tried to give him back to the Jews) – but judging Jesus was his job as governor. 

**No one can deal with Jesus for us, in our place. We must deal with him personally, directly.

#2 – He tried to find a way to release Jesus, “It is your custom for me to release one prisoner at the time of Passover, do you want me to release the King of the Jews?”

**There is no escape from a personal decision in regard to Jesus Christ. We ourselves must decide what to do with Jesus – accept him or reject him.

#3 Tried to compromise/negotiate/bargain with Jesus and others. In the next chapter, he flogs Jesus in order to satisfy the accusers and then release Jesus. Here is a big self-contradiction. He said with his mouth, “He is innocent – there is no basis for charges against him.” But with his actions, he flogged Jesus.

**We cannot negotiate with Jesus in this world, we cannot compromise with him, we cannot bargain with others about Jesus. We cannot serve two gods. We either love or hate him, believe or disbelieve, faithful or unfaithful. If we say with our mouths “Jesus is Lord and King” yet don’t acknowledge that in every area of our lives, that means there is a self-contradiction in our lives.

#4 – He tried to appeal to the sinner’s (Jew’s) emotions. “Shall I crucify your king?”

**We cannot escape from our personal decision in dealing with Jesus Christ. Our eternal destiny rides on this decision. Don’t push it off, ignore it, bargain. Make a decision.

Is Jesus king to you?

If so, we must put Jesus, his kingship, his kingdom first in all areas of our lives – before anything else in our lives.

Christmas season = the King’s COMING season. Jesus did not become a king when he became an adult, he WAS a king when he was born.

Matt 2 – Magi came, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star, and we have come to worship him.”

The first thing they did was bow down, worship him, gave their presents.

From this story, we can know that true worship must be followed with offerings. True worship is not acceptable without offerings. God says, “When you come to me, do not come empty-handed.”

So, how can we make the Christmas season more beautiful? Biblically, spiritually, the most meaningful, blissful, is to offer him (our king) our best gift from our treasures. What is the best gift? The souls of the lost as living sacrifices. 

If Jesus is king really and truly, then we are the royal family (in heaven), we are princes and princesses. 

Several days ago, I heard that Kate (UK) is pregnant.
Very normal, and natural. Why is THIS one so impressive?

Yes, my wife was pregnant too, but there was no news on the TV about that.

Why is that such big news?
She is the royal family in England. 

That baby is called a royal baby, a prince/ess.

If you give birth to a born-again baby, that baby is a royal baby in this kingdom eternally. Because of that baby, there will be a huge party! International, heavenly news!

There is more rejoicing, more joy over one royal baby than 99 regular babies. 

So, we must do our best to constantly give birth to royal babies in God’s kingdom – and save the lost.

  • Dec 02 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Sad Farewells (Acts 20:1-21)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Sad Farewells (Acts 20:1-21)

12.2

Bulletin_12.02.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

At this time in Ephesus, the silversmiths were feeling the crunch of the economy after Paul came to proclaim the name of Christ (they made and sold idols of silver for the goddess – people quit buying).

There was a riot, the town clerk warned them that they were in danger from Rome for rioting.

The crowd dispersed. It seems as though Christianity found favor in this time. Some of Paul’s friends restrained him from entering in to defend his friends who were accused in the riots – God used the leaders of the town to calm the riots.

Then, Paul departed for Macedonia. He intended to go to Jerusalem, Rome, and Spain as well.

He hoped to find his fellow worker on the way to Troas – wanted to see Titus, didn’t see him in Troas, but met up with him in Macedonia.

2 cor 7:5-7 – indeed when we came, we had no rest, inside were fears, outside conflicts, yet the God of all comfort comforted us with the coming of Titus, and he in you (the Corinthians) when he told us of your zeal, mourning, etc, for me – I rejoiced.

Notice that Paul was comforted by Titus – God comforts the downcast.

Maybe God wants to use you to encourage someone else, or maybe someone else has encouraged you.

We don’t know how long Paul stayed here, but it must have been during this time that Paul ministered to Elyricum – there is no other record of that, but it is near here.

Here is one of the briefest summaries of Paul’s travels in Acts (5 verses). Some of Paul’s letters were written during this time (2 Corinthians and Romans). Luke never mentions the letters, he focuses on the spread of the church from Jerusalem to Rome.

