:::: MENU ::::

Posts Categorized / Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ

  • Jan 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Let us keep on in the Faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Let us keep on in the Faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let us Keep on in the Faith!

Hebrews 10:32-39 (Pastor Heo)

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.

38 But my righteous one will live by faith.

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.


This is the first of a new year, a new decade. But to start something, means something else must end. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

v. 32 “Remember…”

If we remember what we should, and forget what we should forget, we will be blessed. We can do that by the power of the Holy Spirit.

v. 32-34

“32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”

Let us remember what we must remember:

  1. God is our Creator, our Father, our Savior, King, Lord – remember God
  2. Remember who Jesus is in us, what he has done for us – what kind of people we should be, what mission he’s given us.

Do you have stress, pressure, sometimes? There are many hard words in this passage: hardships, tribulations, insults, persecution. When we face these, we need to remember the word of God. “Blessed are you when people persecute you… because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

Romans 1:17-18 “If we are children of God, you are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (IF) “If indeed you share sufferings in him, we also share glory. But I consider our present sufferings not to be comparable to the glory that will be revealed.”

Christian life is like a marathon. v. 32 “…in a great contest.” (Greek = athleses = athletics in English). We need strong endurance and patience. Sometimes we have suffering, insults, persecution, stress, pressure, because of our mission.

One example: Person A, Person B – they are different in nationality, language, culture. They both want communication, relationship, fellowship. How? One person must learn the other’s language. If A learns B’s, then A becomes low and humble – the student. B is like a teacher, high and strong.

For me, I went to Tanzania as a missionary. We were different in language and culture. I had to learn their language, culture, history. I should not force them to learn mine. So, I began my life there as a baby. Do you remember you first experience with the ABCs? We are like a baby. I must be low, humble, weak, vulnerable. They are my teacher, I’m the student. I must change myself to become like them. BUT, I had a mission – to change them like ME (a Christian). That was my hidden mission.

We know Jesus came into this world to have communication, fellowship, and friendship with man. He did not force man to learn his language and culture (from heaven), but rather, he became lowly, put on man’s clothes, ate man’s food. That’s why Jesus began life as a baby. He became weak, vulnerable, humble. Many times he was insulted, misunderstood, persecuted, and rejected.

v. 34

“You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property…”

Like this, Jesus became totally naked, experiencing the confiscation of ALL his property. Can you also live this kind of life in this world? Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died.

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Jesus suffered for you, leaving an example for you, that you should follow in his steps.”

But we have hope because we have better and lasting possessions.

The book of Hebrews: “The book of Better”

Better Hope, Covenant, Promise, Sacrifice, Resurrection, Word, Country, High Priest, Possessions – better = superior in quality and reality.

Because we have BETTER, we are LONG-term investors. As long as we are LONG-term investors, we can give up EVERYTHING in this world, except God’s promise. Even if we lose EVERYTHING by unfair treatment, we have a better hope. So our lives today must reflect the buoyancy of this promise. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where thieves do not break in a steal and moth and rust do not destroy.”

What do we need?

  1. Confidence (assurance of salvation)
  2. Perseverance

v. 35-36

“35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

How can we have confidence? Assurance of salvation? This is based solely on what JESUS has done for us – not based on our feelings, nor what we’ve done for him. If you base your assurance of salvation only on your feelings, in the same day, you can say, “I’m sure I’m saved; I’m sure I’m unsaved…”

If you put your assurance of salvation in his word, you can say, “I’m saved!” even when angry, fighting, etc. Our assurance must be based on THIS promise, and on Jesus’ sacrifice once for all. We need fortitude (perseverance).

I’m a pastor, but let me confess, I need to be patient and persevere. Sometimes I’m also impatient, so we need to persevere. Patience is one of the great, unromantic virtues. Patience is not easy in times of trials, hardships, difficulties.

Most people can start well! Happy New Year’s Resolutions! And in the time of great effort, everyone can mount up on wings of eagles, to run and not be weary. But it’s so hard to keep on and keep on and keep on even during suffering.

We must understand that suffering can build our patience and mature Christian character. Also, in times of great stress, we can find help from God’s people we never expected, and we can feel his presence more clearly. This all helps us grow in faith and deepen our relationship with Christ.

Romans 5 “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings.”

The Bible SHOUTS! “I CAN rejoice in my suffering!” because suffering produces perseverance, and patience, and maturity, and character, and HOPE – and this hope does not disappoint us.

James, “Consider it PURE joy my brothers, whenever you endure trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith produces perseverance and mature Christian character… and shown to be genuine faith.”

If you have REAL faith, as long as you stay in this world, your faith will be tested, – and through the testing of our faith, we can receive what God has promised.

Why can we persevere to the end? Do you believe Jesus died for YOU? (Not together as a group, but for “me”, individually). Because he died for ME, and will return for us, we can persevere to the end. Perseverance grows out of our real commitment to Christ.

v. 37

“37 For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.”

Do you believe this? Jesus has come, he is coming, he will come. ALL prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled except just ONE – his return.

Jesus said DIRECTLY (not through the apostle John), “Behold, I am coming soon and my reward is with me.” (last chapter of Revelation) – this is repeated 3 times. “YES! I am coming soon!” (Maranatha – “Come, Lord, come”)

“The peace of God be with God’s people.” – this is the last word of the Bible.

So, if we believe this prophecy, this word of God, how then should we live in this world?

v. 38-39

“38 But my righteous one will live by faith. (from Habakkuk 2:4)

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.””

“My righteous one will live by faith…”

Repeated here:

  • (Hebrews 10:38),
  • Romans 1:17,
  • Galatians 3:11

This is the same sentence repeated. Interestingly:

  • Romans: emphasizes “the righteous”
  • Galatians: “will live”
  • Hebrews: “by faith” (chp 11 = “The Faith chapter” – coming soon~~)

v. 38

“But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

Our questions: HOW? WHY?

Many Christians often feel worried, fearful, dismayed when we see what is happening around us in this world. It seems to be going well with bad people in this world around us. “He’s not sick…” But sincere Christians are suffering. WHY? WHY ME? Some Christians complain against God, “why me?! There are many bad people around me! I did my best to serve you! I did my best to serve you!”

This is Habakkuk’s question and ours as well.

God says, “Trust me.”

To trust God fully = to trust God in ALL situations even when we don’t understand WHY such things happened. We must understand that God is directing ALL things toward his final purpose.

The meaning of “the righteous will live by faith” – this is my gift for the new year.

v. 39

“39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

Practically, to walk by faith = to walk by God’s word and live for Jesus Christ. Remember, the Christian life is a PARADOX. We must lose our lives for Christ in order to save them.

  • Conclusion: We need to keep on, and keep on, and keep on – focused on Christ,
  • remembering what Jesus HAS done (past), IS DOING (present), WILL DO (future).

This is our Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 29 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Dangers of Sins (Hebrews 10:26-31)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Dangers of Sins (Hebrews 10:26-31)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Dangers of Sins

Hebrews 10:26-31 (Pastor Heo)

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


1 John 3:5 “Jesus Christ appeared in this world to remove sin… to give his life as a ransom for us.”

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

Jesus came to help, teach, give an example – but more than all things – he came to die for us. His death on the cross is foundational for every other blessing we enjoy – to remove sins from our lives, our eternal lives.

If we are sure that Jesus’ fundamental purpose is to remove sins from our lives, then what should we do with those sins? We must not compromise, we must hate them, we must flee from them and their temptation.

If we compromise, we will find ourselves fighting Christ. If we are friends with sin, we are enemies with Christ. If we are close to sin, we are far from Christ.

“The dangers of sins.”

This is the last Sunday of this year, but the topic is very serious – a warning and threat against the dangers of sins.

v. 26-27

“26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

We know nobody is perfect – nobody is sinless – not even very mature Christians. If I say, “I’m sinless, then I’m a liar (sinner).”

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you… He will purify us from all unrighteousness.”

But remember the point of these two verses: it’s absolutely impossible for saved Christians to continue to sin willfully.

Have you heard: “The sad consequences of mercifully forgiven sins”? What does this mean?

The true, practical meaning is: David is a fitful example.

He was king, at the top of the world. He sinned – terribly – deliberately and intentionally – adultery with Bathsheba, and murdered her husband Uriah by putting him in the front line of the army. He did not recognize the weight and size of his sin. God sent Nathan to convict him, and he was convicted. He repented in sackcloth and ashes and called out to God in repentance. He was forgiven. But he suffered sad consequences anyway: “The sword shall never depart from your house.”

Continuing story: Abnon raped Tamar (son and daughter of David) – then the real brother (not step-brother) murdered Abnon. And Absolom committed adultery with David’s concubines in the daylight – and tried to take over his kingdom (son). David’s son Solomon killed his brother who tried to become king after David.

These are the consequences of sin – even though sin is completely forgiven.

That’s why Jesus says, “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away because it is better for you to enter eternal life without one hand than to be thrown into the fires of hell. (Likewise with your eyes).”

These are the consequences of sin – even forgiven sin.

v. 28-29

“28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 *How much more* severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

If anyone rejects God’s covenant – even the Old Covenant, deliberately, and follows another small god – there is no sacrifice for him because his sin is the sin of idolatry. “How much more severe… those who reject the New Covenant…?”

God the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the Trinity God – is exactly the same for this great project of forgiveness and salvation for all human beings. The plan is the same. Let me explain this one by one.

1. There is only ONE sin the Father God cannot forgive. This sin = to reject (not to believe in) Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

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

This is the love story of Jesus. Whoever believes in Christ shall not perish, but have eternal life. Therefore, on the flip side: those who DO NOT believe, shall perish.

John 3:17 “God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

God wants all human beings to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. But he has no choice but to allow those who reject Christ to go to hell.

Matthew 10:8 “Do not be afraid of man who can kill you body, but not your soul. Rather be afraid of the one, God, who can destroy body and soul in hell.”

2. There is only ONE sin that Jesus cannot forgive: not to confess him as personal Savior and Lord.

Remember, “once for all” – this is a key point of Hebrews. Jesus “once” sacrifice is sufficient for all eternity for you and me. But, this “once for all” means, there is no more sacrifice left for those who reject Christ – because his sacrifice is the only and final sacrifice (v. 26b “no sacrifice for sins left”).

Jesus says in regard to sin: “They do not believe in me.”

Acts 4:12 “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

3. There is only ONE sin the Holy Spirit cannot forgive: to reject Christ – not to believe in him as Savior and Lord.

The HS has many jobs and businesses, but his one MAIN job = to testify about Jesus Christ in human beings so that man may receive Christ as personal Savior and Lord and then become a powerful witness of Christ to others.

Jesus says, “When the HS comes, he will testify about me; and you will become my powerful witnesses.” (Acts 1:8 “When the HS comes on you, you will receive power and … be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”)

Matthew 12 “EVERY sin can be forgiven – but sin against the HS cannot be forgiven.”

