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  • Mar 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Book of John is the Book of Eternal Life in Christ (John 21:15-25)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Book of John is the Book of Eternal Life in Christ (John 21:15-25)

03.10

03.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

This is the final study in the book of John: The Book of Life – eternal, abundant life in Christ. The whole book is full of life.

Closing this study, let’s briefly review each chapter, especially related to “life.”

  1. In the Beginning was the Word, that word was light, but the world did not understand it, so the word became flesh.
  2. Jesus turned water into wine and then cleared the temple – Jesus has much interest in our continual joyful lives and changed, pure, holy lives.
  3. “You must be born again.” Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit – regeneration.
  4. The Samaritan woman – “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst, because it will well up into eternal life.”
  5. “Whoever believes my word and the one who sent me has life – he has crossed from death to life.”
  6. After feeding 5,000 men – “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever eats my flesh has life – I will raise him at the last day.”
  7. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to mean and drink – the streams of living water will flow from within him or her.”
  8. “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
  9. Jesus opens the eyes of the blind man, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming soon when nobody can work.” Life = opportunity to work for God.
  10. “I am the Gate for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I have come to give life, you shall never perish, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
  11. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead – whoever lives and believes in me will never die “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
  12. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will remain a single seed… Our life is producing life when we die.
  13. Washing disciples feet, “A new command I give you – you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
  14. I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
  15. I am the True Vine, you are the branches, no vine can bear fruit on its own, apart from me you can do nothing – but in me you will bear much fruit.
  16. Even though you have trouble in the world, “take heart for I have overcome the world.” Our lives are overcoming lives against Satan and sin.
  17. He chose to be arrested to set us free.
  18. He was crucified with our old selves to raise us to life.
  19. He was raised to life to guarantee our eternal life.
  20. He appeared to the disciples and Mary (first).
  21. He appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee. Remember the picture?

In this picture, in the first picture, they fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus appeared, and helped them catch 153 fish. Jesus prepared a warm fire for them (they were cold) and breakfast (they were hungry), and continually, when they finished eating, now he asked Peter if he loved him personally and openly – in public for others to hear. 

Three times, “Simon, do you truly love me?”

Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my lambs… If you love me, take care of my sheep… If you love me, feed my sheep.”

Why three times? For emphasis? Repetition? Counter-standard? (Remember Peter had denied Jesus openly three times previously just before the crucifixion – now Jesus gives 3 chances to recover from that). Love, love, love – in English and Korean it’s the same word. BUT, in Greek, it is different.

  1. Eros – love for other sex
  2. Stolgay – love for parents
  3. Filial – love for friends
  4. Agape – divine, unconditional love
  • First two sentences, Jesus said, “Agape.” 
  • Peter replied with “You know I Filial you.”
  • Jesus changed for the third, “Do you Filial me?”
  • Peter was hurt, “You know all things, of course I Filial you.”

Even though we Filial Jesus, he gives us a huge mission and task – how much more if we Agape love him.

  1. Feed my lambs = if you have my life, give that life to others, evangelize, be my witnesses to the lost
  2. Take care of my sheep = help them to continue to enjoy abundant life
  3. Feed my sheep = continue this again and again.

“Do you truly love me MORE THAN THESE?” may have two meanings.

  • “Do you love me more than your other friends, your fish, your boat, car, cash, baby, TV, smart phone?” Are you prepared to give up everything to follow me? You comfort, your stuff, etc? To give yourself to my people, my task?
  • “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me?” Reminding him of his previous confession (he’d said, “Even if everyone else falls away, I’ll NEVER fall away” – but he failed).

Throughout the book of John, Jesus questions are 2:

  1. Do you believe in me? Yes = live eternally
  2. Do you love me? Yes = prove it by making others live in me and love me, through your sacrifice/service/ministry 

In the world, love is the greatest privilege, but also brings the greatest responsibility – it ALWAYS involves sacrifice.

Peter eventually died upside down crucifixion – church history (not Bible) tells us that. But now, Peter is alive in heaven with Christ. 

Remember, we do not truly love Christ if we aren’t ready to follow him and take up his task and his cross.

v 20-24: About “the disciple whom Jesus loved”

i.e. Peter said, “Lord, you told me what will happen to me, what about John, what will happen to him?”

Jesus said, “Just mind your own business buddy.”

Of course we must care for and serve and help each other – looking to the interests of others (in humility). But in ministry, we must NOT compare ourselves to others. We do not compare ourselves to rationalize our own commitment to God or to question the commitment or justice of God. 

What does Jesus say to Peter? 3 times: Follow me. 

First meeting, he said that, and now verse 19 and 22.

  • When we meet Jesus first, we start to follow.
  • On the journey, we continue to follow.
  • At the end, we still follow.

This is present tense, consistent, steadfast, persevering following of Christ – continuing his work in the way he wants it done, not in the way we want it done. Jesus is our example and sample and task. Jesus is our goal.

Hebrews 12:2? “Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”

God bless us all to fix our eyes upon Jesus.

v.25 – Jesus did many other things as well…

Do you agree with this? This is not an exaggeration – this is truth. This world is limited in time and space, knowledge, understanding, power. But, Jesus is infinite – proven as True God by his resurrection. He is unlimited in time, space, works, beauty. Whatever we know of Jesus is limited.

No matter how much we know of him, that is only a small fragment of him (imagine the size of the Earth when compared with the size of the universe). 

Whatever we have experienced of him is a fragment of what is yet to experience. 

Think of Chonbuk University’s books – think of Harvard University’s. Yet, all books are inadequate to describe Jesus fully.

Let us learn, know, study Jesus more and more. Let us experience, and enjoy him more and more. Let us live his life more and more abundantly.

