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  • Aug 02 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Three Judgments (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Three Judgments (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

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Three Judgments

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (Pastor Heo)

Apostles of Christ

1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.


If I ask, are you a slave? You may say, “NO!” But if I ask, are you a slave of Christ? You may answer differently. Are you happy or sad, joyful or sad?

If you are really a saved Christian, you are a slave to Christ.

In Greek, dulos = “slave”, servant is a “soft” interpretation. Directly at that time, it was dulos, which means slave. All saved Christians are slaves of Christ.

“I’m a slave of Christ.”

How can we be saved? We are saved by believing, accepting, confessing Jesus as Lord.

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”

Romans 9:10 “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved.”

The fact that we are saved by accepting Jesus as our saving Lord means that we are saved by becoming his slave. This is very clear.

Before becoming slaves of Christ, we were slaves to sin. The slave market of sin is where humans are sold into slavery to sin. But Jesus bought us at a price from the slave market to be in service to him. We are therefore, serving slaves to Christ.

v. 1-2

“1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

We are stewards – stewards are servants who manage everything for their master. We are entrusted the secret things of God. This is the church, and we are entrusted with the wealth, riches, of God, and the mysteries of God – the mystery of salvation for all the world through Jesus Christ. This secret cannot be comprehended by human wisdom / philosophy, so it has been entrusted to us as his servants, stewards, slaves. We are to proclaim and pronounce it wisely and faithfully.

Rev 2:10 “Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

He gave us this as a mandate.

As his servant / slave, we must make our master happy – please him.

  • Our main issue is not, “am I popular?”
  • but rather, “am I faithful to my Lord?”

We must remember that we are always being judged. (Do you recognize this fact?)

There is somebody around us, visible or invisible, who is judging, criticizing, evaluating, investigating us.

Today’s sermon: Three Judgments – we are living with 3 judgments around us all the time.

1 Man’s Judgment

Judged by our fellow man.

v. 3

“3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.”

Paul did not get upset when others judged him because he knew that his Master’s judgment was far more important. Also today, we face judgment from other human beings.

The judgment of Man is imperfect, but sometimes, it is instinctively right. Everyone instinctively respects higher morals and ethics: honesty, etc.

But at the same time, we must not be troubled when others judge / criticize us. We must also not let the judgment of Man to deflect us from what we know is right.

In church, we must help / edify others to grow. When we judge others, we consider ourselves better – this is a sin of pride / arrogance.

Sermon on the Mount “Do not judge lest you be judged. With the measure you use, you also will be judged. How can you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, when there is a plank in your eye. You hypocrite! First, remove the plank from your own eye, and then you can see to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Romans 14 “We are fellow servants.” (So who are we to judge our fellow servants?)

We must remember we are being judged by our fellow man. Yet, we also must be free from this judgment remembering that there will finally be a Final Judgment.

2 Self judgment

Have you experienced judging yourself?

v. 3

“3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; *indeed, I do not even judge myself.*”

We cannot escape our own self-judgment. There can be a fine line between a clear conscience and a self-righteous attitude.

Our own attitude can be clouded by self-justification, self-rationalization, pride, arrogance, bias.

Worldly wisdom and philosophy says, “Know thyself.” Do you know yourself? Really?

But although it is a simple question, it is a difficult job because we are not Creator, but creations. We can only know ourselves through Jesus Christ because he is our Lord, Master.

3 God’s Judgment

(Most important)

God is judging us today, but also there will be a Final Judgment. We cannot escape daily judgment, nor the Final Judgment. God bless you to be happy for the Final Judgment.

v. 4-5

“4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

At that time = Final Judgment

We can be happy because at that time we can receive our reward.

At the last analysis, this is the Final Judgment. Yes, God judges us every day through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Heb 4:12 “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword…”

God’s judgment is final judgment for several reasons:

  1. Only God knows ALL circumstances – visible and invisible
  2. God will bring all hidden things to light

Imagine – if your spouse, child, knew EVERY thought and imagination, are you OK? or terrified? I’m not OK – but God knows all the struggles we have and all the secret mysteries we cannot say to others.

God knows what we might have been for better or for worse – he is the only one who knows ALL the facts and all the possibilities. He knows all Man’s motives and hidden things – he sees our heart, inward intention, hidden purpose.

  • Many actions that seem good and noble on the outside, may have been done from the most selfish, ignoble actions.
  • At the same time, things that look bad on the outside may have been done with good intentions.

God alone knows human hearts because he created human hearts.

Around us, many people try to create a lasting legacy on earth. Do you want to be remembered by Man? But what matters most is not what others say about our lives, but what God says about our lives.

All earthly achievement will pass away. All human records will fade away and be forgotten.

To leave an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal. We are not put here on earth to be remembered by man, but to prepare for the Final Judgment of God.

v. 5

“5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

The last sentence = someday in the near future, we will stand before God face to face and God will do an audit / final account of our lives.

Romans “All human beings will stand before God’s Final Judgment and give an account of himself to God.”