Continually the Bible says, “If you speak against the HS, you cannot be forgiven” (i.e. if you reject Christ, about whom the HS testifies).

v. 30-31

“30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

God judges ALL Creation – because it is His Creation. “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

But to those who believe in Christ, “judgment” = evaluation, accounting, reward

To those who don’t, “judgment” = penalty, punishment, condemnation

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Wait, we are IN his hands now. This is a dreadful thing? Or a joyful thing?

  • To those who believe in Christ, “being in his hands” = safety, protection, guidance, guarantee, blessing
  • To those who reject him, = under the wrath, retribution, but also opportunity with God’s long-suffering patience

Do you have faith in Christ? If you have it, you can know that your faith is doctrinal. But it is frankly doctrinal – sometimes this condones a negative (exclusive) meaning. We should not be “doctrinary” – where we don’t listen to others and condemn them.

But we must be “doctrine” – this is not something we can prove experimentally, scientifically. This is rather something we adhere to, push, and base our lives on. But not only us, but all humans – even non-religious, and humanist. All religions are “doctrinal.”

Two people:

  • Person A (Christian)
  • Person B (non-Christian)

One day they sit together.

  • Person A says, “I wish you receive Jesus as your Savior and be saved – I want to try to convince you.” This is his faith, his doctrinal position.
  • Person B – “You cannot know anything definite about God.” This is HIS faith, his doctrine.

His word is not empirical, not scientific. He has his own faith position.

  • Person B – “You should not persuade others to take on your faith.” (But wait, you’re persuading me…)

Person A, Person B are both doctrinal and living by their own faith and convictions. They have bet their own lives on it.

Person B = bet his eternal destiny on the idea that nobody can know anything about God.

We know our morality did nothing for our salvation – but our morality standard must be higher. Do you agree? As the fruit of salvation, the power of salvation.

Around us, there are so many Person Bs. We must know that they have little concern for what we believe. But what we want to share is what we believe – so our morality and integrity must be higher and have an impact on them.

Today’s sermon: “The dangers of sins.”

Today is the last Sunday of 2019.

The Bible says, “There is a time for everything, for every activity under the sun – to be born, to die, to start, to finish…” (Ecclesiastes 3).

To start well is good, but to finish well is MORE important.

Hebrews = the book of “Let us!” Two weeks ago we studied 5x “let us…”

Today is the last Sunday of 2019.

Let us finish this year very well. How?

Let me suggest:

  • If we want to finish this year VERY well, let us finish by confessing Christ as Lord and Savior, publicly, officially, before others.
  • Also, let us decide to commit ourselves more and more to Christ.
  • Let us finish this year by forgiving ALL – just as Christ has forgiven us. If there is someone you have not yet forgiven.
  • Let us finish this year with a new attitude, new heart, new dedication to Christ in the New Year.
  • Let us finish this year by confessing our sins. If there are any committed, unconfessed sins before God. 1 John 1:9? “If you say you have not sinned, the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to cleanse your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness.”

Let us finish this year by confessing all sins.

Let us receive the new year with a new heart, new attitude, new dedication to Christ.

“Let us finish this year very well. Let us receive the new year with a new heart.”

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Five “Let us”s

Hebrews 10:19-25 (Pastor Heo)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Here we come to the shift in the book:

  • Creed -> Conduct
  • Doctrine -> Duty
  • Precept -> Practice
  • Getting Blessing -> Giving Blessing

If we are Christians, we must be sincere in our agenda: HOW to live as Christians.

v. 19 “Therefore…”

Therefore, because of what we saw last Sunday (and in the previous reading in Hebrews), “once for all…”

This is a continuation: “once for all… therefore…”

Brief review “once of all”:

  • the sacrifice was made ONCE
  • effective for ALL people, for ALL time, for ALL places
  • Animal sacrifices had previously been repeatedly offered, with no REAL effect
  • Jesus’ ONCE sacrifice is “more than enough” forevermore for all time and places and people
  • Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross shows God’s perfect righteousness and justice, and Jesus’ perfect obedience and humility
  • When we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, all our sin is forgiven and forgotten and the matter is settled forever and ever

“Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ… what shall we say then: If God is for us [in this matter], who shall be against us?”

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is very simple and easy in English, but it has such GREAT power. “He who did not spare his own Son, … how will he not also graciously give us all things? … It is God who justifies.”

The Bible proclaims and shouts (Romans 8) “Who / what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine? Nothing / nobody can separate us from the love of Christ.”

v. 19-21

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, “

Here we can see at least 3 things about Christ:

1. He’s the New and Living Way to the presence of God

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

This way is “new” because it had never existed before.

Also this way is a living way – not dead – because Jesus is alive all the time. Still he is alive.

In human history, since the Creation of the world, many philosophers and teachers and prophets have tried to find a way to heaven – but nobody has ever said, nor has the right to say, “I AM the way.”

The presence and the closeness to God is available to us simply because of Christ. All life shows God, but the love of God was truly revealed on the cross – when Jesus’ body was torn on the cross and his life sacrificed, God tore the curtain in the temple. This symbolized the new and living way – open and available for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

2. He is High Priest

This is the topic of this book – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever in being our High Priest.

We know the function of a priest is to build a bridge between God and man. This means, Jesus not only shows the way to heaven, but also introduces us to his very presence.

Christmas is coming – Jesus became man to become qualified to act as High Priest for us – to share our hardships, our experience, apart from sin, so that he might be qualified as our High Priest. Think about his earthly life, 2000 years ago. He felt hunger, want of sympathy from others, he had all temptations, many sleepless nights, was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered to death on the cross. All this way preparation for his present priestly ministry in heaven, interceding for us.

Jesus is the only one person who can cleanse us.

In the OT, the human high priests washed their hands and feet and sprinkled the blood of animals to remove sins – but these things were not enough, only external. But Jesus, through his sacrifice, cleanses our innermost thoughts and desires until we are REALLY clean. God never gives up on us in this matter.

So, this is the great turning point of Hebrews. From GETTING blessing to GIVING blessing.

“Let us!” x5

Hebrews is a book of exhortation, encouragement, that encourages us to persevere.

  • If you are blessed…
  • you need to bless others!

We are the channel / the pipe of God’s heavenly blessing in this world.

If you are blessed, BLESS others!

v. 22

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

1. “Let us draw near to God”

(Let us never forget the duty of worship)

God is spirit, so we can draw near to God at any time, in any place – driving, in bed, at school, at work, while brushing your teeth, he’s always available through prayer, praise, crying, whispering, meditation on his word, thanksgiving, worship.

“through worship”

It is given to everybody to live in 2 worlds: whether you recognize it or not – this world of time & space + the world of eternity.

Our danger = to become SO involved in this material world, we forget the other world – the eternal world.

As the day begins, in the middle of our activities, at the end of the day, we must turn aside – if only for a moment – and draw near to the presence of God.

v. 22

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

What about our attitude? Here are 3:

  1. with a sincere heart – God looks at our heart because he is spirit (not hard heartedly, not with pretenses – sincere worship)
  2. in full assurance of faith (not half faith, but FULL assurance of faith – “assuraance” = doubtlessness – he WILL hear us because of the work of Christ)
  3. with clear conscience (cleansed from guilty consciences) – with BOLDNESS – why? how? Based on the work of Christ on the cross – not based on what we have done for God.

“Let us draw near to God.”

3. He is Faithful

v. 23

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Let us never lose our grip on what we believe and hope.

Our visible situation may try to take our faith and hope away – our situation may take our hope, our money, our reputation, – it may try to make us forget God. The happenings of life may conspire to shape our faith and hope – so we MUST keep a STRONG grip on our faith and hope that NEVER fails (Jesus).

“Faith, hope, love”

These go together as one – just like each side in an equilateral triangle.

  • Faith = “our trust in Jesus Christ based on what he has done for us”
  • Hope = “trust in Jesus based on what he IS doing and will do”
  • Love = “trust in Jesus based on who he is”

chp 11 = “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Romans “We rejoice in the glory of God – we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, patience, Christian mature character, and hope and this hope DOES NOT disappoint us – because he has poured out his hope in our spirits.”

1 Cor 13 – the Love chapter

“Love is patient, love is kind…”

1 Cor 13:7 “Love ALWAYS believes, love ALWAYS hopes, love ALWAYS perseveres, love ALWAYS protects…”

v. 23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

We must put our hope IN God.

In you put your hope in your money, your material, your hope will be hopeless.

#3 Let Us

v. 24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Let us put our minds to the task of taking care of others.

Are you Christian?

Let us remember this not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of others.

  • Selfish saved Christians = impossible
  • Selfish Christianity = a contradiction of terms because we are saved for service to others

We must spur one another on toward noble living. We can do that by setting fine examples, by reminding others of their traditions, privileges, and duties when they are likely to forget them.

We are “revealers” – showers of Christ. If we are really Christians, we show to others who Christ is and what he is like. Christians are the ones in whom Christ is revealed in this world.

  • Christian = revealer of Christ. We are the visible representation of the invisible Christ.
  • Christ = visible representation of the invisible God.

God bless you!

#4 Let Us

(more practical)

v. 25a

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,”

Let us worship together.

Together (in community) is very important.

There are some who give up meeting together in the community of God. Some think they are Christians, but do not go to church services. It’s possible that some say “I’m Christian” but give up meeting together with God’s people, in God’s house, on God’s day.

  • Very clearly: isolated Christians = impossible
  • Hidden disciples, secret Christianity = impossible

To go to church = to demonstrate where our loyalty lies. This shows others what side we are on. Do you need Christ? Yes! If you need Christ, you need church because church (the community of believers) is his body.

We cannot live a Christian life while neglecting the fellowship of believers. This is a valuable time for our spiritual nourishment. God did not design Christians to be completely independent, but rather to be interdependent – to depend on one another to encourage them.

If you skip church, you skip seven days.

Church cannot be substituted with our personal study, nor with only watching it on TV or the Internet.

The church is the body of Christ, the community of believers, and it is imperative that we continue meeting together.

#5 Let Us

v. 25b

“but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Let us encourage one another.

One of the highest human privileges and duties and responsibilities = encouragement.

This world is FULL of discouragement and discouragers.

Many times, a word of thanks, praise, or cheer, has kept a man on his feet.

Remember Jesus’ 8 blessings in Matthew chp 8 “Blessed are the…”

Let me add another blessing:

“Blessed is the one who encourages others, for theirs is encouragement.”

We need encouragement together.

Finally, our duty as Christians together = “all the more” pressing because the time is short and the Day is approaching.

If we are saved, we live (how long?) do you know? You must know. We live eternal life.

“I live eternally”

Jesus “I give you eternal life, you shall never perish, no one shall snatch you out of my hand.”

Eternal life started the moment we accepted Christ as Savior.

But also we must remember that our physical life in this world is very short.

“Your physical life is like a mist that appears quickly and soon disappears; like a flower that blooms and soon withers.”

If we live eternally,

we must live in light of eternity.

We must walk WITH God, before God, and one day we will stand before God to do an audit of our lives on earth. So the closer we live to Christ, the smaller everything else in this world appears.

