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  • Apr 26 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race (Hebrews 12:16-24)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race (Hebrews 12:16-24)

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Jesus is the Final Goal in our Race

Hebrews 12:16-24 (Pastor Heo)

16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


The Christian life is like a marathon. Jesus is the perfecter of our faith, the final goal of our faith.

Chp 12 begins “Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles…. let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

One of our terrible sins that we must escape – and one that God also hates – is sexual immorality.

v. 16

“See to it that no one is sexually immoral…”

Sexual immorality should not be tolerated in the church because the church is the body of God. Sexual immorality has the power to destroy us spiritually, physically, emotionally, shamefully. Sexual immorality has devastated countless lives – even nations and churches. God warns us very strongly to protect us from damaging ourselves and others.

This verse gives us a warning against godlessness – with the example of godlessness in the life of Esau.

v. 16-17

“16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.”

[Genesis 25-27]

Esau was the first son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. He was a skillful hunter. One time he came in from the field very hungry, and his brother was cooking stew.

  • He said, “Quick, give me something to eat! I’m starving to death.”
  • Jacob: “Then sell me your birthright.”
  • Esau “I’m gonna die over here, who cares about that birthright?”

He “despised” his birthright in this manner.

Sometime later, Isaac was close to death, blind, and wanted to bless Esau. But Jacob snuck in during that time and was blessed instead. Esau came later and cried, “Is there only one blessing? Bless me as well!” It was too late. He could not turn back the clock.

The Bible gives us Esau an example of godlessness. What was the problem?

Esau seems like not really a bad man. He was a good hunter, he loved his father. Today we also can find Esau around us, maybe even in ourselves. So what was his godlessness?

We must know that this means “life without awareness of, consciousness of, or interest in God.”

It is living in this world for the wants of the flesh and the body and the instinct first, without being able to see what is unseen – to see what is seen only. It is like losing important things (spiritual things) to gain unimportant, temporary things.

“The wrath of God is being revealed in heaven against men … their thinking became futile, their foolish hearts darkened.”

There are two kinds of examples. Esau: bad example that should not be followed.

Q: Are you a good example or not?

God bless us to be good examples to somebody else around us.

How often do you make decisions based on what you want and feel at the moment vs. what you need in the long run?

Impulsiveness can bring heartache and grief, so we must look up because we are running a long distance marathon.

Col 3:1 “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, in heaven.”

How can we continue to look up, to fix our eyes on Christ?

There is a big contrast in the next verses between the old and new covenant – the giving of the Law of Moses vs. the giving of the covenant of grace of Jesus.

v. 18-21

  • Mt. Sinai represents the Old covenant

v. 22-24

  • Mount Zion represents the new covenant given by Jesus Christ.

So we must move from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion.

Mt. Sinai:

v. 18

  • “You have NOT come to a mountain (Sinai)”

v. 22

  • “You have come to Mt. Zion…”

v. 18-21

“18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.””

[Exodus 19-20]

In the third month, after the people left Egypt for the Promised Land, the people arrived at Mt. Sinai. The people camped there, and the Lord came down to give the Law to Moses. The camp was covered with smoke and the Mt. was trembling. The people could not approach nor touch the mtn – even animals would be killed. This means that God was too holy and great for them to approach.

God was an unapproachable, transcendent God.

v. 22-24

“22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Mt. Zion represents the new covenant, the giving of grace by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev “The Deliverer (Savior) will come on Mt. Zion… The Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world is standing on Mt. Zion.”

All Mts in the Bible show us only our sin, but do not provide the remedy for sin. The remedy for sin is provided only in the blood of Jesus Christ.

God is a holy and righteous God – and he cannot grant forgiveness simply on the grounds of a sinner’s repentance. He can forgive and pardon sin only when the penalty is first paid. So, in order to forgive sin, but also have the penalty paid at the same time, Jesus paid the price for us.

Therefore, Jesus’ blood is an absolute necessity for us if we are sinned.

Romans 3:23-34 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” He was given as an atoning sacrifice for us, so that we might be forgiven by putting our trust in him.

In the Old Testament, God was untouchable, unapproachable. But in Jesus Christ, the unapproachable God becomes approachable. The untouchable God becomes touchable.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made its dwelling among us and we have seen his glory.”

We can approach, touch, feel, the presence of God in Jesus Christ, through his word.

There is also here a comparison between the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus Christ.

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Keywords: Jesus, mediator, new covenant, blood, speaks, better word, blood of Abel (almost all words)

This is a comparison between Jesus’ blood and Abel’s blood.

  • Abel was the first person in history whose blood was shed because of his sacrifice.
    • And Jesus is the first, last, and only person whose blood was shed on behalf of the sins of others.

Do you remember Abel? In chp 11, “Abel is still speaking through his blood.”

And Jesus’ blood is speaking better things than the blood of Abel.

What are the differences?

v. 24

“to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

  • The blood of Abel spoke from the ground, from the earth and cried out for justice.
    • But the blood of Christ is speaking from heaven and announces mercy and grace for sinners like you and me.
  • The blood of Abel made his brother Cain guilty and drove him away in despair.
    • The blood of Christ set us free from guilt and opened the way to God.
  • The blood of Abel called out for vengeance.
    • The blood of Jesus opens up the way of reconciliation, the way of peace.

The blood of Christ made it possible for us to become friends of God. This is possible only through the blood of Jesus Christ.

That’s why the Bible says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God…” We are also reconciled to God through the blood of Christ.

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice in the Lord always!”

After Jesus came, lived, and died, and rose again, and now lives forever, the God who was very far distant was brought near to us, and we can enjoy his presence at any time through Jesus.

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

God bless you to enjoy the power of the blood of Christ through your daily lives.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥허목사님 설교 완역(200426)

▸제목: 예수님은 우리의 경주에서 최종 목표이다(Jesus is the Final Goal in Our Race)

▸본문: 히브리서 12: 16 – 24

『설교 전문』
할렐루야! 예배당에 오심을 환영합니다. 하나님께서는 영과 평강의 말씀 가운데 드리는 진정한 예배자들을 찾고 계십니다. 하나님께로부터 여러분들이 진리와 은혜 가운데 드리는 진정한 예배자로 보여지기를 축원합니다. 하나님의 평강과 기쁨이 여러분과 함께 하시길 빕니다. 아멘.
지금 우리에게 주신 하나님의 말씀은 히브리서 12장 16절에서 24절까지입니다. 성경을 가지고 계신 분은 하나님의 말씀인 성경을 여시고 함께 읽으시기 바랍니다. 히브리서 12: 16- 24입니다.

16: 어느 누구도 성적으로 타락하거나, 혹은 한 그릇 식사를 위해 자기의 장자로서의 상속권을 팔아먹은 에서와 같은 망령됨이 없도록 조심하라.

17: 그 후, 너희가 아는 바와 같이, 그가 이 축복을 상속받기를 원했으나 거절되었도다. 그는 눈물로써 그 축복을 구하였으나 회개의 기회를 얻을 수 없었다.

18: 너희는 만질 수 있고 불에 타는 산에 온 것이 아니요, 어둠, 암울 및 폭풍우에 온 것도 아니요,

19: 나팔 소리와 말하는 소리를 들으러 온 것도 아니어서 그 소리를 듣는 자들은 더 이상 말씀하지 않으시기를 간구하였는바,

20: 이는 짐승이라도 그 산에 접하면 돌로 침을 당하리라고 명하신 것을 견디어 낼 수 없음이니라.

21: 그러한 광경이 너무 무서워 모세가 “내가 두려워 떨고 있다”고 말했도다.

22: 그러나 너희가 온 곳은 시온산과 살아계신 하나님의 도성인 하늘의 예루살렘이니라. 너희는 모여서 기뻐하는 천만 천사들과

23: 하늘에 이름이 기록된 장자들의 교회에 왔도다. 너희는 만민의 심판자이신 하나님과, 온전케 된 의인들의 영들과,

24: 새 언약의 중보자이신 예수님, 및 아벨의 피보다 더 낫게 말하는 뿌려진 피에 왔노라.

(*역자 주: 16절에서 ‘godlessness’는 ‘경건치 않은’이라는 의미인 ‘godless’의 명사형으로서 ‘경건치 않음’이라는 의미인데, 본문 16절을 개역개정 등에서 ‘망령됨’이라 번역하고 있어 이하에서도 이 말로 통일해서 번역하고자 함)

아멘. 우리는 계속해서 히브리서를 공부하고 있습니다. 지난 주일에 우리가 논의한(discuss) 바와 같이 이 세상에서의 신앙적인 삶은 영적인 마라톤과 같습니다. 이 마라톤, 경주에서 우리는 인내(perseverance)를 가지고 하나님의 은혜 하에서 우리 믿음의 지으신 자(author), 온전케 하신 자(perfector), 완성자이신 예수 그리스도만을 바라보면서 평강과 거룩함을 향해 달려야만 합니다. 그는 이 경주에서 우리의 최종 목표입니다.
이 장은 제1절에서 이렇게 시작합니다.

“모든 장애물(hindrance)들과 얽매이기(entangle) 쉬운 죄를 벗어 던지고 인내로써 우리 앞에 주어진 경주를 달리며, 우리 믿음의 지으신 자요 온전케 하시는 자인 예수님만을 바라보자.”

이 영적인 경주에서 우리가 피해야 할, 하나님이 지극히 싫어하시는 무서운 죄들 중 하나는 성적인 죄, 성적인 타락(sexual immorality)입니다. 이것이 우리가 읽은 첫째 절인 16절이 이렇게 시작하는 이유입니다.

“어느 누구도 성적으로 타락하지 않도록 조심하라”

그렇습니다. 성적 타락(sexual immorality)은 신앙인들 사이에는 설 자리가 없으며 교회에서는 용인될 수 없습니다. 교회는 하나님의 집이자 예수님의 몸이기 때문이죠. 하나님은 자기 자녀들이 자기 말씀 중에 밝혀진 도덕성의 기준을 따르기를 원하십니다. 하나님은 성적인 타락을 매우 강하게 금하고 계십니다. 왜냐하면 이것은 우리를 육신적으로, 정신적으로, 관계적으로(relationally), 영적으로 수치스럽게(shamefully) 만들기 때문입니다.
그러므로 우리는 성적 타락의 위력을 과소평가해서는(underestimate) 안 되는 것입니다. 그것은 무수한 생명들을 황폐화시켰으며(devastate), 개인들과 가정과 지역사회와 심지어는 교회와 인간의 역사 상 여러 나라들까지도 파괴한 바 있습니다.
하나님께서는 자기 자녀들을 우리와 다른 사람들에게 타격을 주지 못하도록 매우 단단히 보호하시기를 원하십니다.
이 절의 다음 구문에서는 망령됨(godlessness)의 본보기를 에서의 삶을 통해 우리에게 보여줌으로써 그에 대한 경고를 내리고 있습니다. 16절에서 17절까지 한 번 더 읽어보실까요?

16: 어느 누구도 성적으로 타락하거나, 혹은 한 그릇 식사를 위해 자기의 장자로서의 상속권을 팔아먹은 에서와 같은 망령됨이 없도록 조심하라.