When we stand at the Final Judgment before God, what kind of question will he ask us?

  • Are you a slave?
  • Are you a slave of Christ?

Like this, at the Final Judgment, when we stand before God, please remember that God will ask to each of us only one question.

Consider in your life now, what is the MOST important thing? Many things. But God will NEVER ask about our race, education, career, savings. He will only ask one question – don’t forget this one question – it is the final question we will meet face to face at the Final Judgment:

What did you do with Jesus Christ?

(Who was Jesus to you during your previous life on earth?)

What did you do for Christ with what I gave you?

We are stewards – managers. What did you do for Christ with what I gave you? What did you do with your life, time, resources, relationships, money, materials, gifts, talents?

To this question, our personal, individual, honest answer to this question will determine where we will live our eternity – not just 100 / 1000, 1 million, trillion years, but eternity.

Our honest answer will determine where we will spend our eternity. This is the message of the Bible given to us. God bless us to stand at the Final Judgment seat and receive a reward. There is no other way to stand before Christ.

“I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

“There is no other name given to men under heaven by which you must be saved.” (Acts)

Jesus’ name = “he saves his people from their sins.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 26 / 2020
  • Comments Off on We are Building our Life Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Building our Life Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)

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We are Building our Life Building

1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (Pastor Heo)

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


Last week, we saw Christian life compared to agriculture (irrigation). Christian community is God’s field, garden. Jesus is the vine, God the gardener, we the branches. We each have our own functions – sowing, planting, watering, cultivating, reaping, harvesting. But only GOD gives life and makes it grow.

Remember:

  • TODAY is the fruit of what we sowed yesterday, and
  • tomorrow we will reap what we sow today.

Gal 6: “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. One who sows according to the sinful nature reaps destruction, but one who sows according to God’s will reaps salvation. Let us not give up.”

Today’s text: Christian life is compared to a building. At least we can say: “We are builders of our life building.”

  • I am building mine, you are building yours, and
  • also we are co-builders of the church / house of God.
  • I’m also A building – the temple of God.
  • We are also members of one building – the church / house of God.

We see many buildings in the street. Beautiful buildings speak for themselves. Their beauty announces them and allow them to become a “destination.” Ugly, poorly built buildings are eyesores in our cities. These are not only ugly, but also very dangerous.

Sometimes, we hear about a huge building, a dept store or apt collapsed, taking many lives. Why? Because it was built poorly.

In usual times, we don’t know if it is strong or weak, but when tested, everyone knows.

Earthquake, typhoon, flood, these destroy some buildings.

Yes, we are building our life buildings. Is your building strong or weak? Stable, unstable? Safe, dangerous? Take care how you build your life building.

That’s why Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with a picture of buildings. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock… It did not fall… But everyone who does not put these words into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand… It fell with a great crash.”

This afternoon, our agenda / great question is: HOW can I / we build our (eternal) life building very safely, in a strong way?

To each of us, individually, think of this and be careful how you build your eternal life building. Ready?

Let me share 4 things.

1. We must build on the right foundation

We know the foundation is the most important thing in a building. Every building in this world has its own foundation. Without this, a building cannot stand. This is the most important part of a building. This determines the size, strength of a super structure. The foundation stabilizes, unifies the building. The foundation provides unity because it is singular in nature.

Ask yourself: What is the foundation in my life building?

Foundation is the most important thing.

In modern culture today, one popular foundation: emotions. I agree that emotion is important. Feelings are important and we do need affection. I respect your emotions / feelings. BUT they cannot / must not be the foundation of our life building.

If we depended on our emotions, our life would be very shakeable and rocky.

Sometimes great happens one day, and our life is GREAT! The next day, something bad happens and our WHOLE life is a mess / terrible.

Foundation is not something we make, it is something that is given to us from heaven: Jesus. This foundation is stabilizing, unshakeable, unifying force. This foundation secures our greatest desires for stability, unity, and eternity.

v. 10-11

“10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Only in Jesus can we receive a solid foundation – perfect forgiveness for past sins, strength and power for the present day, hope for the future.

“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” – Jesus – “Apart from me, you cannot stand.” (I’m your foundation)

Today, what are you doing for God? Any ministry, service, sacrifice, that we build on something / someone else except Christ will collapse, disappear, become nothing.

The foundation of our life building is Jesus.

2. We must build with good materials

Agree? Yes, to build a building, we need materials, also in the physical AND spiritual world, we need good materials to build our buildings.

v. 12-17

“12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

To build a building, we need materials. Spiritual, there are two kinds of materials:

  1. Gold, silver, precious stones (diamonds)
  2. Wood, hay, straw

This is symbolic:

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = permanent, imperishable, lasting materials (strong, expensive)
  2. Wood, hay, straw = temporary, perishable, passing away materials (weak, cheap)

What is the commonality?

  1. Wood, hay, straw = dry
  2. Silver, gold, diamonds do not burn in the fire. Wood, hay, straw BURN.

Fire = symbol of the Final Judgment

At that time, it is not difficult to find and gather wood, hay, and straw. We can gather them from our backyard. But, to find gold, silver, and diamonds, we must go to the mountain and dig deeper and deeper and deeper.