Conclusion: 5 “Let us”

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

God bless us all with 5 let us.

God bless you.

Let us pray.

  • Dec 08 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Once for All! (Hebrews 10:1-18)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Once for All! (Hebrews 10:1-18)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Once for All!

Hebrews 10:1-18 (Pastor Heo)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but a body you prepared for me;

6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings

you were not pleased.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–

I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” 8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.


Jesus sacrifice on the cross is shadowed by many other sacrifices throughout the Old Testament.

… Samuel’s, David’s, Hezekiah’s – all sacrifices point to the one and greatest sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross.

1 John 2:2? “Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world.”

Today’s topic: ONCE FOR ALL

At least 3x we can see this. What does it mean?

“Once for all.”

Through the study of this passage, we can know and understand this.

v. 1-3

“1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed *once for all*, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,”

v. 1 = “The Law is only a shadow…”

This chapter emphasizes the perfect sacrifice of Christ in contrast with the imperfect sacrifices of animals. Yes, we know that we have problems, but SIN is the greatest root of all problems – this is the root of all problems in this world.

  • We are not sinners because we sin;
  • we sin because we are born as sinners.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – but we can be justified freely by his grace.

God presented Jesus as an atoning sacrifice, and by faith through his blood.

I believe most of us here (all of us) are Christians. But we must be careful not to go to TWO wrong extremes.

  1. “I’m saved by grace, free from the penalty of sin, so I’m FREEEEEE to do anything I want!” (Extreme of License)
  2. “Even though I’m saved by grace, I MUST keep the Law. I can satisfy God more fully by living under the law.” (Extreme of Legalism)

Legalism = measuring our spirituality by a list of DOs and DO NOTs. The weakness is to see only the fruit of sin, but not the root. Another weakness, if we try to only keep the Law – we will be judging, unforgiving to others.

To set a high level for spirituality and morality is GOOD! But if we try to reach our final role by only keeping the Law, then we with either 1) fail, or 2) be losers.

“I’m not under the Law, but under Grace.”

Know this all the time if you are Christian.

Important question: What does this mean? “Not under the Law, but under Grace.”

This sentence does not mean: Lawless – nor that the Law is useless, nor that I have nothing to do with the Law, nor that I’m free to do anything I want.

But the fact means, I’m saved by the grace of God, under the blood of Christ, and not by only keeping the Law. We are redeemed from the penalty / curse of the Law – so our hearts are ruled, controlled, directed by the grace of God, not the Law.

The motive behind whatever we are doing is because of the LOVE and Grace of God – not because of the demands of the Law.

Because God is spirit, he is looking at our hidden, unseen motivation.

So, why did God give us the Law? After all, this is only a shadow of the greater good that is coming.

v. 3 “an annual reminder of sins…”

This is why we have the Law. It’s a reminder of sin. It’s to teach us “I’m a sinner, so I need forgiveness, a Savior – so I / you / we must go to the Savior.”

Romans 3:20? “… we become conscious of sin through the Law”

Galatians 3:20 “The Law is given (put in charge) to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith in Jesus Christ.”

The LAW = a mirror

You have a mirror in your bag, right? God gave us the Law as a mirror by which we can know and see how we really are – how dirty we really are.

Why Jesus came into this world? Yes, now is the Christmas season – Jesus’ coming season.

v. 4-10

“4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but a body you prepared for me;

6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings

you were not pleased.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–

I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” 8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ *once for all.*”

The blood of animals could not remove sins.

v. 7 and v. 9 “I have come to do your will” (God’s will) – this is the priority of Jesus’ coming – to do the will of Him who sent him.

Remember Gethsemane? His FINAL prayer was, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me (death), YET not my will, but YOUR WILL be done.”

John 3:34 “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”

Again, “I have come from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me.”

“My father’s will is that everyone who looks to the son on the cross and believes in him will have eternal life – so I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus came to do the will of the father who sent him – this will is complete obedience on the cross. God does not want sacrifice from us. What he wants is OBEDIENCE.

If we are ever to have fellowship with God, Obedience is the ONLY sacrifice God desires from us.

Obedience.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may be able to test and approve the will of God.”

1 John 2:17 “This world and all its desires will pass away. Only the person who does the will of the Father lasts for forever.”

Do you have desire? Ambition? This world and its desires pass away – only the one who does the will of God lasts forever.

Jesus saves “once for all”. What’s the meaning? We can see this in the next passage.

v. 11-18

“11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had *offered for all time one sacrifice* for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds:

“*Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.*” [Jeremiah 31:34] 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”

In this passage:

  1. Achievement of Christ
  2. Exaltation of Christ
  3. Triumph of Christ

1. The Achievement of Christ:

On the cross: “It is finished.”

The sacrifice of Christ was made once and is effective forever. But the animal sacrifices had to be made again and again – day after day, year after year. But they are not effective in any real way.

Jesus’ sacrifice, once for all, cannot be repeated – needs not.

For one thing, his sacrifice perfectly shows the love of God. In that life of service and death of love, there stands fully displayed the heart of God.

We can observe and say, “That is what God is like.”

Another thing, this act was an act of perfect obedience. Remember, the ONLY sacrifice God desires is obedience.

v. 11-12 “day after day, … the same sacrifices … this priest [Jesus] … offered for ALL time, one sacrifice for sins …”

Jesus’ sacrifice cannot, needs not, to be ever made again – this is MORE than enough for ALL people including you and me, for ALL time, for ALL places, forever!

This is a big encouragement and challenge given to us:

2. The Exaltation of Christ

  • v. 11 “…stands…” (opposite word = “sits”)
  • v. 12 “…he sat down…”

The human priest ALWAYS stood to offer sacrifice, but Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.

  • Priests = position of servants
  • Jesus = position of a monarch (king) – his task is accomplished, his victory won

Jesus life is incomplete without his death. His death is incomplete without resurrection. Resurrection is incomplete without ascension. Ascension is incomplete without sitting down in glory.

This is the same Jesus who lived, died, rose, went to heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. He is the Lord of glory.

“Lord of Lords, King of Kings”

We are small lords, small kings. He is THE Lord of Lords, King of Kings.

Revelation “We will reign with him over all Creation.” We are small kings. “I’m a king, a lord, but HE is the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords.”

3. The Triumph of Christ

v. 13 “…he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool…”

He awaits final subjugation of his enemies. One day, ALL will kneel before him. There will be a universe where he is supreme in position. A day is coming when EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the father.

Millions of millions of billions of billions of human-made animal sacrifices cannot accomplish Jesus’ ONE sacrifice of himself for ALL people, for ALL places, for ALL times, FOREVER.

This is the conclusion. Wow.

This is “ONCE FOR ALL.”

In our application:

When we trust Christ (do you trust him? Do you believe in him?), when we accept him, our sins are all “forgiven and forgotten.” This is an amazing, secret mystery.

v. 17

“Their [our] sins and lawless acts I [God] will [this is the will of God, the resolution, determination of God = 의지] remember no more.”

When God forgives, he forgets.

Can you accept this truth? It’s not easy to accept – but God can do it. This is his WILL, his determination.

We know in our experience: to forgive is not easy. But to forget is MORE difficult.

We have no power, no right to control our memory.

  • Sometimes we forget what we want to remember.
  • Sometimes we remember what we want to forget.

But God, as Almighty, has power to control his memory. When he forgives, he forgets. HOW? Is he not all-knowing?

This is the way: There is no longer any separation between offender and offendee over the offence. The matter is completely settled forever.

When you pray in real faith for forgiveness, you can also forget your sins.

Do not hurt yourself by holding onto guilt of your sins that God himself has forgiven and forgotten.

God says, “I WILL remember their sins NO MORE.”

The sins we repent of and renounce are forgiven and forgotten. There’s no more need to confess our past sins if we confess truly and deeply from our real hearts ONCE. So we can enjoy clear consciences in God.

So let us go on worshiping, praising, and serving God simply because of what he’s been doing.

God bless us with real forgiveness and freedom from guilt in Christ.

“Once for all!~”

The game is over.

Christ is King.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 01 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Better Sacrifice

Hebrews 9:15-28 (Pastor Heo)

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.


v 15

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant…”

Jesus has died as a ransom for us. As mediator, he gave his life as a ransom for us.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man. That is the man Jesus Christ.”

  • Let me share what is Ransom,
  • who paid the Ransom,
  • what is the result of the Ransom

Meaning of the Ransom:

Leviticus 25 – If my relative or loved one was sold to someone else because of slavery or poverty, I could buy him back by paying a price. That price is called a “ransom.” This system was already common in the OT time – so they knew it very well.

In this background, it says “Jesus is our ransom.”

Sin (we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) – is like a slave market, and our souls are sold. Jesus buys us, sinners, out of this market – thereby delivering us from this slave market. Jesus paid the price and sets us free. The price: his own life.

Another question: If Jesus’ death is our price for deliverance, then TO WHOM was this ransom paid? We must know that this ransom was NOT paid to Satan, but to God. Satan has no authority, no legal claims on sinners. God is absolutely holy and the Law Giver.

Jesus’ ransom frees us from God’s Justice (we all have sinned).

Another question: What is the result of this ransom?

As a result, we are redeemed, delivered through the death of Christ through the penalty of Law and the curse of the Law. We are now not under the Law but under Grace.

Also we are redeemed from Sin as a power. So we no longer need to submit to its power.

We are redeemed from Satan, and we are redeemed from all evil – physical and moral. Including our present mortal bodies.

Gal “Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for you and me, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone hanged on a tree.'”

v. 16-18

“16 In the case of a *will*, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.”

  • v. 15 = Jesus is our mediator
  • v. 16, 17 = Jesus is our will (유언)
  • v. 15 = “covenant” x2
  • v. 16, 17 = “will” x2

These are the SAME word in the Greek Bible “diasecae”

This word has two meanings: “covenant” or “will”. v. 15 the translation = “covenant”, in v. 16, 17 = “will” WHY?

  • “Covenant” = religious translation
  • “Will” = legal translation

This means Jesus Christ made a new covenant as his will, and then he died for his will to be effective – to be operative for us. We know what the will is like.

If someone makes a will for the next generation, he must die for his will to be made effective.

Imagine, if you hold in your hands a will document which includes “one BILLION dollars…” – only when the person who made this will dies will all these things become yours in reality. So you must wait for his death earnestly! This is what a will is.

Jesus made a will to make us rich, then he died for his will to be effective.

2 Cor 8:9? “Jesus Christ who was rich became poor and died so that you might become rich.”

Think about the benefits we receive from his death.

Peace, joy, purpose, eternal life, forgiveness, salvation, etc

All of these are activated by his death. All these things are activated in v. 16, 17 as legal terms.

v. 19-21

“19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.”

This passage looks back to Exodus 24. In Exodus 21, 22, 23, Moses received the Law from God directly on the Mtn of Sinai. After that, he made a ceremony as a covenant. In this ceremony, the animal would be killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar and to the people of Israel.