May God bless us all through the study of the gospel of John: The Book of Life – life that can only be found in Jesus.

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

John 3:16

May God bless us all with his eternal life.

  • Feb 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Reality of Christ’s Resurrection (John 21:1-14)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Reality of Christ’s Resurrection (John 21:1-14)

02.24

02.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

According to verse 14, this is Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples – this time at the Sea/Lake of Tiberias/Galilee.

After his resurrection, Jesus had made at least 6 appearances in or around Jerusalem. After those, the disciples returned to Galilee. In this region, Jesus also appeared several times (to 500 brothers, to James’ brother, to 7 disciples – Peter, Didymus, Nathanael, sons of Zebedee, 2 others). First, he appeared in Jerusalem, then in Galilee. 

Before his death, he told them that he’d meet them at an appointed place in Galilee, but they had remained in Jerusalem out of fear. So, he appeared to the in Jerusalem first to encourage them.

Think about the emotions of the previous few weeks. The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a king, the Last Supper with strange actions and words, the disappearance of Judas (one of them), the appearance of hundreds of soldiers in the Garden on that night, and all of them scattered, and Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus was crucified like a common criminal, then buried, then AMAZING resurrection. ALL of this happened over the course of just a FEW weeks.

What were they supposed to do?
They did return to Galilee, but they didn’t know what to do next. So they decided to return to their old jobs, their old lifestyles – fishing. 

v. 1-3 They went fishing, but caught nothing.

Until 3 years ago, when they met Jesus, they were fishermen – and Jesus had called them and said, “I’ll make you fishers of men.”

Then when they met Christ, they were transformed from fishermen to fishers of men. Now, even in this short time, when they were far away from Jesus in spirit and in body, they returned to their old lives and occupations. Fishing is not bad, not sin. But spiritually, there are at least 2 important lessons.

#1 – Whatever your job was before you met Christ, you were a “fisherman/woman.”

NOW, after meeting Christ, you are a “fisher OF men/women.” So, when we were outside of Christ, our main target was STUFF – titles, TVs, praise, etc. NOW, IN Christ, our target is SOULS of men, spiritual beings.

There is a difference between the jobs (actions) of the two. Fishermen catch living things from the water, pull them out and kill them. Fishers of men catch dead spirits and pull them into Christ’s kingdom and he makes them alive forever. 

#2 – We must be very careful not to return to our OLD selves and lives.

True, justification is once for all, eternal life can never be lost – the moment you accepted Jesus as personal Savior and Lord, we were saved from the penalty and punishment of sin. But, now as we are in these bodies, we are CONTINUALLY being saved (from temptation, sin, etc). Therefore, the Bible encourages us who are saved, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Paul’s letter to…) Be alert, be self-controlled, pray continually (Thess), do not give your enemy a foothold, for the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (Peter’s epistle?).

To continue walking with Christ, we must be focused. To fall into sin, it takes only a moment. 

Illustration: To drive to Seoul safely, it takes 3 hours – continual focus and carefulness, but a car accident takes only a moment of carelessness.

Jesus is so faithful in keeping his promises. 

He chose them (chose us).

v. 4-6

The good news is, Jesus never criticized them for going fishing. They worked hard, all night, together, but the result = NOTHING. Their nets were empty.

Luke 5 – similar story – when they met Jesus for the first time, they experienced a similar experience. Jesus was standing on the shore (the same place, by the sea of Galilee). So many people were crowded around him listening to him, and Jesus noticed two boats around him, and got into Peter’s boat and asked him to set out from the shore. From there, he taught to the people on the shore. After that, he said to Simon Peter, put out your net into the deep water and catch something. Peter said, “All night we worked, and caught nothing, but because you said to, we will again.” They did, and the catch was so huge, that the nets began to break and they called the other boat. The two boats began to sink. Peter knelt down, “Oh, Lord, go away from me, I’m a sinful man.” (Christ is too holy, Peter is too unholy) Christ said, “Do not be afraid, from this time on you will catch men.” And they left everything and followed him.

Now, here there’s the similar story.

Jesus was not a fisherman, but they were PROS from that area, – they knew the best when, where, what, how in the Lake of Galilee, but their efforts produced nothing.

Have you ever experienced TOTAL FAILURE in your work, ministry, parenting, relationship, marriage? If you FAIL on your own, we can experience great SUCCESS in Jesus. If we feel EMPTY, he is ABUNDANT. If we are WEAK, he is SUPER-POWERFUL.

The condition is Absolute, Unconditional Obedience. This alone produces miracles.

The action of throwing nets into the water, on the right side of the boat was NOT what caused the blessing, but it was OBEDIENCE to Christ’s words that caused the blessing.

We can experience miracles like this as well if we obey Jesus – because we understand his words. If we do so because we think his words are reasonable, that’s not true (full of faith) obedience. We obey because of who He IS, not because of how reasonable His words sound.

v 7-14

(153 fish? What’s the significance? Some sort of secret spiritual thing? NO. It just provides evidence that this is an ACTUAL historical event)

First, to our sadness, they didn’t know that it was Jesus. They didn’t recognize him as Lord. We don’t know why, but we can guess. (Possibly because of the distance – 90m, or because of the lack of light, mist on the water, their strong concentration on fishing, doubt about Jesus resurrection, no expectation of his appearance there). At first, they didn’t recognize him.

How about us?

Sometimes, are you involved in some things that you think Jesus appearance or presence would be unlikely?

Jesus appeared to them at very unlikely times, in very unlikely places – while walking, in a locked room, morning, lunch, evening – in anything and everything they were doing. 

The last verse in Matthew “Behold, I am always with you even to the very end of the age.” 

Be honest before God now. In your daily steps and walking, when in your bed, bathroom, office, school, fights, do you feel, do you recognize Jesus appearance in that situation? Recognition of Jesus’ appearance as King of Kings, Lord of Lords – a realization of Jesus appearance = the Christian life in this world.

If you have no recognition of Jesus in your daily life (though you claim to be Christian) then you are a Practical Unbeliever.

At this time, the tired, frustrated, hungry disciples, needed encouragement and direction – so Jesus came to them and made his appearance known to them. 

So Jesus provided them with everything that they needed. 

  • He provided a fire – they were cold from fishing all night on the sea.
  • He provided food – they were hungry and tired.
  • He provided a warm heart and welcome invitation – they were frustrated and discouraged.

Still now, Jesus is available and ready and prepared for us. He has a gracious and welcome invitation to us.

Sometimes, are you discouraged in your work (even ministry)? Jesus wants to provide to us sustenance and comfort and fellowship like this – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He wants to provide peace, eternal life. Still now, He says, “Come to me, all who are burdened and heavy-laden…Peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you…”

Galatians “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. So do not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

His job to appear to us and provide for us, and welcome us is still going on today.

May God bless us all with Jesus appearance.

  • Feb 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Transforming Power of Christ’s Resurrection! (John 20:19-31)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Transforming Power of Christ’s Resurrection! (John 20:19-31)

02.10

02.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Challenge: Memorize verse 31

Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead

actually, really, historically.

This is not the story of recovering from fainting (as Muslims believe).

This was actual, real, true death. So, it is actual, real, true resurrection. 

The word that he rose began to spread among his disciples – first hesitantly, then enthusiastically.

At first, they didn’t believe the first reports, but as they were continually confronted with the evidence, they believed, and there was very evident and powerful change in their lives. Still today, we can personally experience the same kinds of transformation and powerful change.

So, ask yourself, “Have I personally met the Risen Lord? Has He changed my life personally? and powerfully?”

At least 5 appearances recorded here.

  1. 1. First to Mary Magdalene on the day,
  2. 2. Then to other women
  3. 3. Then to Peter
  4. 4. Then to other disciples on the way to Emmaus (”what are you talking about?” “Dont’ you know, haven’t you heard? Jesus – there is talk he rose from the dead.” Then, their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared.)
  5. 5. This now is the fifth appearance after his resurrection (”On that day…” there were 10 disciples (no Thomas and no Judas Iscariot)).

This is Jesus’ fifth appearance on that day of his resurrection. 10 disciples were in one room, in fear of the Jews, so they locked the doors. Why were they afraid? 

After his resurrection, the Jews, elders, leaders, gathered together and made a bad plan – they gave lots of money to the soldiers to tell an untrue story about the theft of Jesus body. 

At that time, there was NEWS that Jesus rose from the dead, and RUMOR that his disciples stole the body. If they were caught, they would be arrested.

Jesus appeared to them and they were overjoyed. Jesus transformed them from fear to overjoyed, from cowardice to courage.

Some things prove that Jesus rose bodily. “I have flesh and bones.” Also, the women touched his feet. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes in order. Many things prove that he rose in a BODY. (Jehovah’s Witnesses believe he DIDN’T have a body, but a spiritual resurrection)

He rose with an eternal, immortal body – this body is NOT like our bodies. This body is still inhabited by him 2,000 years later – it has not decayed. 

Romans 6:9 “We know that since he was raised from the dead, he cannot die again. Death no longer has mastery over him.”

So, HOW did he transform their lives from fear to joy, from cowardice to courage?

1. Jesus came to them.

His appearance alone made them overjoyed.

2. Then, he greeted and blessed them.

“Peace be with you.” (Shalom) He did not rebuke them for their unfaithfulness and cowardice from the previous week (when he was crucified). “Peace be with you.” is repeated 3 times here.

“Peace be with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives…”

He first gives PEACE. He himself is our peace.

3. He reassured them. (v. 20)

He showed them his hands and his side. He reassured them. They let them discover that this was the REAL Savior, the REAL Jesus. His wounds were more than just his identification, but also evidence of the price he paid for us. “By his wounds we are healed.”

We must know that the basis for ALL our peace is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection. Still, he comes to us in grace, and reassures us with his Words. 

Even though the door was locked, we must realize that there is NO safe place – without Jesus. Only IN Christ, there is perfect safety and peace (physically and spiritually).

4. He commissioned them (v. 21).

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

What grace! What amazing grace! What an amazing privilege and great responsibility! 

Can you imagine? They had deserted him and fled as he died, but now immediately after his resurrection, he sends them out into this world. 

In his intercessory prayer in chapter 17, “As you have sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”

This is the dedication, commitment, of real Christians to the task of world evangelism.

Jesus reconciled us to himself through his death and resurrection, and then gives us his ministry to be ambassadors to the world. 

(Corinthians)

5. Jesus empowered (enabled, anointed) them with the Holy Spirit.

He breathed on them (reminds me of God breathing on Adam – Genesis 2:7 – this was the breath of Life) and gave them the Holy Spirit.

  • In his first Creation, the breath of God = physical life.
  • In his new Creation, the breath of God = spiritual life. 

They would then receive the baptism of the HS at Pentecost. Without the HS, we cannot go out and fulfill his commission. “When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power…”

The HS is essential for us to do God’s job in this world.

6. Jesus gave them the authority of forgiveness. (reminds me of Catholic confessionals)

Jesus says, “if you forgive anyone their sins, they are forgiven, if not, they are not forgiven.” 

Jesus gives us the message of forgiveness, real forgiveness can only be found by accepting Jesus as personal Lord. Imagine if we do not preach this message of forgiveness, they cannot hear it, if they don’t hear it, they cannot believe, if they don’t believe, God cannot forgive them. 

We have received the MESSAGE of forgiveness, but NOT God’s own authority to forgive.

If we preach this message and they receive Christ and God’s forgiveness through him, THEN we can authoritatively declare them ARE forgiven.

God transforms them in 6 steps.

  1. He came
  2. He greeted and blessed
  3. He reassured
  4. He commissioned
  5. He gave authority of message of forgiveness…

We can see his next appearance one week later. 

We don’t know what happened between the weeks, but we know what happened one week later. (Thomas wasn’t there the first week, they told him “We saw Him!” but he said, “I won’t believe unless my eyes also witness this.” A week later, Thomas was with them, and Jesus came, transforming power again. “Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas believed, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed.”)

One week later, the disciples were meeting (was this their worship time? or just meeting?)

Jesus said again, “Peace be with you.”

Main character here is Thomas.

One week previously, he was not there. Maybe one week ago, he was busy, far away, didn’t know about the disciples’ meeting, maybe discouraged or disappointed to join. 

Thomas missed much blessing – because of only one week.

He missed seeing the Lord and receiving the blessing, the gift of HS, the commission, the message of forgiveness. 

He missed this blessing for one full week.

The others received this one week ago.

So, Thomas had to suffer for one week of doubting, skepticism. 

But Jesus transformed him from hiding to confession, from doubting to belief, from skepticism to faith. 

“Didymus” means “twin.”

Spiritual meaning today = there are many twins of Thomas today.

Today’s Christians ask not to miss Christian community and fellowship, especially on the Lord’s day.

If we miss Christian community, we never know what kinds of special blessings we might miss.

If we miss this community, this day, today, we will miss it for at least one week. So, we should come every week. ^^

If we are alone, separated, isolated from fellowship, we are weak and weaker, but when we are together, we get strong and stronger. Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. But let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

  • Ephesians 2:20 “because we know that in Christ we are being renewed and built together to dwell in the house of God.”
  • Ephesians (we are being built together to live as a dwelling for God and his Spirit)
  • Eph 2:20 “In Him you too are being built to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

We must do all we can to build together, edify together, fellowship together.

In AICF, our lives are very movable. We are pilgrims in this world. But if you move, the FIRST thing you should do is pray to God for faithful guidance to find a faithful community.

To worship God is our basic blessing (and basic burden). Not only right, also duty. Privilege and responsibility.

Conclusion:

The disciples had seen the Lord and believed. They were not saved by seeing. They were saved by believing. They saw, but we cannot see. We have the record, the message. “Faith comes from hearing.” (Romans?)

The main purpose this book is written is so that we may have life. 

What kind of life? ALL kinds

abundant, heavenly, glorious, wonderful, spiritual, life.

The whole Bible is full of life which can be found in Jesus.

  • Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you believe that by them you possess eternal life. But these are the Scriptures that testify about me.”
  • John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…the darkness has not understood it.”
  • “I am the way the truth and the life.”
  • “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
  • 1 John 5:11 (Conclusion)
  • “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What does this mean? It means that this Jesus 2,000 years ago, who transformed the men from fear to joy, from death to life, from cowardice to courage, is STILL transforming US in this way today – from frustration to peace, etc. And uses us to deliver his message of transforming power to others.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)

02.03

02.03.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Early on the first day of the week (Sunday)

Actually, Sunday worship began BECAUSE of this event. Previously, Jewish worship was on Saturday (the Sabbath).

This is GOOD NEWS! That’s why this is one of the gospels. Gospel = “good news.”

Mary Magdalene was one woman who followed Jesus to the cross, and saw him die, and watched where he was buried.

She was from Magdala (town name) near Galilee. She was a woman from whom Jesus had cast out 7 demons. So, she was obviously quite thankful to Jesus for that.

She followed him to Jerusalem, and helped him in his earthly ministry, and provided some financial help. 

Now, because of the short interim between Jesus’ death and the coming of the Sabbath, the women at the cross didn’t have enough time to anoint his body with spices. So, because of the Sabbath, they had to go home to rest (from Friday sunset – Jesus’ death, to Saturday sunset – end of the Sabbath). Then, the next day, Sunday, they came early to the tomb to anoint his body – they couldn’t wait any longer to anoint him for death (but they were good Jews following the Sabbath, so they couldn’t go Saturday).

When they arrived, there was a violent earthquake and the stone rolled away from the tomb. They were obviously alarmed. But a young man (angel) said, “Do not be afraid. Jesus is gone. Go to Galilee and meet Jesus!” But, the women couldn’t understand fully this testimony, so they went to Peter and John and said, “They took away our Lord, we don’t know where they put him.” This caused sudden and intense action from the disciples. They raced to the tomb (John was younger, he won). John did not enter the tomb, just bent over and looked inside. He saw the cloths lying there. He was likely thinking logically and reasonably. 

Then, when Peter arrived, he suddenly, unthinkingly entered the tomb (he’s a man of action). And he noticed the cloths were folded up nicely and neatly.

  • In this story, Mary was “feeler”
  • Peter was “doer”
  • John was “thinker”

Mary was too sorrowful to think and believe.

Peter was too busy to think and believe.

But, finally, John went inside, he saw and believed. (He thought deeply, logically, systematically). 

  1. There was a violent earthquake.
  2. The tomb opened.
  3. Jesus was not there.
  4. The cloths were there.
  5. The cloths were folded in order, nicely and neatly. (Did you fold your blanket this morning?)

If we think about this logically, this event CANNOT be logically explained WITHOUT the resurrection of Jesus. 

So, Peter and John returned to their homes, but Mary stayed, crying, she bent over and looked in again. Two angels appeared again, one at the head, one at the feet. “Woman, why are you crying?”

Then, at that time, Jesus, who rose from the dead appeared to Mary, but Mary didn’t realize it was Jesus because her continual crying blinded her – so she couldn’t recognize him.

He said, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She thought he was the gardener, so asked for Jesus’ body if he’d carried him away. 

At that time, Jesus called her by name, “Mary.”

At that moment, she was so surprised that this man knew her name, so she turned and recognized him and called him, “My Master! (Rabboni)” 

Her immediate reaction was to grab him and hug him. 

He said, “Wait, I’m busy, I must return to God my Father. So, you have a mission, to go to the disciples and tell them.”

So, she went to the disciples and told them “I have seen the Lord.”
This is the very first preaching of the gospel, the good news.

In the matter of Jesus, Mary had at least 3 Guiness World Records.

  1. The FIRST person at the tomb
  2. The FIRST person who saw him AND the FIRST person Jesus called by name
  3. The FIRST person who delivered the gospel message to the apostles. (She was sent as an apostle to the apostles)

Jesus’ death and resurrection is of paramount importance for several reasons.

#1: This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity

(if you don’t believe this ONE thing AT LEAST, you aren’t a Christian). The whole Bible, the whole faith, the whole Christian life stands or falls on this one point. If it’s not true, everything is vain, a lie, futile. Also, we are still in our sins, all Christians are lost, and most to be pitied of ALL men in the world. (1 Corinthians 15).

The heart message of the gospel is Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

Have you ever been in another religion before? Or do you know of the big differences between other religions and Christianity?

Other religions keep silent about the death of their founders (plus, ALL the founders have MASSIVE tombs that are visited every year by millions of followers on pilgrimage).

But, Christianity ALWAYS preaches about our founder’s death! We boldly BOAST in his death! Why? Because he IS NOT dead! He is Risen!

#2: This is an essential part in the application of our salvation.

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.”

“Since we have been justified in his death, how much more will we be saved in his life?”

Salvation is provided, offered to ALL humans unconditionally in his death.

But it is applied in his death ONLY to those who believe in him.

(Unlimited Limited Atonement)

It was necessary that he must die and rise again in order to 1. Be a King, 2. give us forgiveness, 3. give us the Holy Spirit

#3: This is a manifestation of divine power

  • In OT, the standard for divine power was the Exodus, the power in which God brought Israel out of Egypt.
  • In NT, the standard for divine power was the resurrection of Jesus – it demonstrated his holiness.

Also, this divine power is available for us if we belong to Jesus. 

Romans 8:11 “And If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Him to life will give eternal life to our mortal bodies.”

Jesus goal, vision, dream is to raise us in the Last Day – those who believe in him.

So, if we summarize the whole story of the Bible in the very shortest sentence…

OT: (John 5:39) “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by the Scriptures, you receive eternal life. But these Scriptures are the Scriptures that testify about ME.” From Genesis to Revelation, ALL testify to Jesus.

So, OT from Genesis to Malachi, this is the Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

  • NT from Matthew to John = the Historical Facts of the Death and Resurrection
  • Acts = The Fruit of the Death and Resurrection
  • Epistles (Letters) = Spiritual meaning, blessing, interpretation of Death and Resurrection
  • Revelation = the Prophecy of the Returning King
  1. Historical Fact = Jesus died and rose again
  2. Historical Faith = Jesus is still alive now
  3. Saving Faith = Jesus is still alive now IN ME (as my Savior, as my Lord, as my King)

God has given Jesus the name that is above all names so that at his name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Revelation?)

This vision of God will be fulfilled absolutely, unconditionally.

Do you kneel down and confess that Jesus is Lord? If we do this now, here, in this lifetime, we will experience eternal blessing and life.

But, if we do NOT do that and do not confess, then we have to do that in the world to come, in Hell, eternally. 

Let me close with that vision of God.

This is God’s absolute vision in the matter of Jesus’ Lordship – it will be fulfilled absolutely

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, on the Earth, above the Earth, below the Earth, that Jesus is Lord. 

Do you believe that there is the glory of God even in Hell? There is.

  • If we do this on Earth, we will forever in heaven as well.
  • If we do not do this on Earth, we will forever in hell anyway.

God bless us all with this word.

  • Jan 27 / 2013
  • Comments Off on It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)

01.27

01.27.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do you like Jesus’ death?

As a Christian, what do you believe, or what can you say about the death of Jesus Christ?

If you are a Sunday school teacher / evangelist / missionary, what will you teach/preach about the death of Christ?

For humans, usually death is sorrowful news, there is no more work to be done.

But, in the case of Jesus, it is “good news of great joy for all the people, for all time.”

Good news of the gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the death and resurrection, the gospel cannot be gospel.

Jesus’ death is a great work, the greatest work.

It didn’t come unavoidably, but by his definite choice according to his own purpose. 

  • “It is finished.” in Greek is only one word.
  • “It is accomplished. All is paid.” etc.

This is one of 7 sentences he spoke at the cross.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
  2. “I tell you the truth, today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Even at the point of death can you also preach to save souls as he did?)
  3. “Dear woman, this is your son.” To John, “This is your mother.”
  4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. “I’m thirsty.” (literal thirst)
  6. “It is finished.” (all is done)
  7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

It is finished = with my death, I do all things I’ve wanted to do for all eternity for all men (in the past, in the future)

Actually, our whole lives are not long enough to fully meditate on the death and meaning of Jesus’ death.

6 Spiritual Meanings.

#1: Substitution 

He did not bear his own sins, but substituted himself for our sins. Numerous scriptures say, “Jesus died for you…for others…for us.”

  • Isaiah 53:5-6 “Christ was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed…we all like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way, but God laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his great love for us in this…”
  • 1 Corinthians 15 “What I received, I passed on to you as of first importance.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5 “God made him without sin to become sin for us.”
  • 1 Peter “God made him on the tree for us.”
  • 1 Peter 3 “Jesus died for us all to bring us to God (once for all).”

There is no question Jesus died as our SUBSTITUTION – for our sins.

#2: Ransom (Redemption)

Literal meaning = an amount of money paid to set someone free (prisoner, kidnapped)

Redemption = deliverance of that prisoner to freedom.

Jesus death is our ransom price for deliverance from death to life, from child of Satan to child of God, from hell to heaven, from condemnation to forgiveness, from bondage of sin to freedom of truth, from Old Creation to New Creation. 

Jesus already paid the whole price to get us as a child of God.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (Romans?)

If we try to please ourselves, we are bad men, because we were already bought.

What must we pay to buy salvation? You cannot because it is too late. Already 2000 years ago, Jesus paid the full price. 

How much must we pay? You cannot because it is too expensive, far beyond your ability to pay. 

The price of salvation is priceless.

“The value of one soul is more valuable than the whole universe.”
“I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for all.”

Galation 3 “Christ became a curse for us to destroy the curse, for everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.”
“It is not from gold or silver we are bought but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God.”

  • Ransom (cause)
  • Redemption (effect) 

#3: Propitiation (atoning sacrifice)

Literal meaning = covering or mercy seat or appeasing.

In the OT, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (with 10 Commandments) was called the Mercy Seat (propitiation).

If there is something bad, dirty, etc, and I cover it, then I can no longer see it. 

The covering over us is Jesus’ death, is the propitiation for our sins so that God no longer sees the sins.

Appeasement = if someone is angry at me, and I relieve that anger by giving a gift, that is my propitiation. 

Propitiation removes God’s wrath from us.

How can God declare the unrighteous righteous? Are you righteous before God? Can you say you are a perfect man?

If you are, then God is no longer righteous.

Propitiation is when God declares the unrighteous righteous because he believes in Jesus and his death for our sins.

Romans 3:25-26 “God presented Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins.” (KJV)

“God presented Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV)

“because in his long suffering, he had left sins before Christ unpunished. He did this to be just and to justify the one who believes in Christ.”

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

#4: Reconciliation

The Bible encourages us and challenges us to be reconciled to God. 

First, enmity (enemies) and then reconciliation (friends again).

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

God reconciled all human beings through Christ. If we are reconciled, then we are given the message and ministry of reconciliation. 

The story of reconciliation goes like this:

At first, God and man stood face to face in fellowship with original koinonia (Genesis 1-2)

If God judged immediately because of human sin, there would be no more Bible because we fell in Genesis 3. So, the rest of the Bible is God’s pursuit of us to reconcile us and save us from condemnation.

  • At first, Adam and God could talk face to face, and listen to each other. 
  • Usually, sinful man does not like holy God. So, man turned away from God and walked away.
  • Also, holy God could not see sin, so turned away from man.

“The sinful mind is hostile to God, but Jesus Christ has fully satisfied the commands of God and has reconciled us to him.”

Still now, man is entreated, encouraged to be reconciled to God by believing in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:3 “Be reconciled to God.”

Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with yourself, with others, with your parents, children, spouse, friends.

The key to all reconciliation with anyone is first reconciliation with God.

“Jesus Christ is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier between God and man.”

#5: Fulfillment (Satisfaction)

“It is finished.” “All is done.”

Jesus’ death is the fulfillment and satisfaction. His death is the fulfillment of God’s law, God’s justice, God’s holiness, God’s love, God’s prophecy, God’s covenant. 

  • In God’s law, sin must be paid by death. 
  • In God’s justice, must be punished.
  • In holiness, must be removed.
  • In love, must be forgiven and all things given up.
  • In prophecy, nothing must be left undone.
  • In covenant, all requirements must be met.

All these are met in death – perfectly in Jesus’ death.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them.”

Romans “Jesus is the end of the law, the fulfillment of the law.”

#6: Our Story

  • Substitution
  • Ransom
  • Propitiation
  • Reconciliation
  • Fulfillment

All this mental agreement and mental knowledge is NOT enough to save us.

Even Satan knows and believes this and shudders. He knows and believes but is not saved, why? He does not commit his life to Christ.

Mental agreement is not enough.

#6 is our personal story, personal belief, personal relationship

Jesus’ death is MY death (personally).

Can you personally confess this? 

“Jesus’ death is MY death.”

Can you be united with Christ in his death, really, truly? This is the full truth of Jesus’ death from the text this morning.

Visible things are temporary, but invisible things are eternal. If we really have faith, we must be able to see things that are invisible.

  • Today, visibly, it looked like THEY killed him.
  • Invisibly, Jesus killed death, the final enemy.

Yes, we say, “Jesus died for me.”

This is the first step (confession).

Unbelievers never say this because they don’t believe – so they don’t confess the real meaning, effect, blessing. For them, this is resolved until they believe.

  • It looks (visibly) that Jesus died for me.
  • In reality (invisibly) we died with Christ 2000 years ago.

Where Were You When Jesus Was On the Cross? (last sermon)

Galatians “The life I live in the body I live by faith…”

Romans 6:6 “I was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin was done away with… 

This morning, did you see the sun in the sky?

It rises in the morning and sets at night – even the Bible expresses this. 

But in the invisible world, the sun is constant, and the EARTH is moving. But we do not feel it, do not see it.

Visibility doesn’t always equal reality.

The Christian life is union with Christ (first) in his death. Then, if you are really united with him in his death, then you can be (second) united with him in his resurrection. 

If you are not united with him in death, you cannot be united with him in resurrection, and nothing else that happens after (life, glory, etc).

But, if you are united with him in death, then you are also united with him in all things that come after.

Romans 6:4-5 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead for the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will also certainly be united with him in his resurrection.”

Let’s stand and confess and proclaim.

  • If you do not believe, keep silent.
  • If you believe, open you heart and mouth.
  • Jan 20 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)

01.20

01.20.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Where were you spiritually when they crucified Christ?

We should be able to see not only Jesus on the cross, but also ourselves, our old selves.

Galatians “I was crucified with Christ…”

Romans 6:6 “We know that our old self was crucified with Jesus Christ that our old body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

We should see not only Jesus, but also our own selves.

Romans 6:6 once more:

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

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

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

12.9

Bulletin_12.09.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

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

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

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

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

First three stages were before the Jewish leaders.

Second three stages were before the Gentile political leaders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Points why it had to be crucifixion

#1 – Accuracy of long-standing prophecies 

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

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

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

John 3:14

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

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

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

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

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

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

He made 4 attempts in dealing with Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Jesus king to you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11.11

Bulletin_11.11.2012

Sermon Notes

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

He lived 33 years = 7,100 weeks +

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at it briefly:

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

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

Next, he asked them to pray for him.

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

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

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

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

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

Then, these events from John 18.

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

#1 – Jesus’ courage – Passover = full moon 

So the night was almost like daytime.

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

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

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

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

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

#2 – Jesus’ authority

Can you picture this? Imagine?

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

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

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

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

Jesus was alone, unarmed, tired, exhausted.

Yet several hundred soldiers came to arrest him.

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

When Jesus said, “I am he.”

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

How is it possible?

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

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

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

#3 – Jesus’ willing choice to die.

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

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

Outwardly, they arrested him.

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

In fact, Jesus HELPED them arrest him.

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

Jesus arrested them by being arrested.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you experience this love?

#5 – Jesus’ obedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human history began in a garden.

The first sin of man was committed in that garden.

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

 10.28

Bulletin_10.28.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore, we ABSOLUTELY need Jesus’ prayer support.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessing and privilege and responsibility ALWAYS go together.

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

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

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

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

There is only one answer: mission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COME
GO

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

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

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

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

To peace by preaching and praying.

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 14 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Great Intercessory Prayer of Christ for All His Own! (John 17:1-26)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Great Intercessory Prayer of Christ for All His Own! (John 17:1-26)

10.17-jesus-praying-4

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

John 17 is an open conversation with God the Father for his own followers. In this prayer, Jesus expresses his deepest desire for his return to the Father and the destiny of his followers.

No matter what happens after this, Jesus is a “winner” not a “loser.” This prayer is the greatest prayer ever prayed, the greatest prayer in the Bible, the “Holy of Holies” in the Bible. So, we must enter it with thankfulness, praise, humility.
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  • Sep 30 / 2012
  • Comments Off on In Christ Jesus VS. In This World (John 16:16-33)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

In Christ Jesus VS. In This World (John 16:16-33)

9.30

Bulletin_09.30.2012

Sermon Notes

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v. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This section we read is the conclusion of our Lord’s upper room discussion. In the conclusion, he deals with the emotions of the disciples.

At this time, they were frustrated, worried, afraid, grieved. They didn’t understand some of Jesus’ teachings. They were humans, very ordinary, not even that well educated – but later they were used greatly for God’s kingdom.

So, there is hope for each of us to be used greatly for God’s kingdom as well, though we are ordinary. So, don’t give up! We always have hope!

3 Lessons

#1 v. 16-22 Principle
#2 v. 23-28 Promise
#3 v. 29-33 Position to Proclaim

#1 v. 16-22 Principle (Standard) to understand and apply in our daily lives.

“In a little while”?
“See me”?
“Grief will turn to rejoicing”

Principle = Our God brings, gives in our hearts and lives JOY finally – not by substitution, but by transformation (change).

To explain this, Jesus uses the story of a mother delivering a baby.
HUGE pain! initially, but at the same time, receiving that baby = HUGE joy!
The baby caused the pain, but brought joy!

God doesn’t substitute something else to bring joy from the pain, but he transforms what is ALREADY THERE – pain that is already there, and changes it to joy.

Child with a broken toy.
Substitution = parents buy another toy, if broken, buy another toy, if broken, another toy, etc, etc. Whenever broken, buy a new toy. SO, that child grows up expecting EVERY problem to be solved by substitution.
Child-adult, adult-child – they grow up.

Another option = transform that experience to become joy for that unhappy child.

The way of substitution = immaturity.
The way of transformation = maturity.

If somebody replaces our broken toys ALL THE TIME, we will be immature.

The same baby that caused pain, caused great joy as well.

“So with you.” The same with Christian lives.

In the Bible, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to Egypt, and he went to prison. But God transformed that hopeless situation into joy.

Saul pursued David to kill him, but the pain and worry was transforming David into the man of God to write beautiful Psalms.

Jesus died on the UGLY cross – a symbol of death, but God transformed that cross into a symbol of life.

Today, many people may think “joy is an emotion depending on my circumstances.”
That is only HALF true. 

True joy is MORE than that. TRUE joy is will-power, determination, inner attitude.

Remember Paul? In prison, weak in body, sick, and he shouted in joy, “I WILL rejoice at all times in the Lord!!”

Habakkuk confessed, “the olive tree doesn’t produce fruit, no sheep, no cattle, no fruit, no harvest, YET I will rejoice all the time in my God and my Savior!”

Joy is NOT only a feeling, but a determination! If you choose joy, you can be joyful – regardless of circumstances.

Also, we must understand the words, “a little while.” repeated 7 times.

v. 16 – “In a little while….”
They were worried and frustrated because they didn’t understand the true meaning of “a little while”

Double meaning – at that time, Jesus was talking about his soon coming event, death and resurrection. When he died on the cross, during his burial, they could not see Him, but after a little while, they saw Him in his resurrected body.

The second meaning is FROM returning to Father God UNTIL his Second Coming, we cannot see him. So, this period (now) is “a little while” before God.

When Jesus comes back “soon” we will see him forever.

2 Peter 3:8 “With God even 1,000 years are like a day, and a day is like 1,000 years.”

In human history, no matter how long it is, ANY and EVERY period is “a little while.” (Imagine your history textbooks)

James 4:14 “What is your life, you are a mist, a fog that appears for a little while and then disappears.”

What is the longest period of human history?
From Creation to Jesus’ Second Coming.
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity.

Rev. “the first earth and heaven will disappear, and a new heaven and new earth will appear”
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity. 

Forever is kind of a long time.

Remember that the best is coming soon. 
If we remember that, we can be joyful under every circumstance.

#2 v. 23-28 Promise
“Ask in my name”
How beautiful this promise given to us.
It is a promise of prayer – ask “in my name”

The central theme here is prayer.

As his cross is coming nearer and nearer, he emphasizes the necessity and blessing of prayer.

Originally, John 14, 15, 16 was a single sermon – Jesus repeats 7 times “in my name”
John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask for anything in my name.”
John 14:26 “HS whom the Father will send in my name will teach and remind you of all I’ve said.”
John 15:16 “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name”
John 16:23 “In that day (age of Holy Spirit – now – we are absolutely free to approach God at anytime in the name of Jesus), you will no longer ask me anything, …in my name. 24 Until now, you have not asked…in my name…26 In that day, you will ask in my name…”

7 times “in my name”
Prayer is one of the most wonderful promises and great privileges we can have.
1 Corinthians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

Is this “pray continually” thing a burden? or a privilege? 
This means that I’m ALWAYS ready to listen to your voice to bless you, to walk with you, to help you (God says).

Parents love their children’s voices – if they talk for 3 hours, it’s great! But if they talk for 24-hours a day all day, every day….can you keep listening?…. “You said that before…Go to bed! Stop!”
Our God is never tired, never bored of our voices. 

This is a HUGE blessing, right, privilege.

Story:
Once, there was a dispute (debate) between Catholic Priests and the born-again Church on this matter.
Catholics argued, “this is a difficult job, we need many complicated processes – Jesus’ name PLUS Mary’s interceding PLUS saint’s interceding PLUS my good work” (the more help the better)
Pastor, “no, Jesus name is MORE than enough to approach God.”

Through the name of Jesus we have gained access to God’s grace.
Acts 4:12 “ There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved,…”

Priest interrupted – “Yes, Bible says this, but reality says… ‘When we want to meet a human President – like Obama, Lee MyungBak – we need many processes, gates, requirements, security, permission, appointment, wait’ …Imagine if a HUMAN President is so difficult to meet, how much more difficult to meet is GOD?”

Pastor, “Yes, humans are difficult, but, how about the CHILDREN of that President? I’m a child of God, how about you? I can walk into his office for no good reason whatsoever, just to say ‘Hi’ or ask for a candy.”

God has given each of us the right to become children of God (Romans?)

One of the main ministries of the Holy Spirit is to remind us that “you are a child of God” no matter how your (face) faith looks (ugly, or beautiful) – we are STILL children of God – that’s why we can always, anytime, approach God about anything – in the name of Jesus.

This is one of the greatest blessing we could receive. Please, enjoy it without measure.

#3 v. 29-33 Our Position to Proclaim
“You believe at last!”
“I have overcome the world!” (my favorite)

Through this passage, we can see it is possible to have faith, understanding, but fail to the Lord.

Unless we apply our faith, apply our understanding, we will fail when the testing comes.

Our Lord warned Peter that he would deny him three times – it happened.
Here, he warns that all the disciples would forsake him and leave him all alone – it will happen.

Even though I’m alone, the Father is with me.

Yet, ONE time, Jesus felt the absence of the Father – when God turned his back on his Son on the cross.

But Matthew – last verse “Surely I’m with you to the end of the age.”
Hebrews “never will I leave you, never forsake you, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”

But, when he became sin for us – in our place, God turned from him. He became alone so that we would never be alone. He became forsaken so we would never be forsaken.

Is there a time that you feel God is far? You are far from him.

Is there a time that you feel God is doing nothing? Then, you are doing nothing for him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In Jesus Christ, there is peace, but in this world there is trouble and tribulation.

In heaven, there is only joy.
In hell, only tribulation.
On this earth, joy and trouble go together.
Do you have peace or do you have trouble?

If you are a really true Christian, the correct answer is “both.” Jesus told us we would have trouble.

Many people think (incorrectly) that peace is the absence of trouble. But if you think that, then you will have no opportunity to have peace.

Everyone has trouble because we are in this world. Unbelievers have no peace because they are not in Christ. We have peace because we are in Christ. But, we still have trouble.

Experiencing peace WITH trouble is the power of the true Christian faith.

Which overcomes which?

Are you overcome? Or overcoming? Overcomer?

We have trouble in this world.
We have peace in Christ.

This world is not in me.
Christ is in me.

So, peace can OVERCOME the trouble – ANY trouble. We are of Christ Jesus, we are not of this world.

1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” This is the victory of our faith.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!!!”

May God bless us with his Word.
Let’s pray.

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