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  • Sep 22 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Move on toward Maturity! (Hebrews 6:4-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Move on toward Maturity! (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Recording started late – almost the end

Move on toward Maturity

Hermeneutics = theologically academic term – a very important subject in Bible school.

It means “the study of HOW to interpret the Bible.” To interpret the Bible biblically is so important. We know that many other religions also use the Bible and teach it and love it – but the difference is “interpretation”. They are different from us in crucial doctrinal points – especially salvation.

Different doctrinal beliefs makes faith different – this makes assurance of salvation different – our worldviews, lifestyles, and actions different. And finally, our final destination is different.

In a word: Different interpretation makes ALL different.

That’s why interpretation is so important. If we do not interpret the Bible biblically, we can be so uncertain – especially depending on which page in which we read.

  • One page: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”
    • Another page: “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ enters the kingdom of heaven.”
  • One page: “We are saved by faith, not by works.”
    • Another page: “A person can be justified by what he does.” (James)
  • One page: “No condemnation in Jesus Christ.” (I’ll never lose my salvation).
    • Another page: “Through this, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Oh, no, I could lose it!)

That’s why interpretation is SO important. No verses actually contradict each other. Every verse edifies, builds up every other verse.

Another thing: TEXT must be interpreted IN CONTEXT.

We must interpret the Obscure by the Obvious.

As for salvation:

ONCE salvation = ALWAYS salvation (this means “eternal life”). A TRUE believer can never lose their salvation if they are a true believer in the sight of God.

If a sinner repents and believes in Christ, they can never be lost. But today’s passage is a serious warning:

It is possible to enjoy the blessings of God without being regenerated.

Q: Is it possible for non-Christians to enjoy the blessings of God – even spiritual blessings – without knowing God? YES.

What time is it now…

3 Examples:

My Story:

When I was in Tanzania and Kenya, my son John was in a boarding school – for missionary children. There were several one week breaks per year (Christmas, Easter, etc) – to see their parents. During the break, most students had to come out from the school because it was closed. Most of them went to stay with their parents, but some had difficulty to go to their parents for several reasons. Once, John brought his friend to my house to stay with me, at my house. Outwardly, I offered him the same benefits I offered my own son – food, bed, shopping, water, picnics outside. He enjoyed these blessings from me, and I blessed him in the name of Christ. But when he left my house, no more.

It was not that he was my son at the beginning, and when he left he lost his sonship. He was never actually my son at the beginning. He was just a visitor, staying in my house, receiving the same benefits my son received.

2nd Story:

Several times we saw the Exodus event.

Israel as a nation was a covenant community. In the Exodus, all of them placed the blood of the animals on their doorposts and all of them ate the lamb for Passover. All of them came out, and all of them passed miraculously through the Red Sea. All of them drank water from the rock, all of them ate manna from heaven. All of them heard the voice of God from the mountain, and all of them died in the wilderness.

The difference: Some were regenerated, some were not, but they were all members of the same heavenly covenant – so they all enjoyed the same blessings.

3rd Story:

Judas

He was a disciple, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

v. 4-6

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Judas, like this, tasted the Word of God, the powers of the coming age, the message and blessings of Jesus. But the truth was NOT that he WAS saved, and LOST it. The truth: he was an unbeliever from the beginning. Some time later, he fell from this life and returned to his old lifestyle. Jesus said, “It would be better if he had not been born. He was a devil from the beginning.”

Do you remember the 6 basic doctrines of Christianity from last week?

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith

These two go together all the time, and we must practice them every day. That’s why we must believe in Christ.

You know, as long as you stay in church, in the Christian community, you can enjoy blessings, no problem. But, that is not salvation. Salvation is found in Christ alone by faith alone, through grace alone.

Where there is life, there is growth. (I’m repeating this 3 weeks in a row.) Where there is salvation, there is change.

So, we must move on toward maturity. We must show we are saved through our growth.

Difference between immature vs. mature choices:

It is very clear, so check yourself – immature side, or mature side. Test yourself.

  • Mature choice: helping / serving others
    • Im: being helped / served
  • M: Developing a depth of understanding
    • I: struggling with the basic truths
  • M: Evaluating yourself
    • I: Criticizing yourself
  • M: Evaluating your feelings in the light of the Word of God
    • I: Evaluating your feelings according to your emotions
  • M: Seeking unity
    • I: Promoting disunity
  • M: Seeking to please God
    • I: Seeking to satisfy yourself
  • M: Studying, observing carefully
    • I: Accepting opinions and half-hearted efforts
  • M: Active and strong faith
    • I: Cautious and doubtful
  • M: Desiring spiritual challenges and sacrifices
    • I: Desiring entertainment and an easy life
  • M: Living with confidence, thanksgiving, love
    • I: Living with uncertainty and complaining
  • M: Ministry in church; mission in the world
    • I: No ministry in church; no mission in the world

Do you have these? So, we must pray at every moment. We must grow more and more, and love him more and more, and renew our dedication and devotion. We know TONIGHT is THAT day: Dedication Service (헌신예배). This is not a “show” or “performance” but another opportunity given from God to renew our dedication – not only together, but also individually and personally.

God bless all of us.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)

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Grow up in Christ!

Hebrews 6:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.


Why do we like babies? We like to see them grow. I also love to see these children in our service grow up.

John 1:12 “To all those who accepted him; to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

We are God’s children, so he loves to see us grow. If we do not grow, he is unhappy. This is sad because he is our Father.

Where there is life, there is growth.

To go to HS, we must leave elementary school. To go to college, we must leave HS. But, we do not leave what we learned in elementary school even though we move on. In elementary school, we learn the fundamentals, foundational knowledge of reading, writing, speaking, math. In HS, we can learn more difficult subjects, and read heavier books. In university, we use fundamental mathematics in our classes.

“Elementary” means “fundamental” or “foundational”.

In these 3 verses of Hebrews, there are 6 elementary teachings of Christian doctrine. This is the foundation on which we must stand, so we must be sure, unshakeable in this elementary foundation. But we must not stop here, we should continue on, continue learning. So we should practice these 6 foundational doctrines in our lives, but we must also continue on and on to build our higher progress.

We must practice these daily and on and on:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

v. 1-3

“1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.”

Christian life begins with salvation – conversion, justification, regeneration, union with Christ, adoption, all take place at the same time, but logically, there is an order.

Logically, the first we experience is conversion. There are two elements: repentance and faith. So, the first elementary teachings about Christ are these two.

1 Repentance

The first is repentance.

Without repentance, there is no start to the Christian life. That’s why the first preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus was the same, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Luke 15:7 “There will be more rejoicing over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.”

This is the fundamental of fundamentals.

Essentially, repentance = a change of heart, but it has 3 elements:

  1. Intellectual
  2. Emotional
  3. Volitional
  • Repentance = change of viewpoint with regard to sin, Christ, and yourself.
  • Sin = anything against the will of God. The biggest sin = not to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord.
  • Jesus = the Savior and Lord of the world and God who became man to die on the cross for our sin and save the world through his blood shed on the cross.
  • Self = now I recognize that I’m a sinner – powerless, helpless, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior.

But we must know that true repentance cannot exist apart from faith – for we cannot turn AWAY from sin without at the same time turning TOWARD God in faith.

Also, true faith never exists without repentance. These two are inseparably bound together.

  • Emotional: sorrow for sin, desire for forgiveness = evidence of repentance.
  • Volitional: change of will, purpose, disposition. This is the inward turning from sin. Surrender for forgiveness – to seek cleansing. This is repentance in volition (will).

2 Faith

Practically, repentance and faith go together. We must practice them everyday.

We know we are saved by faith.

Everyone’s life is governed by what we believe – in what we have faith. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are driven by what you believe.

We are saved by faith.

  • “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
  • “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Eph “It is by faith you have been saved. It is not of yourselves so that no one may boast.”
  • Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

How can we get a saving faith? Can you get it through your own effort?

There are two sides to this coin.

  • God’s side: It is his gift – we have nothing to do to receive it.
  • Human side: we must practice our faith to grow in faith.

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word.”

Please remember, saving faith is much more than intellectual agreement or acceptance. It is total surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior.

3 Baptism

Did you receive water baptism? This is just a symbol of cleansing and identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. This is an outward symbol of an inward experience.

Did you receive baptism by the Holy Spirit? The HS testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

“I’m a child of God.” This is the spiritual meaning of baptism.

4 Laying on of hands (안수)

This also means the sharing of some blessing from God.

If we have received a blessing, it is our responsibility to share it with others. Also, this laying on of hands shows a setting apart for good works.

We are saved by faith + nothing. (Good works cannot DO anything for our salvation – but we are saved TO DO good works.)

Eph “We are God’s workmanship, made in his image, to do good works which he has prepared for us to do in advance.”

Matt 5:16 “In this same way, let your light shine before men so that everyone who sees your good deeds will praise your father in heaven.”

If we are really saved by faith, we have a responsibility to do good works – ministry IN church, mission OUTSIDE church.

5 Resurrection

If there is no resurrection, there is no hope in Christianity.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life, whoever believes in me will never die.” Jesus “Do you believe this?”

We all experienced remaining in our mother’s womb. Do you remember this? 40 weeks.
West: end of 9 months
Korea: beginning of 10 months
same – same

Just as staying in our mother’s womb was preparation to live in THIS world, so also our lives in this world are only preparation to live in the NEXT world. We can live up to 100 or so years, but no matter how long we live in this world, the next life has no end. Our lives in this world are as short as a blink of an eye – but the consequences are eternal.

One day, our hearts will stop beating. This will be the end of our bodies (physical) – but it will not be the end of YOU. Our physical bodies are a “tent” – and our next bodies are a “house”.

1 Cor “If our physical tent is destroyed, we have a house from God built in heaven – not built by human hands.”

So, as long as we live a short time in this world, we must live in light of eternity. We will use our time, treasure, talents more wisely. Our priorities will be reordered.

Remember: physical death is not annihilation but transition into eternity. We are looking forward to our eternal home.

Secular people say: “When he died, he left home.”
Christians say: “When we die, we go home.”

6 Judgment

Are you expecting this? Anticipating it? Or dreading it?

Hebrews 9:7 “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

Someday, we will stand before God face-to-face. Nobody can escape this fate.

Many people spend their physical lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth, but we must remember that what matters most is not what other people say about my life, but what God says about my life. We are not put here for others only, but to prepare for the next life. God will do an audit and in this final judgment seat, he will ask only two questions:

What is the most important question in your life?