When Moses proclaimed all the commandments to the people, he sealed this covenant with the blood of an animal and this ratified the covenant. In this ceremony, Moses sprinkled half of the blood on the altar to show that sinners could once again approach God because something died as a substitution for them.

Moses then sprinkled the other half of the blood to the people (their faces) to show the penalty they SHOULD HAVE received had been paid – because something living had died.

This is a copy to show the Better Sacrifice of Christ.

The reality of this Better Sacrifice:

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. “

In the same way, we have a connection with the OT and the NT covenants. We can connect them. In the same way that Moses sprinkled the blood of the animal, Jesus also shed (sprinkled) his blood on the cross to inaugurate the New Covenant. Christ’s blood initiated the New Covenant.

Consider the symbol of the cross: Shed / sprinkled blood means something has died. If there is blood, we can know that something living has died just now. In the OT time, an animal, carefully selected. In the NT time, Jesus on the cross, supremely and for all time, satisfying God’s requirements for justice for all time.

  • No death = no forgiveness
  • No forgiveness = no hope

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and *without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.*”

What is forgiveness?

It is a COSTLY thing.

Human forgiveness is also costly. A son or daughter may go wrong, and father or mother may forgive, but this forgiveness brings tears, lines to the eyes, white hair, aches in our hearts. Forgiveness is not free. SOMEONE pays the price, either the instigator or the forgiver – but SOMEONE must pay.

God is righteousness and justice, so God, least of all can break the moral laws on which the universe is built. So SIN must have its punishment. This is an unchangeable principle. Sin must have its penalty. Only God can pay this price in full before man can be forgiven.

Forgiveness is the most costly thing in this world.

Because without the shedding of the heart’s blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. For the satisfaction of justice, someone sinless must be crucified / killed on the cross.

Who was sinless? You / me? Only Jesus Christ.

There is the cross, whenever we see it, we have no choice but to give thanks to God for this assurance, this freedom, and this hope worn by Christ on the real cross.

This small cross symbolizes that “I’m forgiven, I’m redeemed, I’m free.” This is the symbol of the church, the symbol of Christianity. When you see this cross, can you say,

“I’m forgiven! I’m free!”

The HS knows, God knows if you can. That’s why we must focus on Christ.

v. 24-28

“24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin *by the sacrifice of himself.* [But remember, Judgment is waiting] 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

The Better Sacrifice:

Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient – his blood is sufficient “once for all!”

One story:

In a rural village lived a medical doctor who was very famous for his professional skill and devotion to Christ. After he died, his books were found again – and several entries had written in red ink “FORGIVEN! Too poor to pay.”

Unfortunately, his wife was different. She wanted these debts to be paid back to her. When the judge heard the case, he asked, “Is this your husband’s handwriting in red?” “Yes.”

The judge: “A court in this land can never touch those who have already been forgiven.”

Christ’s blood likewise forgives us. Romans: “Who can bring any charge against those who are forgiven? Who is it that condemns?… But Christ is seated at the right hand of God and interceding for us.”

v. 27 “Just as Mankind is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

Today, we know that the word “Judgment” is not popular, but just as surely as physical death is coming, so surely is judgment.

So, the important question is not “whether” but “how”? What does this judgment mean to me? Encouragement? Threat?

  • This Judgment = Final Condemnation for those who do not believe in Christ.
  • But = Final Hope, and Greatest Reward for those who do.

In this passage, we can see three appearances of Christ:

  1. v. 24 “…He entered heaven itself now to appear…”
  2. v. 26 “…now he has appeared once for all…”
  3. v. 28 “…he will appear a second time…”
  • He appeared; // to take our sins
  • He is appearing; // to intercede for us
  • He will appear // to take us home in heaven

1 John “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my father’s house there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I come back, I will take you to be with me where I am.”

Do you feel Jesus with you now, step by step, moment-by-moment?

God bless you.

v. 28

“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 17 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ

Hebrews 9:1-14 (Pastor Heo)

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

The Blood of Christ

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!


Only the blood of Christ can clean our consciences.

God instructed the Israelites to build a structure – the tabernacle – which could be disassembled and travel with the people to the Promised Land, Canaan. This became the place that God lived among them.

At that time, the people had to travel to the temple – in Jerusalem – but before that temple was built, this tabernacle traveled with the people – as a representation of God’s presence and availability.

This building was the CENTER of their moving, living, working, breathing – likewise, Christ is the CENTER of our lives.

v. 1-5 explanation of the tabernacle – it is a symbol of the reality that is in heaven (Christ)

“1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”

This tabernacle is a symbol of the reality of Christ. ALL parts point to Jesus Christ.

In the study of this tabernacle:

A. Size

100 cubits long x 50 cubits wide = 1 cubit (50 cm) – from elbow to the end of the second finger in an adult man – my cubit is 48 cm.

So about 50m x 25m.

There was only ONE gate – only one way in to see God. This was a symbol of the entrance of salvation / life. Jesus says, “I am the Gate. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but I’m the Gate; I’ve come to give you eternal life.”

“Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we may be saved.”

John “I am the Gate” x2

1. Bronze altar =

Burnt sacrifice – burnt offerings of killed animals.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins who takes away the sins of the world.

2. Bronze Laver =

Wash basin – the priests cleanse their hands and feet before their duty. It symbolized their need for spiritual purity.

We also need daily purification / sanctification.

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:7-9

“The blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin.”

B. Outer Room =

Only priests could enter, and there are 3 things present there.

  1. Table of showbread
  2. Aaron’s staff
  3. Pot of manna

3. Table of Showbread =

All the time, 12 loaves of bread displayed on the table – each one representing one tribe of Israel. Once a week on the Sabbath, that bread was changed to new bread, and the old bread was eaten by the priests on duty.

This is a symbol of spiritual nourishment: God provides for his people.

Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry / will never go thirsty.”

4. Golden Lampstand =

7 candles symbolizing “perfection” spiritually

Morning and evening, the priests burned candles. It’s a symbol of enlightenment, light, guidance in the world.

Jesus, “I’m the Light of the World. Whoever comes to me shall never walk in darkness.”

John’s gospel “In the beginning was the light, the light of men, it shined in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

5. Altar of Incense =

Burned incense continually

Symbol of acceptable prayer of believers and continual access to God. How can we access God now? Through prayer.

We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because this symbolizes Jesus interceding for us as mediator.

Timothy “There is one mediator between God and man – the man Jesus Christ who gave his life as a ransom for all men.”

Incense = vapor going to heaven, like this our faithful prayers go to heaven.

C. Second Room =

The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) – only the High Priest could enter that place ONCE per year on the Day of Atonement

In this room there is only ONE thing: The Ark of the Covenant

6. The Ark of the Covenant =

A symbol of God’s promise with his people (법궤).

It was overlaid with pure gold, and inside were three things:

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. Aaron’s budded staff
  3. Pot (gold jar) of manna

The cover (called “The Mercy Seat”) was covered with cherubim (angels).

  1. Mercy Seat
  2. Atoning Sacrifice
  3. Propitiation (for our sins)

In that box: the most important thing: The Ten Commandments.

Before the Ten Commandments, everyone was recognized as sinners. The Commandments were like a spiritual mirror. With these Commandments, all people were recognized as sinners – and so the sins of the people were IN that box, and covered with the Mercy Seat.

The High Priest entered that place only ONE time per year ONLY with blood of lambs or goats, and sprinkled that blood on the top of the Mercy Seat (thus its name).

Through the sprinkling of blood on top of the Mercy Seat, God did not see the sins that were contained inside that box. This is a symbol of Christ.

  • 1 John “Jesus Christ is our atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.”
  • Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 3:24 “But all can be justified freely through his grace through Jesus Christ.”

God gives the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus, by his grace.

v. 6-10

“6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”

“…the time of the new order” = Jesus Christ – the better covenant

You know in this tabernacle, there is always a barrier to God.

  1. Ordinary people = to the Gate (not inside)
  2. Levites = into the courtyard
  3. Priests = into the Holy Place
  4. High Priest (one person) = the Most Holy Place

Jesus took ALL these barriers away and became our peace and reconciliation – between Jews and Gentiles, man and woman, slave and free, high and low.

Gal 3:28 “There are no Jews, Gentiles, no slave, free, no male, female in Christ. Jesus has made the TWO to become ONE and has destroyed all barriers between God and man.”

Conclusion: We can apply and enjoy this in our own lives – we must believe, accept, enjoy.

Conclusion: Only the BLOOD of Christ can make our consciences clear.

Is your conscience clear?

v. 9 “This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.”

v. 11-14

“11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Conclusion verse: “how much more!”

This is the contrast between v. 13 & 14

“How much more, then , will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus himself never changes, so he is able to change everything.

  • He didn’t enter the earthly sanctuary, but the heavenly one.
  • He didn’t enter with the blood of animals, but his own.
  • He didn’t sacrifice for his own sins, but all our sins.
  • He didn’t enter the sanctuary repeatedly, but dwelt there repeatedly – where he IS, is the sanctuary.

In 4 ways, Jesus sacrifice of himself is totally different from the ceremonial system of the first covenant.

  1. Voluntary (animals lives were taken from them) – He laid his life down for his friends – now he calls you “friend”
  2. Spontaneous (animals were the product of LAW) – Jesus’ sacrifice was the product of LOVE
  3. Rational (animal victims did not know what it was doing – why it was there, what was happening to it) – Jesus, from first to last KNEW what / why he was doing it – and he died with his eyes wide open – he knew everything (rational)
  4. Spiritual / moral / loving (animals = mechanical sacrifice, like an assembly line, robots, etc) – but for Christ, all things at Calvary were not ceremonially prescribed, not mechanical – but his sacrifice was made through the Holy Spirit (eternal Spirit)

v. 14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to od, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus’ sacrifice was not the mechanism of Law, but all three members of the Trinity were involved.

  1. Jesus the Son offered himself
  2. through the eternal Spirit
  3. to the Father God
    • to the surpassing greatness of God compared to the blood of animals.
  • v. 13 = Did the blood of animals have an effect? Yes, some effect – outwardly, temporarily, ceremonially, they were cleansed.
  • The point? IF the blood of animals had SOME effect, then HOW MUCH MORE the blood of Christ, who is God?

If you understand and accept this, you should respond “Amen!” (Do not check my English)

If you understand this message from the movement and touch of the Holy Spirit, you should respond “Amen! I have a clean conscience!”

Forgiveness: has two sides:

  1. God’s side: his demand for holiness is satisfied fully by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
  2. Man’s side: our guilty consciences are scrubbed clean – there is no reason to feel defeated by guilty consciences – because he satisfies his requirements for holiness and wipes our “criminal record” (sins) clean – they are “NO MORE.”

If, let me give you one serious, practical question: Are you bothered by guilt today? At least there are two reasons:

  1. You have not understood that God can make your conscience clean – you must accept, believe, and enjoy this fact as real. God can make our consciences clean simply because of what Jesus did on the cross
  2. You have not yet received the gift of God through Christ because you have not asked. Accept your own inability to clean your own conscience and ask him to come in and do it for you.