17: 그 후, 너희가 아는 바와 같이, 그가 이 축복을 상속받기를 원했으나 거절되었도다. 그는 눈물로써 그 축복을 구하였으나 회개의 기회를 얻을 수 없었다.

이 절들의 배경 이야기는 구약의 첫 번 째 책 창세기 25-27장에서 찾을 수 있습니다. 여러분은 에서에 관한 이야기를 얼마만큼은 아실 줄로 압니다.
에서는 이삭의 장자이고 야곱의 쌍둥이 형제입니다. 그는 매우 재주가 좋은(skillful) 사냥꾼이었습니다. 그는 시골(outcountry) 사람이었습니다. 어느 날 그는 벌판에서 사냥을 한 후 매우 허기진 채 집에 돌아왔습니다. 그 때 그의 동생 야곱은 죽(stew)을 쑤고 있었습니다. 여러분은 수프의 일종인 ‘stew’를 아십니까?
이 때 에서가 그에게 말합니다.
“서둘러 내가 뭔가 먹을 것, 마실 것을 먹게 하라. 내가 굶주렸도다(famish).”
그러자 야곱이 그에게 말합니다.
“먼저 형이 내게 장자권(birthright)을 팔아라.”
에서가 자기 동생 야곱에게 이르기를,
“나는 죽게 생겼다. 장자가 나에게 무슨 유익이 있겠느냐? 좋아 네가 가져라. 나는 상관없다.”
그러나 야곱이 그에게 다시 말합니다.
“먼저 내게 맹세하라.”
그러자 에서는 맹세하고 이어서 야곱이 에서에게 약간의 죽을 주었고 에서는 이를 먹은 후 자리에서 일어나 다른 일, 즉 아마도 다음 사냥을 위해 다시 떠났습니다.
그는 자기 장자권(birthright)을 가벼이 여겼던(despise) 것입니다.

그 후의 얼마 지난 또 다른 이야기로서 이삭이 자기 죽음이 매우 가까웠고 또한 너무 늙어 거의 눈이 멀어서 앞을 더 이상 볼 수가 없을 때 그는 자기 큰 아들 에서를 축복하고자 했습니다. 그러나 야곱이 에서의 흉내를 냄(impersonate)으로써 그 축복을 가로채었다. 그 후 에서가 집에 들어와 자기 장자권의 상속을 축복받으려 했으나, 그가 돌아오기 직전에 일어난 일을 알고는 울부짖었습니다.

“내 아버지시여 저에게도 축복을 해주소서! 아버지께서는 오직 하나의 축복만을 가지고 계십니까?”

그는 대성통곡했지만 축복을 받기엔 이미 때 늦은 일이었습니다. 그가 시계를 되돌릴 수는 없는 일이었죠.

성경은 에서를 망령됨의 본보기로 우리에게 제시하고 있습니다. 에서의 문제는 무엇입니까? 예, 인간적으로 말하자면 에서는 그렇게 나쁜 사람은 아니었습니다. 예, 그 또한 마음이 갈 수 있는(congenial) 사람입니다. 그는 탁월한 사냥꾼이었습니다. 자기 아버지를 사랑한 사람이었습니다. 오늘날 우리 주위에서 그 같은 사람을 찾기는 그리 어렵지 않습니다. 우리들 자신 속에서 우리는 에서를 발견할 수 있습니다.

에서의 문제는 과연 무엇일까요? 망령됨이란 무엇일까요?
우리는 망령됨이란 하나님을 의식하지 않거나 그에 무관심한 것임을 알아야 합니다. 망령됨이란 하나님에 대한 의식(consciousness)이 없는 삶을 말합니다. 망령됨이란 오직 이 세상과 육신만을 위한, 하나님을 위하지 않고 오직 육신의 욕구(want)만을 위한 삶을 사는 것을 말합니다. 망령됨은 단지 본능(instinct)을 위한 삶을 사는 것입니다. 망령됨은 보이지 않는 것은 도외시한 채 오직 보이는 것만을 위한 삶을 사는 것입니다. 망령된 삶은 중요하지 않은 것을 얻기 위해 중요한 것을 잃는 삶입니다. 망령된 삶은 잠깐의 쾌락(temporary pleasure)을 즐기기 위해 영원(eternity)을 위한 영적인 삶을 놓치는 삶입니다.
로마서 1: 18에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“하나님의 진노(wrath)가 불의로써 진리를 짓누르는(suppress) 사람들의 모든 경건치 않음과 불의를 상대로 하늘로부터 나타나고 있으니”

이들은 비록 하나님을 알고는 있었으나, 하나님을 하나님으로 거룩하게 여기지 않았고 그들의 생각은 헛되었으며, 그들의 어리석은 마음은 컴컴해졌습니다.
여러분은 두 가지의 본보기가 주어져 있음을 알아야 합니다.
에서는 우리가 따라서는 안 될 나쁜 본보기입니다. 두 가지의 본보기가 있습니다. 따라서는 안 될 나쁜 본보기가 있고, 따라야 하는, 모방해야 하는 좋은 본보기가 있는 거죠. 여기서 우리가 의식하든 의식하지 않든 우리는 우리 주변의 다른 사람들, 즉 우리 이웃에게, 우리 가족에게, 우리 자녀들에게, 우리 교회 구성원들에게, 우리의 동료와 친구들에게 본보기가 될 수 있습니다.
여기서 제기하는 질문은

“당신은 좋은 본보기입니까, 아닙니까?”

입니다. 하나님께서 우리 모두가 우리 주위의 다를 사람들에게 좋은 본보기가 되도록 축복하시기를 빕니다.
여러분은 장기적으로 우리가 필요로 하는 것이 아닌, 자신이 단지 지금 원하고 느끼는 바를 토대로 결정을 내리는 경우가 얼마나 잦습니까? 우리의 결정과 행동이 미치는 장기적인 영향을 평가하십시오. 충동성(impulsiveness)은 마음의 아픔과 슬픔을 가져올 수 있음을 아셔야 합니다. 우리는 장거리 마라톤을 달리고 있으므로 늘 위를 바라보아야 합니다.
이것이 골로새서 3: 1이 우리에게 다음과 같이 권면하는 이유입니다. (2절이 이어집니다)

“그러므로 너희가 그리스도와 함께 다시 살아났으므로, 너희 마음을 위엣 것에 두라. (2절) 너희 마음을 위엣 것에 두고, 땅엣 것에 두지 말라”

우리가 계속해서 하늘, 즉 우리 주 예수 그리스도만을 바라보기 위해 위엣 것을 볼 수 있는 방법은 무엇일까요? 다음 절부터 보시면 옛 언약과 새 언약 사이의 큰 대조를 확인할 수 있습니다. 그 대조는 모세를 통해 율법을 주심과 우리 주 예수 그리스도를 통해 은혜와 진리를 주심을 말합니다.
18절에서 21절까지는 옛 언약(old covenant)의 상징으로서 하나님이 시내산에서 율법을 주신 이야기입니다. 시내산은 옛 언약, 즉 모세를 통해 율법을 주신 사건을 대표합니다(represent). 그리고 다음 절들, 즉 22절에서 24절까지는 새 언약(new covenant)의 상징으로서, 우리 주 예수 그리스도를 통해 은혜를 주신 사건을 대표합니다.
이러한 다음 절들을 통해 우리는 시내산은 옛 언약을 나타내고, 시온산은 새 언약을 나타냅니다. 따라서 우리는 시내산에서 시온산으로 옮겨가야 합니다. 그럼 먼저 시내산으로 가보도록 하겠습니다. 18절에서 21절까지의 내용입니다. 18절은 이렇게 출발합니다.

“너희는 산에 온 것이 아니다”

그리고 22절은 이렇게 출발합니다.

“너희는 시온산에 왔다”

그렇죠? 18절에서는 “너희는 산에 온 것이 아니다”라고 말하고 있습니다. 이 문장에서는 어떤 산을 말하는 거죠? 시내산이죠.(감사드립니다). 그리고 22절에서는 “너희는 시온산에 왔다”고 말합니다. 18-21은 이렇습니다.

18: 너희는 만질 수 있고 불에 타는 산에 온 것이 아니요, 어둠, 암울 및 폭풍우에 온 것도 아니요,

19: 나팔 소리와 말하는 소리를 들으러 온 것도 아니어서 그 소리를 듣는 자들은 더 이상 말씀하지 않으시기를 간구하였는바,

20: 이는 짐승이라도 그 산에 접하면 돌로 침을 당하리라(죽임을 당하리라는 뜻)고 명하신 것을 견디어 낼 수 없음이니라.

21: 그러한 광경이 너무 무서워 모세가 “내가 두려워 떨고 있다”고 말했도다.

이 이야기의 배경은 출애굽기 19-20에서 찾을 수 있습니다. 그 줄거리는 이렇습니다.

이스라엘 백성들이 애굽을 떠나 약속의 땅으로 향한 후 3개월 되었을 때, 그들은 시내산 근처에 이르렀습니다. 이들은 여기서 야영을 하였습니다(camp). 이 때 하나님이 모세를 통해 그들에게 율법을 주시기 위해 시내산에 내려오셨습니다. 그래서 시내산은 안개로 가득하게 되었습니다. 여러분은 smoke(안개)를 아시죠? 왜 안개로 가득했을까요? 하나님이 불 속에서 거기에 내려오셨기 때문입니다.
산 자체가 격렬하게(violently) 흔들리고 있었으며(tremble), 모든 백성들은 두려워 떨고 있었죠. 그들은 몸을 씻고 의식에 맞게(ceremonially) 의상을 정결하게 갖추어 입었습니다.
그러나 그들은 산에 접근하지도, 접촉할 수도 없었습니다. 만약 누가 산을 만지면 그는 죽임을 당하며, 짐승조차도 죽음을 피할 수 없었습니다. 이는 하나님이 너무 거룩하시고 너무 특별하시고 너무 위대하셔서 그들이 접근할 수 없었음을 의미합니다. 이들이 아무리 정결하다 하더라도 하나님은 접근 불가능한, 접촉 불가능한 초월적인(transcendent) 하나님이었습니다.
이것이 옛 언약입니다.

반면에 다음 22절에서 24절까지는 우리 주 예수 그리스도 안에서의 새 언약에 관한 내용입니다. 곧 시온(Zion)입니다. 22절부터 보실까요?

22: 그러나 너희가 온 곳은 시온산과 살아계신 하나님의 도성인 하늘의 예루살렘이니라. 너희는 모여서 기뻐하는 천만 천사들과

23: 하늘에 이름이 기록된 장자들의 교회에 왔도다. 너희는 만민의 심판자이신 하나님과, 온전케 된 의인들의 영들과,

24: 새 언약의 중보자이신 예수님, 및 아벨의 피보다 더 낫게 말하는 뿌려진 피에 왔노라.

시온산은 새 언약을 대표하는 표현입니다. 우리 주 예수 그리스도 안에서 은혜를 주심을 말하는 거죠. 시온은 메시아이신 예수 그리스도의 오심을 의미합니다.
로마서 11: 26은 말합니다.

“구원자(deliverer, savior)가 시온에서 오사…”

요한계시록 14: 1에는 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.