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = hard work
  2. Wood, hay, straw = easy, lazy work

A lazy worker cannot gather gold, silver, diamonds.

When Christ comes again there will be a Final Test. In our application, we must know and study about Jesus more and more and make him known in this world diligently, sincerely, faithfully, passionately, joyfully. Are you ready?

Jesus is the best material with which we can build our house / life building.

3. We must build by holy wisdom / power

Do you want to be wise or foolish? God bless us all to be wise and powerful spiritually.

v. 18-20

“18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.””

To be wise spiritually, we must be foolish in the standards of this world. But most Christians want wise spiritually AND wise worldly, but it is impossible. Choose only one.

Wisdom of this world works for this world, but it will not work for the body of Christ, the house of God.

Ex:

  • This world depends on promotion, competition, success, prestige, money.
  • The church depends on prayer, the HS, grace, faith, humility, love, sacrifice, service.

These are totally different.

Acts (2000 years ago) – the early church had NONE of the secrets of success that seem to be important today: no property, no treasury, no political power, ordinary leaders without specialized education – but they turned the world upside-down.

God did something great through something ordinary. This is the wisdom of God.

This means that God has a special plan for his workers, his believers. The church is a communal building project, so all of us must participate in this building project with our respective responsibilities.

Just as we are responsible for building our friendships, relationships, families, careers, etc, so we also must be invested in building the house of God.

Chp 1 “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

The philosophy of this world is very changeable, but God’s standard is unchangeable, timeless. So still today, God is pleased to save sinners through the message of the gospel which sounds like foolishness to those who reject that message.

Jesus is our power and wisdom.

4. We must build for right purpose

Q: What is the ultimate, final goal / purpose in your life?

If you are not clear on this question, your life is in trouble. Our final purpose should be about the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have?
  2. Whose are you?

v. 21-23

“21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have? “ALL things” (Can you say like this?)
  2. Whose are you? If I belong to Christ, I can really say, “ALL is mine”

No more boasting about men. Our ultimate purpose should be about boasting about Christ.

Can you know how rich we are in Christ?

We have perfect freedom, perfect liberty in Christ.

v. 22

“22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours,”

We don’t need to feel any competition, rivalry. ALL is yours, ALL is mine. We don’t need to meet the present nor the future with worry, fear, anxiety. They are OURS. Even physical death has no power over us because death is defeated already by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Second question: We are Christ’s

We belong to Christ – we are his possession, his treasure. He purchased us, bought us at a price, by paying the price of his own blood.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price.” (Jesus’ blood)

This is so that we may live our lives for the glory of God by boasting about Jesus Christ, testifying about him – he is Lord of the world, Savior of sinners. This is our ultimate purpose / goal.

God bless you.

“I’m a builder of my life building.”

We are building our eternal life buildings through our whole lives in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 19 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature) (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature) (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

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Download Notes in a .MD file

Spiritual vs. Worldly (Mature vs. Immature)

2 Corinthians 3:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

On Divisions in the Church

3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.


We are God’s fellow workers and partners. Last Sunday, we saw there are two kinds of humanity:

  1. Spiritual Man – decisions and exercises under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – lives in light of eternity
  2. Natural Man – the lost, unsaved, non-Christian, lives according to physical life

Then, there is another kind of humanity – in all there are three kinds. Last week, we saw two, but there is a third:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Natural
  3. Worldly – this is between spiritual and natural man

We also may be tempted to be worldly because we are still in this world – so we must be careful not to be worldly as long as we stay in this world.

Worldly = immature Christian – yes, they are Christians, but baby Christians. Worldly man, baby Christian, etc are synonyms

Let us see the characteristics (4) of a Worldly man, immature Christian

v. 1-4

“1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?”

4 Characteristics of Worldly Man (Immature Christians)

1. Not ready for solid food

What is solid food? What are the marks of maturity?

We can tell the mature person by his diet. I have my own diet, and so do you. A physical man needs a balanced diet to be physically healthy, so also a spiritual man needs a balanced diet to be inwardly healthy.

Babies need milk, grown adults need meat.

  • Milk = easy stories in the Bible
  • Meat = hard doctrines to obey

This is the traditional definition, and it may be right, BUT according to the teaching of Hebrews (remember?) we can say,

  • Milk = what Jesus DID on earth in his body;
  • Meat = what Jesus is DOING now in heaven as our High Priest.

It is not difficult to determine a believer’s spirituality based on this.

For example, every Christian knows the facts, the stories about Jesus’ ministry on earth. But not every Christian enjoys Jesus’ ministry in heaven as our High Priest now and here.

It is important to preach the gospel to the lost, but also it is important to interpret the gospel to the saved. We must know not only HOW to be saved, but also WHAT is really included IN this salvation and enjoy it.

Immature Christians are not ready for meat. Are you ready?