Do you have any bad record in your history? He can cleanse ALL your conscience – there is no sin too great that he cannot forgive.

When Jesus comes into your life, he will change it.

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come.”

Jesus changes everything in our lives.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Again, a Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:1-13, Jeremiah 31:31-34

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD ,

“when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they broke my covenant,

though I was a husband to them, “

declares the LORD .

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time,” declares the LORD .

“I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD ,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest,”

declares the LORD .

“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”


“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

Amen – this is God’s promise given to us.

We do have such a High Priest – what kind?

v. 1-2

“1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.”

The point is: we do have such a high priest. The summary of the message is: Our Lord, High Priest, is superior to everything in the OT priesthood.

Last week = he is holy, blameless, sinless, stainless, 100% pure. Then, he never needs to offer sacrifice day after day, year after year for his own sins – and then for the sins of others. But Jesus sacrificed directly for our sins once for all with his own blood on the cross.

  • That’s why he’s the last and lasting High Priest;
  • the last and lasting sacrifice for our sins.

Question: He is sitting down at the right hand of God – then what is he doing there in heaven? 4 things.

1. He is being with us

(working with us, sharing what we are doing). He is happy, ready, available all the time to share in our sufferings, difficulties, hardships in this world. He is READY.

“Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.” He promised this. “I’m in you, with you, beside you.”

Because he’s in heaven it is possible.

2. He is interceding (praying) for us

Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus, who died, more than that who was raised again from the dead sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.”

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for you.”

3. He is an architect

He was once a carpenter, and son of a carpenter. In heaven, he is building our beautiful mansions for us in heaven.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I finish, I will return to take you with me to be where I am.”

He’s still “under construction” – and when he finishes, he will come back and take us with him.

His sitting in heaven is a guarantee of us also sitting together with him in heaven with the Father

Where is your body now? On earth? But your reality is that you are already in heaven with him.

Eph 2:6 “God raised you with Jesus Christ and seated you with Jesus in the heavenly kingdom.”

Verb tense: not future, but past – it is DONE – our spiritual reality is already in heaven with Jesus Christ.

v. 3-5

“3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.””

During his 33 years of life on earth, Jesus was never called a “priest.” He never did the function of a priest in an earthly tabernacle or synagogue – because there were already priests. And, he was not a Levite, but from the tribe of Judah. Also, the earthly temple is only a copy and shadow of the real one – in heaven. A priest needs a sanctuary in which he ministers – but Jesus’ sanctuary is in heaven.

Moses in the OT, made a sanctuary according to the commands of God. (v. 5 ‘Moses was warned to make everything according to the pattern shown on the mountain.’)

Did you see the OT tabernacle? Inside, there were no chairs – what does this mean? It means, the work of the priest was never finished, complete, perfect.

Yet, all the time it says, “Jesus sat down.” This is spiritually symbolic – it means that his ministry on earth is finished. He shouted “It is finished!” His work on earth as a public ministry is totally complete – sufficient, more than enough.

But in the OT covenant and tabernacle, there were no chairs, so the work of the human priests was never complete. Each completed sacrifice was only a reminder that animal sacrifice never completely washed away and cleansed human sins. This act had to be repeated day-by-day, year-by-year, until Jesus died on the cross THAT DAY.

J the Baptist declared, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’

v. 6-7

“6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.”

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better”

  • Better Hope
  • Better Covenant
  • Better High Priest
  • Better Sacrifice
  • Better Promises
  • Better Possessions
  • Better Country
  • Better Resurrection

We read 13 verses and the word “covenant” appears 7 times. “Better covenant” = “new covenant.”

In the old covenant, God forgave sins when people brought animals to the priests. The agreement between God and man was sealed with the blood of the animals, but the sins could only be forgiven by God. This is why they were repeated day-by-day, year-by-year. But Jesus established a new covenant – and under this new covenant, he should die in the place of sinners.

One day, while they were eating, Jesus established this covenant with his disciples:

He took the bread, thanked God, gave it to them and said, “Eat this is my body.” He took the cup and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood, poured out on the cross for many for the forgiveness of sins. This is a new covenant.” He established a new covenant (better covenant).

We read Jeremiah 31 – and we can see that the prophets of the OT looked forward to this new covenant that would fulfill the OT covenant. And J the Baptist said, “This is the Lamb of God…” So we never need to struggle with the guilt of past sins because we have complete forgiveness in Christ.

God’s presence is much more real to us – the emotional quality of our lives is better, and the mission from God for our lives is much better (greater) than before. Whatever you job is, if you are IN Christ, your job is a calling from God – that God uses to advance his work in this world. Everything shows the need for redemption and salvation. Everywhere, God displays the possibility. We are a part of this great movement of the new covenant.

v. 8-12 are a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – this is the longest quotation of the OT in the NT. It contains the prophetic announcement and definition of the new covenant which was to be totally different from the Mosaic covenant.

v. 8-12

“8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.””

Last verse: v. 13

“13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

v. 8-12 = quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – the longest in the whole Bible.

We know what a covenant is like. For example, old covenant and new covenant. Also between human beings there are covenants: marriage for example. The basic idea = agreement – dependence on conditions upon which they mutually agree.

David’s covenant with Jonathan for example.

If either party breaks the covenant, that covenant becomes null and void. But this new covenant is totally different. In the new covenant, the basic idea is not an agreement between God and man, but God’s absolute will motivated by his love for the forgiveness of sins and redemption of human beings.

The whole approach in this new covenant comes from God – man and God cannot meet on equal terms. Man cannot bargain, cannot compromise, cannot argue about this covenant with God – because it is absolute providence / offering from God. So, all we can do is just to receive or reject it. These are are two options:

  1. Receive
  2. Reject
  • If you receive, you receive forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, salvation.
  • If you reject it you reject forgiveness, salvation, eternal life.

From v. 8-12, there are 5 characteristics of this new covenant. Let’s see them briefly.

1. It is not revolutionary – it was set in Jeremiah.

It is TRUE that God planned a new covenant BEFORE the old covenant. In God’s plan, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant – this is a mystery. In God’s heart / mind, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant. God planned to send his one and only son to the cross from the Beginning – even from the foundation of the world.

Eph 1:7 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In his love, God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.”

2. The New Covenant is OLDER than the Old Covenant.

In Greek: “new” = two words: neos (“new” in the point of time (order)), kainos (“new” in time AND quality – and totally different) – it looks the same, but totally different.

This “new” is kainos, not neos.

When we are in this new covenant, we are TOTALLY different people – yes, you look the same, who were once an unbeliever – but you are totally NEW – new nature, new status.

1 Cor 5:17? “If you are in Christ, you are a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

In Christ, you are not a changed person, you are a DIFFERENT person. That’s why it’s called “born again.”

3. New in scope and universality

v. 8 “”The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.”

“11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.”

4. This new covenant involves ALL people in this world – not only Israel.

We know, in history, Israel was split into two kingdoms – 10 in the north (Israel), 2 in the south (Judah). Before this, the tribes had never come together, but with the new covenant, the two would be reunited.

Eph 2:14 “Jesus is peace of all human beings and has made the two one, and has destroyed all barriers between men.”

Symbolically, when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two and the two rooms became one room.

In the new covenant, we can be reconciled with anyone. Two enemies can be one.

Let’s continue next time.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2019
  • Comments Off on A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect _forever_.


This is the continuation of the comparison between OT and NT priesthood.

Differences:

1. Oath: without / with oath

OT priests – from the children of Aaron (Levites), men with no physical defects could become priests before God with no oath – their appointment was based on the Law with no divine intervention.

In the case of Jesus, he became a High Priest WITH an oath.

Ps. 110:4 “4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””

This was written 600 years? before Christ – about a person / priesthood 1000 years prior.

God never lies like we do. He is Almighty God, omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with God – then why did God take an oath? This shows DOUBLE guarantee, importance, significance. This is the revelation of God’s radical plan for our salvation – this is the ultimate sovereign will of God – his last will. So, the ultimate sovereign will of God for the salvation of man = “A better covenant.”

This is another keyword in Hebrews. To understand this word, we must understand the background.

There are two testaments, two covenants in the Bible. New Testament = Better Covenant.

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better Covenant.”

This book has the word “better” the most of any other books in the New Testament – at least 11 times.

  • Last week: Better Hope
  • This week: Better Covenant

Later, Better Promise, sacrifice, possessions, country, resurrection.

This word “Covenant” is also repeated at least 16 times (the most in the NT). If we are IN Christ, our lives will become better and better – our future will become better and better IN Jesus. This is a better covenant – because the best is not yet come, the best is coming. Believe your future will become better. We can be convinced in Jesus Christ.

The background is from the Last Supper with his disciples. In the upper room, while eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to the Father and gave it to them and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Also, Jesus took the cup and gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood. This is the NEW covenant, poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”

Originally, “covenant” = agreement between two parties – if either side failed, that covenant is broken.

  • Old Covenant was based on the Law, Justice, obedience.
    • New Covenant is based on Love, and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross.
  • O.C. based on man’s performance before God.
    • N.C. based on God’s (Jesus’) performance on the cross.

In this better covenant, Jesus did all that God had to do to save us, and all that we must do to be saved.

In this better covenant, we have nothing to do for our salvation, except believe in Christ for our salvation, look to him, follow Him – he is available to all of us, just trust him for the forgiveness of sin – for joyful, satisfactory life. That is all – just believe in Christ. That’s all we can do for our salvation and forgiveness of sins in the better covenant. That’s why this is called the better covenant, the New Testament.

God bless you all with the Better Covenant.

2. Another difference: Length of service

v. 23-24

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”

Wow.

Difference of duration between OT and NT Priests.

I don’t know the number of High Priests in human history, but a historian Josephus estimated there were 83 HP from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple in 70AD. Each served in their office, job, and should be replaced by their successor. Why? They died.

But N.C. High Priest (Jesus) lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. This means Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

What does this mean, practically in our daily lives?

The application: He is available in helping us in every area.

In our culture today, sometimes we need human lawyers, counselors, financial advisers, physicians, insurance agents, tour guides, for better life, hope, security. That is not bad, but Jesus is always available to us to become our helper, lawyer, counselor, guide, agent, in every area of life. HOW? How can we acknowledge his permanent priesthood in our daily lives? By acknowledging his Lordship, Leadership, Guidance in each and every situation. Let us do that. Because he is our permanent High Priest.

v. 25 (Memorize)

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

This means, the basis, foundation, ground (without which we cannot stand) for this complete salvation is heavenly intercession of our high priest Jesus.

Intercede: To approach, appeal, make a petition. Jesus now is making petition for us before the Father God continually.

We should not imagine that Father God is angry with us – and THAT’S why he must appeal to God to not judge us. NO. Father God, and Son Jesus are in complete agreement about our salvation.

“…no one can snatch you out of my hand. My father is greater than all, … no one can snatch you out of my father’s hand… The Father and I are ONE.” (One in giving you eternal life.)