“세상의 죄를 가져가신 어린 양이 시온산에 서서…”

이는 모세의 율법(law), 즉 10계명(ten commandments), 산상수훈(sermon on the mount), 이 모든 것이 우리에게 오직 우리의 죄를 보여주고 있으며 그에 따른 구원자의 필요성을 드러내고 있음을 의미합니다. 그들은 우리 죄에 대한 대책(remedy)을 제공하지 못합니다. 우리 죄에 대책은 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만이 가능한 것입니다.

하나님은 의로우신 분이십니다. 하나님은 거룩한 분이십니다. 인정하십니까? 그러므로 하나님은 죄인의 회개(repentance)만을 바탕으로 죄를 용서하실 수 없습니다. 하나님은 의로우시고 절대적으로(absolutely) 거룩하신 하나님이시기 때문에 하나님은 그렇게 하실 수 없는 것입니다. 하나님은 오로지 먼저 벌칙(penalty)이 가해진 연후에야 죄를 용서하실(forgive, pardon) 수 있는 것입니다.
그러므로 하나님이 죄를 사하시고 동시에 계속 의로우신 상태로 남아계실 수 있도록 예수 그리스도가 그 벌칙을 갚으신 것입니다. 예수님은 우리 죄에 대한 벌칙을 갚으신 거죠.
하나님의 입장에서는 예수님의 죽음은 우리가 구원을 받기 위한 절대적인 필요성인 겁니다.

로마서 3: 23입니다. 이 절은 우리에게 매우 익숙한 내용이죠.

“모든 사람이 죄를 범하였으매 하나님의 영광에 이르지 못하더니(fall short of)”

여러분은 이 절을 암기하고 계십니까? “모든 사람이 죄를 범하였으매 하나님의 영광에 이르지 못하더니…” 그리고 다음 절이 매우 중요합니다.

23: “모든 사람이 죄를 범하였으매 하나님의 영광에 이르지 못하였으나”

24: “그리스도 예수로 인한 구속(redemption)을 통해 하나님의 은혜로 아무런 대가 없이(freely) 의롭다 여김을 받았느니라.”

25: “하나님은 예수 그리스도를 그의 피에 대한 믿음으로 말미암은 속죄의 제물(sacrifice of atonement)로 주셨노라”

하나님이 이렇게 역사하신 것은 자기의 의로움을 보여주시기 위함이었습니다. 그는 오래 참으심(forbearance) 가운데 이미 지은 죄를 징계하지 않은 채 남겨두셨기 때문입니다. 하나님은 현재, 지금 이 시간에도 자기의 의(righteousness)를 보여주시기(show, display, demonstrate) 위해 이렇게 하신 것입니다. 자신이 의로워지기(just) 위해서, 그리고 예수 그리스도에 대한 믿음이 있는 자에 대해 의롭다고 판단하는 자(justifier)가 되기 위해서입니다.
우리는 구약에서, 옛 언약에서 그가 접근 불가능한, 접촉 불가능한 하나님임을 확인한 바 있습니다. 왜냐하면 그는 초월적인 존재로서 하늘에 계시고 우리는 땅 위에 있기 때문입니다.
그러나 예수 그리스도 안에서는 하나님은 접근 불가능한 하나님으로부터 접근 가능한(approachable) 하나님이 되십니다. 접촉 불가능한 하나님이 접촉 가능한 하나님이 되십니다. 여러분은 하나님을 만지실 수 있는 거죠. 여러분이 그 분을 만질 수 있음을 느끼실 수 있습니다. 어떻게 이것이 가능할까요? 예수 그리스도를 통해서입니다.
요한복음 1: 14을 보실까요?

“말씀(the Word 하나님, 예수 그리스도)이 육신(flesh)이 되어(성육 incarnation) 우리 가운데 거하시매, 우리가 그 영광을 보니…”

이는 우리가 하나님께 접근할 수 있고 그를 만질 수 있으며 그의 말씀 가운데 하나님의 존재를 느낄 수 있음을 의미합니다.

마지막 절은 매우 흥미 있는 표현입니다. 이 절에서는 아벨의 피와 예수님의 피를 비교(comparison)하고 있습니다. 마지막 절을 보실까요? 마지막 절 24절입니다.

24: 새 언약의 중보자(mediator)이신 예수님, 및 아벨의 피보다 더 낫게 말하는 뿌려진 피에 왔노라.

이 문장에서 키워드는 예수, 중보자, 새 언약, 피, 말하다, 더 나은 말, 아벨의 피입니다. 이 문장의 거의 모든 단어가 키워드들인 거죠. 이것은 아벨의 피와 예수 그리스도의 피를 비교한 것입니다.
아시다시피 인간의 역사에서 아벨은 자신의 희생으로 인해 자기 피를 흘린 최초의 인간입니다. 그리고 예수 그리스도는 다른 사람들의 구원, 우리들의 구원, 모든 인간들의 구원을 위한 자기희생을 통해 자신의 피를 흘린 최초이자 마지막이자 유일한 분입니다.
아벨은 자기 피를 통해 지금도 말하고 있습니다. 우리는 그 문장을 (앞에서) 본 적이 있습니다. 기억하고 계십니까? 전 장인 11장에서죠. 11장의 첫 부분에서 이렇게 말하고 있죠. “아벨은 지금도 자기 피를 통해 말하고 있다”고요. 또한 예수님의 피는 아벨의 피보다 훨씬 더 나은 말을 하고 있습니다.
그렇다면 아벨의 피와 예수님의 피는 어떤 차이가 있을까요? 한 번 더 읽으실까요? 이는 마지막 부분이지만 이 메시지에서 매우 중요한 요점입니다.

24: 새 언약의 중보자이신 예수님, 및 아벨의 피보다 더 낫게 말하는 뿌려진 피에 왔노라.

아벨의 피는 아래로부터, 땅으로부터 말한 것으로서, 정의(justice)을 위해 외치고 있습니다. 반면에 예수님의 피는 하늘에서 와서 여러분과 저를 포함한 죄인들을 위해 긍휼(mercy)과 은혜(grace)를 선포합니다.
또한 아벨의 피는 자기 형 가인을 죄인(guilty)으로 만들었으며, 그를 절망으로 몰고 갔습니다. 반면에 예수 그리스도의 피는 하나님이 계신 곳으로 가는 길을 열어주었으며, 또한 예수 그리스도의 피는 우리를 죄인으로부터 자유롭게 풀어주었습니다(set free).
이 얼마나 큰 차이입니까! 아벨의 피와 예수 그리스도의 피 사이에 말입니다.

또 다른 차이로서 아벨의 피는 복수(vengeance)를 요구하고(call for) 있습니다. 그러나 예수 그리스도의 피는 화목의 길, 화평의 길을 열어놓았습니다. 이는 예수 그리스도의 피를 통해 우리가 하나님의 친구가 될 수 있게 되었음을 뜻합니다. 우리는 하나님의 친구가 될 수 있습니다. 어떻게 이것이 가능할까요? 오직 예수 그리스도의 피를 통해서입니다.
예수 그리스도의 보혈은 화목과 화평의 길을 널찍이 열어놓았습니다. 이것이 성경에서

“우리는 믿음으로 의롭다 여김을 받았으므로 우리는 하나님과 화평을 누릴 수 있습니다.”

우리는 하나님과 화평을 누릴 수 있고 하나님의 평강을 누릴 수 있는 것입니다. 우리는 예수 그리스도의 피를 통해서 하나님과 화목하게 되었습니다. 그러므로 성경은 우리에게 권면합니다.

“주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하라!”
“주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하라!”

이것이 예수 그리스도가 계신 곳을 향해 열린 길인 것입니다. 그러므로 예수님이 오셔서 사시고 죽으신 다음 다시 살아나셔서 영원히 살아계신 후, 아주 먼 곳에만 계셨던 하나님을 우리 가까이 모시고 와 우리는 언제 어디서든, 모든 곳에서 예수 그리스도의 피를 통해 그가 우리와 함께 계심을 즐길 수 있게 됩니다. 이것이 바로 성경에서 이렇게 말하는 이유입니다.

“예수 그리스도의 피가 우리를 모든 죄로부터 정결하게 하느니라(purify).”

갓 블레스 유! 여러분의 실제 삶에서 예수 그리스도의 보혈의 능력을 누리시기 바랍니다. 보혈의 피는 우리의 삶을 위해 이용 가능합니다. 갓 블레스 유! 다 함께 기도드립시다.

                      - 아 멘 -  
  • Apr 19 / 2020
  • Comments Off on We are Spiritual Marathoners (Hebrews 12:12-15)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Spiritual Marathoners (Hebrews 12:12-15)

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We are Spiritual Marathoners

Hebrews 12:12-15 (Pastor Heo)

“12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Warning Against Refusing God

14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

We are in Hebrews. Chp 12 starts as we studied a few weeks ago. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

“Let us run the race…”

We can say that the Christian life in this world is like a spiritual marathon. Do you know about marathons? We know about physical marathons. They are 42.195km. This is a LONG distance. We know how difficult it is to finish this full course well. So, since we know how difficult it is to finish well, when they do finish well, they are filled with a big smile.

Like this, when we finish this race set before us well, we also will be very happy and satisfied.

2 Tim “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, and there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, that the Lord will award to me and to all who have longed for his second appearance.”

Remember, the Christian life is a marathon. God bless us to finish the race well.

v. 12-13

“12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

God is our coach, pushing us beyond our limits.

Yet, difficult times should not cause us to fear, but we are not to be satisfied with only self-survival in mind. We must be good to others to follow Christ very well. We must run tough and hard, very well. We must not choose the easy way for ourselves, but make an easier way for others to believe in Christ – by becoming good examples.

As we know, in every Christian community and society, there are some who are weaker, likely to go astray and abandon the struggle. So it is up to us to put fresh vigor into weak arms and fresh strength into failing feet.

One of life’s greatest privileges is to become an encourager to one who is in despair and a strengthener of one whose strength is failing.

As Christians, we have double-duty – before God and before man. Make your way straight in the sight of men, and God, then we will find favor before God and men. We must have a pure heart before God and an upright life before man. We are long-distance runners in this world.

So, let us run rough and tough together.

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

If we want to become a good example for others, we need discipline, and suffering. We must run hard and run together as co-marathoners in this world.

v. 14

“Make every effort [do your best] to live in peace with all men [even your enemies] and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

This means, without holiness we cannot be saved. Let us run rough and tough and run after peace and holiness. In our marathon, all the time, we must run after peace and holiness.

Peace

Peace is not negative in the Bible – it is intensely positive. God bless us with his peace.

Peace = everything that is made for man’s highest good and happiness (i.e. to be found in obedience to God), also right relationships between God and man, and man and man. Hatred is no more and each person pursues his neighbor’s good.

We must pursue peace with all people in this world. We must have peaceful relationships with our unbelieving relatives and neighbors, our enemies, and people in the church.

Yet, in this imperfect world, we know it is impossible for all men to live together in peace – but we must DO OUR BEST.

  • Romans “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.”
  • Romans 14 “Let us do all we can to bring peace and mutual edification.”
  • Romans 5 “Therefore, we have been justified, so we have peace with God.”