From Greece, as Paul is ready to leave for Syria, he learned of (another) Jewish plot against him. So, he decided to leave Corinth. Because of the plot, he took the long way round (via Macedonia).

There were several men who accompanied Paul, chosen to represent the various churches to Jerusalem. Luke also mentions their origins.

Sopater was from Berea – high-class, noble, searched the Scriptures to confirm Paul’s words.

Aristarchus – had been dragged into the riot.

Gaius from Derbe.

Timothy (two letters written to him), Tychicus, Trophimus, from Asia.

Later, Trophimus will become the unwitting cause of Paul’s arrest.

These men, going ahead, waited for us (Luke is obviously with them again). The last time he joined them was in Philippi when Paul cast the demon out of the slave girl.

Possibly Luke would have represented Philippi, Paul – Corinth – to take the offering to Jerusalem.

From now on, Luke is much more detailed about his reports.

In Troas, he only records a single (momentous) event. On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread (possibly Communion – probably also lunch). This first day of the week is also the day that Christians usually met for worship – but this day was a special day, scholars are unsure if it is Saturday or Sunday. It was a special meeting – because is was the last time Paul thought he would ever see this church in Ephesus. So, the sermon ran a bit late…from evening until midnight. “And he continued to talk on…and on…” (NIV). There were lamps burning, air was stifling, crowded with people – Eutychus ( “good fortune” ) started to drift off to sleep (he was a young man, nearly a boy) – he fell from the window and picked up DEAD (remember Luke is a doctor). Paul picked him up, “no, no, no! Don’t worry! He’s alive!” Makes you wonder if he really was dead… especially with the way Luke records it – very blandly (matter-of-factly). But perhaps Luke had seen so many miracles by that time that he began to see them as commonplace…

Whatever the case, he’s restored to life.

Prophets Elisha and Elijah did similar things in the OT – Elijah prayed for the widow’s son (1 Kings), Elisha prayed for the Shulamite’s son (2 Kings), Jesus raised Lazarus, Peter raised Dorcas, Paul has now raised Eutychus. God reverses death in these cases for his own glory.

Then, Paul carried on preaching and teaching until morning – barely pausing.

They took the young man home greatly comforted.

Paul left Troas (with no sleep), and started walking. The others took a ship and arrived quicker. But, Paul enjoyed his walk, met them at Assos, and got on the boat and continued on.

They continued on…

They took one day hops between ports. Seems that Luke kept a journal of the details of the journey because there is so much detail in here.

V 16 – “He was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem for Pentecost – he’d missed Passover.”

He probably wanted to show the Jews that he wasn’t neglecting his Jewish heritage, and he wanted to present the offering.

Then, Paul stopped at Miletus, and the elders came and met with him – realizing this would be the last time they would probably meet.

This is the only example of a speech in Acts given by Paul to a Christian audience – and these were elders in the church. This speech closely resembles the voice echoed in Paul’s letters. This was also his farewell address – he told them he’d never see them again on earth. Some also call this “Paul’s Last Will and Testament.”

Paul has given speeches to secular leaders, political leaders, educated scholars, pagans, etc.

This is the only to Christians.

He starts with a defense of his ministry – from the first to last, he served the Lord with great humility and tears. Reminded them of his testing – by Jewish opponents (Luke hasn’t mentioned a lot about this – except Acts 19:9 – the Jews spoke evil – Luke concentrated more on the non-Jewish persecution – Paul refers to “fighting with beasts” in 1 Corinthians, and “the trouble in Asia” in 2 Corinthians).

He also reminds them that he had taught publicly, ministered in homes, only taught things that were helpful.

Nicky Gumble – “The gospel is public information – shouldn’t be hidden. Jesus was crucified publicly.” It’s the reason why he was crucified that we should understand.

The essence of Paul’s message was verse 21 – his message was consistent – Jews and Greeks should turn to God in repentance. The same way that Peter had urged them to turn in Acts 3.

Acts 3:36 “To you first (Jews), God having raised up Jesus, sent him to bless you in turning you away from your sins.”

Sometimes we think, “if I have to give THIS up, it’s gonna really stink…” but Jesus actually blesses us by turning us from those things.

Paul, like Jesus, preached publicly.

John 18, when Jesus was brought before Annas, HP (high priest), and questioned, Jesus said, “yo, I spoke publicly.”