The Trinity God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are completely united in agreement for our salvation.

Romans 5:16 “The Spirit testifies with our spirits that you are children of God.”

In the same way, the Spirit intercedes with us – sometimes we don’t know what is right, what to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.

Jesus is continually interceding for us. The Trinity God is one in essence, in agreement, in sovereignty. This is a mystery of mysteries.

Once more:

v. 25

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

How can we come to God?

Draw near to Jesus = draw near to God – because Jesus is the incarnation of the invisible God. No one can add to what Jesus already did to save us. Our past, present, and future sins are completely forgiven in Christ.

Jesus has paid the price for sins “once for all.”

3. More differences: Sacrifice

v. 26-28

“26 Such a high priest _meets our need_ [Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”]–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

In the OC, a priest was merely a sinful human being – so he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins first before offering sacrifices for the people. This had to be done continually, day by day because animal sacrifice could not remove the stain of sin permanently.

In the OT, when animals were offered as sacrifices, there were 5 steps (at least):

  1. Cut into pieces
  2. Each piece washed
  3. The fat was burned
  4. The meat was boiled
  5. The blood was sprinkled

The blood is the key point in the sacrifice offering. At that time, as a shadow of Christ, God accepted the blood of animals temporarily to teach of the reality that without the shedding of blood, forgiveness of sins is impossible.

Essentials:

  1. High Priest
  2. Offering (blood)

Jesus was holy, blameless, pure, sinless, – so he never needed to offer sacrifices for himself. But he offered the sacrifice for the sins of others first, directly.

Also, he did not offer animal’s blood, but his own blood – as a sacrifice on the cross. He gave his own blood for you. He allowed his own blood to be sprinkled on the cross for the forgiveness of all sins – yours and mine.

When Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, he obliterated the penalty, price of sin. There was no more sacrifice needed for sin.

  • Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.
  • Jesus is the last and lasting sacrifice.

That’s why he has a permanent priesthood. Such a priest meets our need. This is available in every step to us today.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… He leads me in quiet waters, he restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Your rod, your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we are walking with Jesus, sometimes we Walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn’t say, “I will NEVER walk through the valley” – no – it says, “EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley.”

“No fear!”

(But practically, much fear sometimes. Only IN Jesus Christ is it possible to have no fear, anxiety.)

So what should we do in this?

We say,

“I trust in Jesus alone.”

That is all we can do.

“Forgive my sins through Jesus Christ, give me eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

And we can shout “Hallelujah!”

God bless you with our permanent high priest, Jesus.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 27 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Better Hope (Hebrews 7:11-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Better Hope (Hebrews 7:11-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Better Hope

Hebrews 7:11-19 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Like Melchizedek

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.


What is worship? Access to God’s throne, enjoying his presence.

The main function of a priest: to help people to have access to God as mediator.

This passage has 2 sections.

  1. This section shows the temporariness of the Levitical priesthood –
  2. The second section shows the eternality and perfection of the Messianic (Jesus) priesthood.

“There is one mediator between God and man (Jesus Christ).”

Briefly:

  1. The insufficiency of the old priesthood +
  2. the sufficiency of the new priesthood.

“Insufficiency” of Aaron’s priesthood

v. 11-14

“11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.”

The old priesthood was insufficient and replaced because it could not bring people to perfection (completeness) in access to God.

In the Old Testament, what were the qualifications to become priests?

  1. Tribe of Levi (100% pure descendant of Aaron)
  2. There are MANY qualifications – but they all have to do with physical, external, outward characteristics (142 types of physical blemishes that might disqualify him – Leviticus 21:17-21)

v. 17-21

“17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not _come near to_ offer the food of his God.”

We draw near to God – this gate now is WIDELY open to anybody at anytime. But at that time, the gate to draw near to God was very narrow and limited.

Several times repeated here: “He must NOT…”

There were 142 physical blemishes that could cause someone to be disqualified from the Levitical priesthood. Even in the ordination ceremony, he must be bathed in special water, clothed in special priestly clothes, anointed in oil, pierced through his right ear and right big toe.

Once ordained, he had to keep so many oils, cut his hair in a special style. Maybe if I were in the OT, I could not become pastor because of my hair.

The qualifications were dependent on only physical characteristics at that time. Character, ability, spirituality were not even considered. This shows that the OT priesthood was NOT sufficient – until the priesthood of Christ came.

Jesus’ priesthood

v. 15-19

“15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an _indestructible life_. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a _better hope_ is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

What is our “Better Hope” – by which we can draw near to God at any and every time.

This new high priest has one great qualification – which is not external, and not outward, not physical – but it is inward (the power of an indestructible life).

This does not mean that Jesus didn’t die – but that he died a death that could not hold him. Death had no power over him. His death was followed by resurrection – that’s why he is eternal.

“Jesus is a High Priest” on the basis of an indestructible life = on the basis of resurrection.

He is risen! He is the alpha and omega – the first and last – our high priest forever and ever.

Still today, do you recognize that he is praying for us earnestly?

He lived 33 years in human form, experiencing everything, even death through the exercise of his own life.

John 17 “I lay my life down of my own volition (will), nobody takes my life from me. I have authority to lay my life down and authority to take it up again.” This means he is eternal, perfect, experientially, morally, spiritually – his priesthood is perfect. So he is efficient to impart life to everybody – and make access to God possible.

Jesus himself bore his body on the cross so that we might be declared righteous. “By his wounds, we are healed.” (Isaiah)

He also gives us eternal, abundant life through his resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the Life – he who believes in me will live even though he dies.”

Jesus is the bridge between God and man. There was a big valley between God and man – and Jesus became that bridge.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

How is it possible?

We are allowed to draw near to God at any time.

Here’s a story:

On one occasion, there was debate / discussion between local priests (not in the Bible) of the Catholic church and a pastor of a Protestant church (like me) – in the matter of access to God.

Catholic Priest vs. Protestant Minister

  • CP: “Why do you not pray to the saints?”
    • PM: “Why should we?”
  • CP: “Example: If you want to see the President of your country, we need many steps – the minister of the dept, cabinet, secretary, etc – and get permission, and that person may open the door of the President and you may see him.” (True.)
    • PM: “That may be true. There are many steps to see the President. But, imagine the child of that President. They are living together in the same house, eating at the same table, kiss each other goodbye, and eat together at dinner, sleep under the same roof. This is a child. Like this, I’m a child of God – a co-heir with Christ. I’m saved through the death of Christ and have been adopted into the family of Christ. Yes, he is God, much higher than a human President.”

How is this possible?

We must know:

In the OT, God was revealed as King and Creator – but NEVER revealed as Father to any individual person. No one called God “Father.” Not Abraham, not Moses, not David. David enjoyed a wonderful position before God (a man after God’s own heart) – but he never confessed “God is my Father.”

Only IN Christ, BY Christ, THROUGH Christ, God revealed himself and gave himself to us as our “Father.”

That’s why 700 years before Jesus’ coming, it was prophesied, “To us a child is given, the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Even 700 years before Jesus’ coming, “he will be called Everlasting Father” – this sounds strange if you consider the context and that time.

Usually, people do not call God “Father” but Jesus reveals God as “Father”. John says, “Nobody has ever seen God, but Jesus has made him known.” Only through Christ we are allowed to call him Father.

  • God loves us as a Father loves his children.
  • God knows what we need as his children.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect) and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

The practical application: If we believe Jesus is eternal and perfect and sufficient priest in our lives, it means whatever problems you have, Jesus is the answer.

  • Whatever my problem: Jesus is the answer.
  • One million problems, one answer. Jesus is the answer.

“In this world, you will have problems, but take heart, for I have overcome the world (the problems).”

So problems are not problems. Problems prove you are still alive. To be overcome by a problem is a real problem. But all problems will be overcome by Christ (Romans 8: “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”)

Practically, we are allowed to draw near to God – HOW?

Spiritual tips:

  1. Church (the house of God) – although according to the Bible, we ourselves ARE the church
    • Church comes from ecclesia (Greek) “called out of the world” – an assembly of God’s people. “Where two or three are gathered, there I am.”
  2. Our bodies are the temple of God – the church of God – if we recognize this already, we are in the presence of God – drawing near to God is possible anywhere and anytime.
    • We are spiritual beings – and like our physical bodies crave physical food, our spiritual bodies also crave intimacy with God (access with God), sanctification, maturity, the grace of God – this is our spiritual food. “This hope does not disappoint us.”
    • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access to this grace through the hope in which we now stand.”
    • We also can rejoice in our sufferings, trials, and problems. For this suffering produces patience, maturity, character, hope – and this hope does not disappoint us – because God is pouring out his love into our hearts.
  3. Prayer – dialogue with God – we need MORE prayer if you want to draw close to God. MORE prayer, less worry (less TV). MORE talking with God, less talking with people – because through this we draw near to God.
  4. Worship
  5. Bible meditation – verse memory, songs, personal reading. The Bible is the Word of God as our “daily bread.” This is the daily bread of our spiritual growth.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduce, by which we draw near to God.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 20 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Greatness of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-10)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Greatness of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-10)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/the-greatness-of-melchizedek

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Greatness of Melchizedek

Hebrews 7:1-10

Melchizedek the Priest

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people–that is, their brothers–even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.


Genesis 14:18-20

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.


Psalm 110:4

4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”


Title: The Greatness of Melchizedek (but this is just a shadow) – I really want to show you “The Greatness of Jesus Christ”

But let me tell you the background of Melchizedek.

Genesis 12 is a big turning point in church mission and redemptive history. In this chapter, God called Abram. He said, “Leave your country / people / father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll bless you and make your name great – I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. And all people on earth will be blessed through you.”

Abram left and his nephew Lot followed him. He was 75 years old when he left Haram (Mesopotamia) for Canaan.

In Canaan, Abram became rich materially, and Lot also became rich, so he they agreed together not to have any fighting together. “If you go left, I’ll go right – if you go right, I’ll go left.” Actually Lot should have said, “No, you are first, my uncle, you go first.”

But he chose first, Sodom. It looked rich – maybe like Las Vegas.

Later there was a war between 4 kings and they defeated Sodom and her neighbors. They carried off many hostages including Lot and his family and all his possessions. Abram heard that news and recruited 318 trained soldiers (from his household) and pursued the kings to return his nephew Lot.

He’s a hero, right?

All of a sudden, he met Melchizedek on the way. They were strangers to each other but Melchizedek prepared bread and wine for Abram and his company (looks like communion) – and he blessed Abram in the name of God Most High – and Abram gave him a tithe, a tenth of everything he plundered from the 4 kings.

This was very strange and mysterious.

After this, Melchizedek vanished from the stage of history. He appeared suddenly and disappeared suddenly. From this short story, there is no more mention of Melchizedek for at least 1000 years.

This story was about 2000 BC, but around 1000 BC, when David was king of Israel, the Holy Spirit inspired David to write these prophetic words in

Psalm 110:4

“4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.””