How is this possible? Only through Christ.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons and daughters of God.”

2 Cor “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come.” If you memorize this, you must also memorize the next verse. 18 “All this is from God who reconciled himself to us and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

This means we have been given the ministry of reconciliation – to reconcile people to God and reconcile with other men. We are to be kind, thoughtful, considerate, to help others, pray for others, even for our enemies – even those who hate us.

But the best way to make peace between God and man and man and man: To preach the gospel – the “good news of great joy for all the people.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

Jesus is the author of our peace and the source of our peace. That’s why long ago, before he came, it was prophesied, “He will be called Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah) and in Eph “He himself is our peace.” Only real peace can be found in Jesus Christ.

Holiness

We must be holy. What is the meaning? It is literally: different and separated.

  • “Holiness” applied to God = his moral perfection and the fact that he is totally separated from all humanity and all creation.
  • “Holiness” applied to us = set apart, consecrated, set aside for a purpose.

Remember, the world’s standards are not our standards.

Romans 12 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Our actions, thoughts, concerns, purpose. Our final goal is different.

“Without holiness, no one can see God” because sin always blocks our vision of God. If we want to see God, we must renounce sin and obey God.

Important: We are made holy once for all by the one-time sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are perceived as holy by what Jesus has done for us on the cross and we are called “saints” which means “holy ones.”

But in a practical way, “holiness” means “honoring God in how we treat others” – neighbors, husband, wife, spouse, employees, children, parents, co-workers, and how we run our business, how we behave at work, etc. Holiness causes us to behave differently from unbelievers.

Yes, we must do our best to live at peace with everyone, but at the same time, we must be different (set apart) from the world.

1 John 3:2 “Yes, dear friends, we are now children of God. If we are, though what we will be has not been made know now, yet when he appears we shall be made like him and we shall see him as he really is.” This is the fulfillment of holiness when we finish our marathon course.

This is why we run after peace and holiness.

Finally, we need his grace. Without it, we cannot finish this race well. His grace is essential for us to continue our race and finish very well.

v. 15

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

We must run in the grace of God.

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God” means that it is possible to miss it. Remember, the grace of God does not fail, but we can fail to depend on his grace. The grace of God brings us the opportunity / chance to make our lives what they are meant to be. But we can miss that chance because of our sin, ignorance, laziness, procrastination, and pride. So, against that, we must be on watch in spiritual visions.

Romans 5:20 “Where sin increased, the grace of God increased all the more.” What does this mean? We should not misunderstand this sentence. It does not mean that we should sin more to experience more grace, rather it means that the more we realize HOW MUCH we need his grace, the more we realize HOW GREAT his grace is.

  • “It is by grace that you are saved by faith. It is not of yourselves, but is the gift of God so that no one can boast.”
  • Romans 5:2 “Through Jesus Christ, we have gained access into this grace in which we now stand.”
  • James 4:6 “God gives us more grace, greater grace, but he rejects the proud, but gives more grace to the humble.”

For our daily needs, there is daily grace. For sudden needs, there is sudden grace. For overwhelming needs, there is overwhelming grace. His grace is always available to us.

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

Remember, his grace is always very near us, but we must be spiritually vigilant to appreciate and enjoy this grace.

Yes, the Christian life is like a marathon. So let us run hard, but let us also run together. Let us run toward peace and holiness. And let us run focusing our eyes on Jesus Christ – only he is the author and perfecter of our faith and he is the final goal of our faith.

God bless you with his peace, holiness, and grace.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥허목사님 설교완역(200419)

▸제목: 「우리는 영적 마라토너들이다(We Are Spiritual Marathoners)」
▸본문: 히브리서 12장 12-15

『설교 전문』
할렐루야! 예배당에 오신 여러분을 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 환영합니다. 우리 주 예수 그리스도로부터 우리 모두에게 평강과 은혜가 함께 하기를 기원합니다. 아멘?
지금 우리에게 주신 하나님의 말씀은 히브리서 12장 12-15입니다. 히브리서 12: 12-15. 성경을 가지고 계신 분들은 성경을 여시고 12절에서 15절까지 함께 읽도록 하겠습니다.

12: “그러므로 힘없는 팔과 연약한 무릎을 강건케 하고

13: “너희 발을 위해 곧은길을 만들어 저는 다리가 불구가 되지 않고 고침을 받도록 하라”

14: “모든 사람과 화평하게 살고 거룩해지도록 모든 노력을 다하라. 거룩함이 없이는 어떤 사람도 주님을 보지 못하리라.”

15: “어떤 사람도 하나님의 은혜를 놓치지 않도록 주의하고 어떤 쓴 뿌리가 자라서 고통이 되어 많은 사람을 더럽히지 않도록 주의하라”

아멘. 이것이 하나님의 말씀입니다. 우리는 지금 히브리서를 공부하는 중입니다. 오늘 본문과 같은 장(12장)은 우리가 몇 주 전 공부한 바와 같이 이렇게 출발합니다. 1절은 이렇게 출발합니다.

“그러므로 우리는 구름처럼 많은 증인들로 둘러싸여 있으니 모든 장애물(hindrance)과 얽매이기(entangle) 쉬운 죄를 벗어 던지고(throw off), 우리에게 주어진 경주를 인내(perseverance, patience, endurance)로써 달리자. 우리 믿음의 지으신 자요 이를 온전케 하신 자인 예수 그리스도만을 바라보자.”

“우리에게 주어진 경주를 달리자” 이는 이렇게 표현할 수 있습니다. 이 세상에서 신앙적인 삶은 장거리 경주입니다. 마치 마라톤처럼 장거리 경주인 것입니다. 그러므로 저는 이 세상에서 신앙인의 삶은 영적인 마라톤이라 말하고 싶습니다. 우리는 영적인 마라토너들이고요. 이 땅에서의 영적인 삶은 마라톤이나 마찬가지인 거죠.
여러분은 마라톤을 알고 계시겠죠? 혹시 여러분은 마라톤 대회에 참가하신 적 있나요? 우리는 마라톤, 육신의 마라톤을 잘 압니다. 마라톤 코스는 얼마의 거리인지 아십니까? 마라톤 코스는 42.195 킬로미터입니다. 결코 짧지 않고 긴 거리입니다. 우리는 마라톤 풀 코스를 제대로 완주한다는 것이 얼마나 어려운지 알고 있습니다.
그러므로 마라톤 풀 코스를 잘 마친다는 것은 쉽지 않기 때문에, 선수들이 그 풀 코스를 훌륭하게 마무리 한 다음에는 이들은 완전한 만족감으로 행복해 하지 않을 수 없습니다. 아마 만면에 미소도 가득할 거고요.
마찬가지로 우리의 마라톤 풀 코스에서 우리가 이 풀코스를 성공적으로 완주한 다음에는 우리는 매우 행복할 것입니다. 우리는 온전한 만족감 속에서 큰 보상을 받으며 행복해 할 것입니다.
사도 바울은 이 진리를 매우 잘 알고서 디모데후서 4: 7-8에서 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“내가 선한 싸움을 싸우고 나의 경주를 마치고 믿음을 지켰으니, 이제 나를 위해 의의 면류관이 예비되어 있고 주 곧 의로우신 재판장이 이를 그날에 내게 상급으로 주실 것이니, 이는 내게만이 아니라 주의 두 번째 나타나심을 사모하는(long for) 모든 자에게도 마찬가지니라.”

예, 이 세상에서의 신앙인의 삶은 마라톤인 것입니다. 하나님께서 미리 우리 모두에게 축복하셔서 그의 은혜와 권능으로 우리가 이 풀 코스를 매우 성공적으로 마칠 수 있기를 기원합니다.
처음 두 절을 다시 보실까요? 12절과 13절입니다.

12: “그러므로 힘없는(feeble) 팔과 연약한 무릎을 강건케 하고(strengthen)

13: “너희 발을 위해 평편한(level)(‘straight 곧은’을 뜻함) 길을 만들어 저는(lame) 다리가 불구가 되지(disabled) 않고 고침을 받도록 하라”

예, 영적인 삶은 장거리의 달리기입니다. 우리는 영적인 달리기 선수(athlete)인 것입니다. 그러므로 우리의 하나님, 우리를 만드신 분, 즉 우리의 창조주 하나님은 우리의 감독(coach)인 거고요. 그 분은 우리가 한계에 도전하도록 독려하는 감독으로서 우리 생각으로는 이루기 어려운 일에 도전하도록 우리에게 용기를 불어 넣어주십니다.
예, 우리는 예수님의 제자들로서, 제자직분의 길을 가는 데는 자기 연단(discipline), 자기 훈련, 자기 통제(self-control)가 필수적입니다. 그러므로 자기 통제는 성령의 열매들 중 하나인 것입니다. 따라서 연단 혹은 핍박(persecution), 고난(suffering)이 우리를 두렵게 해서는 안 됩니다. 오히려 어렵고 힘든 시간들은 우리에게 참고 견디어내도록 용기를 불어넣어 주는 것입니다.
우리의 팔이 연약하고 우리의 다리가 휘청거려(shaking)도 우리는 굳건히 서야 합니다. 우리는 오직 마음속의 생존(survival in mind)만으로 만족해서는 안 됩니다. 이는 다른 사람들이 그리스도를 매우 잘 좇도록 우리가 좋은 본보기(example)가 되어야 한다는 뜻입니다. 그러므로 우리는 거세게 달리고 열심히 달려야 합니다. 그러나 이를 위해 우리는 모두 함께 거세게 달려야만 합니다.
예, 우리는 자신을 위해 쉬운 길을 택해서는 안 됩니다. 그 보다는 우리가 좋은 본보기가 됨으로써 다른 사람들을 위해 예수그리스도를 잘 믿고 따르도록 더 쉬운 길을 만들어 주어야 하는 것입니다.
아시다시피, 집회(congregation) 때마다, 모든 크리스천 사회와 공동체에는 길 잃고(go astray) 방황하다가 싸움을 포기할(abandon) 가능성이 있는 보다 연약한 사람들이 있습니다. 이들을 더욱 강건하게 만들고 이들의 연약한 팔 안에 신선한 비전을 안겨주고 실족할(failing) 발에 힘을 불어 넣어 주는 것이 우리의 의무입니다.
이것은 사실입니다. 삶의 제일 큰 특권(privilege)들 중의 하나는 절망(despair)에 빠질 수 있는 사람에게 용기를 심어주는 자(encourager), 힘이 다해 가는 사람에게 힘을 심어 주는 사람(strengthener)이 되는 일입니다.
그렇습니다. 여러분이 크리스천이라면 크리스천은 이중의 의무를 지니고 있습니다. 우리는 하나님께 일차적 의무가 있고 우리 동료들에게 이차적 의무가 있습니다. 하나님이 보시기에 정결한(pure) 마음을 가지십시오. 또한 사람이 보기에(in the sight of men) 평탄한(level) 길을 만드십시오. 그러면 우리는 하나님의 눈에도 사람의 눈에도 호의(favor)를 얻을 수 있게 됩니다.
이는 하나님께는 우리의 순수하고 깨끗하고 선한 마음을 바쳐야 하고, 동시에 사람에게는 올곧은(upright) 삶을 보여야 한다는 뜻입니다. 우리는 이 땅에서 영적인 마라토너들, 장거리 경주자들이기 때문입니다. 그러므로 튼튼한(masculine) 신앙인이 되는 것이 가장 중요합니다. 거세게, 강건하게 달립시다. 동시에 또한 우리 함께 강건하게 달립시다.
성경은 베드로전 2: 21에서 이렇게 말합니다.