We’ll continue with Paul’s sermon and defense of his ministry next time. His core message was for everyone to turn from their sins and to the Lord – that message is still the same today as 2000 years ago.

As we approach Christmas, we should ask ourselves, are we covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb? Jesus is our Passover Lamb – he sacrificed for us. As we by faith receive him in our lives, we are safe and secure from the enemy’s plan.

Let’s pray together.

  • Nov 18 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:21-41)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:21-41)

11.18

Bulletin_11.18.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Little bit of controversy about Paul’s decision to go to Jerusalem.
NIV says, “Paul decided” as if his own choice.

Greek (antonemati) – by his spirit (or HS)

But when Paul talks about it, he says, “I was compelled by THE Spirit.”

He knew he’d face trouble, but he wasn’t saying “don’t go” rather “I’ll go with you” (the HS)

Paul seemed to think it was God’s will to go.

Luke didn’t explain specifically his motivation, but Paul did so in his letters. He wanted to distribute a collection for the poor people.

1 Cor 1:4? – “As for the collection for God’s people…when I arrive I will give letters of intro to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.”

2 Cor 1-9
Romans 15 both speak of this event as well.

This must have been on Paul’s mind, heart, he wanted to do something about it.

He wanted to show that the Gentile churches stood with the mother church even though they didn’t hold to the same traditions and culture. This was an opportunity to show that they held to the same love, the same Spirit, as the Jewish Christian churches. This was a symbol of unity to help the Gentiles realize their unity with the mother church and for the Jewish churches to realize the Gentiles worshiped the same God.

2 Tim 4:20 – Erastus is mentioned, and here in Acts.

There came a big stir because of The Way. Demetrius, probably a leader of a regional guild, who called people together
The silversmiths of that time regarded their guild under the protection of Artemis (Diana).

There were silver shrines with an image of the goddess – these were a source of great income for the silversmiths – and people used them in the temple as a sacrifice.

Here image was believed to have been constructed in heaven and fallen to earth.

The temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – 4x as big as the Parthenon, and could hold up to 50,000 people.

Ephesus was a large port of shipping.

Now, because of Paul’s preaching, people were turning away from the Artemis cult, and the silversmiths were worried about their source of income – their economy.

“Transformation” videos show what changes happened in various parts of the world.

They showed that when people turned to the Lord, God blessed them, plants grew, etc.

God delights in the prosperity of his people – spiritually speaking, although he can bless physically as well.

Paul notes, “Gods made by human hands are no gods at all.”

Demetrius united their economic concerns with their superstitions, “We’ll lose our trade, AND the temple of the GREAT goddess will be discredited.”

The tradesmen were assembled in an open-air theater – on the east side of the city – they would have been in full view of the temple, and they began to shout, “Ar-te-mis! Ar-te-mis!”

The city began to be in confusion, because some shouted one thing, others another.

Gaius and Aristarchus were working with Paul, dragged into the middle of the mob. Paul wanted to go in and reason with them, but he was held back because they didn’t want him to be ripped to shreds. Even some leaders of the provinces encouraged him not to go in.

Paul had friends in high places.

Meanwhile, the Jews send their own rep – Alexander – to the temple to make their own case. In all appearances, it looks like he wanted to disassociate from the Christians. They both believed in one God.

When the people saw he was a Jew, they basically ignored him.

Paul was restrained and basically had to just sit around and watch – but things worked out in the favor of the gospel.

The clerk reassured them that the “great” goddess was not being threatened, and he basically condemned the men for bringing the charges against the men “You brought them here, they haven’t done anything wrong, what’s the deal?”

The people may not have liked this whole deal, but the government were not opposed. Yet even these high level people belonged to an “Emperor” cult – believing the leaders were picked by God. But this city official, the most important local official, realized the potential consequences of the riot, he implored the crowd to take their charges to the proper authorities – the courts – in a legal manner.

“As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting…” (Rome would come down with an iron fist – to put down any riot).
The chief urged the crowd to disband, and they did so.

Luke gives an account, but misses out on some details that Paul shows us in his letters. He wasn’t involved in this riot, but he did undergo a lot of suffering in Ephesus – the cost of success was high.

1 Cor – he had “fought with beasts (persecution)”

2 Cor – “under great pressure, so that we despaired of life itself”

The great apostle Paul? Despairing of life? Yes, he is still a man.

