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

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

12.9

Bulletin_12.09.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

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

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

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

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

First three stages were before the Jewish leaders.

Second three stages were before the Gentile political leaders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Points why it had to be crucifixion

#1 – Accuracy of long-standing prophecies 

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

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

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

John 3:14

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

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

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

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

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

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

He made 4 attempts in dealing with Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Jesus king to you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11.11

Bulletin_11.11.2012

Sermon Notes

 <Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

He lived 33 years = 7,100 weeks +

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at it briefly:

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

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

Next, he asked them to pray for him.

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

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

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

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

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

Then, these events from John 18.

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

#1 – Jesus’ courage – Passover = full moon 

So the night was almost like daytime.

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

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

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

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

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

#2 – Jesus’ authority

Can you picture this? Imagine?

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

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

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

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

Jesus was alone, unarmed, tired, exhausted.

Yet several hundred soldiers came to arrest him.

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

When Jesus said, “I am he.”

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

How is it possible?

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

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

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

#3 – Jesus’ willing choice to die.

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

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

Outwardly, they arrested him.

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

In fact, Jesus HELPED them arrest him.

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

Jesus arrested them by being arrested.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you experience this love?

#5 – Jesus’ obedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human history began in a garden.

The first sin of man was committed in that garden.

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

 10.28

Bulletin_10.28.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore, we ABSOLUTELY need Jesus’ prayer support.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessing and privilege and responsibility ALWAYS go together.

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

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

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

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

There is only one answer: mission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COME
GO

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

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

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

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

To peace by preaching and praying.

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

10.17-jesus-praying-4

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

No matter what happens after this, Jesus is a “winner” not a “loser.” This prayer is the greatest prayer ever prayed, the greatest prayer in the Bible, the “Holy of Holies” in the Bible. So, we must enter it with thankfulness, praise, humility.
Continue Reading

  • Sep 30 / 2012
  • Comments Off on In Christ Jesus VS. In This World (John 16:16-33)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

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

9.30

Bulletin_09.30.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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

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

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

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

3 Lessons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forever is kind of a long time.

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

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

The central theme here is prayer.

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

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

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

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

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

This is a HUGE blessing, right, privilege.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which overcomes which?

Are you overcome? Or overcoming? Overcomer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sep 16 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)

9.16

Bulletin_09.16.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

John 15 = Jesus’ last teaching
John 16 = Jesus’ last sermon
John 17 = Jesus’ last prayer
John 18 = Arrested
John 19 = Crucified
John 20 = Resurrection
John 21 = Appearances

Even on the cross, Jesus asked God to “forgive them.”
How do you want to finish your earthly life with a prayer?

Last time, Jesus reminded them that the world would hate and persecute them because they (you) are not of this world.
Hating can be persecuting.
Persecuting can be killing.

From Jesus time up to now, there has been persecution of the children of God even in the name of God – they think they know God even when they don’t know God.

A clear example = Saul of Tarsus = he was a champion in persecuting God’s children. He thought that he was doing that for God, to glorify God, but after his sudden conversion on the way to Damascus, once again he became a champion for BEING persecuted for Christ.

He confessed, “I was once a blasphemer, violent man – I acted that way in unbelief.”

Jesus mentioned also his departure, and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ substitute on earth for his continuing ministry for the salvation of the whole earth.

At that time, the disciples were so sorrowful because they thought that their hope would soon be gone – their Hope would depart.

But they didn’t understand that it would be a great blessing to all mankind. If Jesus’ did not depart, he would not be able to completely fulfill ALL prophecies about him, including his death (Isaiah 53), his resurrection (Psalms), his seating at the right hand of God, and his Second Coming.

If he didn’t depart, he also couldn’t send the Holy Spirit. This Age now is called the Church Age, the Age of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time of the HS.

v.8-15 = The ministry of the HS.
Since we are living in the Age of the HS, we must be careful to understand what the HS IS DOING through you and me and the church today.

There are many ministries of the HS today, but in these verses, the keyword is “convict”
This is one of the main ministries of the HS. At that time, convict = legal (court) term, which means, to bring to light, convince, reprove, announce, proclaim the verdict.

At times this world may think that they are judging the church, but actually it is the church that is passing judgment on the world. Believers are witnesses in this court. The HS is the prosecuting attorney. The lost world are criminals.
However, the purpose of this trial is not to condemn, but to save.

3 Areas in which the HS convicts:

v.9,11,
#1 v.9 = sin
HS convicts in regard to sin. Which sin is the greatest sin? Actually the sin in Greek is hamatia = “missing the target”
In shooting, there is only ONE target.
Sin means, literally missing ONE target point.
For sin to be sin, there must be community, society. There must be mutual relationship, at least two parts – one part to judge, the other to be judged. Subject and Object.

Government vs. Civilian
To the govt, what is the greatest sin against govt? Rebellion, coup, denial of the govt.

Parents vs. Children
Which is the greatest sin from parents against children? Which is the greatest sin from children against parents?
I’m always father to my son – I do not want my son to sin, I want him to be perfect, if possible – but I’m ready to ALWAYS receive him as my son, even if he has grievous sin.

But, if he does not recognize me as his father, if he denies me as his father, does not believe me as father, says, “You are NOT my father!”

At that time, the relationship father and son is broken.

Similarly, God is our maker, our father, our creator. To God, the greatest sin is not to recognize him, not to believe in Jesus Christ, the image of God, the true God.

Do you agree?

If you agree from your hearts, the biggest sin is not to believe in Jesus Christ, then you are convicted and you are spiritual.
But, if you do not agree in your heart, “no, no there are greater sins than that” then you are not convicted by the HS and you are a natural person.