God asks only two:

  1. “What did you do with Jesus?” (Did you receive him? Learn to love and trust in him?)
  2. “What did you do with all things I gave you?” (Your time, treasure, talents. What did you do with it all? Did you spend it on yourself alone? Or use it for the purposes I made it for?)

Are you ready to give a correct answer to these two questions? That’s why we must practice these 6 elements daily:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of Hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

“For his kingdom! For his glory!”

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 08 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Be a Priestly Christian (Hebrews 5:11-14, 1 Peter 2:9)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Be a Priestly Christian (Hebrews 5:11-14, 1 Peter 2:9)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Be a Priestly Christian

Hebrews 5:11-14 (Pastor Heo)

5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teah you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.


1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Do you have a desire to grow? Do you practice faith in your daily lives? God wants us to grow continually.

Hebrews offers warning and challenge.

God wants us to grow in mission, character, personality. Even babies want to learn something more. They try to do something new to grow. If we have no desire to grow, and no practice in our faith to grow, then, I’m sorry, but you (we) are less than baby Christians.

Still today, some Christians almost never grow for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. This is a serious question: Are you growing?

Among us, there are some young parents. They are so excited to see the growth of their children – walking, speaking, learning. Imagine what a terrible thing it is if the child ALWAYS remains as a child: milk, no speaking, etc – until he becomes 20 years old.

Like this, God is our father, and we are his children. He loves to see us grow. And he is very unhappy if we do not grow.

Genesis: God appeared to Abraham at age 99. He did not say, “Wow, you are too old to grow.” No, at 99, he said, “Continue to grow! (Do you best to be blameless before me).”

Yes, in the secular world, there is an age of retirement. But in spiritual ministry and mission, there is no time for retirement – until our departure from this world.

This passage is very challenging.

v. 11

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.”

One of the first, earliest signs of backsliding is disinterest in the Word of God.

v. 12-14

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

You should serve others. How long have you been a Christian? As we know, milk is pre-digestive food – especially for babies. Only those with teeth can eat kalbi (meat).

There are two kinds of food here:

  1. Milk (yes, good, essential, but…)
  2. Meat (solid food)

What do these mean?

  1. Milk = What Jesus did ON EARTH – birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection
  2. Meat – What he is doing NOW in HEAVEN and in US – as our Savior and Lord

We begin life as a Christian based on his FINISHED work on the cross: “It is finished.” But we GROW in Christ on the basis of his UNfinished work in heaven, on earth, in us – in our daily lives.

This is a parable about milk and solid food. To grow, we need time, Bible reading, Scripture memory, Bible study, prayer, devotional time, quiet time – this is MILK – we need every day.

But to grow, this is not enough.

At this moment, let’s have a clear spiritual medical check.

Without sharing the gospel for the lost outside the church, and without ministry to serve those INSIDE the church, there is no growth.

Timothy “Be diligent so that everyone may see your growth.”

Question:

  1. What are you doing for the lost OUTSIDE the church? (Mission)
  2. What are you doing for the members INSIDE the church? (Ministry)

Mission + Ministry must go together. This is the SECRET to growth.

Yes, Jesus is our eternal, Great High Priest. He came to earth to save us by his grace, mercy, blood. If we accept this, he is calling us to be priests in this world as well.

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

But you are

  1. a chosen people,
  2. a royal priesthood,
  3. a holy nation,
  4. God’s special possession,
  5. that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Remember: If you are a born-again Christian, you are a priest. You are ordained. You are anointed. Say to yourself, “I’m a priestly Christian.” (x3)

In your whole life, not only today, until you stand before God face-to-face, please remember this: “I’m a priestly Christian.” (Really? Congratulations.)

Are you a priestly Christian?

Greet your neighbor, “I honor you, you’re a priestly Christian.”

My dear, honorable, priestly, Christian friends,… what does this title mean?

This title includes many meanings and abundant blessings, but let me share just 4 things:

“I’m a priestly Christian”:

1. Human priests carry honor before men (blessed and honorable).

No one can become a priest by his own choice. A priest is called, selected, appointed:

  • (a) by God,
  • (b) from Mankind,
  • (c) for Mankind

1 Peter 2:9

You are a chosen people…

John “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you to go and bear much fruit.”

Eph 1:4 “God chose us before the Creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight…”

So, we must be sure of the calling of Jesus Christ (소명).

  • “Jesus is calling me.”
  • “Jesus is sending me into this world.”

2. Ordinary people could not approach God directly – they needed the help of the High Priest to approach God.

We are priestly Christians = we CAN approach the throne of Grace directly, at anytime and anywhere. We do not need any human priest, nor Pope. You don’t need a pastor, nor bishop in approaching the presence of God directly anytime, anywhere, everywhere, in the name of Jesus Christ. That’s why Jesus says, “I’m the Way the Truth and the Life.”

Romans 5 “Therefore, since you have been justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you have access to the throne of Grace…”

From Sunday – Saturday, our lives should be worship.

Romans 11:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual (acceptable) act of worship.”

“My lifestyle is worship.”

For worship to be considered worship, 4 elements are needed:

  1. Object of worship (OT = God Almighty; Now = Jesus)
  2. Worshiper (OT = the people through the High Priest; Now = us directly)
  3. Sacrifice (OT = lamb; Now = our bodies, ourselves)
  4. Temple (OT = Tabernacle/temple building; Now = our bodies, ourselves)

Object = always the same: Father God + Jesus Christ

Worshiper + Sacrifice + Temple = US

3. The High Priest is a a) representative of Man before God b) representative of God before Man

He is the LINK between Mankind and God.

Jesus came when we were enemies with God – and he reconciled us with God through his blood. Then, he gave us the ministry of reconciliation as well. So, we are mediators for the lost, between Jesus and the lost.

If you are a priestly Christian, the lost cannot meet Jesus except through your service and mission. Our first job is to bring the lost to Christ as a living offering.

Romans 15:16 “To the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles with a priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God so the Gentiles might become an offering to God that is acceptable to God.”

When we win the lost to Christ, this is a living, eternal offering – because he/she will live eternally.

4. We should be holy

The High Priest Aaron in the OT put on a special, honorable garment – like a uniform, and a turbin with a pure gold plate and 4 words: “Holy to the Lord” (여호와께 성결).

A baby will put anything into his mouth – he cannot distinguish the edible from unedible. But as priestly Christians, we need discernment.

v. 14

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Discernment is not judgment. We have no right to judge others, but we need to have the ability to distinguish what God wants from what God hates. This is discernment. This is holiness. Clear?

To do what God wants us to do and reject what God hates us to do = holiness.

1 Peter 2:9 “… a holy nation…”

1 Peter 2:9

” But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

God bless you, my dear, priestly, Christian friends, so that we may grow and grow and grow until we stand before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 01 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is the Source of our Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:1-10)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ is the Source of our Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:1-10)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus Christ is the Source of our Eternal Salvation

Hebrews 5:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

5:1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.


Jesus is our Great High Priest, superior to any human High Priest. Last week, we saw the differences between them.

Human: Earth, is continually changed (replaced), offered sacrifices for their own sins + others, entered Most Holy Place once / year, did not die for others, could not intercede for others in heaven, no right / power to forgive – they could do nothing to remove sins

Jesus: Heaven, eternal High Priest, no need to offer sacrifice for his own sins, went to heaven once for all, died for all human beings, intercedes for us now in heaven, has power / privilege / right to save and remove sins (1 John 2:2 “Jesus Christ is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”)

5:1-10 – These 10 verses show the commonalities and differences of the qualifications and functions between a human High Priest and Great High Priest

  • v 1-4 = Human High Priest
  • v 5-10 = Story of Jesus

v. 1-4

“1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. “

There are 3 S’s – the qualifications for a human High Priest:

1. Solidarity

v. 1 “Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”

Solidarity = oneness with humanity – fundamental for the priestly ministry – no deceased soul, no angel could satisfy this – it must be a living human being. The High Priest was a representative of the people to God (making atoning sacrifice for sins)- and God to the people (teaching His word).

In that day, only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place with the blood of the slain animal to atone for the sins of the community.

High Priest = must be human

Only a man can represent other men. (Solidarity)

2. Sympathy

(Compassion)

v. 2 “He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray [KJV: He can have compassion / sympathy on those who are going astray…], since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. “

The High Priest is only a man, only a human being, subject to the same weaknesses and faults, and mortality and human limitations. He also needed mercy, compassion, sympathy from God. He was not better than other people, so he must have been able to see how he also was weak.

3. Selection

v. 4 “No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.”

The position of High Priest carried special honor – but no one could become a High Priest simply by desiring it. God himself appointed the High Priest – he must be called and appointed by God.

Do you know the story of Aaron?

In the wilderness after the Exodus, he made a golden calf as an idol. Nevertheless, God called him as a priest during the wandering in the wilderness. Leviticus 8-9 describes the ceremony to become a priest. Aaron and his sons were washed, placed their hands on bulls and rams as they were killed, and given special clothes. This shows that holiness and selection comes from God himself, not from man.

In the OT, some people tried to do the function of priest by their own choice and were judged by God.

  • King Saul invaded the priesthood and lost his kingdom.
  • Cora and his followers tried to make himself priest, God judged them immediately.
  • King Uziah tried to enter the temple and burn incense, but God struck him with leprosy until he died.

Qualifications for a Human High Priest

  1. Solidarity
  2. Sympathy
  3. Selection

Qualifications of Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest (we need to focus more on it) – there are 5.

1. Solidarity

Jesus became man to become our representative and understand us fully and experience all things we also experience

v. 5 “So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father.”

2. Sympathy

This makes it very clear – Jesus became man. John 3:16 also: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…”

Phil “Jesus, by very nature God, became man…”

“…he became obedient to the point of death on a cross…”

3. Selection

Jesus is not a temporal High Priest, but eternal – that’s why he even now can intercede for us.

v. 6 “And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

This is difficult to understand, but if you can, it is very helpful.

Melchizedek – from Psalm 110:4

Yes we know, all human High Priests belong to the order of Levites (Aaron). Aaron was the first “official” ordained High Priest in the OT.

But Jesus belongs to the order of Melchizedek – not Aaron.

Who is Melchizedek?

This name is mentioned in only 2 places in the OT.

Genesis 14, Psalm 110

In the NT, his name is mentioned only in THIS book – Hebrews (10 times). Here it is mentioned 2x (v. 6, 10). We will see his name also again later.

  • Aaron was from the tribe of Levi.
  • Jesus was not. He was from the tribe of Judah – through the seed of David.

Aaron was the first official High Priest – he started to appear in Exodus.

Melchizedek appears in Genesis – about 500 years before Aaron. He blessed Abraham and received a tithe from Abraham. This means he was higher (and before) Aaron.

He was a real man. His name means, “King of righteousness, king of peace.” He is the only person in history who was a king AND a priest. He was a kingly priest, and a priestly king.

There is no story about his origin – but God used him as a symbol and picture of Jesus as our King AND Priest – our righteousness forever and ever.

4. Submission & Prayer

Jesus lived a life of prayer. God bless us all to be a person of prayer as well.

v. 7 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from [out of] death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”

He did not pray to escape physical death on the cross – but he believed and prayed for his resurrection.

He prayed during his life and ministry regularly and habitually. He spent long seasons in prayer – sometimes overnight prayer. At other times, he got up very early and prayed, at other times – before great tasks. Luke 22:44 “In great anguish, he prayed so earnestly that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

He prayed submissively and obediently.

Imagine – if the Son of God needed to pray – how much more do we (weak) human beings need to pray?

Phil 2:5 “Your attitude must be like that of Christ Jesus.”

5. Man of Humility

v. 8 “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered “

He emptied himself, took on the form of a servant, was found in the likeness of human beings and obeyed to the point of death. He was also meek and humble on earth. He was so rich – as God – but he became poor to make us rich.

We know the story of Christmas. He was born in a stable (an animal food box) because there was no room for him in the inn. He confessed, “I have no place to put my head.”

He said, “I did not come to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many.”

He washed the feet of his students.

Conclusion:

What is the title of today’s sermon?

Jesus is the Source of our Eternal Salvation

v. 9-10 “and, once made perfect, he became *the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him* 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Question: Am I obeying him?

What is salvation?

It is forgiveness of sin. Delivery from the bondage of Satan – becoming a child of God – freedom from condemnation and the penalty of hell – eternal life.

“He became the source of Eternal Salvation” (v. 9)

Please make this sure in your hearts. Salvation can be found only in Jesus Christ.

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

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

There are many good / great / wonderful men – but salvation can be found ONLY in Christ.

Yes, we know there are many religions around us. Religion is good because no religion says, “Do evil” – all religions teach us to do good. But in the matter of salvation, it is only found in Jesus Christ.

How can we receive this salvation? v. 9 “and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”

“Obey him” is essential. What does this mean? To do what he says.

God bless you.

Obey him:

  1. Believe in him
  2. Accept him as personal savior / Lord
  3. Commit my whole life for his glory / kingdom

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Application:

Part one: The qualifications of human High Priests

If we are saved, this is important, but I’ll tell the meaning next time. Here’s the title: “If we are saved, God is calling us as Priests.”

Are you saved? Then you have a right / authority / privilege / responsibility to say:

“I’m a priest.”

Please remember this until next Sunday. Next Sunday, I’ll share: What does this mean?

This is not my word, but the word of God.

1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (Meditate on and memorize this verse)

Next week, I’ll share continually what the meaning of “I’m a Priest” is.

Bless your neighbor, “Priest, God bless you.”

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 25 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Jesus is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)

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Jesus is Our Great High Priest

Hebrews 4:14-16 (Pastor Heo)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


There is a clear division between God and man. Only one person claims to be both: Jesus.

  • v. 14 – Focuses on Jesus’ Divinity (fully God)
  • v. 15 – Focuses on Jesus’ Humanity (fully Man)
  • v. 16 – Therefore, we can approach him with confidence – because he is fully Man, but also fully God.

He is our “best friend” – as a human being. But also all powerful as God.

v. 14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

In this book, the word “priest” is found between 35-40 times (depending on the translation).

In history, the priesthood began with Aaron. Only the priests could enter the holy place in the temple.

Jesus is our Great High Priest. No other High Priest could assume this title: “Great.”

The Son of God (v. 14) affirms his diety and the fact that he is God. So, Jesus can bring ALL humans to God; and at the same time, he can bring what God has to ALL humans. In this point, he is “Great.”

This book Hebrews makes the clearest statement between a High Priest and the Great High Priest. High Priest is only a shadow that points to the Great High Priest who is Christ.

Differences:

  • Human High Priest = from earth, and changes (they all die)
    • Great High Priest is from heaven, and never changes
  • Human High Priests offered sacrifices for themselves first and then others (they also need forgiveness) – animals were the sacrifice.
    • Jesus offered sacrifice for others first (he is sinless) – he himself was the sacrifice.
  • Human High Priests enter the Most Holy Place only once per year (and continually)
    • Jesus entered heaven Once for All
  • High Priests showed the way to the presence of God with a curtain – to the presence of God – humans could not intercede for us in heaven, and no power to take away sins.
    • Jesus himself is The Way, The Gate – Jesus intercedes for us in heaven and has the power to forgive and remove sins – the sin of the world.

The entrance to the Most Holy Place was guarded by three gates. High Priests entered the first (main) place with the blood of an animal – then, they entered the Holy Place, and finally, they entered the MOST Holy Place – where they sprinkled the blood of the animal on the Mercy Seat – the cover of the Ark.

The High Priest had to sprinkle blood for their own sins first, and then stay in the Most Holy Place for only a short time.

1 John “Jesus is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”

v. 14 “… through the heavens…”

(This is not singular – but plural). Just as there were three stages to the temple, there were also 3 stages to heaven.

  1. Atmosphere
  2. Outer space
  3. God’s presence (the Most Holy Place)

“Therefore, …let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” (v. 14)

“Profess” = public confession

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose again from the dead, you will be saved.”

Matt 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him in heaven.”

This profession of faith = public confession of faith.
Can you open your beautiful mouth? Open it widely to profess this.

  • v. 14 = Focuses on Jesus’ Diety
  • v. 15 = Focuses on Jesus’ Humanity

This is amazing, a mystery, but true.

Jesus is fully God, but at the same time, fully Man (not almost man, not 99.99999%, but 100% God and 100% man).

v. 15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.”

Can you imagine this?

Jesus has been tempted in EVERY WAY just as we are – he was born with a body, mind, soul, like we do. He had human weaknesses, emotions. He felt tired, hungry, thirsty, he crawled like a baby, talked like a baby, lived a complete human life like you and me. Why?

  1. To experience our weaknesses – to share our weaknesses – with a body, mind, and soul. He was misunderstood and persecuted – even to the point of death on the cross.
  • The fact that he was tempted = He’s man
  • The fact that he was sinless = He’s perfect (God)

Who can say, “I’m without sin”? No one. Only Jesus.

Temptation:

Jesus was TEMPTED, but did not sin. If we really understand the meaning of this sentence, it will be very helpful and encouraging to us.

Think of this:

Who knows better what the temptation is and how powerful it is? He who sins? Or he who does not sin?

We may think that he who sins knows it well, and he who does not sin doesn’t know it’s power.

No. The OPPOSITE is true.

Only those who RESIST temptation know the TRUE power of temptation.

  1. For example, we can know the power of Mike Tyson (boxer) only by fighting against him, not by surrendering to him.
  2. We understand the strength of the wind by running against it, not by lying down in the room.
  3. If we give in to temptation after only 5 minutes, we do not know what it would be like 1 hour later.

Example.

Tempter: Satan

The Tempter tempts you to sin. If he says, “Do this. If you do this, I’ll give you one candy.” If you do that with the offer of that one candy, it means you yielded to temptation with the prize of one candy. If you kneel down to this one candy, the Tempter does not need to offer you 2, 3, 5, 10 candies.

But, if you reject ONE candy, he will offer 10, 20, 50, 100 candies.

But we never experienced the temptation with 1,000,000,000 candies. Because we give in to temptation after only a few candies.

Please understand this very clearly.

The fact that Jesus never sinned means that he never gave into temptation. That he never gave into temptation means that he experienced the EXTREME FINAL POWER of temptation (1,000,000,000 candies…)

We’ve never experienced the most powerful temptation because we surrender to it much sooner than the last stage comes.

Jesus was tempted FAR BEYOND what we are.

Think of this in terms of pain.

There is a degree of pain which the human frame can stand. But when that degree is passed, a person loses consciousness so that there are agonies of pain that he cannot feel.

It is so with temptation.

We fall down and collapse in the face of temptation. But Jesus faced temptation and went to Humanity’s limit and FAR BEYOND it – but did not collapse.

He was tempted in ALL things we are tempted, and so he can say to us, “I was tempted as you are today.” But we cannot say to Jesus, “I’m being tempted as you were.”

Jesus experienced all temptations humanity has, but we have never experienced all the temptations he has.

This means, he can understand US completely, but we do not understand him completely.

v. 15 “… he is able to sympathize with our weaknesses…”

In Greek, to sympathize means “to share as mine through practical experience.”

If you have weaknesses, hardships, problems, I’m a pastor and I can pray for, encourage, help you. But, I’m NOT able to sympathize with your suffering unless I have the SAME suffering you’ve had. This is the literal meaning of sympathy.

Even your husband and wife cannot sympathize with you unless they have the SAME experience you have.

Only Jesus is able.

We need sympathy because we are imperfect. When you need sympathy, to whom do you go? Family? Husband, wife, close friend, coworkers? But remember, we must go to Jesus first, because Jesus is our BEST friend and BEST understander and BEST sympathizer.

When this life has drenched us with tears, we can go to Jesus because He. Has. Been. There.

Jesus can give us power, wisdom, knowledge, and love to help us overcome all temptations, weaknesses, and sufferings.

Hallelujah!

Hebrews 8:2 “Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

  • 2 Cor “No sin…”
  • 1 Peter 2 “No sin is found in his mouth, he committed no sin.”
  • 1 John? “No sin…”

v. 16

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

If you receive God’s Word and apply it to your life, it will change your life.

Yes, we need mercy and grace. It is essential. We are needing the mercy and grace of God all the time. These two go together practically all the time. There is a logical difference, but practically, they are ONE.

  • Mercy = “God does not give us what we deserve”
  • Grace = “God gives us what we do not deserve”

We need mercy for our past failures, mistakes, errors, sins.
We need grace for our present and future needs, and victory.

No trial is too great – no temptation is too strong – because Jesus is Greater than them.

Even heaven cannot contain Christ – even heaven is too small a place for Christ.

“Approach” = with prayer – communication with God through Christ. This is our best privilege and right through Christ. Remember, if we do not pray, we rob ourselves of the great and timely resources God holds for us.

God bless us with more mercy and grace.

Read once more.

v. 16

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 18 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)

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The Characteristics of the Word Of God

Hebrews 4:11-13 (Pastor Heo)

11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


As I mentioned already, last Sunday, we saw an invitation of REAL rest by Jesus, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest…”

This is “freedom, salvation, inheritance, peace, joy” rest.

Hebrews 4:11 “Therefore, make every effort… “ (work hard) – wait, this is a paradox. Last Sunday, “Rest” – but now, “work hard”?

Actually, rest does not mean “not working” – rather through hard work we can find rest. We must work hard to find and enjoy real rest – this is a paradox.

Also, we know, Jesus saves us, but we must work hard for our salvation.

Phil 2:12 “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Do you have faith? This is the gift of God, from hearing the Word of God. This is a gift, but we must work out our faith hard – day-by-day and drawing close to God in our daily practice.

Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is living and active…”

How can we “work out” our faith? Through and by the Word of God. This is a living power – a timeless truth.

Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.. with his Word” – he made something out of nothing – only his Word.

  1. “God said, ‘Let there be light'” and there was light (Day 1)
  2. “Let there be an expanse between the waters and the water” (Day 2)
  3. “Let the water be gathered in one place and the land as well – and the land produce vegetation” (Day 3)
  4. “Let there be lights in the sky – sun, moon, stars” (Day 4)
  5. “Let the water have creatures and the sky as well, the land be filled with all kinds of living creatures” (Day 5)
  6. “Let us make Man in our own image” (Day 6)

This is the story of Creation – “God said, it happened” – still today, God’s Word is living and active and powerful and effective. Do you believe this?

Isaiah 55:11 “My Word which goes out from my mouth will never return empty but will accomplish what I desire and the purpose for which I sent it…”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This is a classic text of God’s Word in its power. This text has broad positive application, but even though this is true, this text (in context) is negative – as a warning to those who disregard and disbelieve the Word.

That’s why 11b says, “….so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

It means, we must be careful not to also be disobedient – like the Israelites in Exodus.

Repeat: We know the story of the Exodus. After the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites journeyed to Canaan and arrived at the border. At the border, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to explore and bring back a report. Their task was only to SEE, not to decide about going in or not – but after 40 days of exploration, 10 of them said, “Oh no! we can’t go in there!” That night, all Israel raised their voices and shouted, “Oh geez! If only we had died in this desert or in Egypt!” God, “Say again? Then I will do to you exactly as you said.”

Today also, God is listening to what we are speaking.

God said, “You asked for it, you got it.”

So… please, don’t say negative things like this to God.

The 10 who gave a bad report were struck down by a plague and God told the people, “OK, go back into the desert tomorrow morning – just to wander until you die.” (It was 40 years – one year for each day of exploration).

Interestingly, the next morning, some said, “We have sinned. We will go up to Canaan and enter it.” Moses said, “No, you will never succeed because God will never go with you.” But nevertheless, in their presumption, they went and tried to enter (disregarding and disobeying God twice). They tried to enter without God, his blessing, God’s promise, Moses, the Ark of the Covenant (a symbol of God’s presence) – and what happened? They were completely destroyed.

With this background (historical example), verse 11b says, “so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. ” Why? Because v12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Remember, whatever we are doing, God’s Word is still alive. Regardless of what we do, the Word of God is piercing us and judging us negatively (if we act negatively) – and doing it positively to us (if we act positively).

Timothy “The Word of God is God-breathed and useful for training in righteousness so that the Man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So, let me share the characteristics and functions of the Word of God. (3 points) – and verse 13 is the conclusion.

Characteristics of the Word of God

#1 Living

“For the Word of God is living and active.”

It is active and effectual. The point: the Word of God has come to Man so that it cannot be disregarded. The Word of God has something that every person (you and me) must face. We must accept or reject it. That is our decision. But we cannot escape a confrontation with the Word of God. We can choose to accept it or reject it.

This is one of the facts of human history. Whenever, wherever a person has taken God’s Word SERIOUSLY, things begin to happen.

Once we take it seriously, we realize that the Word of God is not merely something to read about, but something to be done and fulfilled.

The Word of God gives us life.

Also it can change your life / my life. It is so powerful and active, it can change your life regardless of your age or your past.

Please remember, parents: You cannot change your own children. Only the Word of God can change them. 10, 12, 15 years old? Only the Word of God can change their lives. So, we must allow the Word of God to change their lives and our lives. If we trust the Word of God, God allows it to change our lives and claim his promise.

This is very effective.

#2 Penetrating

“…Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…”

If someone puts something sharp in your side? It hurts.

Also, the Word of God can do this in positive and negative ways (cleaving, cutting, piercing, performing surgery).

Please do not focus on “what are these nouns?” – the focus of the verse = the holistic physical being (Greek: pushke)

Also in Greek: pneuma = spirit – a characteristic of Mankind (it is by the spirit that we think and reason and look beyond the visible world to that which is invisible – God)

  • The Word of God can cut through anything and bring conviction.
  • It cleaves through our hard souls like a hot knife through warm butter.
  • There are sections of the Word of God that cut through all hypocrisy and religious intention and leaves us convicted.
  • The Word of God convicts us (if we receive it seriously, sincerely).

The Word of God is called “The Sword of the Holy Spirit” (Eph 6:17 “The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit…”) – so it convicts us.

What kind of conviction?

  1. I’m a sinner – I need salvation
  2. Jesus is God (John 1:1 “In the beginning there was the Word (logos) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And all things were made through that word. Nothing that has been made was made without him…”)

The Word of God gives us conviction that Jesus is the true and eternal God. We are saved only by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose from the dead for your salvation, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth you confess and are saved.”

Continually, the Word of God says, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved “ (and not put to shame).

John 1:12 “To all who accepted his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Are you children of God? By grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

This is the conviction the Word of God is working through us.

  1. Living & Active
  2. Penetrating & Dividing (conviction)
  3. Judging & Discerning

#3 Judging

“…it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This can be both positive and negative – just as the other 2.

  • If I’m “in Christ” and trust him – I’ll welcome his judgment
  • But if I’m “in sin” and reject him – I’ll fear it

The Word of God tests our physical lives and spiritual existence. It scrutinizes our thoughts and attitudes of the hearts (and desires and intentions).

  • Desire = our emotional part
  • Intentions = our intellectual part

So, our emotional AND intellectual parts are exposed to the scrutiny of God’s Word.

What is the heart?

  • It’s the center of human personality.
  • It is hidden from ALL. This is the biblical meaning.

Only the Word of God will tell us what is in our hearts. This is the message of the Word of God.

If we really want to know and understand ourselves, we must fill our hearts with the Word of God.

All human hearts are hidden from all creation, and only the Word of God reveals what is in our hearts, so if we REALLY want to know what is truly in our hearts, you must fill it with the Word of God.

Colossians “Let the Word of God dwell in your richly.”

Read, study, meditate, prayerfully apply it – gives us discernment and deep self-knowledge.

Only the Word of God reveals this.

“The Word of God is like a mirror that reveals who we are really in front of God.”

We cannot escape our passions, dreams, intentions in front of God (we cannot keep secrets from God).

Conclusion

v. 13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

“…we must give account.”

Are you happy with this sentence? Someday, maybe soon, we must stand before God face-to-face to give account. Are you OK with that?

We have been speaking of God’s Word in its Living, Penetrating, Judging powers – but in v.13 the focus switches from the Word of God to God himself. God and his Word are inseperable.

God knows and sees all. Yes, I “know” this, but practically, this fact that God SEES and KNOWS all, this is either a:

  1. Great comfort – when we have nothing to hide from him OR
  2. Great discomfort – when we have something to hide

Remember Adam? After the first sin, his next sin was attempting to hide himself from God. He thought God would not see him because God was not “there.” But actually, when he ate the fruit, God saw it and was there. When he hid, God saw it and was there. He knew where he was and how he was, so God said, “Where are you?”

In our practical lives, even if we are unaware of God’s presence, we must remember: “God is there.”

No creation is hidden from God’s sight. All are totally naked and exposed before the eyes of him before whom we must give account.

God knows instantly, effortlessly, all minds, all beings, all spirits, all thoughts, all motivations, all purposes, all pluralities, all hidden motivations, all dreams – visible, invisible, time, life, death, space, heaven, hell.

ALL THINGS God knows.

We cannot deceive him and cannot fool him. We cannot give excuses. We cannot rationalize. We are totally naked and exposed before God. We are powerless and defenseless before God. He is the final judge. Someday, we will stand before him to give an account and be judged.

Remember this.

Conclusion: John 1:1 “In the beginning, the Word (Jesus Christ)…”

So, we will give an account according to how we treat Jesus Christ in this world.

This is:

  1. A promise
  2. A warning

Especially the book of Hebrews always does this: promise/warning, encouraging/discouraging, challenge/trial.

Someday, we will stand before God to give account according to how we treat Jesus in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 11 / 2019
  • Comments Off on REST (Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

REST (Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30)

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REST

Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30 (Pastor Heo)

3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the rest of God], because of their unbelief.

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.


Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Matt 11:28-30 = the direct voice of Christ. Maybe many of you already memorized these verses – they are so familiar. Please memorize, meditate, and put them into practice.

As we know, the first generation of Exodus began their migration from Egypt to Canaan with great success – because of the great power and help of God. But they finished in great disaster because of their own unbelief and disobedience.

All of the first generation died in the desert during their 40 year wandering. Only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land because they believed in God.

The story of 12 spies – they explored Canaan for 40 days – spending the same time together – but they had very different reports. What was the difference?

10 people with a bad report – saw only what they saw with their eyes.

Joshua and Caleb saw what they saw through their faith in God.

  • 10 = what is seen
  • 2 = what is unseen (faith)

This is the background.

v. 3:19-4:1

“3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”

Romans: “Everything that was written was written to give us a lesson so that we may have hope.”

Several thousand years ago, the Israelites lost the rest of God because of their unbelief. But this same rest is still available today. So, the Bible is warning us: “Today if you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.” This is a challenge and encouragement.

Keyword: REST

(How many times do we see it?)

  • 12x

We read 11 verses (in chp 4) and the word “rest” is repeated 11x – in every verse.

In this text, Hebrews is using “rest” in 3 senses:

  1. Peace of God
  2. Entering the Promised Land
  3. God’s rest from work (on the 7th day)

Today, God invites us into his rest.

Enjoy these verses:

Matthew 11:28-30

“28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” “

This is the invitation of God to all human beings to come to him and receive rest. Can you imagine? If you receive this invitation – what an exciting thing!

Imagine if the human President (the blue house in Korea, the white house in US) – if he invites you and calls you to come and have dinner in his house – what an exciting thing! This is the invitation of God – the Maker and Creator of All Things.

Rev 3:23 “Here I am. I stand and knock. If anyone hears my voice, I will come in and eat with you and you with me.” This is not only one meal – but your whole life. This is the invitation of God. “Come to me – let us dine together eternally.”

Are you weary [tired, burned out, exhausted] and burdened? All humans are tired in some ways. Even a kindergarten boy said, “I’m so tired.”

All human beings without God are restless wanderers.

In Genesis – Cain is the first son of Adam – he committed sin against God and went away – but no matter where he tried to go nor what he tried to do, he became a “restless wanderer.” This is a symbol of all humanity without God.

If there is no God in you, you are also a restless wanderer. A life without God is just motion without meaning; activity without direction; events without reason. We need rest.

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened…”

Everyone has his own burden to bear. What’s yours? At least there are 4 common burdens everyone is carrying. Nobody is free from these:

Common Burdens

  1. Sin – the guilt of sin, regrets, shame, bad memories, the past you cannot remove
    • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… there is no one righteous, not one… the wages of sin is death.” (Romans)
    • After sin, punishment = hell
    • Whether you know or not, conscious or not, SIN is the heaviest burden. It is heavier than the whole universe.
  2. Problems – difficulties, hardships, pains.
    • As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape from problems.
    • From birth – this is a kind of problem – to death – life is filled with problems – physical, spiritual, mental, social, financial, career, emotional, psychological, school, work, relationship – PROBLEMS…
    • We are all carrying the burden of problems.
  3. Worry – anxiety, fear.
    • Many people miss GREAT opportunities because of fear. Fear is a self-imposed prison that prevents us from becoming what God wants us to be.
    • Worry about job, marriage, life, house, children…
  4. Death – “just as a man is destined to die once and after that face the Judgment…”
    • Physical death is NOT annihilation, not the end. This is just a separation – body from spirit. Spiritual death is separation from God.
    • We have some young men.
    • Do you think you will never die because you are young? No, even children instinctively know they must die someday.
    • I also know. You also know.
    • Everybody knows.
    • But, nobody knows HOW and WHEN.
    • And nobody HAS the experience of death. This is the worry / burden of death.

I know I must die, but I have no experience of this thing – directly nor indirectly.

Q: Have you ever died?

Have you ever tasted death?

Have you heard a first-hand eyewitness account of death from someone who has once died?

NO.

We have no knowledge of this – but we all know we must die someday.

Jesus knows this perfectly and says, “Come to me, and I’ll give you rest.”

Real rest:

Found only in Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we say to each other, “Take a rest” – but we must know that REAL rest is only found in Christ. And we must know the definition / meaning of “what IS rest?”

What is REST?

What is the REAL meaning of REST?

In preparation for this sermon, I looked in the English dictionary.

“rest” = to stop / cease working or movement in order to sleep or recover strength

Many people think rest = not working, sitting down.

But we must know the biblical meaning is VERY different. Let me show you HOW different this meaning is.

I said already first: for the people of Israel, “rest” was the Promised Land. But do you know that when they entered there, they had MUCH MORE to do? They had to fight and conquer enemies, establish a new kingdom to be ruled by God. They had a HUGE assignment / task to do in Canaan. Yet, entering Canaan is called “rest.”

So, rest does not mean “no work” but rather “obtaining promised inheritance.”

Genesis: God rested on the 7th day. This does not mean that God has no more job.

John 5:17 “My Father is always at his work – since the Creation of this world – to this very day, so I too am working for you.”

God rested: “full satisfaction in his mission / job”

Biblical meaning of rest: FREEDOM

Jesus “I’m truth. If you know the truth, the truth will set you free.”

Galatians “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, so do not allow yourselves to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Biblical rest

  • Freedom

Remember the 4 common burdens?

  1. Sin
  2. Problems
  3. Worry
  4. Death

Matthew 11:28-30

According to the context here, rest = freedom from these 4 burdens.

REST = Freedom from

  1. Sin = freedom is found only in Jesus Christ – he came into the world as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We all need forgiveness of sin. This can be found only in the blood of Christ.
    • 1 John 2 “Christ is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”
  2. Problems = freedom from difficulties, hardships, pains.
    • Jesus “In this world, you will have trials of many kinds, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
    • As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape problems, but we can overcome and conquer problems. How? In Christ.
    • “You are more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans?)
    • “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
    • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians?)
  3. Worries = freedom through Christ
    • “Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you.”
    • “I will guide you and strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah)
    • “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (Jesus)
    • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ.”
  4. Death = freedom from Death
    1. Who can be free from THIS burden? Who can set us free? This is common sense, think about it. Only Jesus. He is the only one with power over life and death.
    2. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live though he die.”
    3. “I have come to give you eternal life… No one can snatch you out of my hand.”
    4. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my voice and believes him who sent me will have eternal life. He shall not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”

Biblical rest

  1. Salvation rest
  2. Submission rest
  3. Sharing rest of inheritance
  4. Peace rest
  5. Joy rest
  6. Inheritance rest
  7. Eternal glory rest

This is the real biblical meaning of rest.

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

How to enjoy this kind of REAL rest?

“Come to me…”

This is very easy – this is part of reading comprehension.

“Come to me…”

We know now what is real biblical rest, and we know we need it. To receive it: “Come to Christ.”

Q: How can we come to Christ?

Walking over?

Conclusion: (3 points)

this is not literally, but biblically, practically.

  1. A = Accept Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord
  2. B = Believe that he died on the cross for my sin
  3. C = Confess with my mouth that he is Lord

“I can…”

1. Accept / Believe / Confess

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. With your heart you believe and are justified; with your mouth you confess and are saved.”

“To all those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God.”

“Salvation is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Accept / Believe / Confess (publicly – this is not to be a hidden thing, but a public thing)

You must confess publicly before people.

2. Learn from Jesus

v. 29

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest.”

Even Christians may think “believing in Jesus is enough.” Quick prayer, “Jesus, I love you, I confess, be my Savior. Finished!”

Yes, while making a confession in Christ is so simple, but truly living with faith in Christ is a WHOLE life practice of discipleship – fighting sin, old self, Satan.

Learn from me – Jesus encourages us.

We know to learn anything, we need time – we cannot learn quickly.

“Learn from me” = follow me / walk with me daily.

If we believe in Christ truly, we know that each day requires full effort.

3. This is the most important. If you catch it and put it into practice, you will be so blessed. Are you ready to be blessed?


  1. A-B-C
  2. Learn from Jesus
  3. Mission rest

3. Take the yoke of Christ and carry his burden.

v. 29

“Take my yoke upon you…”

Nobody likes a yoke

v. 30

“… my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This is Mission rest.

It means “take Jesus’ burden as my burden.” Replace my burden with Jesus’ burden. Jesus’ job becomes my job. His task is mine, his burden is mine.

What is his burden? Salvation of the world.

This is a mystery – a secret.

  • If you carry your own burden, you will be exhausted, tired out.
    • But if you carry the burden of Christ, you will be energized.
  • To take the burden of Christ is the best way to be free from my own burden in this world.
    • The more we carry the burden of Christ, the more rest we will enjoy.

The principle is very simple:

“The more trust, the more rest.”

Jesus “If anyone would come to me, he must deny himself daily and take up his cross and follow me.”

v. 11

“11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

Let us stand up.

Let’s pray – you may pray following me.

If you want / need real rest, follow me in this prayer.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 28 / 2019
  • Comments Off on When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

When you hear the Word of God…

Hebrews 3:7-19 (Pastor Heo)

Warning Against Unbelief

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’

11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.


Can you say “Amen” to today’s word? The Word of God is food.

Our physical body needs food, also our spiritual body needs food.

Jesus: “I am the bread of life… Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Today’s food is not milk, but meat. Not soft, but solid.

For us to grow and mature and be stronger, sometimes we need hard, solid food and meat. Today’s food is very solid. Do you want to eat it?

Hebrews is a book of warning (yellow card). There are at least 5 exhortations and warnings.

chp 2:1 “Give more attention to what you have heard to not drift away.” (Warning: Neglect) – Don’t drift away without a target / purpose.

Today: second warning: (Warning: Doubt) – danger of mistrust. This is a very simple sentence, but a serious warning in our lives. No one can say, “I’m totally free from this warning.” Not even me.

It is possible to start well and end terribly.

In school, career, marriage, office, church life, etc – it is possible to start well (big celebration) and end poorly, shamefully. Even in the pastoral ministry, this is possible. I know this as well. So I must be careful all the time.

Starting well is good, but finishing well is MORE important.

Paul: “Be careful not to fall, when you think you are standing.”

Romans 15:4 “Everything written in the past was written to give us a lesson.” So that through endurance, patience, encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.

Today’s example is Israel in the OT.

We are familiar with the story of Israel in the OT – esp. Exodus. The reason that story was written was to give us a lesson. We must learn from history.

In the whole history of earth, no migration of people has started so well – with such a great expectation. They’d experienced 10 great signs and wonders through Moses already. And on that final night, all Israelites were safe in their homes, but the Angel of Destruction struck down the first born of every household – man and animal. There was not a house in Egypt without someone dead. The bad king of Egypt called Moses and yelled, “GO! You are too much for us.”

Can you imagine this migration? 600,000 (about the population of Jeonju) men + women + children. This would be closer to 1.5 – 2 million (Gwangju?).

All these people and animals began this exodus by tribal divisions and they plundered the Egyptians. Many other people also joined in this exodus.

But in the desert, the day is so hot and the night so cold. So, God led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire. This was symbolic of “God with us” and also protection from heat and darkness and cold. Soon, they encountered the Red Sea.

Then, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued Israel with his best chariots and army. Moses said, “Do not be afraid. God is fighting for us. The Egyptians we see now, we will never see again. We need only be still, and God will deliver us.”

Moses raised his staff and stretched his arm over the Red Sea. The sea parted in two and 2 million people, animals, and belongings all passed safely over on dry land. The Egyptians pursued them. Moses again stretched out his hand and the Red Sea returned to its original state. All the chariots and army were buried in the sea.

What a fabulous beginning! Soon, they would be in their Promised Land, Canaan. But then…

They began so well, but finished so shamefully – because of their doubt and rebellion against God continually.

When they arrived at the BORDER of Canaan, God said to Moses, “Send some men to research and explore that land.” This would be like a short-term vision / mission trip today.

Moses chose 12 assistant pastors (kind of) – one from each tribe, and sent them into the land with a mission: “To see” the land, towns, soil, people.

They explored for 40 days and returned to Moses and reported back. 10/12 gave a bad report of the place (negative). In front of God, negative word is bad, evil, wicked. “We cannot attack them, they are too strong for us. We look like grasshoppers compared to them.”

2/12 (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report. “No, we can! If God is with us, who can be against us? That land was promised by God. God never breaks his promise. We can take that land.”

But, sorry to say, the bad report prevailed over the entire community of Israel. The entire community raised their voices and cried aloud and complained against Moses and against God – and tried to stone Joshua and Caleb. “Why did God bring us here?!” So, we must be careful with our speaking. “If only we had to die, is it better to die in this desert, or die in Egypt?”

God heard and said, “OK. I will do to you the very things you said.” They had explored for 40 days, but God let them wander for 40 years in the desert (1 year / day). They wandered until they all died – and their children wandered and suffered for their sins.

Remember, at departure 600,000 men departed? All of them died in the desert, except Joshua and Caleb.

This is a serious story. So the great lesson we must receive is: It is possible to start well and end terribly.

v. 7-10

“7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’ “

God was angry. Yes, he is good all the time, and he loves us, but he can become angry because he is a person and he is holy.

One warning: TODAY (x3) do not harden your hearts.

  • v. 7 “Today…”
  • v. 13 “encourage one another daily as long as it is called today…”
  • v. 15 “Today…”

Today = while there is yet time.

While we can speak of “today” we must give our trust and obedience to God. For individuals, “today” means “while life lasts”. In Hebrew: “While you have the opportunity, give God full submission that you must give.”

Someday, my life will end. The sun will set on my life…

But we still have hope. There are great warnings here.

1. God makes man an offer (gift)

just like he offered the people of Israel the blessings of the Promised Land, so he offers us today the blessings of a life that is far beyond a life we can live without him.

But to receive the blessings of God, two things are necessary:

  1. Trust in Christ (“Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.”)
    • We must believe that what he says is true.
  2. Obedience: absolutely necessary. Are you obeying the Word of God? All the time?
    • Imagine, a medical doctor says to a patient, “I can cure you if you obey my instructions…”
    • Or a teacher says to a student, “I’ll make you a scholar if you follow my instructions…”
    • A trainer says to an athlete, “I’ll make you a champion if you do not deviate from the instructions I lay down.”

In this world, success depends on obedience to the word of an expert.

God is THE Expert of the world, and provides joy with full obedience to his Word.

2. There is a limit

“There is a limit to my life.” (The duration of your life) – and we do not know when that duration will end.

We often speak so easily about tomorrow. “I’ll go there tomorrow…” but for us individually, someday “tomorrow” will never come – and nobody knows when and how that will happen. That’s why this is a warning and encouragement.

  • The blessing of God must be accepted TODAY!
  • And full trust and obedience to God must be given TODAY!
  • 2 Corinth “Now is the time of God’s favor; Now is the time of God’s grace…”

v. 11-19

“11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the Promised Land], because of their unbelief. “

Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

  • Christ is superior to Moses
  • Jesus is much greater than Moses

The message is: If this is true, that Jesus is much greater than Moses, the loss in rejecting Christ is much greater than rejecting Moses’ word.

  • The loss of rebellion against Moses = 40 years wandering in the desert – not entering the Promised Land.
  • The loss of rebellion against Jesus = the loss of eternal life in heaven.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so I must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in me may have eternal life.” (Jesus)

Jesus is our Passover Lamb.

John the Baptist introduced him as “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The people of Israel in Egypt were delivered by the blood of the lamb during the Passover. This is a symbol of the believer in Christ – delivered from the slavery to sin through the blood of Christ.

“The blood of Christ purifies us from all unrighteousness.”

Because of their rebellion and distrust, they failed to enter God’s rest, but we (who believe in Christ) are able to enter his rest.

We are living “today”, not “tomorrow”.

Jesus “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.” This is the invitation of Christ. This is real rest, eternal, heavenly rest in Christ.

God bless us to enjoy his rest and peace.

Romans 15:4 “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us a lesson so that through the endurance, patience, and encouragement of the Scriptures, we may have hope.”

  • “Jesus is our hope!”
  • “Jesus is my hope!”

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, *fix your thoughts on Jesus*, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.


Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

We have studied:

  • Jesus over angels
  • Jesus over Moses (today)

Jesus is much superior to Moses – we all agree, I think. If this is true, we may think, “Why we need to review and study this topic. This point is so obvious and natural. We don’t need to study this I guess.”

We know Jesus is God, Savior, Lord, Creator. Moses is a creation – a servant of God (one of the great ones, but not worthy to be compared to Christ).

Then, why do we need to study this topic?

To understand this, we need to understand the background – esp Jewish background. If we are unfamiliar with Jewish history, it is difficult to appreciate Moses’ high standing in their culture.

At that time he was the GREATEST of all men. At that time, some thought he was superior to Jesus, in fact.

In John 9, one day Jesus healed a man born blind. He spit on the ground and made mud with his saliva and put it on his eyes and told him to go wash. He did, and immediately, he could see.

After doing this, the people around him asked, “Who opened your eyes?” He said, “The man they called Jesus.” They asked again and again. He said again, “I answered clearly. Do you want to become his disciple?” They then insulted him. “YOU! You are the disciple of that fellow! But we are disciples of Moses!” (They thought Moses was superior to Jesus.)

According to Jewish history, there are 6 reasons why Moses is so highly exalted.

(But this is not the main topic – only to understand the background.)

  1. He was an inconquerable deliverable
    • (divinely chosen for his task – his life was miraculously preserved even under the sentence of death as a baby – plucked from the Nile river. God ordained him at the burning bush.)
  2. He performed the most miracles
    • (at least 10 plagues over Egypt – Nile -> blood, frogs & gnats, flies, the death of livestock, boils, hail, darkness over Egypt, death of the firstborn – after the plagues, he parted the Red Sea with his staff and passed through on foot – he smote the rock and released mineral water in the desert. In the battle against the Amalakites, when his hands were up, the Jews were winning).
  3. He was the greatest prophet
    • (God communicated to other prophets through visions, dreams, symbols, revelation – but to Moses directly. God said, “Listen to my words” (Numbers 6:12) “with Moses, I speak face to face.”)
  4. He was the Law Giver
    • (The Law was the greatest thing in all the world at that time – 10 commandments, etc – When he received the 10 commandments, his face shown and radiated. He received laws about the tabernacle, the levitical law, etc. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Law of Moses).
  5. He was the greatest historian
    • (The Pentatuch – the first 5 books in the OT – these are still the most important historical and religious books to the Jews today. Moses wrote them all.)
  6. Moses was meeker and gentler than all others
    • (God said, “My servant Moses is meeker than all others on the face of the earth.” He was the MOST “gentle”man.)

The first recipients of the book of Hebrews were the Jews. So, it was important to make it clear that Jesus is superior to Moses.

How about today? Yes, we still need to know that Jesus is much MORE important than the most important thing or person you have in your mind. Are you clear in this matter?

Challenge: If Jesus is NOT #1 in your life, Jesus is not your Lord / Savior.

Please take this and think on it seriously.

Today, who is Moses to you? What is your “Moses”? (The most important other thing / person in your life.) Jesus is much more superior to this.

v. 1

“1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”

Holiness:

  • Set apart FROM something
    • TO something
  • From Satan, sin, the world
    • To God, holiness, service

“I’m holy.”

We are set apart to service to God. Salvation is a heavenly calling. Someday, God will bring us to his home – heaven – and go to live with Christ forever and ever. If we are called, we must fix our thoughts on Jesus. This is the key message.

“Fix our thoughts on Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.” (repeated idea)

Are you doing this?

Let me ask this question: What / who are you becoming?

Consciously or unconsciously, we are BECOMING whatever we are looking at and looking for. We are becoming what we are focusing on and seeking and worshiping. What / who are you worshiping? We are becoming what we are worshiping.

Yes, no we are worshiping Christ – but “to fix on” means to “give diligent and continual observation and mind to”. Continually contemplate on these things.

What do we need to fixate on Christ? Let me share 4 things.

#1 Desire (zeal / passion / enthusiasm)

This is the beginning point. No desire? No fixation.

David showed his desire to see God. Ps 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”

Ps 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul thirsts for God. My tears have been my food day and night.”

NT: Apostle Paul in Phi 3:8-10 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing my Lord Jesus – for whose sake I’ve lost all things – I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. I want to know Christ and his resurrection, becoming like him in his death.”

Do you have desire?

Without desire, it is impossible.

If you have no desire, pray for it. “God, give me passion to know you and make you known to others.”

#2 Concentration

We must put Jesus first in our lives and keep him before us at all times in order to fix our thoughts and minds on him.

Concentration is power.

#3 Discipline

This comes from “disciple” – we want to be disciples and disciple-makers.

Without discipline, disciples cannot be made fully.

Discipline = “self-training”

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

I need discipline. I know that. And so do you.

#4 Time

This worship service is 11-12:20 or so. “We need time.”

But we know today that people are losing patience – becoming more and more impatient. They like “microwave – culture”. Quick service, “Rocket delivery”, fast food.

But, especially in the spiritual life, we need patience, perseverance, endurance. We need time to meditate, to think, to grow, to heal, to recover, to fix our thoughts on Christ. We need MORE time.

For example: We cannot enjoy the beauty of this country without time.

Please spend more time, much time with him in your devotional time.


Who is Jesus in this verse one?

“…the apostle and high priest…”

This is very interesting. This is the ONLY place in the whole 66-book Bible where he is referred to as this “apostle.”

As “high priest” he is introduced about 12 times. This is one of the themes of Hebrews.

What does this mean?

  • “Apostle” = “the one who is sent”
  • Apostolos = Greek = he who is sent

Jesus explained that he was “sent” by his Father God – more than 10 times in John. This means that Jesus is the FIRST, greatest apostle. He is the source and foundational of ALL following apostles. His apostleship means “Mission Accomplished.” (He shouted this on the cross ‘it is finished.’)

He is also the High Priest (par excellence) – he was fully God and fully Man.

Jesus is the ONLY person through whom God speaks to man; and man can approach God (Jesus is the bridge / mediator).

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

Jesus is the representative of the Trinity God in meeting man. Also, he is the representative of ALL human beings in meeting God.

He is the bridge between God and man.

v. 2-6

“2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, *testifying* [this is the real reason Moses was considered a great man before God] to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

The logic:

  • Moses is a house? Jesus is the builder.
  • Moses is a servant? Jesus is the son.

What a difference.

The real spiritual, eternal reason why Moses was accepted by God as “great” was that he was faithful to his task – given by God.

The reality of Moses was that he was faithful in his mission – to testify about Jesus. What a great secret / mystery from the perspective of God.

In John, Jesus evangelized a man named Philip and when he met him he said, “Follow me.” After being evangelized, the first thing Philip did was to evangelize others. Immediately, he met his friend Nathaniel and said, “Come and see! I have found the One whom Moses wrote about in the Law! He is Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.”

That’s why Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me.” – because Moses wrote about Jesus.

Jesus himself testified that Moses wrote the 5 books about him.

That’s why, whenever I preach, I should focus on Jesus. If you believe my sermon, you will believe in Christ as Savior and Lord because I focus on Christ.

We are called as heavenly, holy people and someday we will leave this world and live with him.

The greatest and eternal legacy we can leave behind on earth is to testify about Christ.

Last sentence: are you saved?

Remember, very practically,

To BE saved, yet NOT to proclaim Christ as Savior is impossible – because salvation has such a powerful power.

God bless your thoughts, mouth, hands, feet, interests, purpose in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 07 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ became Humanity. Why? (Hebrews 2:5-18)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ became Humanity. Why? (Hebrews 2:5-18)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ became humanity. Why?

Hebrews 2:5-18 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Made Like His Brothers

5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is man that you are mindful of him,

the son of man that you care for him?

7 You made him a little lower than the angels;

you crowned him with glory and honor

8 and put everything under his feet.? In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers;

in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.” And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


  • v. 5 Angels
  • v. 6-8 About man
  • v. 9-18 About Jesus

v. 5

“5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. “

Angels are servants, but not placed to rule over Creation. They will continue their job serving God and his children.

v. 6-8

“6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is man that you are mindful of him,

the son of man that you care for him?

7 You made him a little lower than the angels;

you crowned him with glory and honor

8 and put everything under his feet.? In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. “

Man is a little lower than the angels in knowledge and ability.

God created Man and gave him authority over all animals and plants on earth. God blessed Mankind with his crown, and gave them superiority over all Creation except angels.

How about today? How’s the condition today?

Mankind today lost their rulership, dominion, and superiority over all Creation because of sin. This is the root of all problems of humanity. “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans)

God made all Creation obey man – but as we know well today, none of these things obey us today. Why not? Sin.

First, God made all animals be afraid of man and obey men – but now, they are not afraid – we are afraid (lions, tigers, bears, oh my!) Because of sin, we lost every glory, honor, and crown God gave us at first. This is man’s dilemma. That’s why Christ came.

In our lives as human beings (esp as parents) we must know this. If you want children to obey you, you must obey God first. If you worship God completely and perfectly, then all Creation will honor us. That’s why Jesus came – to restore and regain this lost dominion and rulership of humanity.

v. 9-16

“9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers;

in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” [Ps 22:22] 13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.” And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.” [Isaiah]

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.”

I said already, God gave man rulership over all Creation – but because of sin, Mankind lost this.

Jesus came as man, and the first thing he did was restore this rulership over Creation we lost because of sin. There are many examples:

– Fish:

In his first calling to Peter (professional fisherman on the Sea of Galilee) – “put out your net to the deep water”. Peter called out “Master, we’ve worked hard all night, and caught nothing. But because you say so, I will try.” When they did so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Peter knelt down at Jesus feet and confessed: “Lord! Go away from me, for I’m a sinful man.” Jesus: “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be a fisher of men.”

One more story: Jesus said, “Go to the Sea of Galilee and cast your net. Open its mouth and you will find some money. Pay this to the Roman government for our tax.”

– Wild beasts:

HS sent him into the wilderness to be tempted. He fasted 40 days and nights – but he was with wild beasts in the wilderness. This means, he controlled them – they obeyed his orders. Jesus restored this dominion over animals.

Now, we can also see why Jesus became a little lower than the angels willingly. (4 purposes)

#1 To Die

For our forgiveness of sin, someone must die. But God cannot die – angels cannot die – so Jesus became man because only man can die.

v. 9

“9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. “

His death is the chief purpose for his incarnation. This is not an afterthought or accident – but an accomplishment of a purpose. This incarnation is not an end in itself, but a means to its end – the redemption of mankind.

Jesus came and became man: to die.

#2 To Remove Sin

v. 17

“17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. “

It is only Christ who can take away our sin.

1 John 3:5 “The blood of Christ purifies us from all sins.”

You know the story of the scapegoat (Leviticus 16) – this is a symbol of Christ. “Taking away sins” is what the scapegoat did.

On the annual Day of Atonement, one sheep was sacrificed and another was sent away into the wilderness. The sins of the people were “placed” on it and it took them away.

John the Baptist said of Christ: “Here is he who takes away the sins of his people.”

Isaiah said, “God has laid upon him the iniquities of us all.”

#3 To Destroy Satan

v. 14

“14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– “

This is a paradox (irony).

  • To defeat the power of death,
  • Jesus had to die.

Satan is alive today? Yes. And very busy.

The word “destroy” here does not mean “annihilate” but “render powerless”. He is not gone, but has no authority.

After his resurrection, Jesus said, “ALL authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me. Therefore, GO and make disciples of all nations.”

Jesus’ work on the cross brought complete defeat to Satan. He is a conquered enemy, a vanquished foe – so that someday in the near future, Satan will be cast out into the Lake of Fire. All that he has wrought in sin will be nullified – except the actions of those who are following Satan.

#4 To Save us and establish his kingdom

His kingdom is HUGE – a family kingdom. That is why he is not ashamed to call you “brothers & sisters.” We are a family kingdom.

v. 10

“10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. “

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

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become like Christ…”

“To those who received him; to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

When he establishes his kingdom, we will reign with him. He is the “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” So who are the small “kings and lords”? We are.

We shall regain what we lost in sin – through Jesus Christ.

Col “When Jesus Christ who is your life appears, you will also appear with him in glory, honor, and crown.”

Conclusion

v. 17-18

“17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. “

Angels cannot understand you – because they have not become like you. They cannot identify and empathize with our weaknesses and needs. But: Jesus can.

Jesus became like us – he became completely identified with us in our weaknesses and needs. That’s why he can empathize with us – through his practical experience.

“He had to be made like his brothers “ – i.e. become man.

He experienced the sinless infirmities of man. He knew what it was to be a helpless baby, growing child, awkward adolescent. He knew what it was like to be lied about, accused, weak, pain, death. All of this was a part of his practical training for his heavenly ministry as our High Priest. He is both merciful and faithful.

  • Especially he is merciful to us,
  • faithful to God.

He made the necessary atonement for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God. He did not need atonement for himself because he was sinless.

v. 18

“18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. “

He was tempted in every way as we are, but he was not defeated.

Remember what happens to us when we are tempted to sin. Even I, as a pastor, am not perfect, and suffer temptation. When we are tempted, Jesus stands ready to help us.

“Who is it… ? Jesus who was crucified and resurrected. Interceding for us.”

1 Cor 10:13

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 30 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Download Notes in a .MD file (No recording this week)

Pay more attention!

Hebrews 2:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.


Jesus is the creator, sustainer, purifier, sitting down at the right hand of God in heaven. He is the brightness of God’s glory and exact representation of his being. He is the visible representation of the invisible God.

Last week, we saw Jesus’ superiority over all angels. He is NOT a superior angel but is superior TO angels.

  1. Superior name
  2. honor/worship
  3. status
  4. existence
  5. duration

We are much more blessed than the OT believers who received the Word of God through angels and prophets only – but we are receiving God’s Word through Christ’s mouth and actions. This is why we have the Bible. The Word is near you – in your mouths, hearts.

Faith comes from hearing the message – and the message from the Word of Christ.

The fact that we are much more blessed means that we also have much more responsibility.

Today’s message is SERIOUS.

Maybe some of us may dislike today’s message, but I hope and wish that all of us will be blessed through today’s message.

Hebrews is a book of warnings.

Do you like warnings? When you drive on the highway, you may encounter warning signs.

This part is the first warning in Hebrews – the warning of neglect. All warnings SHOUT “danger!”

Yes, our Christian life is a pilgrimage – we are foreigners on this earth. As our journey through this world, it will be dangerous.

Warnings in Hebrews

  1. Danger of Neglect
  2. Danger of Unbelief (chp 3)
  3. Danger of Not growing (chp 5)
  4. Danger of Drawing back – old life (chp 10)
  5. Danger of Refusing God (chp 12)

One of the ancient symbols in Christianity is a boat.

Matthew 15 – after Jesus fed 5,000 men, he made the disciples go in a boat across the water to the other side. He sent the crowd home, and went up onto a mountain to pray. He remained up there until night.

After midnight, the boat was far out in the lake, and buffeted by strong winds and waves. Jesus walked out to them.

They said, “It’s a ghost!”

Jesus said, “Do not worry. It is I.”

Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, call me to you.”

Jesus said, “Come.”

Peter walked out on the water toward Jesus – but when he saw the wind and waves, he began to sink into the water, and cried, “Lord! Save me!”

Jesus did so, but said, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

They climbed into the boat and the wind and waves died down. They all knelt before him and worshiped him and called him “Son of God.”

Peter – when he fixed his eyes on Jesus, he could walk on the water. But when he saw the wind and waves, he sank.

Hebrews: “Fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, our lives in this world are also like a boat – and a journey – we are constantly on the move. Paul also confessed this. We cannot be fixed in the same position and status all the time – whether or not we recognize this, we are constantly on the move and changing.

The fact that we are changing means – we are changing:

  • to the better (good)
  • to the worse (bad)

If we are not becoming BETTER, we are becoming WORSE.

Today’s warning: Pay more careful attention to change to the better.

v. 1

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. “

[recording?]

“Drift away” = nautical term = a boat term

This means that a boat on the sea is just moving passively, aimlessly, by wind or waves with no set direction or purpose.

How can we drift away? Very easily: Do nothing.

If you do nothing – the wind, the stream, the waves, life’s circumstances – will make you drift away.

In our Christian life, drifting away is very easy. This does not mean rejecting salvation but neglecting salvation. It’s not a non-Christian, but a service-less Christian.

We may become careless or complacent in our devotion to Christ. We may backslide into sin that we formerly rejected. We may compromise our morals and disobey Christ’s teaching. We may neglect Christian service and become inactive, indifferent Christians.

At this moment, I want to ask very practical questions – also to me – for checking our lives and know whether we are drifting away or not.

In these questions, our answers should be “YES!” (should be, hopefully) – to make it clear that we are not drifting away.

“You must pay. more. careful. attention.”

  1. Pay more attention to the Word of Christ than the words of man?
  2. Pay more attention to your ministry in church than your own hobby, taste, dress?
  3. Pay more attention to your mission from God than your career and salary? (Well…)
  4. Pay more attention to the GOOD news of salvation than the BAD news on channel 9?
  5. Pay more attention to attending worship on Sunday than doing your own schedule on Sunday?
  6. Pay more attention to winning the lost to Christ than pleasing yourself?

0/6

For most of us, the threat is not that we plunge into disaster, but that we drift into sin.

FEW Christians suddenly turn their backs on God, but MANY Christians drift away slowly.

Few Christians commit some drastic, terrible sin at once, but many drift into small sins, slowly, gradually, and one day find they are far off course.

That’s why we must be aware all the time – careful of where we are going.

The REASON to pay attention

v. 2-3

This is the REASON why we must pay more careful attention.

“2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

Yes, Jesus is much more superior to angels. IF he surpasses angels, then his message must surpass the message of angels.

We know angels are the messengers of God.

“If” is not “maybe” but “because” in this sentence – repeated twice.

“If” angel’s messages are to bring blessing and be obeyed, or if the messages brought punishment, HOW MUCH MORE in the case of Christ?

Christ’s word = much MORE blessing; or greater punishment and judgment.

This is the message of v. 2

This is why we have much more responsibility. “”Ability to respond”

To WHAT we should pay attention

v. 3

“3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

That’s why salvation is called “Great Salvation.”

You know, this IS great. It is the miracle of miracles; the sign of signs; the wonder of life.

Q: Are you living a Christian life in this world?

This life is ALL about salvation. Our Christian life begins with salvation. If you are not saved, no matter how long you’ve attended church, you are not a Christian.

  • Also, the journey, pilgrimage of a Christian life is salvation.
  • Also, the final destination of a Christian life is salvation.

Eph 2:12 ‘Continue to work out your salvation with humility, fear, and trembling.’

This is the journey of salvation.

1 Peter 2:9 “The final goal of your journey is salvation.”

“Salvation can be found in no one else; there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 2:12)

“What a Beautiful Name it is.” – the name of Jesus Christ – it is beautiful because salvation is found only in this name.

1 Tim 1:15 “Trustworthy saying – Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners.”

We all need salvation.

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

We must remain humble.

Yes, even Father God, Son God, the Holy Spirit God (the Triune God). The HS testifies about the Son because salvation is only available through him.

How to APPLY this lesson

v. 4

This is our job – our practical lessons – how to apply this lesson.

“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

Even the Father testified to “it” – what is “it”? “It” is “Great Salvation” which can be found only in Jesus Christ.

Signs, wonders, miracles are not the END – they are just the MEANS (method).

There should be no differentiation made between them because God’s work encompasses them all. God’s work = “wonderfully miraculous signs” – and through these, God is testifying to “Great Salvation” through Jesus Christ. Also – the gifts of the HS testify to him – and are distributed according to his will.

John 5:37 “The Father who sent me has testified concerning me…”

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes whom I’ll send to you from the Father, he will testify about me…”

What are the “gifts” of the HS? This word is used in various ways and has various meanings depending on context:

  • salvation, grace, favor, faith, present, talent for ministry, ability for service…

Usually we consider this word to mean talent / ability for service in church. But in this context it means “special ability to help save others.”

The HS empowers every believer with one or more gifts – distributed according to his will. To use these gifts effectively, we must realize that all these gifts come from God and not everyone has the same gifts. The HS decides which gift each believer should have. The gifts are various, but the purpose is one in the same – to testify about Christ, build the church, and spread the kingdom of Christ in this world.

Do you have gifts?

What am I doing with these gifts? With this gift for the salvation of others?

We have a privilege, responsibility, to use and sharpen our gifts.

v. 1 “You must PAY ATTENTION…”

We are given a special task / purpose.

Without purpose, our lives in this world are meaningless motion, directionless activity, reasonless events.

God has given us a “purpose driven life.”

“I must live by God’s given purpose driven life.”

God bless your tongue, your words, that they may be fruitful in this world for his glory.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 23 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Superiority of Christ over Angels

Hebrews 1:4-14 (Pastor Heo)

4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.”10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.” 13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?


  • Theme: The superiority of Christ Jesus
  • Message: Live by Faith! Be assured!

Last part of verse 3: Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, so is superior to everyone – including angels.

What do we need to study about angels? Who are they? What is their function?

Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ?

Angels – the word is mentioned 100+ times in the OT, and 160+ times in the NT. The doctrine of angels is “angelology”

Let us study briefly about angels. (Actually, I have not much interest in angels, but to know more about Jesus, we need to know about the nature of angels.)

Angels:

  1. Created beings (not creator)
  2. Spiritual beings (not visible)
    1. But sometimes can appear in visible form – like people (Genesis 18, 19 – visited Abram and Lot)
    2. Sometimes they shine like glorious light
    3. Sometimes appear with wings (cherubim, seraphim)
  3. There are several ranks and orders of angels
    1. Archangel, herald, etc.

When were they created? The timeline is indicated nowhere in the Bible – but we can assume it happened before the creation of the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…” – we can assume God created these beings before creating the physical world.

In Genesis 3, Satan (fallen angel) was already there.

In Job, “The angels shouted for joy at the foundations of the earth…”

How many angels?

“Many”

Rev 11:5 “Many angels numbering thousands upon thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand…”

What is their main function? They have their own ministry, mission, job.

Greek “angelos” = English “angels” = “messenger / herald”

There main purpose is to deliver God’s message to men.

Four main functions:

  1. Continual worship and praise to God
  2. Communicate God’s message to Mankind
    1. Angel Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus
    2. When Joseph heard Mary was pregnant, he was going to quietly divorce her – but an angel appeared to him and convinced him otherwise
    3. When Jesus was born, angels appeared and visited the shepherds in an open field at night and announced the “Good News of Great Joy!” (the gospel) – the first person who preached the gospel was an angel
    4. Angels rolled the stone back from Jesus’ tomb and said, “Do not be afraid, he is not here – he has Risen!”
  3. Angels minister to believers (serving and helping us by the order of God)
    1. Angels dramatically delivered Paul and Peter from prison
    2. Angels are present with the church
      1. rejoice at the conversion of sinners
      2. watch believers lives with interest
      3. carry believers spirits away at death
  4. In the future, they will be God’s agents in the final judgment and second coming of Christ – they will execute the judgment against Satan and his demons.

Rev “At the last day, the angels will open the seals and blow the trumpets and pour out the bowl of wrath.”

Wow! Angels are great! So great!

Question: Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ over all angels?

2 reasons:

  1. Angels are SO great and awesome that some thought (and still think) that Jesus is an angel, or just the “boss” of angels. But this is terribly wrong.
    1. No matter how great angels are, Jesus is not A superior angel but superior TO angels.
  2. Some people thought angels bring believers’ requests to God and intercede on our behalf to God – this is also terribly wrong.
    1. There is only one mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ.
    2. We do not need any other mediator.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except by me.”

Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and gain access to this grace through him.”

5 Superiorities of Christ over Angels

Even today, this is our faith statement

#1 Jesus’ Superior Name

v. 4-5

“4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”?”

You have your own name. This is a Proper Noun. In Bible times, a name reveals a person’s nature, rank, dignity. So, from eternity to eternity, Jesus has a Proper Noun Name: SON. This is not a common noun.

In the water baptism from John the Baptist, he came out and heaven opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him, I’m well pleased.”

A similar thing happened during Jesus’ transfiguration – with three disciples on top of the mountain. His face and clothes shone like the sun, and a voice from the clouds came, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.”

God wants all human beings to focus on Christ.

“Listen to him!” Are you listening?

His name – from eternity to eternity – is SON. He is the Prince, the future King, the future Ruler, and the Son God.

There is only ONE God – in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

This is called the “Triune God or Trinity God.”

#2 Superior Honor

v. 6

” 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.””

Worship belongs to God alone.

Yes, we must encourage and build up and edify each other, but worship ONLY God. If you idolize anything else – put in in the place of God in your life, this is sinful.

In Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4, Satan said, “Bow down and worship me and I will give all the kingdom of this world and its splendor.” Jesus announced strongly (angrily?), “Get away from me Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God alone.'”

Jesus himself is God.

Rev 5:11 “Many thousands upon thousands of angels gathered together and encircled the throne [Where Jesus sat down] and in a loud voice they worshiped singing, ‘worthy is he who was slain to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and honor, and glory, and praise.'”

Can you imagine this today? All the angels in heaven kneeling down and worshiping. So who is higher? Jesus. You can never compare them. But, sadly, some people still make this mistake.

#3 Superior Status

v. 7-9

“7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.””

The angels are servants, but the Son rules the universe. His throne, scepter, annointing, give us the dimensions of his sovereignty. And he established his righteousness by becoming the sacrifice for our sins. “The oil of joy” is heavenly joy – and he is eternally enthroned, annointed, sceptered, sovereign – in control of everything – past, present, future.

Do you recognize this? Believe this? He is sustainer of all things.

#4 Superior Existence

v. 10-12

“10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.””

Already I said, angels are created beings – they are very temporal, changeable, dependent. But Christ is unchangeable in his power, authority, design.

Heb 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Listen to the message of Christ.

#5 Superior Vocation

  • His vocation is “Sovereign King”
  • “Sovereign Ruler”
  • “King of Kings; Lord of Lords”

v. 13-14

“13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until *I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet*”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? “

Who are Jesus’ enemies? Those who do not confess him as Lord nor accept him as Savior. God considers them his enemies.

In his first coming, Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for the multitudes.

His leadership is shown here. At that time, it was human custom that the defeated king should prostrate himself and kiss the feet of the victorious king – and the victorious king put his feet on that king’s neck so that he became his footstool.

Like this, all people will fall down and worship him as Lord.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that at his name every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Jesus is superior to ALL – because he is creator and God.

We must trust in Christ with all we are and all we have.

God bless us all through Christ’s superiority.

Let us fix our thoughts and eyes on Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

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