“이를 위해 너희가 부르심을 받았으니, 이는 그리스도가 너희를 위하여 고난을 받으사 너희에게 본을 남겨 그의 자취를 따르게 하려 하심이니라”

이는 예수님이 우리를 위해 고난을 받으심으로써 우리에게 좋은 본보기를 남기셨음을 의미합니다. 이것은 우리가 다른 사람들에게 좋은 본을 보이기 위해 우리는 연단과 고난을 필요로 함을 뜻합니다.
우리는 열심히 달려야 합니다. 동시에 우리는 이 세상에서 마라토너 동지로서 함께 열심히 뛰어야 합니다. 여러분을 향한 하나님의 축복을 빕니다.
그러면 다음절인 14절을 보시겠습니다. 14절은 이렇게 말합니다.

14: “모든 사람(원수, 증오자, 적대자, 이웃, 옆집 등)과 화평하게 살고 거룩해지도록 모든 노력을 다하라(최선을 다하라). 거룩함이 없이는 어떤 사람도 주님을 보지 못하리라.”

여기서 ‘어떤 사람도 주님을 보지 못하리라’가 뜻하는 것은 거룩함이 없이는 우리가 구원을 받지 못함을 의미합니다. 이게 무슨 뜻일까요?
먼저 저는 함께 강건하게 그리고 열심히 달리자고 말했습니다. 계속해서 우리는 화평과 거룩함을 향해 달려야 합니다. 마라토너로서 우리는 화평과 거룩함을 바라보고 이를 향해 달려야 하는 것입니다.

먼저, 화평에 대해 살펴보도록 하겠습니다.
성경에서 화평은 전혀 부정적인 개념이 아닙니다. 성경에서 화평은 언제나 매우 강한(intensively) 긍정의 의미를 지닙니다. 하나님께서 자기 화평으로 여러분에게 축복해 주시기를 빕니다.
화평은 두 가지입니다.

첫째, 화평은 인간의 최고의 선, 최고의 행복이 되는 모든 것입니다. 최고의 선은 오직 하나님께 순종하는 가운데 얻어질 수 있습니다.

둘째, 화평은 또한 하나님과 사람 사이 및 사람과 사람 사이의 올바른 관계를 의미합니다. 이는 더 이상 증오(hatred)가 없어지고(banished) 각자가 자기 이웃의 이익만을 추구하는(pursue, seek) 상태나 조건을 나타냅니다.
크리스천으로서 우리는 이 세상 모든 사람들과의 화평을 추구해야 합니다. 어떻게 이것이 가능할까요? 우리는 교회 내에서 조화로운 관계(harmonious relationship)를 가짐은 물론, 우리의 친지들(associates), 나아가 믿지 않는 이웃들과 우리의 원수들하고도 가능한 한 평화로운 관계를 가져야만 합니다.
예, 우리는 압니다. 이 불완전한 이 세상에서 모든 사람들이 함께 평화롭게 사는 것은 불가능합니다. 그러나 적어도 우리는 화평과 화목(reconciliation)을 추구하기 위해 최선의 노력은 기울여 보아야만 합니다. 우리는 이 세상에서 분쟁(dissention)을 야기해서는(cause) 안 됩니다.
그러므로 로마서 12:18에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“될 수 있는 일이라면, 그것이 너희에게 달려 있는(depend on) 한(as far as), 모든 사람과 평화롭게 살아라.”

계속해서 로마서 14:19에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“그러므로 화평으로 인도하는(lead to) 일과 서로의 덕(mutual edification)을 세우는 일에 모든 노력을 다하자(make every effort).”

또한 로마서 5:1에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“그러므로 우리가 믿음을 통해 의롭다 여김(justified)을 받았으므로 우리 주 예수 그리스도를 통해 하나님과 화평을 누리고 있다(enjoy)”

그렇습니다. 우리가 누려야 할 최초의 화평은 하나님과 더불어입니다. 하나님과의 화평, 하나님의 화평은 어떻게 가능합니까? 오직 예수 그리스도를 통해서입니다.
또한 예수 그리스도 자신도 말씀하고 계십니다.

“화평케 하는 자에게는 복이 있나니, 이들은 하나님의 자녀들(아들 딸 들)이라 일컬어질 것이니라.”

이는 무엇을 의미합니까? 고린도후서 5:17에서는 말합니다.

“그러므로 누구든지 그리스도 안에 있으면 새로운 피조물(creation)이라. 옛 것(the old)은 지나가고 새것(the new)이 왔도다!”

이 구절은 우리에게 매우 익숙한 구절입니다.
“만약 누구든지 그리스도 예수 안에 있으면 새로운 피조물이다. 옛 것은 지나가고 새것이 왔도다!”
여러분은 그 다음 절을 알고 계십니까? 만약 여러분이 이 절을 외우고 계신다면 다음절도 외워두셔야 합니다. 다음 절인 18절에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“이 모든 것이 하나님으로부터 났으니, 그가 그리스도를 통해 우리를 자기와 화목하게 하시고 또 우리에게 화목의 사역(ministry of reconciliation)을 주셨으니”

이는 만약 우리가 새로운 피조물이면, 우리가 만약 그의 은혜로 구원을 받았으면, 우리는 하나님과 사람 사이를 화해시키는 자(reconciler)가 되는 사역을 받았음을 의미합니다. 화해시키는 자의 사역은 하나님과 사람 사이에 화평을 이룩하는 일입니다.
그렇습니다. 다른 사람들과 화평하기 위해서는 (이들을) 용서하고, (안 좋은 일을) 잊고, 친절하고, 사려 깊고, 배려하고, 돕고, 또한 다른 사람들, 특히 우리를 미워하는 원수들까지도 위해서 기도하고자 하는 의지(will)가 있어야 합니다.
그러나 여기서 기억하셔야 할 것은 하나님과 인간 사이, 그리고 인간과 인간 사이에 화평을 이루게 하는 최고의 방법은 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 복음, 즉 모든 사람들에게 큰 기쁨이 있는 좋은 소식을 전하는 일이라는 사실입니다. 말씀(the Word)이신 예수님께서 말씀하십니다.

“화평케 하는 자는 복이 있나니, 저희가 하나님의 아들로 불릴, 하나님의 아들로 인정될(recognized) 것이다”

이것이 의미하는 바는 하나님과 인간 사이, 인간과 인간 사이에 화평이 이룩되는 최선의 길은 주 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 복음 메시지, 즉 큰 기쁨을 주는 좋은 소식을 전하는 일이라는 것입니다. 왜냐하면 오직 예수님만이 우리들 평화의 지은 자, 근원, 뿌리이시기 때문입니다. 이것이 오래 전에 그가 이 세상에 오신 이유인 것입니다.
이렇게 예언되었었죠(prophesied).

“그는 평화의 왕자, 평화의 왕이라 불렸다”

에베소서 2: 14은 매우 확실합니다.

“그는 자신이 우리의 화평이시니, 둘을 하나로 만드시고 중간에 있는 적대(enmity, hatred, hostility)적 벽의 장애물들을 허무셨으며”

진정한 화평은 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만 찾을 수 있는 것입니다.

(화평) 다음으로, 우리는 또한 거룩함을 향해 달려야 합니다. 14장 후반절에 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.

“거룩함이 없이는 어떤 사람도 주님을 보지 못하리라.”

우리는 거룩해야 합니다. 거룩함(holiness)의 의미는 무엇입니까?
문자 그대로의 거룩함의 기본 의미, 그 근원적 의미는 ‘차이(difference)’ 및 ‘구분(separation)'(구별되었다는 뜻)입니다. 하나님에게 적용할 경우 거룩함은 그의 도덕적 온전함, 및 그가 완벽하게, 전적으로 모든 인간과 모든 피조물로부터 구분된다는 사실을 말합니다.
반면에 거룩함을 우리에게 적용할 경우, 하나님의 특별한 목적을 위해 따로 떼어 놓(set apart) 존재로서, (그 목적을 위해) 헌신하고(dedicate) 신성해진다는(consecrate) 것을 의미합니다.
우리가 비록 이 땅에 살지라도 우리는 달라야 합니다. 우리는 이 세상과는 구별되어 있습니다. 우리의 기준(standard)은 세상의 기준이 아님을 기억하십시오. 성경 로마서 12: 2에서 다음과 같이 말하고 있습니다.

“더 이상(any longer) 이 세상의 패턴을 따르지(conform) 말고 마음을 새롭게 함(renewing)으로써 변화를 받아라(transformed). 그러면 너희는 하나님의 뜻, 즉 그의 선하시고 기쁨을 주시고 온전하신 뜻이 무엇인지를 분별하고 받아들일(approve) 것이다.”

이는 이 세상의 기준을 따르지 말라는 뜻입니다. 우리의 행동, 우리의 생각, 우리의 관심, 우리의 흥미, 우리의 목적, 우리의 궁극적 목표는 (이 세상과는) 다른 것입니다.
‘거룩함이 없이는 어떤 사람도 주님을 볼 수 없으리라’의 의미는 ‘하나님은 거룩하시기 때문에 죄악은 하나님에 대한 우리의 비전(시력)을 차단하게 된다는 것입니다. 그러므로 우리가 하나님을 보기를 원한다면 죄를 끊고(renounce) 하나님께 순종해야만 합니다.
그렇습니다. 중요한 것은 물론 우리는 단번에(once and for all), 예수 그리스도의 단 한 번의 희생을 통해 거룩해졌다는 사실입니다. 우리는 하나님께로부터 예수님이 우리를 위해 행하신 사역에 의해 거룩하다고 생각되어지는 것입니다. 이는 우리가 성인(saint)(실제로는 성도)이라 불린다는 뜻입니다. 만약 우리가 정말로 거듭난 크리스천들이라면 우리 모든 크리스천들은 이미 성인이 되는 것입니다. 여러분도 성인, 저도 성인, 우리는 성인들입니다. 성인(성도)이란 우리의 위치, 우리의 지위(standing)가 거룩한 사람이라는 뜻입니다.