#2 v.10 = righteousness
Who’s righteousness? Jesus’!
When Jesus was here on this earth, he was often misunderstood, and accused by man as a law-breaker, blasphemer, demon.
But today the HS reveals the Savior of the World and glorifies Jesus in this way.

At the same time, the HS reveals Jesus as Savior in the lives of believers.

We know this world cannot receive, cannot see the HS. But this world CAN see the result of what the HS is doing in us, through us.
The world CAN see the work of the HS through the lives of dedicated believers.

We must be right, righteous enough to have a right relationship with God. We must be good to have a good relationship with a good God. We must be holy, we must be right, to have this kind of relationship with God because he is righteous all the time. 
However, we can NEVER reach the standard of God’s righteousness. Romans 3 “No one will be declared righteous by good works. But a new righteousness from God – by which the Law and Prophets testify, has been made known and comes through belief in Jesus Christ.”

Before his earthly ministry, Jesus came to John to be baptized – John said, “no, no let me be baptized by you.” But Jesus said, “no, no, do this for me to fulfill all righteousness.”

After returning to the Father, through his death, suffering, resurrection, teaching, preaching, healing, proves he IS righteousness, the righteousness of God, OUR righteousness.

So the HS empowers us to proclaim that he is the only way to God, and the HS makes us righteous before God.

#3 v.11 = judgment
The HS is convicting, the judgment of the prince of this world (Satan).
Genesis 3:15 is the first curse in the Bible – cursing the serpent – emnity between your offspring and hers (the woman) and he will crush your head and you will strike his heal.

In this verse, the offspring of woman = Jesus Christ Messiah. 
“When the time had come fully, God sent his Son, born of a woman”
serpent = Satan (Revelation)
“That ancient dragon was cast down who leads the whole world astray”

Jesus crushed his head on the cross. That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished.” GAME OVER

Finally (Revelation), Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, Satan and his followers will be troubled and tormented day and night forever and ever.

Have you ever crushed the head of a serpent?
What happens?
At the same time, the body and tail continue to flip and shake, writhe and wriggle. It looks dangerous, scary, but it is DEAD.
Likewise, the activity of Satan from the cross until the Second Coming is like this!
Satan knows his time is very short!

Satan’s ministry = 2 parts
1. Holding the lost to remain the lost
2. Attacking God’s children to NOT preach the word to the lost.

2 Cor. 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they cannot see the glory of God in Jesus Christ.”

Satan’s purpose = this
Jesus’ purpose = to destroy the works of Satan (1 John)
Therefore, OUR own purpose to remain in this world for a short time is to destroy the work of Satan.

So, we must be convicted, convinced, by the HS in us, the best way to experience the best, most blessed life = to live a life of witnessing to the lost.

Very serious verse…
Witnessing is a great privilege, but also a great responsibility.

Ezekiel 3:17-19
“Son of Man, I’ve made you a watchman, so hear the word I speak and heed me. When I say, ‘you will surely die’ and you do not warn him, and he dies, I will hold you accountable for his sin. But if you warn him and he does not turn from his sin and he dies, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.”

If you do not warn your neighbor for his sin – and he goes to hell for his sin, YOU are responsible for his sin.

But if you warn him, and he goes to hell for his sin, you are NOT responsible.

Very serious verse = warn the lost of their sin

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

v.12-15
I have MUCH to say.

Listen carefully.
Jesus = The Truth
The Word of God = The Truth
The HS = the Spirit of Truth
The HS works, ministers for Christ through the Word of God ALL THE TIME.
The HS does not speak to the lost world directly. But he DOES speak to US through the Word, so that WE can speak to the world.

In Chapter 2, Acts, after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, and the HS came down to Jerusalem, and so many people from other countries gathered together who needed salvation. But the HS did not speak directly. The HS empowered the previously timid Peter to preach the Word, and the HS convicted them and made something wonderful happen among them.

The HS witnesses for Christ through the Word of God from your (my) mouth to the lost world.

The HS is very active in saving the lost world, but if we keep silent, if we do not open our mouths to speak the gospel, then the HS has NOTHING to do with us in saving the lost world.

Please do not make the HS in you jobless.
Make the HS active through your mouth in your witness to the lost world!

God bless us, and especially our mouths!

As long as we are in this world, we have mouths, not only to eat (second priority), but also to preach (first priority).

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 02 / 2012
  • Comments Off on You Also Must Testify (John 15:18-27)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Also Must Testify (John 15:18-27)

9.2

Bulletin_09.02.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last time, we knew that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, God is the gardener, and Jesus is our best friend.

In the previous part of this chapter, Jesus has talked about love. (v.12 – My command is “love each other as I have loved you” v.17 – “Love each other” – Love is the greatest command).

Today, Jesus is talking about hatred – the opposite of love.

Do you like hatred?

In this passage, the word “hate” is found 7 times, and “persecute” is found 2 times.

v. 18 – the world hates you? hated me first.
v. 19 – I have chosen you, so it hates you
v. 23 – hate me? Then you hate my Father
v. 25 – why? no reason. “To fulfill the scriptures”

In John, many times we see the word “world” – Greek cosmo

It is used in 3 different ways:
1. The creation, created things, (John 1:10)
2. Humanity, world of humans (John 3:16)
3. Worldly pattern, earthly system, culture, standard, organizations, apart from God, opposed to God, run by Satan the (small letter) god of this age.

1 John 2
Friendship with the world = hatred to this world
Do not love the world, or anything in this world. Everything in this world, cravings, lusts, boasting comes from the world, NOT God – this world and desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lasts forever.