The Word of God = milk, bread, honey, meat, solid food

2. Easily jealous, envious, quarrelsome

v. 2

“2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”

Jealousy is a spiritual stopping point, just before murder (in your heart).

Maturity is not a matter of how long I’ve been a Christian, but how I deal with others.

Immature Christians compare themselves to one another and compete for recognition like children. This leads to divisions and factions among Christians.

We can tell a man’s relationship with God by looking at the relationship he has with his fellow men. If we are envious, jealous, quarrelsome, argumentative, even though we are regular church attenders, we are immature. But if our attitudes are loving, care-giving, etc then it shows that we are well on the way to be a mature person of God.

If we are divided with fellow men, we are divided with God. If we are united with fellow men, we are united with God.

“Do nothing out of vain conceit, but consider others as better than yourselves. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

3. More interest in human leaders than in God

More concern in visible things than invisible things.

Children like to disagree and be false. They like to fight and identify themselves with human heroes (sports, entertainment, etc).

  • “I follow Paul”
  • “I follow Apollos”
  • “I follow Peter”

These were babies in Corinth – fighting over who was the greatest preacher. This is just like children.

  • “My daddy can beat up your daddy!”
  • “Oh yeah? My daddy is taller than your daddy!”
  • “My daddy has more chest hair than yours!”

In the spiritual world, this is the same. Immature Christians have more concern for the things in this world than the things of this world. Things that are seen over things that are unseen. Present things over future things.

4. Little desire to grow

Children -> Teenagers -> Adulthood

Everything is expected to grow. Hard working employees are expected to advance in their careers, but it is strange to say that in the spiritual world, immature, worldly man has no desire to grow. This passion to grow is a desire from God.

In Genesis, God designed human beings to flourish in every front – physical, mental, social, cultural, etc. After his job of Creation, God said, “Be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it, rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all that moves on the ground.”

  • Growth, development, flourishing are God’s design.
  • Spiritual man has a strong desire, strong passion to grow.
  • God bless your passion / desire to grow.
  • Who can make life grow? Only God.

v. 7 “…but only God…”

v. 5-9

“5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

In this passage, Paul is using agriculture metaphors. We are God’s garden.

John 15, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

We can learn 3 lessons from this image.

1. Diversity of ministry

v. 6 – Each of us has his own ministry, service, job, activity.

Example, in agriculture:

  1. One plows
  2. One sows the seed
  3. One waters it
  4. One cultivates the soil
  5. One harvests the food
  6. One enjoys the benefit of the harvest

Each one in the church (like the body of Christ) are part of the ONE church. There are many members – like our physical bodies – and all members have different jobs and functions.

God’s work requires very different individuals in variety – diversity in gifts, talents, and abilities.

There are very few superstars like Rambo. Each team member is needed to serve their own roles.

The effectiveness of ONE member depends on the effectiveness of ALL members.

Diversity in ministry – each one of us has our own ministry in church. What is YOUR function in AICF (this church)?

2. Each has ONE purpose (v. 8)

We all have ONE purpose – ONE mission. Eph “One Spirit, one Lord, one body, one church, one mission…”

There is ONE mission, ONE goal – to glorify the name of Christ and confess Christ as Lord.

Yes, we have many different, various ministries and services, but we have ONE mission.

3. Humility of spirit for the reward

Only God can give life and make that life grow. Only God gives abundant, spiritual, heavenly life. Jesus, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.”

One can plant, one can water, one can harvest, but the power to make it GROW belongs to God and God alone. We have no power to create life nor make it grow. Thus, it is only God.

So, why does God want to use us in his ministry then? Because he loves us and wants us to enjoy being his fellow workers.

4. To give us reward

v. 8

“8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.”

God does not need our service, but he wants it, to give us a reward. That’s why we call God a God of love.

God bless our life, faith, ministry, service, for his glory, for our reward.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God’s Secret Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God’s Secret Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Wisdom From the Spirit

6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”F6 — 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.F7 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16″For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”F8 But we have the mind of Christ.

God’s Secret Wisdom

3 points

1. God will save all human beings through Jesus Christ alone

All will die in one man – Adam.

1 Cor 15:22 “In Adam, all die.”

Some people ask, “WHY” – why must I be connected with Adam?

Because God condemned all human beings in Adam, he is able to save all human beings in Christ.

What about angels? Tested individually and judged individually. They cannot be saved in Christ because they have no substitute for them to save them. But human beings like us were lost in Adam, our racial head. So we can be saved in Christ who is the head of the new creation.

Romans “Through the disobedience of one man (Adam) all human beings were made sinners, like this, through the obedience of one man (Christ) all men can be made righteous.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

God’s plan to save all human beings through Christ is just, logical, and reasonable.

The gospel is so simple that even a child can understand it.

Yet it is so profound that even the greatest scholar cannot fully understand it.

2. God involves all three persons of the Trinity God for our salvation

Yes, we believe in ONE and only God – but in three persons. ONE essence, ONE God, but three individual persons.