그러나 실질적인 면에 있어 거룩함의 의미는 하나님에 대한 우리의 공경(honoring)과 함께, 우리가 다른 사람들을 어떻게 취급하는가, 즉 우리 이웃, 우리 가족 식구들, 우리 부부(처와 남편), 자녀들, 부모님, 심지어는 우리 원수들을 어떻게 대하는가, 그리고 우리 사업을, 우리 재정을 어떻게 운영하는가, 그리고 우리의 사무실에서, 우리의 학교에서 우리의 직무를 어떻게 수행하는가와 관련을 갖습니다.
거룩함은 우리의 행위, 우리의 사고(thought), 우리의 태도가 믿지 않는 사람들과는 다르도록 만듭니다. 그렇습니다. 우리는 다른 사람들과 화평하기 위해 우리의 최선을 다해야 합니다. 그렇지만 동시에 우리는 이 세상과, 믿지 않는 자들과 달라야만 할 것입니다.
예수 그리스도의 죽으심과 부활에 의해 우리에게 부여되는 거룩함은 우리 주님을 진정한 그의 모습대로(as he really is) 볼 수 있도록 허용해줍니다(allow). 요한1서 3: 2에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“사랑하는 친구들아 지금 우리는 하나님의 자녀들이이라. 장래에 우리가 어떻게 될지는 아직 알려지지 않았다. 그러나 그가 나타나실 때 우리는 그와 같아질 줄을 알고 있나니, 이는 우리가 그의 참 모습 그대로 그를 볼 것이기 때문이다.”

여기에 나타나는 모습이 우리가 마라톤 풀 코스를 완주한 후 이루어질 거룩함의 실현(fulfillment)입니다. 이것이 곧 우리가 화평과 거룩함을 좇아 달려야 하는 이유인 것입니다.

마지막으로, 우리는 그의 은혜를 필요로 합니다. 왜냐하면 그의 은혜가 없이는, 하나님의 은혜가 없이는 우리가 이 경주를 잘 끝낼 수 없기 때문입니다. 그의 은혜는 우리가 이 경주를 성공적으로 완주하는데 절대적으로 필수불가결합니다(necessarily essential).

마지막 절을 보실까요?

15: “어떤 사람도 하나님의 은혜를 놓치지 않도록 주의하고(see to it that) 어떤 쓴(bitter) 뿌리가 자라서 고통이 되어 많은 사람을 더럽히지(defile) 않도록 주의하라”

그러므로 우리는 하나님의 은혜가운데 달려야 합니다. 이 절의 첫 번 째 부분은 이렇게 말합니다.

“어떤 사람도 하나님의 은혜를 놓치지 않도록 주의하라.”

이 문장이 뜻하는 바는 우리가 하나님의 은혜를 잃을 수 있다는, 놓칠 수 있다는 것입니다. 하나님의 은혜는 결코 헛된(fail) 일이 아닙니다. 반드시 실행됩니다. 이 은혜는 절대적(absolute)입니다. 그러나 우리는 하나님의 은혜에 의지하지(depend on) 못할 수도 있습니다.
하나님의 은혜는 우리 자신이, 우리 삶이 그 되어야 할 바(what they are meant to be)대로 될 수 있는 기회를 우리에게 제공합니다. 그러나 우리는 하나님이 우리에게 주시는 그 기회를 죄악, 우리의 무식(ignorance), 무지(unawareness), 게으름, 지체(procrastination), 그리고 자존심으로 인해 놓칠 수 있습니다.
그러므로 그것에 대비해서 우리는 늘 영적 경계(spiritual vigilance) 가운데 깨어 있어야만 합니다. 로마서 5: 20에서 이렇게 말합니다.

“죄가 더한 곳에 은혜가 더더욱(all the more) 더했으니”

이것이 무슨 말입니까? 죄가 더한 곳에 은혜가 더더욱 더했다니요?
우리는 이 문장은 오해해서는 안 됩니다. 이 문장은 우리가 더 많은 은혜를 입기 위해 더 많은 죄를 지어야 한다는 것을 의미하는 것은 아닙니다. 절대 아니죠.
이는 우리가 얼마나 많은 죄사함, 하나님의 죄사함을 필요로 하는가를 더욱 잘 깨달을수록(the more realized), 우리는 예수 그리스도를 통한 하나님의 은혜가 얼마나 위대한가를 더욱 잘 깨달을 수 있다는 뜻입니다. 그러므로 에베소서 2장 8-9에서도 그렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“너희가 구원을 받은 것은 믿음을 통한 그의 은혜로 인한 것이니, 이것이 너희에게서 나온 것이 아니요 하나님의 은사(gift)이니라. 이는 행위에 의한 것이 아니니 이는 아무도 자랑하지(boast) 못하게 함이니라(하나님 앞에서 자랑할 게 없다는 뜻).”

로마서 5: 2에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“그로 인해 우리가 믿음으로 서 있는 이 은혜에 들어갈 수 있게(get access into) 되었으며”

야고보서 4: 6에는 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.

“하나님은 우리에게 더 큰 은혜를 주셨으니”

그러나 기억하십시오. 하나님은 오만한 자(the proud)를 반대하시고(oppose) 거절하시되(reject), 겸손한 자(the humble)에게 더 많은 은혜를 주시는 것입니다.
그렇습니다. 매일의 필요를 위해서는 매일의 은혜가 있고, 급한 필요를 위해서는 급한 은혜가 있으며, 막대한(overwhelming) 필요를 위해서는 막대한 은혜가 있습니다. 그의 은혜는 언제나 우리 앞에 주어져(available) 있습니다. 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 우리에게 아주 가까이 놓여 있습니다. 이것이 히브리서 4 :16절을 통해 우리에게 용기를 불어 넣어주는 이유인 것입니다.

“그러므로 우리가 긍휼함을 얻고 우리가 필요할 때 우리를 도우시는 은혜를 받기 위해 자신 있게(with confidence), 확신을 가지고(with assurance) 은혜의 보좌(throne)(즉, 하나님 계시는 곳 presence of God) 앞에 나아가자.”

그의 은혜는 늘 우리 바로 앞에 있음을 기억하십시오. 그러나 이 은혜를 받아 이를 누리기 위해 우리는 늘 영적 경계에 들어가야 합니다. 아멘?

예, 신앙적인 삶은 이 세상에서 영적 마라톤과 같습니다. 그러므로 열심히 달리되, 또한 함께 열심히 달립시다. 화평과, (무엇?) 거룩함을 향해 달립시다. 또한 하나님의 은혜 가운데 오직 예수 그리스도만 바라보면서 달려 나갑시다. 왜냐하면 오직 예수만이 우리 믿음의 지은 자(author)이시고 온전케 하시는 자(perfector)이시기 때문입니다. 또한 예수 그리스도가 우리의 마라톤 풀 코스의 최종 목표입니다. 이것이 우리가 오직 예수 그리스에게만 우리의 눈을 고정시켜야(fix our eyes on) 하는 이유인 것입니다.

하나님께서 그의 평강과 거룩함과 은혜로 여러분을 축복하시기를 빕니다. 아멘! 다 함께 기도합시다!

               - 아 멘 -
  • Apr 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Easter, Sermons

Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

2020 Easter Service

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Resurrection power is available for us in our daily lives.

1 Corinthians 15
The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


Christ is Risen! Amen!

Christ is alive in your life all the time? Yes, Christ is risen. He died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is still alive now forever and ever.

Rev “That Jesus is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.”

Yes, Jesus is the reason we celebrate. What power! What love! What victory! What triumph!

v. 1 “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you,”

Every Sunday, I preach the gospel to you, but let me now remind you of the gospel message. It is “Good News” of great joy for all the people, eternally. Yes, every day we need good news, especially nowadays especially in these not good looking situations thanks to corona virus.

Imagine, if a perfect vaccine for corona virus is made and all patients are cured immediately, what good news! Yes, I pray and hope for peace for the suffering of those people with the virus.

But the gospel is so much BETTER news than even that kind of good news.

v. 2 “By this gospel you are saved.”

Gospel is the perfect vaccine for life.

v. 3-4 is clear in the message of the gospel.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

This is very clear. This is the core message of the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation.

Here, we can see twice “according to the Scriptures” (v. 3, 4).

From Genesis to Revelation, this phrase appears only 2 times, here. So what does this mean?

You may think it means, “as prophesied in the OT”, and that is not wrong, but it means so much more than that. It is the summary of the whole Bible – the message, the theme, the main topic of the whole Bible:

  • Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our salvation.

This is what “according to the Scriptures” means.

Now, let me summarize the gospel message.

  • OT: The prophecy of the coming Messiah, his death, and resurrection.
  • Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John): The literal fulfillment of this – and Jesus’ death is a substitutionary death for us. That is why these books are called gospels.
  • Acts: The fruit of the resurrection of Christ: the church (called the body of Christ) – He is the “head” of the church.
    • So the period of time between his resurrection and second coming = the period of Mission – the growth of the church.
  • Revelation: the future, the coming king, the lord of lords, the final God.

There is no gospel message without the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the heart, the core of everything we believe, receive and experience both on earth and in heaven later.

Jesus said, “It is finished.”

He was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah)

God made him who was without sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter: Jesus himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and rise to righteousness.

1 Peter 3:18 Jesus died for the sins of this world, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you and me to God.

Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been reconciled, how much more shall we be saved through his resurrection.” The cross and the resurrection go together all the time, they are inseparable.

Without the resurrection, the cross is a complete failure.

“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised for our life. Who is it that condemns? … He is able to save completely those who come to him.” (Romans?)

Remember, by his resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies, and Satan. He defeated the source of sin, all worry, anxiety, bitterness, the past, the shame, all problems which come from sin. Satan was defeated and conquered and under the feet of Christ. This means, Satan is not “going to” be defeated at some point in the future, but he “was” defeated in the past already. Jesus sealed Satan’s defeat by his resurrection. So we must know that Satan has no power over you and me unless you give power to him. He has no authority unless you give it to him.

Col 2:15 “Jesus Christ has disarmed all powers, authorities, principalities, and has made a public spectal of them, triumphing over them by his cross.”

His resurrection power sets us free from all enemies, from Satan, from sin, from worries, from anxieties, shame, the past, bitterness.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because he lives in you.”

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available in you.

Resurrection power does not come from heaven tomorrow, but is in you now.

Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall live even though he dies.”

This is the resurrection power.

Then, how is it possible to enjoy this resurrection power in our practical lives?

How can we enjoy this?

Let me share HOW we can enjoy this power practically and really this power in our daily lives. Let me share 4 things about this power in our lives.

1. By believing

– By faith we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord, we can experience and enjoy his resurrection power.

We know that resurrection power / life is available for us. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He rose for our salvation. But we must believe it, we must accept it by faith. When you believe it, the truth becomes a reality. We must recognize the reality of God’s spirit living in us and making our mortal lives immortal.

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

2. By confessing

– With our words, our mouths, our tongues we can enjoy this power.

Speak with your words what you believe in your heart. Your word has power. “My word has power.”

Romans 10:9-10 “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. For it is with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your tongue that you confess and are saved.”

Please, every morning when you wake up, declare, “Jesus’ resurrection power is living in me! It is available for me! It is living and working through me today.”

3. By applying

– The name of Jesus Christ, the blood of Christ, the resurrection power to every situation, we can enjoy resurrection power practically.

Yes we know Satan is defeated already. If any challenge or trial comes to you, for example, fears, worries, shame, bitterness, temptation to sin, etc, apply the name of Jesus and declare, “The curse is OVER in my life!” Declare it and act on it.

The enemy is defeated, we know that. He was sealed, we know that. But we must still act on it.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, he will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives in you.”

Practically, this means that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available for you and me, by faith. So, every day, we must apply the blood and name of Christ.