Priscila and Aquila risked their lives for Paul – undergone persecution.

Paul told the elders he’d endured “severe testing” by the Jewish elders.

He also maintained a great concern for the churches in Corinth – because they were basically a mess.

We realize again the things that Paul endured:

  1. Suffering – Paul and his helpers endured much for preaching of Jesus as the Messiah – to the Jews – Jesus, God as the Creator – to the Gentiles. By trusting in Jesus, they received pardon for their sins, the Spirit of God, and eternal life – it’s a big deal!
  2. Sacrifice – Paul speaks of the offering that was taken up by poor churches for other poor people (wealthy people need to step up).
  3. Salvation – Even though there was a great threat, they were always saved. God told the people in the OT, “Stand still and witness the salvation of the Lord.” Paul could witness this kind of salvation.
  4. Sovereignty – God is sovereign and “holds the whole world in his hands.”

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can carry this same faith and hope – what he’s done before, he will do again, how he’s worked before, he will carry through again.

Paul says, “I count all my suffering as nothing compared to the future glory I will receive.”

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”

God is a sovereign God, he will bring us through, if we are for him.

If we are for God, he will be for us, if he for us, who can stand against us?
So the question is, are you for God?

Have you accepted him?

Are we TOO religious? So that we cannot communicate with others?

Let’s ask God to make us wise to salvation.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 11 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Christ Arrested Sinners by Being Arrested by Them (John 18:1-14)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Arrested Sinners by Being Arrested by Them (John 18:1-14)

11.11

Bulletin_11.11.2012

Sermon Notes

 <Download Notes in a .RTF file>

“The Son did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.”

He lived 33 years = 7,100 weeks +

The last week, including the resurrection is MORE important than ANY other week in his weekly life.

So, the last week occupies about 1/5 of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life.

This week is called “Passion Week” beginning with Palm Sunday, when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey.

  • Monday = Day of Authority – he cleansed, purified the temple, and cursed the fig tree with only leaves, no fruit.
  • Tuesday = Day of Debate – they questioned him “by what authority are you doing these things?” And he cursed the religious leaders and showed signs of the end of the age.
  • Wednesday = Day of Conspiracy – the plot with Judas
  • Thursday = Passover meal, Day of Preparation, the final farewell sermon, and prayer (intercessory), and Gethsemene Garden Prayer
  • Friday = the Day of Suffering – arrested, moved to the high priests, tried, crucified
  • Saturday = the Day of Preparation – in the tomb, under the ground, Roman soldiers kept watch over the tomb.

With his intercessory prayer in chp 17, his private ministry with the 12 disciples has finished.

From chp 18, universal drama for world salvation is to begin – the world, sinners, did the worst against Him, yet he did the best to them.

Between the two, there is a great prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene – not written in John, but in the other gospels.

Let’s look at it briefly:

Jesus said to the disciples: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, so stay awake, watch and pray for me.”

In chp 17, he prayed for his disciples, and everyone.

Next, he asked them to pray for him.

He went a ways away and petitioned God, “My Father, if possible, take this cup from me. But not as I will, but as you will.”

Then, he returned to the disciples and found them sleeping.

“Pray and watch so you don’t fall into temptation, spirit is willing, but body is weak.”
He went away, prayed, returned, found them sleeping.

Jesus gave no comment, returned to his place and prayed.
Luke says, “He prayed MORE earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (physically, medically possible under extreme stress)

Jesus again prayed, “If possible, take this cup from me.”
Returned to his disciples, asleep, and said, “Are you still sleeping, rise, the time has come.”

Then, these events from John 18.

We can see 5 aspects of Jesus’ character from these events:

#1 – Jesus’ courage – Passover = full moon 

So the night was almost like daytime.

The guards must have thought they would have to search for him high and low, Jesus would be hiding and trembling in a hidden place – but before they found Jesus, he found them. Before they spoke to him, he spoke to them.

How is it possible that Jesus, in the face of death, is bold and fearless?
Last night, he prayed the whole night, he was very purposeful about knowing the will of God the Father.

For us: the more we kneel before God, the more we can stand before the world courageously.

The best knowledge in this world is to know the will of God.

If we have faith in Jesus, we can face anything in front of us.

#2 – Jesus’ authority

Can you picture this? Imagine?

From a human’s perspective, this picture seems very strange. Of course, Jesus was with his 11 disciples, yet he was very much alone, unarmed, didn’t sleep, didn’t eat breakfast.