We cannot be saved without election by grace from the Father God, salvation by Christ, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in God? Yes, but today let me point out that just saying “I believe in God” is not enough. We know in doctrine and practically this is true. Mormons, Jews, pagans, say “I believe in god/God.” But a small-g “god” cannot be distinguished from a big-g “God.”

To many people, “god” is just an impersonal being, like an energy.

We were saved from the Beginning of the world – chosen from before the foundation of the world – to be holy and blameless, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Romans “Those he predestined, he also called, then justified, then glorified.”

We never knew about the moments when we were saved before the creation of the world, but this is a mystery and reality.

As far as Christ is concerned, we were saved as soon as Jesus died on the cross for our sins – for your sin and my sin – the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.

Jesus died for the whole world, but the whole world is not saved. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Holy Spirit

We are saved when we accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. When did you accept him as personal Savior and Lord?

That’s why no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Continually the Holy Spirit pushes us to believe this and accept it.

If you are a son, say, “I’m a son of God.”

If you are a daughter, say, “I’m a daughter of God.”

“I’m a child of God.”

3. God’s revelation of his plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit

v. 10-16

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

There are some things that are so personal that no one knows them except our own spirits. Like this, in the spiritual world, the same is true of God. There are deep and intimate things of God which only the Spirit of God knows. Spiritual things can only be known spiritually. And this will lead us to the knowledge of God.

John 14:26 “The Counselor will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

There are two kinds of humanity / people:

  1. Natural – he is faithful to the principle of only physical life. Animals have their own principles of life – and natural man lives as if there were nothing else beyond this world. His values are only physical and material values. So, natural man cannot understand spiritual things – they appear as foolishness to him. God bless us all to not be natural man.
  2. Spiritual – the opposite of Natural man. He is sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit. He makes his decisions and exercises his judgment under the guidance of the HS. He lives in the consciousness that there are things beyond the things of this world. That there are values beyond the values of this world – that there are things beyond this physical world. He lives by faith in Jesus Christ.

To be Spiritual Man, believe in Christ, trust in Christ, have the mind of Christ.

“I have the mind of Christ” x3

Really? To have the mind of Christ means to look at the life of Christ from his point of view – keeping his values and desires in our mind – and living life for Christ as his witness.

Romans “God works for the good of those who love him and live according to his purpose.”

This means that if we believe he is faithful in keeping his promise, then everyday is a good day.

“Every day is a good day”

“Every time is a good time”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 28 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

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Jesus is our Wisdom and Power

1 Cor 1:18-31 (Pastor Heo)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”


One of the big problems of Corinthians was disunity, division. One reason they had difficulty in keeping unity was because they were so different in background, culture, lifestyle, history, esp before becoming Christians.

The Corinthian church was mixed: Jews, Greeks.

  • At that time, Greeks treasured philosophy (philo “love” sophia “wisdom”) = “love of wisdom.” Greeks were so famous for philosophy. Even today, we study this: Greek Philosophy. This is considered the root of western philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Socrates).
  • Jews valued miracles, miraculous events. From Exodus to Jerusalem and Jesus, they desired miracles, and looked for them. They asked Jesus for miracles, but he refused.

We read “wisdom” here, and it is repeated 13 times. Both to the Greek and the traditional Jew, the message of the cross sounds foolish and stupid.

v. 18 is one of my personal favorite verses

v. 18

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The message of the cross is very simple: Jesus DIED to save sinners.

This message has two results. All of humanity will end up in one of two classes.

  1. Foolish = reject belief and perish in hell
  2. Wisdom = accept and gain eternal life, they are being saved.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe…” (Paul)

v. 21-25

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,”

  • To the Greeks: At that time, Christianity was associated with a poor Jewish carpenter who died the most shameful (naked) death – hanging on a tree in the air, exposed to the eyes of anybody. It was illegal to crucify Roman citizens, so this death was never even mentioned in polite Roman society. Even the image of crucifixion was not acceptable. It was a form of the worst capital punishment. So, how is it possible that the Savior of the world would be crucified? To the Greeks, valuing logic, this was totally foolish.
  • To the Jews: They had only the Old Testament at that time, and among the OT books, one of the most important was Deuteronomy. (21:23 “Anyone who is hung on a tree is under a curse from God.”) According to this verse, it would be totally unacceptable and unthinkable for the Messiah to be crucified. So it is a stumbling block to them.

v. 24-25

“but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

God’s wisdom cannot be mixed with man’s wisdom. His wisdom is revealed primarily in the cross of Jesus. It is not about form / matter, but about content / reality.

Sometimes we need to doubt our doubts, question our questions.

Real wisdom: Giving up our wisdom to gain God’s wisdom.

What is real power and what is real wisdom?

Think about your own personal situation – about who / where you were when you were saved.

v. 26

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”

This is my story. When I became Christian, I was very foolish.

v. 27-29

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”

That is why finally, for him to get glory, we can know that God is never impressed with our character, position, politics, money, etc.