4. By preaching the gospel

– (very important)

Let’s return to the text:

v. 1 “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you”
v. 3 “what I received I passed on to you as of first importance”

Please remember all the time, the gospel is Good News of great joy for the salvation of everyone who believes.

If we accept this, and believe it, we are to preach it to others as well.

If you are saved, the gospel message is passed on to you by somebody.

Why was it passed on to you? In order to BE passed on to others.

Gospel: “Good news” News should be announced. News is news when it is announced and shared with others. That’s why after his resurrection, there was one comment and commission he left for us to do as his followers as of first importance.

Mark: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Amen.

By believing in Christ,
by confessing with our mouth,
by applying the name of Christ, the blood of Christ,
by preaching the good news of Christ,
we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥ 허목사님 설교 완역(200412)

▸제목: 「여러분의 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 능력을 즐기십시오(Enjoy the Resurrection Power in Your Daily Life)」

▸본문: 고린도전서 15: 1-4)

『설교 전문』

예배당에 오심을 환영합니다. 행복한 부활절(Easter)이시길 빕니다. 하나님께서 우리 모두를 자기 권능, 특히 부활의 권능(resurrection power)으로 축복하시기를 빕니다. 하나님의 부활의 권능은 믿음에 의해 저와 우리 모두에게 주어져(available) 있습니다. 그의 은혜와 자비로 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능을 즐깁시다. 아멘. 갓 블레스 유!
이제 하나님의 말씀을 열어 보시겠습니다. 고린도전서 15장 1절에서 4절까지입니다. 사실상 고린도전서 15장은 부활의 장입니다. 1-4절 같이 읽겠습니다. 성경을 가지고 계신 분은 저와 함께 1절에서 4절까지 읽으시겠습니다. 제 1절입니다. (이어서 2-4절입니다.)

1: “(그리스도 안에서) 형제들(그리고 자매들)아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니, 이는 너희가 받은 것이요 또 너희가 그 위에 서있는 것이라.”

2: “너희가 만일 내가 전한 그 말을 굳게 지키면 이 복음에 의해 너희는 구원을 받으리라. 그렇지 않으면 너희는 헛되이 믿은 것이니라.”

3: “내가 받은 것을 제일 중요한 것으로서 너희에게 전하였으니, 이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고,”

4: “장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셔서,”

아멘. 그리스도는 정말로 살아나셨습니다. 아멘? 여러분은 어떻습니까? 그리스도는 살아나셔서 늘 여러분의 삶에서도 살아계십니까? 예, 그리스도는 살아나셨습니다.
그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 죽으셨으며 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다(rise again). 그리고 지금도 영원히, 영원히 살아 계십니다.
요한계시록 1:7은 이렇게 말합니다.

“보라, 다시 살아나신 그가 구름을 타고 오시리라. 모든 눈이 그를 볼 것이며, 그를 찌른 자들도 그를 볼 것이니라.”

얼마나 놀라운 구원자이시고, 주님이시고, 왕이시고, 하나님이신지요! 그렇습니다. 예수님은 살아나셨습니다. 얼마나 특별한 날을 우리는 축하하고 있습니까. 얼마나 놀라운 사랑의 힘입니까. 얼마나 대단한 승리(triumph)입니까!
1절은 말합니다.

“형제자매들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음을 너희에게 기억하게 하노니,”

저에게도 또한 1절과 마찬가지로 여러분이 아시다시피 매주 주일마다 저는 제 설교시간에 복음을 전하고(preach) 있습니다. 그러나 지금 이 순간 저는 제가 주일마다 여러분에게 전해드리고 있는 복음을 여러분에게 기억시키기(remind of)를 원합니다.
복음이란 무엇입니까? 문자 그대로(literally)의 복음은 구원(salvation)의 기쁨을 뜻합니다. 우리는 복음(福音)을 간단히 ‘좋은 소식’(good news)이라 부르는데, 이는 영원토록 모든 사람에게 기쁨을 주는 좋은 소식이라는 말입니다.
예, 구원은 정말 좋은 소식이죠. 우리는 매일 좋은 소식을 원합니다. 모든 사람은 좋은 소식을 필요로 합니다.
특별히 요즘은 코로나 바이러스로 인해 좋아 보이지 않는 상황에서 우리는 지금 좋은 소식이 필요합니다. 저도 그렇고 여러분도 그렇고 좋은 소식이 필요한 거죠. 상상해 봅시다. 만약 코로나 바이러스에 대한 완벽한 백신이 개발된다면 이 세상의 모든 환자들이 완전히, 지금 바로(immediately) 처치되고 치유되어 이 세상에 더 이상 코로나 바이러스가 없어진다면, 얼마나 좋은 소식입니까? 저는 코로나 바이러스로 인해 고통 받고 있는 이 세상 모든 자들에게 위로와 평강과 회복(recovery)이 임하기를 기도합니다. 저는 기도하고 소망합니다.
그러나 복음은 이 세상의 어떤 것보다 더 좋은 소식입니다. 왜일까요? 이는 오직 복음에 의해 우리는 구원을 받기 때문입니다. 2절은 말합니다.

“오직 복음에 의해서만 너희가 구원을 받으리라”

복음은 죄에 대한, 지옥에서의 영원한 죽음에 대한 백신입니다. 이것이 모두가 복음을 필요로 하는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 또한 매일 우리의 실제 삶에서 복음을 필요로 합니다.
그렇다면 복음의 메시지는 무엇일까요? 3절과 4절에는 무엇이 복음의 메시지인가가 명료하게 나타나 있습니다. 3절은 말합니다. (4절이 이어집니다)

3-4: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로서(as of the first importance) 너희에게 전하였으니(pass on to), (복음의 메시지는) ‘이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고, 장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셨다(입니다)”

매우 명료합니다. 복음의 핵심(core) 메시지는 “예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨다(rose again)”입니다.
이 본문에서 우리는 ‘성경대로(according to the scriptures)’라는 표현이 두 번 반복됨을 알 수 있습니다. 3절에서 ‘성경대로’, 4절에서 ‘성경대로’… 창세기에서 요한계시록에 이르기까지 성경 전체에서 ‘성경대로’라는 구절(phrase)은 여기서만 딱 두 번 등장합니다. 오직 여기서만 ‘성경대로’라는 구절이 나타나는 것이죠.
그러면 이 구절 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요?
여러분은 이것이 구약 성경에 따라 예언되었고 그래서 이것이 신약에서 이루어졌다는 뜻으로 받아들이리라 생각합니다. 예, 그렇습니다. 옳은 말씀입니다. 그러나 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 훨씬 그이상인 것입니다.
‘성경대로’는 성경 전체의 요약, 전체 성경의 핵심적 메시지라는 의미입니다. 이는 성경 전체의 내용에 대한 요약이고 핵심적 메시지이자 주제입니다. 전체 성경의 핵심 적 화두는 ‘예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 사셨다’입니다. ‘성경대로’라는 것을 이것을 의미하는 것이죠.
지금 이 시간 저는 성경 전체의 메시지를 요약해 보기로 하겠습니다.

구약은 메시아의 오심과 그의 죽음과 그의 부활(resurrection)에 대한 예언(prophecy)입니다. 그리고 신약의 처음 4권 마태, 마가, 누가 및 요한은 메시아의 오심, 우리 죄로 인한 그의 죽음 및 우리의 구원을 위한 그의 부활을 문서로 이루어낸 것(literal fulfillment)입니다. 그러므로 우리는 예수님의 죽음과 부활을 대용적 죽음 (substitutionary death), 승리적 부활이라 부릅니다. 이 네 권의 책을 복음서(gospel books)라고 부르는 이유가 여기에 있습니다. 마태복음, 마가복음, 누가복음, 요한복음 이렇게요.
그리고 사도행전(Acts)은 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활에 대한 역사적 열매입니다. 이는 ‘교회’, 교회의 탄생을 말합니다. 이것이 교회는 그리스도의 몸이고 그리스도는 교회의 머리라 불리는 이유인 것입니다.
이로 인해 우리는 예수님의 부활 및 승천(ascension to heaven)과 그의 재림(second advent, second coming) 사이의 기간을 세계의 구원, 세계의 복음화(evangelization)를 위한 그리스도의 몸으로서의 교회 사역의 시대(era of church mission)라 부릅니다. 그리고 성경의 마지막 책 요한계시록(Revelation)은 우리 죄를 인해 죽으시고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셔서 영원토록 살아계시다가 곧 왕 중의 왕, 주인 중의 주인으로서, 최후의 심판관이요 최후의 하나님으로 영원토록 자기 나라를 세우고자 다시 오시는 예수님에 관한 책입니다.
이것이 성경 전체의 이야기입니다. 그러므로 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활이 없이는 기독교도, 교회도, 크리스천도, 복음 메시지도, 구원도 없는 것입니다. 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활은 우리가 이 세상에서, 또한 장차 천국에서 믿고 받아들이고 경험하는 모든 것들의 핵심(core)입니다.
예수 그리스도는 십자가 위에서 “다 이루었다(It is finished)”고 말씀하십니다. 이사야 57: 4-5에는 이렇게 기록되어 있습니다.

4: “그(메시아)는 실로 우리의 질고(infirmity)를 지고 우리의 슬픔을 당하였거늘(carry),…”
5: “그러나 그가 찔림(pierce)은 우리의 허물(transgression)을 인함이요, 그가 상함(crush)은 우리의 죄악(iniquity)을 인함이라. 그가 징계(punishment)를 받음으로 우리가 평화를 누리고 그가 채찍에 맞음(wound)으로 우리가 나음을 입었도다.”
………………………………………………………………………..
*역자 주: 제 개인적으로는 이 부분이 영어 원전과 우리말 번역의 어휘에 약간의 뉘앙스 차이가 있는 듯해서, 참고로 몇몇 어휘를 영어에 충실해서 정리해 드립니다.

infirmity: 허약함, 질병 infirm(허약한)의 명사형.
transgression 범죄, 범법 crush 짓누르다, 망가뜨리다
iniquity 사악함, 불의 wound 상처, 상처를 입히다 )
………………………………………………………………………..

아멘? 또 고린도후서 5:21에서는 말합니다.

“하나님이 우리를 위해 죄가 없는 자(예수 그리스도)를 죄가 있는 것으로 만드셨으니, 이는 그의 안에서 우리가 하나님의 의가 되게 하려 하심이니라”

베드로전서 2: 24에는 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.

“그(예수 그리스도)는 친히 나무(십자가)에 달려 그의 몸으로 우리 죄를 감당하셨으니(bear), 이는 우리로 죄에 대하여 죽고(die to sins) 의에 대하여 살게 하려 하심이라. 저가 채찍으로 맞음으로 너희는 나음을 얻었나니”

마찬가지로 같은 책 베드로전서 3: 18에서는 말합니다.

“그리스도께서도 (이 세상을 위해) 단 한번에(once for all) 죄를 위하여 죽으사 의인으로서 불의한 자를 대신하셨으니, 이는 우리(여러분과 저)를 하나님 앞으로 인도하려 하심이라”

로마서 5: 8-9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

8: “우리가 아직 죄인 되었을 때에 그리스도께서 우리를 위하여 죽으심으로 하나님께서 우리에게 대한 자기의 사랑을 확증하셨느니라(demonstrate)”

9: “우리가 그의 피로 인해 의롭다 여김을(하나님과의 화해를) 받았으니, 그(의 부활)를 통해 하나님의 진노(wrath)로부터 우리가 얼마나 더 구원을 받겠는가!”