After that, there is no more mention for another 1000 years.

Then, over 1000 years later, in the book of Hebrews, he is mentioned at least 10 times.

The key sentence is: “Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (this is repeated 5 times, chp 5 x2, chp 6, chp 7:11, 17).

Melchizedek is just a shadow to show how GREAT Jesus is.

So, on what grounds is Melchizedek a shadow of Christ? Actually this sermon is not about Melchizedek at all, but the Greatness of Christ through the shadow / type of Melchizedek.

I want to share 5 things, but let’s start with 3 verses.

v. 1-3

“1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Let me share 5 things:

1. Melchizedek was King AND Priest – the only person in the OT like this

At that time, the order of King and of Priest were separated.

  • Aaron was the first Great High Priest, but not king.
  • David was a great king, but not a prophet.
  • Moses was a great prophet, but not king.

God punished some kings who tried to become or act like priests – examples: King Saul, King Uzziah

  • Spiritually, ONLY Christ is Priest and King in the order of Melchizedek.
  • Messiah / Christ literally means “the anointed one”.

He has THREE functions combined in ONE person: Prophet, Priest, King

When we confess Christ – we confess he is eternal Prophet, Priest, King. He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, Liberator, from all unrighteousness, dangers, Satan’s attacks, and finally hell.

As our High Priest, Jesus is the ONLY way through which we can have access to God. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”

Jesus is the visible representation of God. Col 2:9 “In Christ, the fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form.”

2. His family history was different and unique

Melchizedek was a real man, not an angel, nor a ghost. He was a real man / king / priest, in a real time in human history. But there is no record of his genealogy.

As a man, he must have had a physical mother and father – but these are not recorded nor known.

v. 3

“3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Also Jesus IS before Melchizedek WAS. He is from eternity to eternity – always with us.

3. Melchizedek had authority to receive tithes from Abram

The background story of the Levites:

Abram originally was the founder / father of the of nation Israel. His grandson, Jacob, had 12 sons. When they entered the Promised Land, Joshua gave each tribe a land allotment, but one tribe, the Levites, were not given a land inheritance. Instead of this, two tribes were divided into two areas.

The Levites had to live scattered all over the land of Israel, because they were chosen to serve in worship services in the tabernacle. And each tribe should give a tithe to the Levites. Also, the rabbis should have a tithe of the tithe to the priests.

The logic of this book is: Jacob’s grandfather already gave tithes to Melchizedek. At that time, Israel, and Jacob, the 12 tribes, were not yet born. At that time, Melchizedek was a symbol of Christ.

The application is very clear: we must give to Christ what we are, what we have, because he is our Savior. This is the only way to make our lives meaningful in the eyes of God.

4. His name has significance

“Righteousness and Peace” to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the OT times, names were very meaningful and important. Sometimes, God had them change their names:

  • Abram -> Abraham,
  • Sarai -> Sarah,
  • Jacob -> Israel

This shows their spiritual truth about them.

Melchizedek was king of Salem (from this comes “Shalom”) – and his name means “righteousness and peace” – these go together all the time.

Psalm 85:10 “Righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Righteousness means “having a right relationship with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ”.

  • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Romans “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace…”
  • 1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
  • 1 Peter “Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might receive his righteousness”
  • 1 Cor “… we might receive the righteousness of God…”
  1. Jehovah Rapha
  2. Jehovah Jireh
  3. Jehovah *tsidkenu (sidcam)(Tsikem?) – “The Lord is my Righteousness”

Jesus is Righteousness incarnate – the essence, source, son, bestower, giver, priestly mediator of righteousness.

We can be declared righteous only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Nobody has peace without Christ. Even non-believers want peace. We ask, “why are you fighting?” They say, “for peace.” Yet, without being declared righteous (through Christ) there is no peace.

We know 700 years before, his birth was prophesied as the “king of peace.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”

“Peace be with you.”

Jesus still is praying and interceding for us – for our holiness and wellbeing.

Do you like well being? Jesus also is praying for this right now.

Finally,

5. Melchizedek blessed Abram

This is an amazing story, if we understand the background. What a stupendous act on Abram’s part.

Melchizedek prepared bread and wine (like communion today). Jesus also offers the same thing for his children, his church – his life. His flesh and blood have secured our righteousness and peace – and we need our daily bread.

We needed bread yesterday, but we also need bread today.

Jesus says, “I’m the bread of Life.”

The lesser is blessed by the better – the superior blesses the inferior. The fact that Melchizedek blessed Abram means that he was superior to Abram.

We saw already that Genesis 12 is the calling of Abram – this is very important. What is the blessing of God to Abram?

“I’ll bless you; I’ll make you into a great nation; I’ll make your name great. And ALL people on earth will BE blessed through you.”

God promised that ALL people would BE blessed through him. This means he was a “supreme blesser.” ALL everyone else would be blessed through him – yet in this story, Melchizedek blessed him.

This is symbolic of Jesus Christ.

Yes, we can be a blessing, we are called to be a blessing in this world – how? By BEING blessed through Christ, we can become a channel of heavenly blessing to others.

This means that practically, ALL blessings we enjoy (physical, financial, etc – uncountable blessings) are made possible in / through Christ.

  • Phil 4:19 “God will meet all your needs (not desires) according to his glory through Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “First seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things (you need) will be given to you as well.”
  • Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to me and you as well.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 06 / 2019
  • Comments Off on From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Download Notes in a .MD file

From Abraham to Christ Jesus! (Hebrews 6:13-20)

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.


Hebrews is a book of warning AND encouragement. There is a warning not to discourage nor threaten us, but to give us hope in patient faith, continually. Remember the end of last Sunday’s sermon? This book encourages us not to be lazy, but diligent with hope and patience in faith. After giving this encouragement, this passage gives us a sample to imitate: Abraham.

One of the key words here is “promise.” God gave this word continually to Abraham.

Actually God does not need to swear to speak an oath – because he never lies. There is no one greater than God. So what does this mean, God taking an oath by himself? This means this is DOUBLE emphasis of importance.

Also today, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I tell you…” – Jesus doesn’t need to say this actually, because all things he speaks are truth. “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So what does this mean? this is Jesus vow / oath to give us double certainty.

This passage is from Abraham to Jesus. Also in Matthew 1 – the genealogy of Jesus, it begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus. So this passage gives us an example to imitate Abraham.

Several times, the Bible mentions:

  • “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”
  • Galatians 3:7 “Those who believe in Jesus are children of Abraham.”
  • Romans “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”

What does this mean?

Abraham is not perfect in his character – he told several lies about his wife “she’s my sister” to keep his life. Also, he was NOT the first person to be saved by faith – who believed in God. MANY people believed and were saved before Abraham. So then, why does the Bible introduce us to Abraham as the “father of faith” so often?

What does this mean to you / me personally? “Abraham is my father.” – this means there should be a very close relationship, right?

This passage wants to make it clear, all who believe are children of Abraham, and children of God.

Abraham is the Father of all who believe (2 points):

#1 God gives

(promise is a keyword)

  • First, Abraham is the first public example of how we can be saved and declared righteous / justified. In this fact, he is our father, we are his children.

Second, we are heirs of Abraham’s promise. Still today, if we believe in Christ, we are sharing Abraham’s ultimate mission / inheritance.

v. 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

Not only this sentence, but also another promise that Abraham did not receive. (Make a note beside this sentence.)

The OTHER promise (he did NOT receive) – even until today, we are receiving and sharing that promise. That promise is BEING fulfilled through those who believe in Christ.

#2 God saves

  • Abraham is our public, official sample of how to be saved (there is a gap of 4000 years between him and us – but we are saved by the same faith by which he was saved).

Let me share HOW he was saved and declared righteous. Listening to this, we must continually remember we are saved in the same way.

His salvation story is the SAME as ours (3 points)

1. By faith

(Genesis 14 – today’s message is “solid food”) – Abraham was saved by faith, not works

In Genesis 14, he defeated allied kings to save his nephew Lot – and he was wondering if they would return to fight him again.

At that time, his name was Abram – and called him, “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield and your very great reward.” At that time, the thing Abram wanted most of all was a son. God gave him a promise – took him outside to see the stars and said, “So shall your offspring be.” He was 85.

Abram believed this promise. “Amen.” (“It is true.”)

So, saying Amen is SO important – God receives glory simply when we say, “Amen.” “I believe” means “Amen.”

“Abraham believed God and God credited it to him as righteousness.” (credited = imputed / like a credit card – banking term – to put to his account). For example, a man works, earns money, and the money is credited to his account.

But, Abraham did NOT work for his promise. God spoke, Abraham believed, and THAT FAITH was counted as righteousness and justification to his account.

It was Jesus Christ who did work for him on his account. And it was the work of Jesus on the cross that was credited to his account.

Like this, we also do nothing for our salvation. When we believe / accept Jesus as Savior, his righteousness is transferred to my account. His righteousness becomes my righteousness. Like whenever someone transfers money to my account, that money becomes my money.

  • “…in him we might become the righteousness of God…”
  • “…Jesus Christ is our righteousness…” (Corinthians)

#2 By Grace

Not by circumcision, not by keeping the Law.

When he believed and God credited it to him as righteousness, he was 85 years old – in Genesis 15.

In Genesis 17, when he was 99 years old, he became circumcised.

This circumcision happened 14 years AFTER he believed in the promise of God – so it is clear that his circumcision did NOT affect his salvation. And also, the Law was given through Moses – who lived 500 years later.

So circumcision, observing the Law, had nothing to do with Abraham’s salvation. God only gave him a promise, and he responded with “Amen.”

  • Why did God give him a promise?
  • Was Abraham worthy of it?
  • Did he deserve it? Did he earn it?
    • NO

God gave him a promise for a son BY GRACE – for nothing – this was a gift.

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, not by works, so that no one can boast. This is not of yourselves…”

3. By the power of Jesus’ Resurrection

Not by his own power.

We know God appeared to Abraham and said, “I’ll give you a son” when he was already 85 years old in Genesis 15. So…. maybe he would expect a son, pretty soon…. Seems a bit old….

He knew God was so faithful and capable of keeping his promise. “Your children will be like the stars.” So, he should expect to receive this promise immediately. Yet, God delayed and delayed and delayed until Abraham became 100, and his wife was 90 years old. Humanly speaking, this is unimaginable – impossible.

In chp 17, when he was still Abram, and 99 years old, he came to him again and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk blamelessly before me. I *have made* you the father of many nations.”

*have made* = present perfect (already)

Yet… no son.

God said, “No longer will your name be Abram – change it to Abraham.” (This name means “exalted father.”)

Abraham did not walk by sight but walked by faith. One reason God delayed and delayed (we know he is good, so faithful, and NOTHING is impossible)… So WHY delay? To wait. To commit ALL their physical strength and natural energy to decrease and disappear completely. Then, at age 100, he had a son. Then he had a rejuvenation of his body – this is a symbol of the resurrection power of Christ.

Abraham believed God’s promise, and it was credited to him as righteousness. The application is very clear.