Among the earliest 12 of Jesus’ disciples, do you know what their jobs were?

  • 5 were fishermen
  • 1 tax collector
  • 6 unknown careers

God’s view of power is upside-down. He is more interested in the weak than the strong – he is more interested in the low than the high.

The cross of Jesus will turn our concept of wisdom and power upside-down. If you are really saved, remember that we were called to salvation not because of what / who we are, but in spite of it – so that no one can boast in themselves.

Ex: Jesus’ ministry

Several times this may have happened.

On the way to Jerusalem one day, he encountered a blind beggar, and Jesus purposefully healed him.

The Bible recognizes him by recording his name: Batholemus

In history, historical books, such an individual would be passed over and remain nameless.

In Luke 16, there was the story of the RICH man and the beggar. But in this story also, the rich man is nameless, but the beggar has the name Lazarus.

So the story’s name is the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

This is God’s foolish wisdom, God’s weak power.

v. 30-31

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

  • Righteousness = justification
  • holiness = sanctification
  • redemption = glorification

At first I said that the key sentence is “Jesus is our Wisdom and Power.”

The emphasis here is that the Father God reveals his wisdom through Jesus Christ by means of righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

4 keywords:

1. wisdom

only in following Jesus can we walk rightly. Only in listening to Jesus can we hear the truth.

Col 2:3 “In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

2. righteousness

having a right relationship with God. This has to do with our standing / position before God. He declares us righteous simply because we put our trust in Jesus

5:21 “God made him who had no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.”

3. holiness

John 17:19 “For them (my followers) I sanctify myself so that you too may be sanctified (set apart).”

At the same time that we are sanctified already, we are also BEING sanctified.

4. redemption

Jesus can deliver us (liberate us) from past sin and future fear.

There are three tenses of perfect salvation:

  1. Past = we have been saved from the penalty / punishment of sin (righteousness)
  2. Present = we are being saved from the power of sin (holiness) – “Work out your salvation continually with fear and trembling”
  3. Future = we will be saved from the presence of sin (redemption)

We have been bathed in his blood and saved, and redeemed by his cross.

The cross of Jesus is true wisdom because it is a cure for human limitations from a God who chose to empty himself and experience human limitations.

The cross of Christ is TRUE power who chose to subject himself to death and share himself with others.

True power? = Self-giving, others-centered

Willing self-sacrifice for the weak. This is TRUE power.

One story (illustration):

Are you a father? There’s a father, and his 7-year-old son play together with games like running and arm-wrestling. In this competition, the son’s purpose is victory – to defeat his father. But the father’s purpose is not victory – it is to build up a friendship and relationship, intimacy with his son. To encourage him, make him feel more happy.

  • In this competition, the father controls and loses his own power to empower his son. Then they both can achieve their purposes.
  • The father shows his own power by becoming weak. The father shows his wisdom by becoming weak.
  1. The son’s happiness comes from victory.
  2. The father’s happiness comes from loss.

This is the picture of the cross.

That’s why the cross is our REAL power and REAL wisdom.

Jesus is our wisdom, power, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Without Christ, we are nothing.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 21 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

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Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


1 Cor was written by Paul. He planted a local church at Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey. At this time, he is at Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey. He heard a bad report about Corinth. From whom did he hear the report? From the servant of Chloe.

v. 11

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. “

Maybe Chloe was a rich business woman living in Ephesus or Corinth with her servants handling business between Ephesus and Corinth. Anyway, what is clear is that these first-hand observers told Paul what was happening at Corinth.

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

In church history, division has always been a problem among the people of God. In this case, it was quarreling over who they “follow”. Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ? (v. 12)

v. 12

“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.””

This caused a big division and disunity among them. Why? Actually, Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) had nothing to do with these divisions. They didn’t try to make their own fan clubs, but they focused on Christ in their messages. So, why was there division? It was a human, personal thing.

  • Paul founded the church there, and was the missionary to the Gentiles. Perhaps he attracted the Gentile believers.
  • Apollos was an eloquent and famous speaker who had once had a famous ministry at Corinth. At that time, oratory eloquence was highly valued. He likely attracted highly educated and philosophical believers.
  • Peter (Cephas) was a Jew of Jews, the main minister for the Jewish people. He was the leader of the first 12 apostles. He likely attracted the Jewish people, especially those who doubted Paul’s apostleship.
  • Christ – maybe we also decide to follow “Christ only” and not human leaders.

This disunity makes the church powerless and weak. Disunity, fighting with each other, these things make our enemy Satan happy. Satan is a spirit of disunity. In Genesis, Satan brought disunity between God and man, man and man, man and Creation. Even today he is bringing disunity into our churches, homes, workplaces, countries. So we must be in prayer all the time for these things.

The Holy Spirit, however, is a spirit of unity.

Eph “Make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace. There is one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit, one Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.”

Eph 2:14 “Jesus has made the two one and broken the barrier of disunity.”

Gal 3:28 “There is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, but all are equal in Christ.”