How many people came to arrest him?
A detachment (cohort) of soldiers, and some officials of the high priest, and Pharisees, and a commander, and servants, (and obviously Judas).

At that time, one cohort of soldiers consisted of at least 600 soldiers.

At that time, the Samheedren? had temple police and Pharisees – religious leaders.

Jesus was alone, unarmed, tired, exhausted.

Yet several hundred soldiers came to arrest him.

We think , the picture should have been:
Soldiers with authority: “Come on! Where’s Jesus!” Pitchforks and torches – mob looking for him.
Yet, Jesus spoke first, “Who is it you want?” And they were trembling holding weapons.

When Jesus said, “I am he.”

When they heard, they (armed mob) fell back and onto the ground – several hundred.

How is it possible?

Simply that statement has power and authority over all human beings and sinners.

In John, we’ve seen 10 “I Am” statements.
Actually, this one is from Exodus 3:14 “I Am Who I Am.”

In Gethsemene, his heart was overwhelmed to save sinners, and their hearts were overwhelmed by his authority.

#3 – Jesus’ willing choice to die.

Jesus came to earth to die. – First sentence spoken in this sermon series.

Today, we see his willing decision to die for sinners. It is very clear that he could have escaped death if he had wanted. He could have run, made them blind, made them frozen on the ground, killed all of them with a word, if he had wanted.

Outwardly, they arrested him.

But, inwardly, Jesus’ arrested sinners by being arrested by them.

In fact, Jesus HELPED them arrest him.

“I am the Good Shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again.”

Jesus arrested them by being arrested.

#4 – Jesus’ protective (continual) love and gentleness

v. 8 – “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”

John 6:39 – “This is the will of Him who sent me, that I do not lose anyone whom God has given to me.”

Jesus shows his love to the full extent – he laid down his life for sinners.

No higher, no deeper, no wider, no longer is His love for us.

Ephesians – the height, depth, width, of his love is greater than we can imagine.

Romans 8 – what can separate us from the love of God? Can angels, demons, hardship, trouble, death, life, present, future, no powers on earth, height, depth, nothing in all Creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Still now, his love is available for you and me.

Jesus’ love never fails, never fades, never wilts.

Do you experience this love?

#5 – Jesus’ obedience

Whenever he prayed, he looked for the will of God the Father, not his own will.

Phil 2:5,6,7,8,9 says, “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus, who being the very nature God, didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped. He became a servant, a man, humbled himself and became obedient even to death, even on a cross.”

Actually, Jesus is original God, and took 7 downward steps.

  1. Original God
  2. Didn’t consider equality with God
  3. Made himself nothing
  4. Humbled himself
  5. Took the nature of servant (even angels like this)
  6. became a man (like a sinful man)
  7. obedient to death
  8. shameful death on a cross

And so Bible encourages us, challenges us to keep the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.

What attitude? Kind and humble, no, even to the point of death – to glorify Him, because He died already for us.

He died for us, now is our turn, we must die for him.

Human history began in a garden.

The first sin of man was committed in that garden.

  • The first man Adam brought disobedience and sin in the garden. He was cast out of that garden.
  • Second Adam (Jesus) obeyed God when he entered the Garden of Gethsemene.
  • First Adam brought sin and death into the garden.
  • Second Adam brought life and salvation to all men through his obedience.
  • First Adam became a living being.
  • Second Adam became a life-giving being.

History will also end in a garden, in heaven, with no sickness, no pain, no suffering, the tree of Life will produce bountiful fruit.

  • Eden was a garden of sin, disobedience, death.
  • Gethsemene is a garden of obedience, humility, submission.
  • Heaven is an eternal garden of delight, happiness, satisfaction in our Father God.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 04 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Prevailing Word (Acts 19:8-20)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Prevailing Word (Acts 19:8-20)

11.4

Bulletin_11.04.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last time we saw the parallel growth of the disciples of John the Baptist and Jesus, and that there were even sects of John the Baptist followers during this time when Paul is preaching.

So, Paul had to remind them that JB was the messenger crying in the desert, preparing the way for the true Lord, even JB was hesitant to baptize Jesus in water when he came.

John’s baptism is a preparatory baptism for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus ( “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” – the whole Trinity is involved).

Some of that time didn’t even know there was a Holy Spirit, so Paul asked which they’d received, and they said John’s (that of repentance) so Paul corrected them and instructed them, and baptized them in Jesus’ name and they received the HS and began prophesying and speaking in tongues.

That brings us to today.

For three months, Paul preached in the synagogues of the Jews, asserting that Jesus is the Messiah – prophesied through the Jewish Scriptures.

It seems that Paul was more tolerated in Ephesus than in Thessalonica (since he stayed for three months) – but he eventually wore out his welcome.

v.9 – When some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitudes
(this is the pattern, generally, they don’t believe, harden their hearts, then speak evil about it).

So Paul left, and began daily lecture sessions in the house of Tyranus. The word (his name) actually means “tyrant” – so he may have be dominant.

Paul continued there for 2 years, so that all the Jews and Greeks in Asia heard the Word of the Lord.

Let’s add the previous 3 months + these 2 years + Acts 20 another year

Luke recons it was three years he was in Ephesus – but not only Ephesus, Jews and Greeks in the entire province heard the Word (Smyrna, Pergamum, Colosse, Magnisia, Leodicia, etc – possibly the 7 churches in Revelation were begun by Paul and his associates at this time (Revelation 3)).

Paul likely didn’t go to EVERY city, but the word of mouth talking about miracles and the like probably helped spread the word incredibly quickly.

Paul wrote letters at this time to Colossians – 4:12-13 – Epaphrus greets you, apparently a minister and partner with Paul.

During Paul’s stay in Ephesus, the power of God was demonstrated mightily.

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that even small bits of cloth that touched him healed other people.

Paul’s healings could be compared with Peter’s healings in Acts 5:14-15

At that time, believers continually were added to their number so that they brought them out to the streets so that even Peter’s shadow passing by would heal them.
God was doing it, not Peter, just as he did it through Paul. Paul used these signs and miracles as proof that God was using them.

Romans – “I dare not speak of anything that made the Gentiles obedient…except that I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

Remember, Paul was one of the exceptions to the apostles, all the others had been personally commissioned by Christ and sent out while still with him. But, Paul was converted while an enemy of Christ and sent out to be the main missionary to the Gentiles.

“Surely, the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you.”

God in his grace was blessing the church, but at times, Paul had to write to them to correct them and bring them back to the Christian lifestyle – the Corinthians were being misled by false apostles and he wrote rather sarcastically to them, “Oh, perhaps I should have taken offerings as these others have…Have you forgotten how God approved my ministry among you with signs and wonders?”

Miracles are pretty good by themselves, but these were extraordinary miracles – some commentators have had trouble accepting them, but Luke was a doctor, and accurately tried to record history – and he recorded these things.

The Greek word for aprons referred to a garment that a working man would wear around his waist to avoid getting dirty – God used these things to heal others and word spread quickly.

In the next scene, Luke gives a sharp, almost comical contrast.

Paul’s name became so well-known that others were trying to mimic Paul and jump on his bandwagon (seven sons of Seva).

“In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”

Seva was likely a Jewish chief priest (not High Priest), and his sons were unable to use God’s power for their own ends, and they ended up getting beat up for it.

News of this spread quickly as well.

Reminds us of Moses in Exodus and the Egyptian magicians who could repeat some of Moses’ (God’s) miracles. When they couldn’t turn sand into gnats, they admitted “This is the finger of God.”
Reminds us of Elijah and the contest to bring fire down from heaven onto a sacrifice.

We see that God’s power is infinite, greater than any power of the devil.

At that time, both Jews and Greeks were seized with fear and many came telling and confessing their deeds, and many burned their magic books in public – 50,000 drachmas (pieces of silver) in value.

1 drachma = one day’s wage

In the US, $40 per day? * 50,000 coins

= $2,000,000 burned

Hmm, couldn’t we have used the money for something? Feed the poor?
NO. These books were books of evil and must be burned.

In Samaria, Simon Megas (Acts 8), after the murder of Stephen, the church faced persecution – and Philip went to Samaria, and God did many similar miracles like those he did through Paul. Simon was a practisioner of magic and he wanted to follow Philip around.

At that time, the Jews and Samarians were divided, so it was likely that the Samarians were waiting for hands to be laid on them and prophesy – so the apostles did so, and they received the HS, and did as the others did who received Him.

Simon wanted to buy this power, but the apostles rejected him clearly and said “Your money burn with you.” Then he realized the power, and asked them to pray for him.

When Paul went with Barnabas, they met Bar-Jesus, who wanted to turn the pro-consul from God – Paul pronounced a curse on him, and he was covered in physical darkness.

All throughout the Bible, we see how the Word of God prevails over darkness, over magic.

“In this way, the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew (mightily) in power.”

What can we learn?
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, but conditions must be met to receive the full benefit of his salvation.

In our youth, we may have dabbled in the occult – horroscopes, occult, Ouiji Board.

“He who sups with the devil must use a very long spoon – yet it’s not even right.” Derick Prince

We should observe our own lives and vocally renounce our involvement with the occult or alternative religions – “I renounce that, and resist any attempt of it to influence me.” Those things need to be destroyed greatly. Any linkage with uncleanliness needs to be destroyed (pornography). Now it’s in everybody’s home – maybe 50% of Christian men (and women) struggle with this.

What needs to happen is for the access to it (access to ANY temptation) to be destroyed. Do you want freedom? Radically cut off, destroy, any access to the temptation, renounce it, resist it – it’s really a heart matter. “Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman already commits adultery with her in his heart.”

It’s always a heart issue.

Yet, the Word of the Lord prevails.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 28 / 2012
  • Comments Off on “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:1-26)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:1-26)

 10.28

Bulletin_10.28.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Second time in this chapter.
Last time we looked at this marvelous intercessory prayer of Jesus.
He prayed (1) for the glory of God, (2) for his immediate disciples, (3) for all Christians in all history, those we will reach, those who will believe, (4) for our safety, protection, joy, unity, future glory.
And still now, and today, he is praying.

Romans 8:34 – “Who is he who condemns? Jesus who died and was raised and sits at God’s right hand, and intercedes for us.”
Heb 7:25 – “Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, he always intercedes for them.”

Three more things from this prayer.
1. WHY does Jesus need/want to pray for us?
WHY do we need his intercessory prayer?
2. What blessing do we receive from his prayer and pattern?
3. What responsibility then do we have?

#1 Why do we need Jesus’ prayer support continually?
Because he is leaving us in this world.
Chp 16:33 – “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
Chp 17:1 – “After Jesus said this…”
What is this? 
Widely: Chp 13, 14, 15,16 – his whole preaching.
Narrowly: Chp 16:33 – “You will have trouble in this world, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Because he is leaving us in the world, we need his prayer support.

In this prayer, Jesus mentioned the word “world” almost 19 times!~
v. 6 “I have revealed you to those you gave me out of the world.”
v. 11 “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world.”
v. 14,15,16 “…the world has taken them, but they are not of the world…don’t take them out of the world, but protect them from the evil one…they are not of the world even as I am not of it…”
v. 18 “as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

Jesus does not need to pray for those who are in heaven already, and not for those in hell.
But, while we are in this world, we need his prayers and he prays for us.
Romans 8:26 – “HS helps us in our weakness, sometimes we don’t know what to pray, but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

I am Korean, born a Korean, I didn’t know it at that time (birth). Whether we know something or not, fact is fact, truth is truth. By our first birth, we are all sinners – born as sinners, under our parents (sinners). Ps. 51:5 – “Truly, I was sinful at birth.” Can you say that to a child? Therefore, the greatest need of all who are born, is to be born again. And we need to make it clear in our relationship to this world.
Like this:
Once, we were in this world, and the world loved us as its own, we followed, obeyed and loved it. But, one time, Jesus saved us, and took us out of this world by second birth – and then Jesus said to us, “do not love this world any longer, and do not follow its pattern – if you love the world, you hate God – the pattern of this world is hatred to God.” And from that time, the world has hated us. We now remain in this world to do His job, not just our job. So, the world now hates us DOUBLE.

Once, the world was a playground, now it is a tremendous battleground. Satan and his forces are motivated by bitter hatred for Christ and his followers.

Exodus 15 – Israel and Amalekites fight – Am attack Israelites. Moses stood on the top of the hill and Joshua fought the battle.
Story isn’t: Because Joshua fought well, the Israelites were winning.
Story is: When Moses’ hands were up, the Israelites were winning, but when down, they were losing.
Finally, God said, “I will fight against the Amalekites from generation to generation. One day, I will blot out the memory of them from the world.” 
Joshua said, “Jehova Nishi – the Lord is my Banner.”

As long as we are in this world, we will be exposed to Satan. We should fight, we should do our jobs.
We are winning – not because of OUR fighting, but because of Jesus’ prayer for us.
We are not actually fighting – it is God fighting for us.
Bible: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Therefore, we ABSOLUTELY need Jesus’ prayer support.

#2 What blessing, privilege have we received from this prayer?

1. We are safe, we know
2. Another special blessing = we are allowed to call God “Father”

Every time Jesus calls on God in this prayer, he calls him “Father.”
v. 1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25
Father, Father, Holy Father, Righteous Father, etc.

In the OT, God was revealed as the God of gods, King, Ruler, Judge, Creator. OT reveals the wisdom, mercy, power, of God. But Jesus completes the revelation of God by adding the idea of God as “Father.” In the OT, NO ONE dared to call God “Father.” God was revealed to no one as “Father.” Even Enoch, who walked with God for 300 years, never knew him as Father. Moses received 10 Commandments and talked with God, but never called him “Father.” Abraham spoke with God and received the Promise, but never called him “Father.” David, in the Psalms, experienced a deep relationship with God and called God about 30 names, but never called him “Father.” Calling God “Father” was unimaginable, unthinkable in the OT. Why? Jesus had not yet come in the flesh. Jesus taught us how to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” So, we are allowed to call God “Father” through Jesus Christ. (This is why we have a large “Abba Prayer” ministry in Antioch Church). Can you call God “Daddy”? This means we are MORE blessed than anyone in the OT (and any other religion on Earth), because we know God as “Father.” He loves us as his children, he knows our needs.

Matthew 7 – “Which of you, if your son asks for bread will give a stone, if he asks for fish will give a snake? Even you know how to give good gifts. How much more does God your Father know how to give big blessings?”

Are you blessed very much?
Then you have a large responsibility.

Blessing and privilege and responsibility ALWAYS go together.

Abraham was blessed greatly, and God told him “Now you must BE a blessing to all nations – and reveal me to all nations.”

v. 18, Also chp. 20, 21
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” Memorize this.

Do you have common sense?
Jesus, at one time chose us, saved us, out of this world. Jesus knows very well, completely what this world is like (he experienced it all firsthand). Many temptations and challenges. He loves us and wants us to be at peace, with joy, happy.

Then, why did Jesus send us AGAIN to the very same world from which he saved us?
That’s a pretty big question.

There is only one answer: mission.

This is our special, holy, responsibility.
We know Jesus prayed first and foremost for our unity. This unity can be kept by focusing on this one and same mission.

So what is our (and Jesus’) mission? 
Jesus mission to US is the same as our mission to this world.
v. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”
v. 26 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

This is very clear in Jesus’ prayer, Jesus’ mission is “to reveal God as our Father.”
Our mission is very clear, “to reveal Jesus as Christ and Savior.”

Church is not necessary in heaven or hell.
Eclesia – Ec = Out (Exodus)

An assembly of God taken out of this world for salvation and sent again into the world for mission.

Come to be blessed, go to be a blessing.
Come to know Him better, go to make him known.

All of God’s commands can be known as 2 things: Come to the blessing, Go to the nations.

COME
GO

We are a walking church, a walking temple, because God the HS is in our bodies.

One power we have is attractive, to draw the lost. One power is expending (sending out) – to approach the lost.

This morning COME, then GO to the world to make Christ known.

*How can we make Christ known? 
By preaching and praying.
Chp 13,14,15,16 he preached to make God known as Father.
Chp 17, he prayed to show us God as Father.

To peace by preaching and praying.

In this church, pastor is preacher.
But in the world, ALL Christians are preachers. When you are out, in the world, you are ALL pastors, preachers to the lost world.

If I’m not a pastor, I can’t stand in the pulpit.
If I don’t preach in the world, I can’t stand in the world.
At the same time, we must pray. Extend our prayers, extend our boundaries.

If you pray only for yourself…only for your blood relations…only for your family and friends…your prayer is selfish.
Increase your prayer boundary! To those who hate us! To those who persecute us! To the lost world! Korea, China, America, England, etc. World leaders, etc.

Preaching without praying is powerless.
Praying without preaching is purposeless.

Put them together and what have you got? Powerful, purposeful, peace and mission.

Let’s pray.

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