Romans 12:1 – Don’t conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you can test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Remember: This world HATES us.
The more we love the objects (Jesus) we should love, the more hated we are.
The less we love the objects we should love, the more accepted by the world we are.

Matthew – to us, all believers, all men will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.

2 Timothy – anyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted.

If Black/White = World/Church
There are two great entities – there is no fellowship between them. A man is either of the world, or of Christ.

Perhaps this is why some Christians are hesitant to act like Christians – because they are afraid of being hated, persecuted.

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

v. 25 – “they hated me without reason”

Jesus did nothing wrong, but from the beginning, he was hated, even as a BABY – he was hated – King Herod hated him and tried to kill him – so he escaped to Egypt until Herod died.

He was hated as he grew, by his own brothers, the crowds he fed and healed, the religious leaders.

On this earth, totally, Jesus was HATED for no reason – for nothing.

Think, imagine, Jesus is the Lord, our Savior, our King, our Best Friend, the Vine, the Head – we are the extension of Jesus Christ (the branches, the body) – therefore, we must be treated the same way by the same people.

Imagine, someone says, “I love your head, but I hate your body. I love your left hand, but I hate your right hand.”
Unthinkable, no?

If he is the vine and we are the branches, then we must be treated in the same way by the same people. So, if we confess Jesus and we are embraced openly by this world, we must reexamine our lifestyles and attitudes.

If we are accepted and loved by this world, we are making cowardly compromises, bad negotiations with this world.

May God bless all of us.
We can do it, because the Holy Spirit is in us, enabling us, encouraging us, empowering us, to withstand the power and the persecution of this world.

v. 26 – When the Counselor comes, he will testify about me (the Spirit of Truth)

Jesus also mentioned the HS in chp 14:26
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In chp 14:26, Jesus mentioned HS
In chp 15:26, Jesus mentioned HS again

14:26 – Father God will send the HS
15:26 – I will send the HS

In church history, there was a time when they debated about “who sent the HS?”
One group said “God the Father”
One group said “Jesus the Son”
Who is right? BOTH are right. There is no contradiction, they compliment each other.
Through these two verses, we can see that Father and Son God sent the third person of the Trinity, HS God. HS is a person, has a mind, will.

The HS testifies with us that we are God’s children, he intercedes for the saints in accordance with the will of God, helps us in our weakness – many times we don’t know what we pray for, but the HS intercedes with groans we cannot express (Abba Prayer like this)

We can stand and withstand the middle of the hatred and persecution of this world because of the ministries of the HS.

Still now, the HS testifies about Jesus Christ, so the first ministry of the HS is testifying about Jesus in us.

The doctrine of the Trinity God is the mystery of mysteries: “He who would try to understand fully the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his mind, but he who would deny the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his soul.”

Even though we don’t understand fully the doctrine of the HS and Trinity, we can get many principles.

HS enables eternal love – love needs an object – love is flowing in the persons of the Trinity God – love was from everlasting to everlasting – He is teaching us, leading us, guiding us to put his word into practice. 
If he testifies for us, he also enables us to testify. (Acts 1:8 – When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and by my witnesses to all the ends of the earth.)

v. 27 – As the HS testifies about Jesus, so we must also testify. Why? “Because you have been with me from the beginning.”

How long have you been with Jesus as your Lord?
Usually we say, “10 years, 20 years”
Sometimes, “When I was 5 years old, etc”
If we are really with God, saved by God, ALL of us have been with Jesus from the beginning – “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear much fruit” – “I have chosen you out of the world” – Eph 5:1? – “God chose us from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight – predestined us to be adopted as his sons in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

So, no matter how you became Christian, or when, you became Christians BEFORE the Creation of the World in God’s mind, redemptive project.

So, we can testify.

In closing – 3 points:
1. Our witness of Christ comes from a LONG fellowship with Christ, because we have been with him for a LONG time. A witness says, “Oh, this is true, I know this.”
Without personal experience, being a witness is wrong. Also, WITH personal experience, NOT to be a witness is wrong – a sin, cowardly conduct – if we hesitate to witness, he will be ashamed of us.

2. Our witness comes from inner conviction, power. If we REALLY believe in Hell/Kingdom – why can we not talk about that? If we REALLY believe Jesus is our Lord, why can we not say that to those who are controlled by Satan? If we REALLY believe that Jesus is “the Answer to the Question” – every question, why can we not say that to others?

3. A witness is prepared to say the truth. Likewise, we WANT others to know the truth – it is our privilege and holy duty to be a witness for Christ in this evil world.

We cannot be a witness without:
1. relationship, personal experience
2. inner conviction
3. outward testimony, expression

Every single Christian IS already a witness for Christ. Question is: are you a good witness or bad witness? Are you cowardly, fearful, or convicted and passionate?

That is why we stay in this world only a short time, even though our citizenship is in heaven.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 19 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Union and Communion with Christ (John 15:1-17)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Union and Communion with Christ (John 15:1-17)

8.19

Bulletin_08.19.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Book of John is simple in sentences, vocabulary, and grammar. But, very profound in meaning, truth, practice.

Today’s story is like that.

2 Times Jesus repeats, “I Am the Vine.”

These are the 10th and last statements of Jesus’ “I AM” statements in the book of John.

(bread of life, resurrection, life, way, truth, etc).
Now, “I AM the vine.”
We are his branches and friends (v 1-11)
We are his branches (1-11)
We are his friends (12-17)

Branches and friends reveal our union and communion with Christ.
We have the privilege of sharing his life, but the responsibility of remaining in him.
We have the privilege of knowing his will, but the responsibility of obeying.