As long as a sinner believes he has SOME power to save himself, he cannot be saved by grace. ONLY when we admit and confess: I’m totally helpless on my own – Only then, can God’s holy, helping, saving power help us.

We can see the situation of Abraham in Genesis, 4000 years ago.

There was no Bible; no church history books; no devotional books; no witnesses; no fellowship with other believers – he was almost completely ALONE – surrounded by unbelieving pagans. And yet, in this hard, terrible situation, he believed God’s promise. So, God honored and rewarded his faith.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise did not diminish as time passed.

If we have true saving faith – it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger as time passes, regardless of our surrounding circumstances.

If you have faith, what is the basis of your faith?

If your faith is based on WHAT Jesus has done on the cross, it will become stronger and stronger over time. But if your faith is based on your own performance – your own work for God, it becomes weaker and weaker over time.

  • If your faith is based on GOD’S promise, it grows stronger and stronger.
  • If your faith is based on your feelings or circumstances, it becomes weaker and weaker as time passes.

Hallelujah~ One example.

If your lover is now far away in Africa or America, and he gave you a promise: I will return to you within 10 years. Our initial faith can be very strong: YES – I believe this. You will be full of expectation to see him.

One year, two years, three years, four years, five years, he does not come.

In this situation, your initial faith will become stronger? Or weaker? Depends on your heart / attitude.

If our initial faith becomes weaker and weaker – it means that our faith is based on our feelings – not on believing his promise. If we believe the PROMISE, then as the time passes, we believe stronger and stronger.

So, after one year passes, the probability of his return is 1/10. In the second year, 2/10 probability or returning. In the 3rd year: 3/10. In the 9th year: 9/10. In the 10th year: the probability of returning is 100% (10/10). So, as time passes, our faith becomes stronger and stronger with patience and hope.

Hope is a symbol of an anchor – an absolute standard.

Jesus also promised: “I am coming soon.” at the end of Revelation (3x). He gave this promise already 2000 years ago – and although we do not know the limitation of the period of time in which he will return, there IS a limit. So if we believe in his PROMISE, our initial faith will become stronger or weaker? Stronger. Because the period of time left is smaller and smaller and the probability of his return becomes bigger and bigger.

Still today, Jesus gives us a promise with an oath. “Truly, truly, I tell you…”

“Whoever hears my voice and believes in him who sent me will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”

“To all who received him, … he gave the right to become children of God.”

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

The meaning of “Abraham as father”

v 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

This is why one of the 9 spiritual gifts is patience.

There is yet another promise which he did not yet receive. WE are receiving that promise given to Abraham.

This is very important – this is very close to the end.

God’s promise was for a son – but this was not the only promise.

Abraham received his one son, Isaac, but this was not God’s only promise: “You will be the father of many nations.”

Genesis 12 – the Calling of Abram

God called Abram and said, “Leave you house and your hometown and go to the land I will show you.”

v 2-3

“I will make you into a great nation; I will bless you. I’ll make your name great. I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and ALL people on earth will be blessed through you.”

This promise is the gospel.

The ultimate promise of God given to Abram is “ALL nations will be blessed through you.” (saved through you)

Gal 3:9 “God preached the gospel in advance to Abraham.” There was no gospel preacher at that time – God preached to Abram in advance: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.”

We know God is so faithful and almighty. God gave his promise to Abram 4000 years ago. This promise has been fulfilled through Abram in his lifetime? NO.

Since that promise was given, 4000 years have passed – and this promise is BEING fulfilled.

Conclusion:

This promise: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.” – only by Jesus Christ.

Title: From Abraham to Jesus Christ.

We are now between Abraham and Jesus Christ. This ultimate promise / mission given 4000 years ago is now being fulfilled through those who believe in Christ. That’s why we are called his children – because we are sharing in this promise and his inheritance as his heirs.

Hebrews 11: Faith chapter (more than 20x “by faith”)

v. 39-40

“39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

Remember, today, through us, that ultimate purpose given 4000 years ago is being fulfilled.

You are given the same mission: “World blessing / mission / evangelisation.”

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 29 / 2019
  • Comments Off on True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles (Hebrews 6:7-12)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles (Hebrews 6:7-12)

Download Notes in a .MD file

True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles

Hebrews 6:7-12 (Pastor Heo)

7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.


Last Sunday, I shared hermeneutics – right teaching, right interpretation, makes right Christians.

  • 1 John “If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you.”
  • Later in the same book “He who does what is sinful is of the devil. No one who is of God, sins.”

These two verses do not contradict each other. They support each other.

This means: we are sinless while we remain in God’s Word – but it is also possible for Christians to sin continually and deliberately. It is also possible for non-Christians to seem like true Christians for a time, but not to the End.

Point #1: Fruitfulness

We must produce fruit if we are born-again Christians.

v. 7-8

“7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

The real seed given care by the farmer and planted on fertile soil will produce bountiful crops. In this verse, the “seed” is the Word of God…

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus says, there’s only one kind of seed = “gospel”, but there are 4 kinds of soil = “hearts”.

The first three soils did not produce a crop.

  1. Hard (doesn’t understand the Word – immediately, the Word is snatched away)
  2. Rocky (the Word is received with joy, but half understood, no root, no faith – so when trouble comes, he falls away quickly)
  3. Thorny (infested – receives the Word, but mixed with the worries of this world, so they choke his faith out and makes it unfruitful)
  4. Good soil (receives the Word with faith, understands it, applies it to his life, obeys it, and produces fruit – authentic and living faith produces visible fruit)

Yes, our faith is invisible, but produces visible fruit.

Jesus in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, “Like this, by their fruit, you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes? Like this, bad trees bear bad fruit, good trees bear good fruit. So then, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Also like this, we will be recognized in the eyes of God by our fruit. How? Why? Because we have salvation – “found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts)

v. 9

“Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation.”

Keywords:

confident, assurance, salvation, better things

All things that accompany salvation are MUCH better than things we can get in this (material) world. In our inner and outer lives – visible and invisible lives.

Inwardly

The things that belong to salvation are evidenced by the HS as he testifies. Are you feeling the witness of the HS in you? He continually testifies with our spirits that we are the children of God. Also, we have subjective voices inside that authenticates our standing with our God. One evidence = the sublimely conversive desire to converse with God as Father.

“You did not receive a spirit of fear, but a spirit of sonship and by him we cry, ‘Abba, father!'” This displays very close intimacy with God.

At the very root of this is the inner assurance that we are totally forgiven. We are reconciled to God and have the inner peace of God through Christ (supernatural and eternal).

John: “Peace, I give to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Outwardly

The things that belong to salvation are witnessed to by the characteristics of our character:

  1. True light
  2. Forgiving spirit
  3. generous heart
  4. truthful tongue

Authentic Christian heart produces authentic Christian character.

Like this, when the HS whispers “you are the child of God”, when we have a sense of inner peace, when our character has grown spiritually by the help and guidance of Christ, we can be confident of our spiritual standing.

If we are really born-again Christians, we need to know HOW our lifestyle should be. So the next verse teaches us this.

v. 10

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

We can see how our lifestyles should be as real born-again Christians.

God is just / right / righteous judge (Romans 14 “We all will stand before God’s Judgment Seat”) – individually, personally, we will all give an account of ourselves before God. Remember, he will never forget how hard we have worked for him, and his glory.

Sometimes we want to be remembered by others. But we must know that man’s remembrance of us is temporary – but God’s remembrance of us is eternal. Reward / inheritance of man is temporary, from God is eternal.

True salvation must change our lifestyles.

God never overlooks nor forgets our hard work for him. So we must continue to work wholeheartedly for him. So our service and caring for others are shown to him.

This doing good for others for his glory and his kingdom is not a performance, but a lifestyle. There’s a good example to show this lesson:

At the last Judgment Day, the King says to the saved on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, and receive your inheritance.” The Lord says to them, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…” (Matthew 25:35) They say, “When?” He says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

This is a very interesting, but meaningful story. It means that God remembers something about us that we do not remember.

Why do they not remember what they did? Because this was their lifestyle.

However, if this helping, serving, caring was an event, they would remember. But, as a part of their natural lifestyles, they do not remember.

  • So, what you have done without remembrance IS YOU – your lifestyle.
  • If you remember your deeds, this is not YOU – it is a performance, an event.

“When you give to the needy, do not let your right hand know what the left is doing…”

This means, caring, loving, serving should be our lifestyle – just like breathing. Can you count how many times you breathe in a day? No.

So, our caring lifestyle for others is loving God – because he created all human beings.

We must recognize that, generally speaking, God is father even to unbelievers – and potential “Father”.

  1. Be diligent! (v. 11)
  2. Do not be lazy! (v. 12)

v. 11-12

“We want each of you to show this same *diligence* to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

Matt 24:13 “He who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

This does not mean that you must stand firm to the end in order to be saved, but rather it means that he who is REALLY saved is SURE to stand firm to the end.

These verses encourage us:

Avoid laziness, sloth, sluggishness.

Some people think: laziness is a matter of character / style / disposition. But this is a misunderstanding of laziness. Laziness is a terrible sin. It is wickedness.

Matt 25: The parable of the Talents.

One man got 1 talent, one 5, one 10. The man with 1 did nothing, he hid it. Jesus said, “You wicked and lazy servant! You will be thrown out into the darkness.”

What made him lazy? We must know the root of this attitude.

This servant who was lazy said, “Lord, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I hid the talent underground. See, here is the talent belonging to you.”

From this story, we can understand that laziness is misunderstanding about God – doubt about God. The root of laziness is faithlessness, no hope, no expectation, no grace, no love.

Laziness results from unbelief and results in condemnation. It is evidence of a graceless life.

Is there the grace of God in you? Are you under the grace of God? Are you assured of God’s grace at work in you?

1 Cor 15:58 (last verse of this resurrection chapter): “Therefore, my dear friends, let nothing move you, but always give your whole life fully / wholly to the work of God because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Paul “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” If we are real Christians, we should also be able to confess this. “By the grace of God, I am who I am.” (memorize this). Do you agree? Up to now in your life?

It means: “I confess, it is only God who did all things in my life up to now.”

  • And the next sentence “…I am what I am…”
  • Paul did NOT say “… so I did not work hard.”
  • Rather, Paul confessed, “… so I worked HARDER than all the other people.”

It means diligence is a sign that the grace of God is at work, actively, powerfully in you.

  • Laziness is a sign that there is no grace in my life.
  • Perseverance in loving service is clear evidence of hope.

Shall we say together: “…in order to make your hope sure.”

“Hope makes all the difference.”

The gospel is FULL of hope because it is the good news of great joy for ALL the people (young, old, intro/extroverted, etc). All people are invited into the hope of Christ. If you set your life in the hope of Christ, tomorrow offers huge opportunities – and Jesus has offered the hope – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Next time, let’s continue in detail with God’s Promise.

  • “God bless you with hope.”
  • “Put your hope in Jesus Christ.” (Really?)

Let’s pray.

Pages:1234
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen