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  • Apr 21 / 2013
  • Comments Off on A Wise Man Eternally is the One Who Worships the King Christ with His Best Offering (Matthew 2:1-23)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Wise Man Eternally is the One Who Worships the King Christ with His Best Offering (Matthew 2:1-23)

04.21

04.21.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[d]

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.


Matthew is the Book of the King.

Chp 1 = genealogy, how he was conceived and born. This is the virgin birth – he is fully God and fully man = born of our bones and flesh, but perfectly sinless, no original sin nature. 

The doctrine of the virgin birth is so important, an undeniable truth – it is taught in the Bible and we believe the inspiration of the Scriptures. It is unchangeable truth – this doctrine stands with the teaching of the Scriptures, it doesn’t change. 

Virgin birth is necessary in the plan of salvation. Salvation of even one soul (without the virgin birth) is utterly impossible. Our life/birth is also a kind of mystery. Who can explain how a tree gives birth/life to its seed? 

If we can understand something of God, it’ll help to believe in God. Imagine if we could contain all of God in our limited brains, it would mean he was a limited being. But he isn’t, he’s limitless. 

  • This truth is also unconditional. It should be accepted whether or not we understand. Truth is truth, fact is fact.
  • This is unmistakeable truth – we meet it every year at Christmas.
  • This is useful truth. Almighty God (Emmanuel) has become a man to be with us (with you). Almighty God without sin is always available to save us, to protect us, to keep us.

Chp 2 – More explanation of his birth (our King)

Matthew is the bridge between OT and NT (the Promised Messiah). That’s why in the book of Matthew, we see many quotations from the OT. (Here there are 4). This means that EVERY event in the birth/life of Christ happened to fulfill the OT prophecies.

#1: v.6 – He was born in Bethlehem 

How he was born (virgin) was prophesied

Where he was born was prophesied also. (Micah 5:2) Mi-Ka (Korean)

“…whose origins are from of old, from ancient times…”

The time is during the human kind Herod. When he heard of the baby king, he was furious and tried to kill him. In the NT, there are actually many Herods.

  1. John the Baptist’s Herod – imprisoned him, killed him.
  2. Jame’s Herod – put him and Peter in prison – killed by an angel.
  3. Paul’s Herod – heard Paul’s testimony in Acts.
  4. THIS is the original Herod – the founder of Herod’s royal family – he built the temple in Jerusalem to buy the house of the Jews – he was half Jew (Jacob) and half Edomite (Esau). He was ALWAYS suspicious. He killed his wife and her mother. He killed his eldest son and other two sons. There was a saying “It’s safer to be Herod’s dog than his son.” (historically) 

Now, he hears about a baby king, so not surprisingly, he was furious. 

The Magi came from the East. They were the group of scholars who studied the sky. God gave them a miraculous star, so they traveled to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to visit the king. We do not know actually how many Magi came – there are three gifts, so we usually assume three. But, their visit was enough to trouble the WHOLE city of Jerusalem. Then, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). 

Bethlehem was a small town, south of Jerusalem. It had a long history. Jacob had buried Rachel there. Ruth lived there when she married Boaz. The meaning of Bethlehem = The House of Bread. This reminds us of Jesus’ announcement: “I am the Bread of Life.”

#2: v. 15

“Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1)

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod heard of the baby king, he sent the Magi and said, “please let me know where he is so I can worship him.” (really wanted to kill him). 

So, an angel told Joseph to flee to Egypt until Herod’s death. Afterward, they returned.

#3: v. 17-18 (Jeremiah 31:15)

After the Magi worshiped him, they were also instructed in a dream not to go back to Herod – so they went back to their country by another way. When Herod heard this, he gave orders to kill ALL the babies in Bethlehem and the surrounding area, 2 years old and younger. Infanticide = ONE baby is too many.

This was done to fulfill the prophecy in the OT.

#4: v. 23 

Bethlehem -> Egypt -> Israel -> Nazareth 

Jesus moved many times as a baby.

They returned to Israel, but when Joseph heard of Herod’s son (Archelaus – a killer) – he went to Galilee and Nazareth (told to go by an angel).

Actually “he will be called a Nazarene” and even the word “Nazareth” cannot be found in the OT. So, we cannot really know clearly what Matthew meant by this prophecy. 

Maybe by the leading of the Holy Spirit, Matthew had a connection between Jesus and the Hebrew word “nazar” = “a shoot” 

Isaiah says, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse and he will bear much fruit.”

From this story of Jesus’ birth, there are 3 reactions to Jesus’ coming. These same reactions happened 2,000 years ago and are STILL happening today.

#1: Herod… do you want to belong here? 

Hatred and hostility. Afraid that this baby would interfere with his life, position, power, money, influence. So, he wanted to kill, destroy, eliminate him. 

Still today, there are those who would gladly rid the world of Jesus. Why? Because they just want to do whatever they want – without the “interference” of Jesus. The man who wants to do whatever he wants has no use for Jesus.

The Christian is one who has STOPPED doing what he wants and started doing what Jesus wants.

#2: Teachers of the Law and the Scribes.

They were so interested in their own legal, religious discussions and traditions, Jesus’ coming made no difference to them.

Still today, there are so many people who are so interested in their own hobbies, businesses, concerns, that they don’t even care about Jesus.

Jeremiah asks, “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

#3: Magi – Wise men

Adoring worship to Jesus. They traveled a very long distance (we don’t know how long). The WHOLE purpose of their journey was to worship Jesus. They saw many great men and women – even kings. But they only worshiped Jesus – no others. 

In a sense our lives can be said as a journey. How do you feel your journey in this world is going? Long, or short? If you are wise – if you WANT to be wise, wise ETERNALLY, please make the worship of Jesus Christ the purpose of ALL purposes in this journey.

Yes, we can have many purposes – purpose in our degrees, families, businesses, careers. But the overlying purpose of all these purposes should be worship of Jesus.

For our worship to be true worship, there must be offering, gift, present.

OT: God says, “You should never appear before the Lord empty-handed.” These three wise men brought three offerings.

  1. Gold
  2. Incense, Frankincense 
  3. Myrrh

These are meaningful to explain the character of Jesus and what he has done

  1. Gold = king – no one approached a king without gold – the king of metals. He was a man born to be king – not by force, but love – not from a throne, but the cross.
  2. Incense, Frankincense = priest – sweet smell of the incense was used in the temple worship and sacrifices. The function of the priest was to make the way for man to God (mediator) “pontiface” = bridge builder – building a bridge between God and man. Main ministry of priest was to make a way between man and God. ALL humans have tried to find a way between man and God. But, Jesus didn’t need to find one, he IS THE One.
  3. Myrrh = death and burial. It was used to embalm the body of the dead. He came to die. He came to live and to die for us. His gifts are for us – his life and his death 

Jesus = king, priest (also prophet), sacrifice

The real gift = giving to Jesus Christ = it is the best, wisest investment for eternity.

How and for what do you spend your life, your values, your energy, and your money?

If you are wise eternally, give your best (and first fruits) to Jesus.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 07 / 2013
  • Comments Off on How Did the Birth of Jesus Christ Come About? (Matthew 1:18-25)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

How Did the Birth of Jesus Christ Come About? (Matthew 1:18-25)

04.07

04.07.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last time, we saw the genealogy of Jesus – the son of David, son of Abraham. His genealogy goes like this Abraham – Isaac – Jacob – Judah… “begot” being the keyword. In this story, mother did not begot sons, but father. 

The bottom line is different in the case of Jesus – it does not say “Joseph begot Jesus” – it says, “Joseph, the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus.”

In the history of the world, only two men had no human fathers – Adam and Jesus. In the future, there are no more like that. In the future, if a girl becomes pregnant and says, “Oh, it’s the Holy Spirit!” Don’t believe her. One is enough.

v. 18-19

If you see carefully, verse 18 says “Mary was pledged” = engaged, not yet married. Verse 19 says, “Joseph planned to divorce her” – they were already called husband and wife. 

What was the process for marriage in Judaism at that time? 3 steps:

  1. Engagement stage (made while the couple was young – only children – by their parents or professional match maker – regardless of the couple’s choice – they didn’t even see each other) In Korea, even up to the previous generation, they did this as well. 
  2. Betrothal (ratification – legal approval of engagement – this stage lasted for one year. During this period, they didn’t live together, lived separately in body. During this time, they should keep their virginity and purity to prepare to be husband and wife – but legally they were already called “husband and wife” with legal binding. During this period, if a wife committed adultery, she was to be stoned. If a husband died, the wife would be called a virgin widow.)
  3. Proper Marriage (at the end of the year, live together in one house)

In this story, they were in the second stage when Mary got pregnant. 

Brothers, if you were Joseph, what would you do?

Joseph was a “righteous man” (even though before God, no one is righteous, not even one). But humanly speaking, he was zealous to keep the Law. So, in this way, he should have divorced her – but he was also a gentleman, didn’t want her to be killed – so he was studying quietly, secretly to keep her alive. During this time, an angel appeared to him, and said, “Don’t be afraid to make her your wife. This child is of the Holy Spirit.”

v. 20-21

If you see the book of Luke, an angel – Gabriel – appeared to Mary and said, “You will be with child and will give birth to a son – you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and he will be given the throne of David and will rule over the house of Jacob, and his kingdom will never end.”

Mary said, “How? I’m a virgin.”

The angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”

At that time, Mary responded “I’m a servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.”

Both Joseph and Mary obeyed fully.

Humanly speaking, Joseph was a gentleman. Let us also be gentle men.

All this took place to fulfill the prophecy (Isaiah).

verse 22-23

  • Immanuel “God with us” 
  • El = “God” 

verse 24-25

He had no union with her UNTIL she gave birth. But after that…

If we summarize the whole Old Testament in one sentence: It is the bundle of prophecies concerning the Messiah and his substitutionary death and his victorious reign. 

Since Matthew is the Book of the King, it has many more quotations from the Old Testament than any of the other gospels. 

It has 130 quotations and allusions to the OT.

Another key of Matthew, “King” and “Kingdom of Heaven” – that’s why we should repent. More than 32 times, we can see “The Kingdom of Heaven.” No other book has that.

All the story, all the genealogy:

  • Old Testament = prophecy
  • New Testament = fulfillment

OT – born of woman (not father), through the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, the son of David, through the virgin.

  • Genesis 3:13? – this is a curse from God to the serpent “I will put enmity between you and the woman – you will strike his heel and he will crush your head.” Ancient serpent = Satan. Woman’s offspring = Jesus – Galatians 4:14 “When the time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman.”
  • Genesis 18 – to Abraham – “through your offspring, all nations on Earth will be blessed.” – fulfilled through Jesus.
  • Genesis 44? – “The scepter will never depart from Judah”
  • 2 Samuel – to David “I will establish your kingdom forever and ever.” – fulfilled in Jesus
  • “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son.” Isaiah 7:14 – almost the same sentence.
  • “The Lord himself will give a sign – the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel.”
  • Isaiah 9:6 “To us a child is born, a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders (kingship) – and he shall be called Wonderful Counsel, Everlasting Father, Mighty God, King of Peace.”

The name (word) Jesus = savior – comes from Joshua. Jesus = Greek, Joshua = Hebrew. The name Joshua = “God’s salvation”

  • Joshua = Jesus = Jehovah is my salvation
  • Christ (Greek) = Messiah (Hebrew)
  • Jesus = human name
  • Christ = official title
  • Immanuel = describes his character 

He was not a phantom, he was fully man – physically touchable. He was also fully God – sinless, born of a virgin, without original sin – because he wasn’t born of a father.

So, what is the purpose of the virgin birth? Why through the virgin?

5 purposes for this:

#1: To fulfill God’s promise – to keep his promise.

God is not a man, he is God, so he is very faithful in keeping his promises. 

#2: To reveal God

Can you see God? You can in Jesus. We cannot see God – but God can show himself to us. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but he has made him known. God is spirit, but can show something of himself to us through nature, history, conscious, dreams, visions, prophets. But God has shown ALL of himself through Jesus.”

Hebrews 1:1 “ In the past, God spoke to prophets, but in these last days, through Jesus.”

Colossians 2 “In Christ, all the fulness of the Trinity, divinity dwells in Jesus.”

Jesus = God’s final self revelation

#3: To bridge the gap between God and man

Like Matthew, the bridge between OT and NT, Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and man.

1 Timothy 5 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man – Jesus Christ.”

If I want to be a mediator to the Japanese, I can’t do it by speaking Chinese. If I speak English, it also doesn’t work. But, if I speak Japanese fluently, I can be a mediator to them.

Jesus is fully God and fully man, he speaks both languages fluently. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

#4: Through virgin birth to save us from our sins

Think about this: to get forgiveness is very essential – what should you do? From God? Repent. Confess our sins to receive forgiveness from God – it is necessary, essential, absolute to receive forgiveness. 

But remember, confession is not enough.

First, the penalty of sin must be paid – the wages of sin = death. 

So, to be a perfect Savior, he must be God to save us, he must be REAL man to die and pay our penalty, he must be sinless for his sacrifice to be effective. 

Who is there in this world/life like that? Only Jesus.

#5: To show us the example of a sinless, holy life. 

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. You will find rest for your souls.”

Who can say, “I’m gentle, I’m humble, you will find rest”? Jesus, he is holy and sinless.

1 Peter 2 “You are called to follow the example set before you by Jesus.”

Q: Is Jesus your Savior? 

If True, he is our example, model, of what kind of people we should be in this world. 

In the Bible, there are many human writers (40) – all the writers of the Word are PERFECT in their writings (only) but they are NOT perfect in their character. Only Jesus is infallible in his teaching and character.

There are 2 steps:

  1. Non-believer: Believe in Jesus and live.
  2. Believer: Follow Jesus’ example 

For us the most important thing is Jesus’ example. 

In Exodus, when Moses came down from the mountain, his face shown (glowed) – if we are real Christians, we are being transformed into that kind of person more and more as we walk with Jesus and follow his example. 

If you “like” Christ, you should be LIKE Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Matthew is The Book of the King! (Matthew 1:1-17)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Matthew is The Book of the King! (Matthew 1:1-17)

03.24

03.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

There are two lines concerning the coming of the Christ:

  1. He was to come as a savior from sin.
  2. He was to come as a king with a kingdom.

He came as a double role.

We studied John for about 2 years.

  • John emphasizes Jesus as SAVIOR.
  • Matthew emphasizes Jesus as KING.

In Christian’s life, faith and work, mission and life, privilege and responsibility go together.

  • If we have faith – we have fruit.
  • If we are sons of God – we are to live as princes and princesses of God.

Sonship and kingship go together all the time. 

This is the gospel according to Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, a bridge from the OT to the NT. It starts with a family tree.

In the OT, after the Fall, one of the themes was the geneaology of Adam. The NT starts with Jesus (the Second/Last Adam).

The OT gives the history of Adam’s family – that is a sad story – Jesus came to save the generation of Adam. Through the story, from no choice of our own, we were born as Adam’s family – but by our own choice, through faith, we can be born into the family of Christ.

Why is he introduced as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham? Because in the OT there was a covenant with David and Abraham

Genesis 12 – God promised a son and line through Abraham – his own son.

God promised he’d make Abraham into a great nation, all people were to be blessed through him. This covenant is being fulfilled by Jesus Christ – God sent his one and only son, and left his home and came into this dark, dirty world as his mission field. Whoever denies Jesus will be cursed, whoever believes in him will be blessed.

God gives him the name above all names, so that all knees will bow and worship him. So that all peoples on Earth can be blessed by Jesus.

That’s why Jesus is introduced as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham.

This (boring) story still has 3 points – even MORE! (But we’ve only got like 30 minutes):

  1. Look at the names of the women (important)
  2. See the stage of generation divisions
  3. Look at the keywords in this story

#1: The names of the women

(WOAH! women? In the geneaology? Who is the author? Not a typical dude of that generation)

Women were not counted in number at that time (census, when Jesus fed 5,000, they were regarded as property – to use as a man wanted)

So, in a Jewish man’s prayer, he used to say, “Thanks God that I’m not a Gentile, a slave, nor a woman!” Wow!

So this is shocking, exciting, surprising.

These must have been amazingly GREAT women, right?

Nope…

5 women:

  1. Tamar – dressed like a prostitute to get her father-in-law to get her pregnant – her husband was killed, and her father-in-law Judah said, just wait a bit until my son is older, but he didn’t do his duty, so she lured him in to make a baby with her.
  2. Rahab – prostitute
  3. Ruth – Gentile woman – according to Deut 3:23? No Moabites, no Amonites could enter into the assembly of the Lord, yet here she is.
  4. Bathsheba – King David raped her, and killed her husband in battle, then he took her as his wife, and his first son was killed by God in punishment – but he eventually got Solomon from her
  5. Mary – was a virgin, but when she was found with child…people talk

So, this is a very shocking geneaology. Nobody can judge these women – if you judge them, you also will be judged.

Jesus came to destroy all barriers

Galatians 3:28? Neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, but all are one in Christ – he himself is our peace, he has destroyed and broken down the walls of hostility between all men (and women).

There is no sinner who cannot be forgiven in Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: That is Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom, I’m the worst (the chief).”

“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John?)

#2: The stage of generation divisions.

verse 17:

  • 14 generations Abraham -> David
  • 14 generations David -> Exile to Babylon
  • 14 generations Exile -> Jesus

Each stage has 14 generations.

It is very good for us to memorize this thing.

Sometimes, the number 7 = perfect in the Bible – so here 14 = double perfect.

Now here, these divisions show us something symbolic.

  1. Stage 1: Up to David. He unified Israel into a nation and made them a power in this world – he was one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history.
  2. Stage 2: The Great Depression – Destruction, Ruin, Tragedy – they lost EVERYTHING
  3. Stage 3: Renewal in Jesus

They are liberated and rescued from their slavery. He turns their mourning into dancing, again..

This shows the spiritual reality of man’s world.

  1. Stage 1: Man is created with greatness! With power, with blessing, in God’s own image. Fill the Earth, subdue it, be fruitful and multiply. Man was given dominion over ALL things and designed for fellowship with God. God’s dream for man was a dream of greatness. If man were a servant of God at that time, God would be king over all Creation. If man loved him, feared him, worshiped him, then ALL Creation would follow along.
  2. Stage 2: Man became a slave of sin rather than a  servant of God. So, man lost his hope, fellowship, life, blessing from God.
  3. Stage 3: Man can regain his greatness through Jesus Christ. God didn’t allow man to be destroyed by his foolishness. That’s why God sent his one and only Son to restore our communion and blessing and relationship with God.

This is our spiritual story with God.

#3: Keyword (Father of)

….sooooo many (39 times – and actually, coincidentally there are 39 books of the OT).

King James says, “Abraham begot Isaac”

begot = 39 times 

The King James version is better to be close to the original Greek.

Begot = pregnant and produce new life.

If we see the genealogy in Genesis 5, we see, “his son lived XXX years and then he DIED.” (Keyword = DIED)

In the genealogy of Jesus (BEGOT).

What does this mean spiritually? 

This is why the Bible says, “In Adam, all die and in Christ, all can be alive.”

  • Adam became a living being from the dust of the Earth, but lost his life through sin.
  • Jesus came as a life-giving spirit to undo what Adam had done.

In our first birth, we automatically belong to Adam. We are dust, sinners, we will die. Adam’s destiny is our destiny – nobody can escape.

That’s why Jesus came to give us new life, eternal life. That’s why we must be born again. To accept Jesus as our life.

One more lesson from “begot”

There are so many people involved:
kings, priests, shepherds, carpenters, beggars, prostitutes – but there is only one common thing that is essential and necessary to be involved in this genealogy of Jesus.

Who could be involved in this?

Only those who “begot” new life.

Matthew 25 “This gospel will be preached to ALL nations and THEN the end will come” (so don’t get your hopes up earlier)

Revelation 22 “Behold, I’m coming soon.”

King James “Behold, I’m coming quickly!” 3 times repeated.

In heaven, another genealogy of the Second Coming of Jesus is being written, not on paper, but in God’s heart.

Whose name can be written in the genealogy of the Second Coming of Christ? 

Pastor? Deacon? Elder? Brother? Sister? Christian? Korean? Westerner? No, no, no.

Only those who “begot” new eternal life, continually, continually, will be written in this new genealogy of the Second Coming of Christ.

***If we “get” eternal life in our Savior, we MUST “beget” eternal life for Christ in others.

God bless us all.

  • 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

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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.”

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

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

01.13

01.13.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

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

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

Before this, here is a basic question about salvation:

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

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

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

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

The whole purpose of this life is salvation. 

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

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

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

3 times repeated.

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

This is the paradox of salvation.

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

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

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

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

Everything God has IS love and is FROM love. 

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

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

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

#2 – The Power of God (He is Creator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus already paid the price for our salvation. 

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

It’s so very precious.

Why is it free? Because it is priceless.

Example – Isaac

He enjoys food, clothes, house – for free. 

He does not pay Daddy…

Somebody pays for everything for him.

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

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

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

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

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

It is all already paid on the cross.

#4 – Absolute need of Salvation of all Humans

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

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

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23

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

All human beings need salvation, absolutely.

No one can escape the needs.

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

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

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

At that time, we were dead.

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

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

At that time, we were totally powerless. 

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

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

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

There are many excuses…

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

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

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

All excuses.

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

Romans 1:18,19,20

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

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

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

God made salvation so easy and free.

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

Let us call “Jesus is my Lord”

Toward the outside, for somebody to hear.

Also do you believe in your heart?

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

We can see again 4-5 times “how”

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

This is the paradox of salvation.

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

We are saved so easily, so freely.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the chain of salvation. 

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

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

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

This is a sign that you are truly saved. 

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

01.06

01.06.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

And from this, God spoke these words.

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

God has a plan for you!

The Bible illustrates this.

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

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

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

God has plans for you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2: Only God knows what is the best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4: We want to do God’s work?

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

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

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

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

There are prerequisites.

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

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

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

#2: Surrender, Submission

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

#3: Separation

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

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

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

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

Separation WITH holiness is imperative.

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

#4: Sincerity

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

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

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

Especially this year, may God bless all of us.

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

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

2013 AICF Prayers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Unity and Growth of AICF is very important

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

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

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

2. 200+ worship together

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

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

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

The original plan/blessing of God.

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

We should increase in quality and also number.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shall we pray?

Communion

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

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

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

12.23

Bulletin_12.23.2012

Sermon Notes

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

Do you have peace now?

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

Secular greetings ask questions with uncertainty.

Christian greeting is a blessing, proclaiming with certainty.

“Peace to you!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we become peace makers in this world?

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

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

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

Glory to God!
Peace to you and us!

God bless you in Jesus name.

Let’s pray.

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