“I am a branch.”
“Jesus is my vine.”

We can see 4 elements (helpful) for us to get many blessings from his teaching.
1. The vine
2. The branches
3. The gardener
4. The fruit

#1 The Vine
“I AM the vine.” (v 1,5)
In the Bible, there are 3 vines. Past, future, present vines.
Past = the nation of Israel (OT – Psalm, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea – Israel is pictured as a vine – Hosea 10:1 – Israel was a spreading vine – God transplanted them into Canaan, and gave them all kinds of blessings – but, they produced bad fruit, wild grapes, not righteousness but wickedness – so God had to deal with the past vine, and chasten/discipline them – they did not produce a lasting result. Finally, when Jesus came into the vineyard, they cast him out and killed him).

Future vine (Revelation 14:14-20)
Vine of the Earth – the unsaved people – the pagan, Gentile world system, ripening for God’s final wrath and judgment. The believers are the branches in the vine of heaven, but the unsaved people are the branches in the vine of the Earth. So, the unsaved will be cut down, and destroyed finally when Jesus returns. They depend on this world for their sustainance and satisfaction, but we depend on Jesus.)

Present vine – Jesus Christ, v.1 = “I AM the TRUE vine” (all other vines are just copies).

The symbolism of the vine and branches is similar to that of the head and the body. This is our union and communion. – Living relationship with Christ who is our vine, and we belong to him, we can share his life. It is also loving union, so we can enjoy him. It is lasting union so we do not need to fear.

Secondly,
#2 The branches
v.5 What ideas can you get from the statement that you are the branches?
Branches by themselves are powerless, useless, worthless.

Branches are only useful for bearing (fruit) or burning (in the fire). Branches cannot produce their own life, they must draw it from the source, the vine.

The many images of Christ and us in the Bible emphasize this important concept of union and communion with Christ.
Head and body, husband and wife, shepherd and sheep, body and members, bride and bridegroom.

Marriage creates union, but it takes daily love and devotion to maintain communion (true that).

Even though the sheep bring the sheep into the flock (union), the sheep must follow the shepherd to maintain protection (communion).

A member in the body must remain connected to the body, or die – if you cut off your arm, it dies immediately.

Key word: REMAIN (in Christ)
The sooner we discover we are only branches, the better we will relate to our Savior.

As a vine, the key word is REMAIN, ABIDE, cling to, stick to. If separated from the vine, immediately death.

Remain is repeated 11 times (so it’s pretty important) in this passage.

What does it mean to remain? To keep fellowship with Jesus, continually, in our whole lives – believing in Christ as God, accepting him as personal Savior and Lord, doing what he says, continually believing the power of the gospel, remaining in love in the community of believers.

Each of these activities begins at some point in our lives, but long-term practice = “remaining”

Union and communion, relating and remaining, natural and essential to the branches and the vine. But this remaining relationship must be CULTIVATED – not automatic, we must PAY something to keep this relationship. We need worship, prayer, dedication, the Word of God, sacrifice, service, continual witnessing of Christ to the lost. What a joyful experience it is.

Once we’ve begun to cultivate this kind of life, we have no desire to return to the careless life of careless Christians.

#3 The Gardener
Vine dresser, (v 1-2) – “My Father”
Do you bear fruit? He PRUNES those who do, so that they will be even more fruitful. 
He CUTS OFF those who don’t…

Around us today, there are many Christians who pray for more growth, more fruit, but don’t enjoy pruning (pruning also means cutting, cleaning – it can be painful).

The gardener cuts off branches in 3 ways.
1. Cut off the dead parts – may be diseased or contain bugs.
2. Cut off some living parts for better growth.
3. Cut off the WHOLE fruit, to produce a better crop.

If the branches could speak, branches would admit, “pruning is painful!”

The greatest wrath that God could ever bring to a believer would be to just let him alone. If God just let a believer go his own way and didn’t prune or correct him, that is the greatest wrath that God could express.

Sometimes even God comes off the good part – even the better part – so that we may enjoy the BEST.

Gardeners must be specially trained or they could destroy the entire crop. Gardeners know where, when, how much, what angle to cut for the BEST fruit. God is the same. Sometimes he uses the Word to change us, but sometimes he uses painful ways.

If your own son and a stranger do something bad, who do you first correct?
If your own son and a stranger do something wonderful, who do you first encourage?

Hebrews 12:5b – “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves and He punishes everyone he accepts as a son…God is treating you as sons, for what son is not disciplined by his father?…Everyone undergoes discipline, if not you, you are illegitimate children…Our fathers disciplined us for evil as they thought best, but God disciplines us for good…No discipline feels good at the time, but produces a harvest of righteousness and peace…”

Pruning may be painful, but it helps.
We may not enjoy it, but we need it for growth.

Do you want to grow? Produce fruit? Pruning is essential. God bless all of us with his holy pruning, because God loves us.

#4 The Fruit
Key word: REMAIN (11 times)
Key word 2: FRUIT (9 times)

Yes, we know a machine can produce a product, or outcome, but only living organisms can produce more life. Fruit is essential to show that we have life. Good branches bear good fruit, bad bear bad fruit, weak branches bear no fruit, apple branches bear apples, cats bear cats, dogs bear dogs. So, what fruit should we produce?

Producing fruit needs time, cultivation, it does not come overnight. Also, quality and quantity are important.

Also, the branches that bear fruit do not eat their own fruit. Other people eat those fruits. We are producing fruit not to please ourselves, but to please and serve others.