Even today Jesus is praying for our unity. “Make them one as we are one.”

v. 10

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Paul does not command them by his authority, but approaches them in a kind, appealing manner. This means Jesus is the answer, the solution. Only Jesus brings unity.

Gal 3:28 “There is no slave nor free… We are all one in Jesus Christ.”

What does this mean? Unity does not mean uniformity. We are not all the same in our culture, background, interests, color, favorite foods, etc. We can enjoy variety – like the colors of a rainbow. It is beautiful because it has many different colors, but the colors are all united. If these colors are separated, there is no longer a rainbow.

We should be united. How? In what way should we be made one? At least there are Three areas in which we must be united.

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

Yes, this is our second time in 1 Cor. In the first time, we recognized that we are a church, we are saints, we are one in Christ. This is our identity – we are ONE family, united in Christ. We belong to one family.

In v. 10, 11, Paul addresses us as “brothers [and sisters].” It means, we all Christians are part of God’s family. We share unity that runs even deeper than blood brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is organized as a family system.

God, the Son, the Spirit are three separate entities, but organized as ONE family system.

  • God = Father
  • Jesus = Son
  • Holy Spirit = Helper

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the likeness of Christ so that he might become the first brother…”

We are one in one family. This is our real, eternal identity.

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

If you are Christian, you have a faith doctrine. This is called “christology”. The doctrine of salvation is called “soltariology.”

v. 13

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

Everyone knows the answers to these questions. Paul uses rhetorical questions to make what is known crystal clear. It is very simple. Even baby Christians know this. Who died for you? Paul? No. Apollos? No. Peter? No. Only Christ. Who can save us, who can give us real freedom, who can give us deliverance from hell, who can give us real peace and joy, who can give us eternal life? Absolutely, finally, Jesus.

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Yes, even I agree that Paul, Apollos, and Peter are greater men than me. I honor them, but they are the same in that they were humans, sinners, and need forgiveness, and salvation. For them, Jesus Christ died.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.”

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

If we are Christians, we all have a mission. Check what you mission is.

A “mission” is a task given to you by God. It is not something you choose for yourself, but something given to you by God because we are servants of God. Check all the time what is your priority #1 mission.

Sometimes you feel tired, bored? Ask and check, what is your mission?

We are different in many areas – our tastes, favorite colors, height, weight, etc. We are individual people, but we must be ONE in our priority #1 mission. We can be different in our talents and gifts, but we are ONE in our priority #1 mission. What is it?

v. 10

“…perfectly united in mind and thought.” (in purpose – #1 mission)

What is it?

v. 14-17

“14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Do not misunderstand this story, but we should understand the background of this story.

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, we are baptized in the name of Christ.

But what IS important in baptism is that we are baptized INTO one family.

But the Corinthian church misunderstood. Some said, “Paul baptized me.” Others, “No, Peter did me – he’s better.” Others, “Apollos did me – he’s the best.”

It does not matter by which pastor you were baptized. Billy Graham? Pastor Park? It does not matter. We were baptized by one faith into one family.

This also involves the Great Commission of Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality – trusting in Christ as your personal Savior. So, by baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Christ to this world. So, baptism is a unifying factor in the church.

v. 17 (final answer – priority #1 mission)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, it is important, but our primary mission is to preach the gospel.

No matter how important baptism is, preaching the gospel must be first. Baptism cannot substitute for preaching the gospel.

In our daily lives, remember, no matter how important a thing you do, not preaching the gospel cannot be justified by doing that very important thing.

In 1 Cor later, Paul says, “When preaching the gospel I cannot boast because I am compelled to do so. Woe to me if I do not preach…” He doesn’t say, “Woe to me if I don’t baptize.” Rather, “Woe to me if I don’t preach.”

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 14 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)

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The Intro to 1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge– 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


From today we will study 1 Corinthians. God bless us with this new book.

The main agenda = how can we Christians live a Christian life in a non-Christian society: “The application of Christian principles to worldliness.”

The practical message: “Be wise: be a person of wisdom.”

Christ is the answer: 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”

God bless us with this new book.


This book is written in the style of a letter to the church at Corinth. So, let us see the introduction.

At that time, Corinth was the most important city in Greece, it linked north and south Greece with two ports. So, it played a very important role politically, socially, religiously, commercially. At that time, so many men and women, slaves, business people came in and out. So the standards of morals were very low – homosexuality and prostitution abounded. It was filled with all kinds of sin, and many kinds of philosophies where people spread their own speculations and conspiracies. In such a place, a church was built. But how?

Paul planted a church there in the last part of his second missionary journey. He came here and worked for more than 1.5 years. As the fruit of his mission work, he planted a church at Corinth.

So, why did he write a letter? A few years after his departure, he heard a bad report about the church he established because it was challenged by the worldly culture.

It is thought that Paul wrote to the church four times:

  1. (5:9 “I have written to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people” – this means he had written to them previously, but the letter was lost).
  2. Also in AD 55 or 56, he wrote a second letter, which we call today “1 Corinthians” – after that, he most likely visited Corinth, but during his visitation was challenged about his authority of his apostleship.
  3. This was a “painful visitation” and afterward he wrote a third letter – which was lost.
  4. Later, he wrote a fourth letter to the Corinthian church which we have in the Bible today, called “2 Corinthians.”

These books are still very relevant today. Some may ask: how are they relevant? We are separated by time and culture.

But “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword…” Timothy 4:12

As we know, even today, most of the problems the Corinthian church had at that time, are still present with us today. Yet, even though they had those problems, we have here some of the most beautiful passages in the whole Bible:

  • chp 13: Love
  • chp 15: Resurrection

v. 1

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,”

Paul was his Roman name – after he became a Christian and became a missionary to the Gentiles, he used his Roman name (Paul) rather than his Jewish name (Saul) so that he could link himself to those to whom God had sent him.

We know that he wrote at least 13 books in the NT, and here he introduces “Sosthenes” – perhaps Paul’s secretary (he was the minister in the church during his second missionary journey – at one time, the people attacked both Paul and Sosthenes – so he was well-known to the members of that church).

v. 2-3

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [KJV = “called to be saints”], together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Every local church has two addresses: geographic location + heavenly address

  • This church:
    • Geographic: in Corinth
    • Heavenly: in Christ
  • Even AICF:
    • Geo: In Jeonju
    • Heavenly: In Christ

This does not say, “Church of Corinth” but rather “Church of God IN Corinth.”

The word “ecclesia” in Greek means “called out people” and is the name for “church.” “Called” is one of the keywords.

Biblically, church is: “An assembly of people called out of this world by God to be holy and sanctified, and then sent again by God into the world to help save the world.”

So, a man of God, in the church, has been called by God already and sanctified. Yes, we know that men (people) have many problems and sins, but Paul calls them FIRST “saints” and “sanctified.” Rather than focusing on sin first, he encourages first and reminds them (and us) of their HIGH position.

What kind of encouragement was this? Identity encouragement – positional truth – “you are saints and sanctified.”

Also, today, we are saints and sanctified. If you are Christian, this is what you are today.

Before, they called dead people who lived biblically a “saint” but actually EVERY true believer is already a “saint” because they’ve been sanctified and set apart by God. We’ve already received the truest blessing of God, and have been set apart. Believe you are a saint.

But, we must remember that this is not of our own power, but only by Christ’s power and what he’s done for us.

Our identity as saints and sanctified is not based on our own achievement and performance, but based on the work of Christ, his death and resurrection.

So, our identity is sure, very safe. It was given to us by someone else (Jesus Christ) so the basic meaning of “saint” and “sanctified” = “separation” / “difference.”

This separation / difference is not to be marked by withdrawing from ordinary life, but rather it must be displayed as a difference in an ordinary life.

Also, we must know that to be a Christian is to accept Christ, to live for him, and be ready to die for him. Are you Christian? Let me repeat:

Be a man / woman for whom Christ died, know it, accept it, accept him as Lord, live your whole life for Christ, even prepare to die for Christ.

This is the definition of Christian. God bless us all to be real Christians. “I’m a saint.”

Also, this letter is a difficult letter. It had to deal with difficult problems and difficult situations. In these difficult situations, Paul’s first focus and consideration was Jesus Christ. This is an amazing principle we can apply in our real lives.

In the 9 verses we read today, the name “Jesus” or “Christ” or “him” is repeated 10 times. He is in EVERY sentence as a keyword.

  1. called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus
  2. to those sanctified in Christ Jesus …. who call on the the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Grace and peace to you from … Jesus Christ
  4. …his grace given you in Christ
  5. in him you have been enriched…
  6. our testimony about Christ
  7. you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ
  8. He will keep you strong to the end… on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (remember this verse)
  9. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…

In our application, what can we learn from these truths?

When we deal with any matter in our lives, in any area, when we try to deal with difficult situations or problems, we may use human laws, info, counseling, wisdom, Internet surfing. This is not bad, BUT if we are really saved, whenever we try to deal with any kind of difficult situation, the FIRST thing we must do is to focus on Jesus Christ and meditate on what he has done for me, and meditate, and pray. We must approach the throne of God through prayer.

Yes, the current situation in the Corinthian church is NOT GOOD, but verse 8-9 say “he will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, God, … is faithful.”

Yes, maybe we are immature and imperfect still. We still struggle, have hardships and failures, but these things are NOT the whole picture of our lives. FINALLY, we will be blameless because of what Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection.

“God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.”

Another keyword in this passage: “called.” Somyong in Korean – a calling to salvation, and also a calling to service.

The standard greeting of all Paul’s letters are “grace and peace.”

Grace = God’s undeserved kindness, free gift of grace and kindness in Christ. In Greek, grace is charisma.

“Those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus so that he may be the first born of many brothers.”

Romans 8 “Those he called, he justified, he sanctified, he glorified. What can we say, if God is for me, who can be against me?”

v. 8

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thes 3:13 is almost the same. “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.

Let’s pray.

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