The more we remain in Christ, the more we bear fruit, the more fruit, the more we are pruned, so that the more quality and quantity we produce, so that God is glorified by what we produce.

Finally, Jesus accepts us not only as branches but also as friends. (v 12-17)

Command: Love each other as I have loved you.
Command: Love each other.

We may have many acquaintances in our lives, but how many friends do we have? True friends? Friends should be friendly. Unfriendly friends are a contradiction in terms, but many of us have unfriendly friends around us. 

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Jesus gives his life when we are in need of life. He gives his peace when we are in need of peace. He gives his joy when we are in need of joy. That’s why Jesus is individually, personally, the best friend to each of us.

Ephesians 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

If Jesus is the best friend to each of us, then we each should be best friends among us. There are no secrets, no hidden things among true friends.

“Love each other”
How can we show best love to this world? The best love we can show to the lost is to introduce Jesus, because only in Him, eternal life is found. Love is called the greatest command. Evangelism is the greatest commission.

Finally, we are totally pessimistic in that we can do nothing apart from Christ, the vine.
Finally, we are totally optimistic in that we can do anything through Jesus our Lord, the vine.

May God bless all of us in our union and communion with our vine and our best friend.

  • Jun 17 / 2012
  • Comments Off on If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)

6.17

Bulletin_06.17.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Verse 15 is the KEY verse.

Please memorize this verse.

In the Bible, there are 4 farewell messages:
Deut 31-33 – Moses
Joshua 23-24 – Joshua
Acts 20 – Paul
John 13-17 – Jesus

Jesus style is unique compared to other 3.
Jesus began with the action of washing (chp 13)
Chp 14 – Let not your hearts be troubled.
15 – I am the true vine, you are branches.
16 – I have told all these things to you, so that you may have peace in me. I have overcome this world.
17 – Closed with prayer (himself, disciples, ALL believers in the future – including YOU! Jesus prayed for YOU!)
(14-17 = messages)

Jesus washed 24 feet.
God washed 24 ugly, dirty, stinky feet.

All power and authority are in his hand, but he took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist and poured water into the basin and began to wash their feet.

Can you imagine it?

In Palestine at that time, no paved roads – only dirt, also, very thin sandals. So in the dry season, tons of (yellow?) dust. In the rainy season, tons of mud.

At that time, washing feet = a slave’s job.

Verse 12-15 When he finished
Do you understand? I am Teacher and Lord, I am your Example. No servant is greater than his master.

Jesus is our example. The greatest example!

Is Jesus really, truly your personal Savior. Be honest before God, not before me.

IF he is, then there is no question that he is our example. One of his main purposes in coming into this world was to be our example – our role-model – he modeled the behavior we should follow.

Phil. 2:15 –
Hebrews – Fix your eyes
Eph – Fix your eyes on Jesus
“Jesus suffered for us, leaving an example for us.”

Who is your example?
In the Bible, there are many “good” people. Of course we can learn from them. But NOBODY is our final example – besides Jesus. Who suffered for you, gave his life for you? ONLY Jesus.

Make sure ONLY Jesus is your final, true example. Not even other human mentors. ONLY Jesus is the final example.

Share 5 Characteristics of Jesus: hoping, praying for us to be like Jesus more and more.

#1: Jesus is a person of absolute holiness.
(v 10). Cleanliness = godliness.
(v 11).
Jesus washing their feet symbolizes Jesus cleansing, purifying, and making them holy. He is holy, and holy person maker.
He is the ONLY absolute holy one.
“Holy and Righteous One.”
Jesus has also been tempted in every way, but is without sin (Hebrews 4?)
He was holy in nature and conduct.
Only Jesus is sample of holiness.

If you like Jesus, you will be like Jesus.
If you behold Jesus, you will be holy like Jesus.

Moses in Exodus, his face shown (shining) after meeting God – he was transformed and becoming holy more and more as he spent time with God.

Christians = Saints = “Holy Ones”

Because we are justified and saved, we must “work our your salvation with fear and trembling” – work out your holiness in your conduct, your personality, your MOUTH.

#2: Jesus is a person of genuine love.
(v. 1 second sentence)
Can you understand this picture?

Many times we notice the word “knew”
He is original God, omnipotent. He knew and knows now and the future.
Also in this time, Jesus KNEW:
1. Judas would betray
2. Peter would betray
3. Disciples would scatter – lack of trust, laziness, fear of Man.
4. The gravity of his own situation, about to die.

In this time, what did disciples do? They argued…
They never deserved Jesus’ love, but he loved them to the end, to the full.

By nature, we are not better than the disciples, than Peter, than Judas.
We were dead, and Christ died for us.
Romans 8:35? What can separate us from the love of Christ – nothing in ALL creation!

Remember the ground, the foundation of our salvation, our assurance = the love of Christ in death for us.

“A new command I give you, ‘Love one another’ as I have loved you.”
Paul: “The love of Christ compels me.”

Love of Christ should be the strong, forcing drive for each of us.
1 Corinthians 13 – “If I speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, I am a [meaningless noise]. If I have faith that can move mountains, but not love, I have nothing. If I give all I have, even my body to the fire, but not love, I give nothing.”

We must be serious about this.
EVERYTHING done without love = NOTHING in God’s eyes.

1 John 1 “Perfect love casts out fear.”
Do you have fear in your life?

Love is the power to drive out all fears.
May God bless us all to be a person of love. God can do even if we cannot do.

#3: Jesus is a person of true humility and meekness (not weakness)

Jesus is very true GOD, yet he kneeled down and served and washed their feet.

In his earthly life, he did not quarrel, did not shout on the street, did not have a place to lay his head. He emptied himself totally, humbled himself totally. “He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…”

The same Peter here (proud), later in 1 Peter admonishes us to “clothe yourselves with humility, for God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.”

Humility is going down to the bottom to SUPPORT others.
We become poor of our own accord to MAKE others rich.

Meekness is NOT weakness.
See the ball pen – hear the sound.
The podium is not meek.
The cloth is meek. (no sound)

Meekness is the power to accept, maturity not to be hurt, state of being tamed all the time, completely in being used by the Lord.

Would Jesus feel comfortable, convenient in using you? If Jesus would feel that way, you are meek. If Jesus would not feel comfortable, convenient to use you, you are not meek. Consider.
God bless us to be meek.

#4: Jesus is a person of the Father’s job.
For one person to prepare water and wash 12 men’s dirty feet and dry them with a towel at one time is not a small job – it’s a BIG job.

He was a faithful, hard, passionate worker. But his job was not his, but his Father’s
John 5:17
John 9:4 – As long as it is day, do the work of the Father.

Yes, Jesus saved the lost, preached, healed, opened eyes, raised the dead, calmed storms, fed the hungry, trained workers. Sometimes he didn’t even eat or rest because he was so busy. But ALL that work was the Father’s work.

Romans 12:11 – “Never be lacking in zeal. Continue in spiritual passion.”

1 Corinthians 15 – Therefore my brothers, let nothing move you,

Colossians 3 – Do all you do with your whole heart as working for God, not for men.

Teaching English is not YOUR work, it is the Lord’s work! If you think it’s YOUR work, then it is a source of stress and tiredness. If you think it’s GOD’S work, it is a source of rest and peace.

To the slave, there is not his own work, it is all his master’s work.

#5: Jesus is a person of full prayer

He closes this goodbye message with prayer in chp. 17. He prayed often, for everyone, habitually, regularly.

In Luke, there are at least 11 occasions that Jesus prayed. Sometimes ALL night, sometimes dawn prayer (dawn prayer started with Jesus), prayed before mission, prayed before Calvary, even after his greatest successes.

Jesus prayed for killers, for enemies, earnestly, honestly, patiently, believingly, submissively.

Luke – Jesus prayed SO honestly, he sweat drops of blood
Hebrews 5:7 – He offered up LOUD cries and tears

On the cross, he finished his life on earth with prayers for his killers. “Forgive them.”

Still now, Jesus is STILL praying for us.
Romans – “He is at the right hand of God and INTERCEDING for us!”
In heaven.

He is in his nature GOD.
If he needed to pray, how much more do we need to pray?

Not to pray = arrogance, unbelief, against God. “God, you do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

The more we surrender before God, kneel before God, the more we can stand in this world.

“Get on your knees and fight like a man!”

God is very happy to hear your living voice. “God, help me, make me a person of holiness, love, humility, your work, a person of prayer.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 03 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Summary of Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 12:27-50)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Summary of Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 12:27-50)

6.3

Bulletin_06.03.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.”

This world is full of many kinds of troubles.
We can never flee these troubles.
We can only trust fully, really in God from our deep hearts.

The same God, who says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” also says, “My heart is troubled.” (v. 27).

We can see three things from this confession:

#1: He is fully man
No one wants to die at 33.
No one wants to die on the cross.

Hebrews – “He himself suffered while he was tempted”
He had sleepless nights. He was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered unto death.

He experienced all things humans experience, except sin.

#2 Now we know courage DOESN’T mean “no fear” BUT rather “can be very afraid, and still do what must be done.”

Isaiah = “Our Savior took up our infirmities, troubles, weaknesses, sicknesses, worries…”

#3 There are worldly troubles and godly troubles
2 Corinthians: “Godly sorrow = life, worldly sorrow (troubles) = death”

Matthew 10, “Whoever finds his life loses it, but whoever loses his life for me saves it.”

Do our troubles come from God?
Or from this world?

Do we think, “how can I live an easy life for my pleasure, myself?” = death
If we think, “how can I live my life for Christ, for others?” = life

Jesus is now facing suffering and death.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.”
Romans 8:29 “Those he foreknew he also predestined…”

Jesus is our first brother, eldest brother.

If we are looking for a comfortable life, conforming to the comforts of this world, we will suffer.

If we are looking for Jesus, to be transformed by him, we will never be alone, we will experience full joy.

Jesus never said, “What shall I do?” but here, “What shall I say?”

Only 2 prayers we can pray:
“Father, save me” OR
“Father, glorify your name” (v. 28)

God spoke to his son directly, and his prayer received an answer from heaven with DOUBLE assurance.
“I HAVE glorified it (Jesus’ past life and ministry) and WILL glorify it (Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension, coming again).”

God spoke to Jesus 3 times at very important points:

#1 Jesus’ Baptism: “This is my son, whom I love, in him I am well pleased.”

#2 Transfiguration: “This is my son, whom I love, in him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

#3 NOW – entering Jerusalem in the last days before the cross: “I HAVE and I WILL glorify my name through your ministry.”

Now, Jesus openly speaks about his cross.

v. 31-33

“Now is the time (the cross) for judgment on this world…”

Jesus death brings:
1. Judgment on this world
2. Defeat of Satan
3. Salvation for ALL who would believe

Who is Satan?
The prince of this world. (mentioned thus, 3 times in the book of John)

2 Corinthians?
Satan is mentioned as the “god” of this age.
He was an angel – REAL – not symbolic.
Deceiver, divider, but finally, defeated one.

Jesus through his death, brings total defeat to Satan.
Yet, today Satan is allowed to go around this earth and destroy, yet one day soon, he will be condemned, and sent to hell forever.

v. 32
“But when I am lifted up, will draw ALL men to myself.”

Jesus death = for men, defeating Satan.
Jesus’ death is not for nature, animals, angels, but for men, ALL men.

1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of Man appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

So, our lifestyles should be very simple.

For man, against Satan.
Jesus death is “for man, against Satan.”
Also, as followers, our lifestyles should be “for man, against Satan.”

If we fight against man, we fight against Jesus. If we do something pleasing to Satan, we fight against Satan.

Ephesians – “Our fight is not against man, but against [Satan]”

v. 36
“Put your trust in the light while you have it…Jesus hid himself from them (the crowd – v. 29, 34)”

This marks the end of Jesus’ public ministry in front of the crowd. After chapter 12, Jesus does not appear in front of the crowd again.

From chapter 14 to his arrest in chapter 18, he does his ministry only in front of his disciples.

The rest of this chapter is the epilogue, the summary, review of Jesus’ public ministry. This is the last chance for the crowd to listen to the living voice of Jesus.

So, for the crowd, he summarized again what he taught them.

#1 Light
v. 35-36, 46
“light” repeated 5 times
From the 6th-9th hour during his crucifixion, darkness covered the land.

Chap. 1:4 – “In Him was light…the true light…the darkness has not understood it.”
Jesus = the light of the world, whoever follows will never walk in darkness.

Later, Jesus says, “YOU are the light of the world…Let your light shine so that the world may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.”

Earth goes round the sun, we always receive the light of the sun, doesn’t show favoritism, gives light equally to all men. On the other side of the world – they do not have the light just now. The sun gives the light to them, but they do not receive the light. Why? Because they have turned from the sun.

The sun gives light to ALL, but some do not receive because they are turned away from the light.

The same way, Jesus gives light and life and salvation to ALL people, but some do not receive because they are turned away from the light (reject it).

Like this, we too are the light of the world.
What does this mean?

Our message, our gospel, our testimony can be accepted by some, or rejected by some, but on our parts, we MUST shine to ALL people. We are the light of the world!
Acceptance or rejection is THEIR job.
Shining is OUR job.
(Don’t be shy)

Hallelujah!

#2 Faith
v. 37-46, key word = believe = repeated 8 times

John explains the unbelief of the people (v. 37-38) WOULD NOT believe
(v. 39) COULD NOT believe
(v. 41~) SHOULD NOT believe

Despite all the clear evidence, they would not, could not, should not believe. They closed their eyes to the truth, though they received clear signs and miracles from God throughout the ages.

This was already prophesied in Isaiah 6:10

They would not believe, or they would not confess their faith, even though they believed.

This is important to us if we believe in Christ. v. 42-43

Fear of Man
They would not confess, they hid their faith, for fear that they would be banished from their community.

Even today, many Christians hide their faith out of fear of rejection, bullying, etc.

They seek the praise of man, they fear man.

Fear of God, fear of man, can never go together.
Praise of man, praise of God, can never go together.

Hidden faith, hidden belief, can NEVER please God.

“Whoever disowns me before man, I will disown before God in heaven. Do not fear man, but fear the one who can destroy body and soul in heaven…”

It is much better to BE right for eternity,
than to LOOK right for mortality.

Please do not be deceived.

#3 Relationship with God
v. 44-50
“Then, Jesus cried out.” Why?
This message is SO important, SO urgent, and this is the LAST chance for the crowd to hear his living voice before his cross (also there is no microphone…^^)

To believe in Jesus, see Jesus, love Jesus = to believe in God, see God, love God

To hate one = to hate the other.

Jesus is the visible representation of the invisible God (Colossians 1?)

Jesus = real, true, eternal God.

That God came here, became as one of us, and died (physically) to save us (eternally, spiritually).

You are very special, important, God’s VIP.

What is your value? The blood of His son. The life of God.

May God bless us all continually with his life, eternal life.

  • May 20 / 2012
  • Comments Off on What Shall a Seed Do to Bear Many Seeds? (John 12:12-26)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What Shall a Seed Do to Bear Many Seeds? (John 12:12-26)

5.20

Bulletin_05.20.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The previous day, was a small, quiet dinner with Lazarus’ family.

TODAY, it is switched to a huge crowd, big feast – Passover – in Jerusalem.

Passover = first & greatest feast of all feasts. Jews from all over the earth, came to Jerusalem. A Jew’s dream for his life was to observe the Passover in Jerusalem.

This is Passover season – Jesus will be crucified on Passover.

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a young donkey – small, not a horse.

The four gospels all tell this story. Their accounts should be compared. This event is very important.

Jesus sent disciples to the village, told them to untie the donkey they would find there. If someone says something, say, “The Lord needs it.” and we will return it.
This donkey was borrowed.

Jesus wanted to fulfill OT prophecy, it was the one (announcement) event he allowed during his ministry.

Jesus was announcing at this time that he was the Savior, the promised Messiah.

This is the “Triumphal Entry”

What does this mean for Jesus?
1. It is part of his obedience to his Father – fulfilling the prophecy in Zech 9:9.

What does this mean for the Romans?
2. There is no record about their viewpoint, but surely they kept a close watch on that event – the Passover. It was not uncommon for a Jewish nationalist to try to arouse the people.
So, the Romans undoubtedly thought this was that kind of event.
Afterward, they must have laughed.

Compared to the Roman triumphs and celebrations and parades in Rome, this event was nothing.

Whenever a Roman general was victorious, killed 5000 enemies, gained new land, he received “triumph” in Rome – a HUGE parade, like today’s car parades (tic or take parade?)

Compared to that triumph, Jesus’ “triumph” was nothing.

What does this mean to the people of Israel (pilgrims)?
3. Pilgrims welcomed Jesus, and shouted “Hosanna!” Psalm 118:26 – Messianic Psalm. Luke – they shouted “Peace in heaven!” They wanted Jesus to bring them the peace they needed.

While they were doing this, Jesus was weeping. (Luke) When Jesus saw Jerusalem, he wept over Jerusalem.

Jerusalem = “City of Peace” but Jesus saw already what lay ahead for the city, so he wept (war, scattering, troubles, etc).

At his birth, angels declared “Peace on Earth!”
During his ministry, Jesus declared, “War on Earth! Do you think I came to bring peace? No, division.”

There is only peace in heaven.

How can we find such peace on earth? Only found in Jesus.

What does this event mean to Pharisees?
(v. 19)
4. “The whole world has gone after him.” This is exaggeration and prophecy – because one day, the whole world WILL stand before Jesus to be judged for their deeds. They were anticipating some kind of revolt during this season. They feared Jesus would perform some miracles and capture the hearts of the restless people.

How little they understood the heart of Jesus.

Jesus, the Passover Lamb must be sacrificed
1 Cor 11:5? – Jesus our Passover Lamb
Exodus – the Passover meant death, judgment to those who opposed God, but life to those who were with God
1 Cor 1:18 – cross = foolishness to those who are perishing

People today can realize that they worked their whole lives to accomplish nothing – there is still the final judgment.

The heart of truth (v. 20-22)
Greeks = Gentiles

These Gentiles wanted to hear the truth.

No other gospel tells of this incident. It is very fitting to find it only in the book of John, because it is the book written to show the truth of Christianity in a way that even Gentiles can appreciate and understand.

John, theme = Jesus is the Savior of the WORLD – not only Jews. (John 3:16)

So, the Samaritans had already recognized him as the Savior. So, Jesus gives life to the world, and gives his life for the world.

The first people who visited and worshiped Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh were Gentiles (the Magi from the east). And now, Gentiles come to hear from Jesus before his death.

Next verses are the heart of the truth. He reveals it before Gentiles – and to you and me.

v. 23
Jesus did not say, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed, rather glorified. He saw BEYOND the cross to the glory. Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…who for the glory set before him…scorned the shame of the cross, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Main point of this message = the GLORY OF GOD.

How can you glorify God?

v.24
If a wheat seed dies, it produces many seeds. Can you count them?

v. 25
Please be honest with this verse.
If you love your life, you will lose it.
If you hate your life in this world, you will keep it.
My Father honors the one who serves him.

Jesus uses a seed to illustrate great truth.

There is no glory without suffering, victory without surrender, greatness without humility, honor without service, life without death.

We know the secret of the seed.

Can you see the seed? (Apple seed, illustration)

We know the seed itself is very small, very weak, useless, powerless.

If you keep this seed in a beautiful box for safety, security, comfort, what can this seed do? NOTHING. Ten years later, one hundred, NOTHING.

But, this same seed, when it is spread outside and planted, and buried – like in a tomb – on the cold, hard, dark, soil and trampled on by men, this seed starts to penetrate up and down, making roots, branches, leaves, more and more seeds, colors, tastes, fruit, flowers.

This is a miracle! Everybody knows it, but who can explain how?

Kid, “How?”
Mom, “Just because. God makes it, God makes it grow. It’s just the natural order of things.”

Spiritual truth is exactly like this – more than this.

Jesus’ death is the only way we can have life. This is truly true.

One death of one person is the only one way to life for all peoples who believe. (He is the seed).

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, also to show his power over death.

He can give eternal life because he proved he has power over death.

Also, Bible is the seed to you and us.

If this word of God is on the table, nothing happens.

If this word is planted in my heart, this word becomes alive, powerful, active, and this word can do something great, wonderful in us and through us.

We are God’s children.

WE are seeds to this world, in this world.

We look weak, small. We are dependent. We have life in us (Jesus’ life). This life can NEVER be accomplished unless we surrender to God and allow him to plant us.

We should die to ourselves so that we may live to him and his glory.

We must remake our priorities.

If we love our lives, we will lose the life we want to maintain.
If we are true disciples, we must be willing to suffer and experience rejection.

How much do we reject rejection? How much do we compromise?

To follow Jesus = radical lifestyle change.
= to go where Jesus went, not the way of earthly power and honor, but through humility, suffering, even death.

Where’s your passion?

What are your goals, interests, career choices? Changed? Or same as before.

v. 25
Love your life = lose it
Hate your life = keep it

Everything Jesus did was for the glory of God. We likewise should do everything we do to the glory of God.

Do you want real joy? Real peace?
Put Jesus FIRST in your life.

Do you call “My Savior! My Lord!”
That MEANS you’ve decided to put him #1. If you put him #2, it’s cheating him and cheating yourself.

If you do not want to put him #1,
DO NOT call him “Lord” just “Friend”
Not “king, God” just “Good teacher”

v. 26
“My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Real peace, real joy, real security is found in serving the Lord.

This honor from God will only PARTLY be experienced in this life. It will only be fulfilled in heaven. This is our final hope.

We can derive real peace, security, encouragement by understanding and remembering that our God judges and remembers each service we do in His name.

1 Cor 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the service of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Our service is never in vain.

Bless us so that his final honor may be his, not ours.

Matthew 25? – “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come! Share your Master’s joy!”

No matter how much we do in this world for God, those are just a FEW things in God’s eyes. In heaven, God will bless us to do many more things for him.

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