이러한 내용들은 성경에서는 언제나 십자가와 부활은 떨어지지 않고(inseparably) 함께 감을 의미합니다. 십자가 없는 부활은 없고, 또한 부활이 없으면 십자가 죽음은 온전한 실패라는 이야기입니다. 이것이 로마서 4:25에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“예수 그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 십자가에서 죽음으로 건네어짐이 되었고, 그는 우리의 의롭다 여김을 위하여 죽음에서 다시 사셨느니라.”

누가 정죄합니까(condemn)? 죽으셨을 뿐만 아니라, 더욱이 다시 살아 나사 지금 하나님 우편에 앉아계시면서 우리를 위해 중보하고 계시는 예수 그리스도입니다. 예수 그리스도는 그에게 오는 자들을 자기를 통해 온전히 구원하실 수 있습니다. 왜냐하면 그는 살아계셔서 우리 모두를 위해 중보하시기 때문입니다. 아멘?
여러분 기억하십시오! 실질적으로 말하면, 예수님은 부활을 통해 모든 원수들을 물리치시고 정복하셨습니다. 특히 그는 부활을 통해 사탄을 물리치셨죠. 그는 죄의 근원을 물리치시고 모든 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움과 또한 과거의 쓰라림 및 죄악에서 오는 모든 문제를 극복하셨습니다.
여러분이 알아두셔야 할 것은 사탄은 예수 그리스도의 발 아래에서 패하고 정복되었다는 사실입니다. 이는 사탄은 이제 앞으로는 언제든 패배하지 않을 것임을 의미합니다. 왜냐하면 사탄은 과거 2천 년 전에 이미 패배하였기 때문입니다. 아멘? 그러므로 사탄은 우리의 정복된 원수인 것입니다. 예수 그리스도는 자기 부활을 통해 이미 사탄의 패배를 인치셨기(seal) 때문이죠. 사탄은 그의 부활로 인해 패배한 것입니다.
그러므로 우리는 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권능(power)을 주지 않는 한 여러분과 저에 대한 아무런 권능이 없음을 아셔야 합니다. 또한 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권세(authority)를 주지 않는 한 우리에 대한 권세가 없습니다.
골로새서 2: 15에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“예수 그리스도는 정사(power)와 권세와 주권(principality)을 벗겨내어(disarm) 이들을 밝히 드러내시고 자기 십자가와 부활로 이들을 이겨냈느니라.”

이는 모든 적들에 대해 승리하셨음(triumph)을 의미합니다. 아멘? 이는 예수님의 부활 권능이 우리를 모든 원수들로부터, 사탄으로부터, 죄악으로부터, 두려움으로부터, 걱정으로부터, 근심으로부터, 과거 속에서 사는 것으로부터, 과거의 부끄러움으로부터, 또한 과거의 쓰라림으로부터 자유케 하신다(set free)는 뜻입니다.
로마서 8: 11에서 말합니다.

“예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 그리스도 예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희의 죽을(mortal) 몸도 살리시리라”

이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 이는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 그분과 똑 같은 권능이 여러분 안에도 작용할 수 있음을 의미합니다. 아멘?
이는 놀라운 소식, 즉 “부활의 권능은 내일 하늘에서 오는 것이 아니라 부활의 권능은 지금 여러분 안에 있다”는 놀라운 소식인 것입니다. 아멘? 이것이 갈라디아서 2: 20에서 (바울이) 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“나는 그리스도와 함께 십자가에 못 박혔으니, 그러므로 이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니요 오직 그리스도가 내 안에 사시는 것이라. 이제 내가 육신 가운데 사는 삶은 나를 사랑하사 나를 위해 자기 자신을 주신 하나님 아들에 대한 믿음 안에서 사는 것이라.”

이것이 예수 그리스도가 다음과 같이 선포하신(declare) 이유입니다.

“나는 부활이요 생명이니, 나를 믿는 자는 비록 죽을지라도 살 것이요, 살아서 나를 믿는 자마다 결코 죽지 않으리라. 너희는 이를 믿느냐?”

이것이 부활의 생명이요 부활의 권능(resurrection power)입니다. 우리는 우리의 실제 삶에서 이 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다. 그렇다면 우리가 어떻게 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있을까요?
저는 이제 여러분과 실제로, 정말로 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상생활에서 누릴 수 있는 방법에 대해 나누고자 합니다. 이런 종류의 삶, 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 향유할 수 있는 네 가지 방법을 여러분과 나누도록 하겠습니다.

첫째, 믿음으로써 믿음을 통해 우리는 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다.
예수님을 우리 개인의 구원자이자 주인으로 믿음으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 이는 믿음에 의해 예수 그리스도를 우리의 개인적 구원자이자 주인으로 받아들임으로써 우리는 우리 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있다는 말입니다.
예, 우리는 압니다. 우리는 이미 인정합니다. 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능은 우리 앞에 부여되어 있습니다. 예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨습니다. 예수님은 우리의 칭의(justification)를 위해, 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다.
그러나 우리가 이를 반드시 믿어야만 하는 것입니다. 아멘? 믿음에 의해 이를 받아들여야만 합니다. 우리가 이것을 받아들일 때 그 진리가 여러분과 저에 대한 현실이 되는 것입니다.
우리는 우리 안에 거하시면서 우리를 살게 하시고 죽어야 할(mortal) 우리에게 삶을 주시는 하나님의 생명을 나날이 깨닫고 그것을 껴안을(embrace) 수 있어야 합니다.
그렇기 때문에 예수님께서는 우리에게 “나는 너희에게 생명을, 영원한 생명을, 부요한 생명을 주기 위해 왔노라”고 격려하십니다.
고린도후서 5: 17을 보시죠.

“그러므로 누구든지 그리스도 안에 있으면 새로운 피조물(새로운 남자, 새로운 여자)이라. 보라(behold), 옛 것은 지나가고 새것이 왔도다!”

아멘! 예수 그리스도를 개인적인 구세주로 믿음으로써 우리는 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 매우 간단하면서도 아주 확실한 단 한 가지 방법인 거죠.

둘째, 우리의 말로, 우리의 입으로, 우리의 혀로 고백함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 즉, 우리가 우리 마음으로 믿는 것을 우리의 입으로 말함으로써 말입니다.
여러분은 여러분의 말이 능력이 있음을 아십니까? 여러분 스스로에게 말해 보십시오.

“내 말은 권능이 있다. 내 말은 권능이 잇다”

이것이 로마서 10: 9에서 이렇게 말하는 이유입니다.

“네가 만일 네 입으로(네 말로) 예수를 주로 시인하며 또 하나님께서 그를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것을 네 마음에 믿으면 구원을 얻으리라.”

아멘! 여러분이 믿고 의롭다 여김을 받는 것은 여러분의 마음으로입니다. 또한 여러분이 고백하고 구원을 받는 것은 여러분의 입, 여러분의 혀를 통해서입니다.
바라건대 매일 아침 여러분이 잠에서 깨어 침대에서 일어날 때마다 이렇게 선포하십시오.

“부활의 권능이 내안에 살고 있다.”

여러분이 아침에 잠에서 깨어 일어날 때마다 여러분의 입으로 선포하십시오.

“그래 오늘도 부활의 권능이 내 앞에 놓여있다.”
“부활의 권능이 오늘 내 안에 살면서 나를 통해 일을 하고 있다.”

아멘!

셋째, 예수 그리스도의 이름, 예수 그리스도의 보혈, 부활의 권능을 모든 상황에 적용함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 실제로 그리고 진정으로 향유할 수 있습니다.
예, 우리는 사탄이 이미 십자가로 인해, 부활로 인해 패배했음을 압니다. 그렇다면 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 어떤 도전이 여러분에게 다가오고자 하면, 예로서 만약 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움, 과거의 쓰라림, 혹은 죄의 유혹, 혹은 심장 한가운데의 고통이 여러분에게 닥쳐올 듯하면, 예수님의 이름을 받들어 선포하십시오.

“내 삶에 저주는 끝났다.”
“내 삶 가운데 원수는 패배하였다.”
“전에는 받아들였던 원수가 이제는 패배하였다”

이를 적용하고 그에 따라 행동하십시오! 예, 우리는 원수가 이미 패배했음을 압니다. 원수의 패배는 예수님의 부활의 권능으로 인침되었습니다(sealed). 우리는 이를 알고 있습니다. 그러나 우리는 이를 실행에 옮겨야(enforce) 합니다. 그것을 바탕으로 행동해야 합니다. 늘 로마서 8:11을 기억하면서 절대 실수하지 마십시오! 이는 앞에서 이미 언급되었습니다만, 한 번 더 반복하겠습니다.

“예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희 죽을 몸도 살리시리라”

이것이 뜻하는 실질적인 의미는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것과 똑 같은 권능이 정확하게 여러분과 제 앞에 놓여 있다는 것입니다. 믿음에 의해 똑 같이 적용되는 것이죠. 그러므로 우리는 매일 예수님의 이름을, 특히 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 적용해야 하는 것입니다. 아멘?

마지막으로, 이는 매우 중요한 포인트입니다만, 복음을 전함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 향유할 수 있습니다.
다시 본문으로 돌아가서 1절을 보시죠.

1: “형제들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니,”

3절에서 이렇게 이어집니다.
3: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로(우선순위 1번으로) 너희에게 전하였으니,…”

그렇습니다. 복음을 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 가장 잘 누릴 수 있는 것입니다. 절대 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시오! 복음은 큰 기쁨을 주는 구원에 관한 좋은 소식입니다. 복음은 모든 믿는 자의 구원을 위한 하나님의 권능입니다.
여기서 만약 우리가 구원을 위한 좋은 소식인 복음을 받아들인다면 우리는 또한 똑같은 구원, 똑 같은 부활의 권능, 그리고 또한 우리를 통해 하나님의 격려를 필요로 하는 다른 사람들에게 다시 이 소식을 전해주어야만 합니다.
만약 여러분이 구원을 받는다면 이는 복음 메시지가 어떤 사람에 의해 여러분에게 전해졌음(pass on to)을 뜻합니다. 왜 복음이 여러분에게 전해졌습니까? 여러분에게 복음이 전해지는 목적은 여러분을 통해 다른 사람들에게 전해지기 위함이라는 것을 기억하시기 바랍니다.
또한 복음은 뉴스입니다. 우리는 복음을 좋은 소식이라 부릅니다. 뉴스는 무엇입니까? 뉴스는 발표되어야 합니다. 뉴스는 발표되어야만 뉴스인 것이죠. 뉴스는 발표되기 위해서, 다른 사람들과 공유되기 위해서 존재하는 것입니다.
이것이 그의 부활 이후 예수님이 자기 제자들로서, 자기 추종자들로서 우리가 이행하도록 남기신, 가장 중요한 것으로서의 하나의 명령(Command), 하나의 사역(Commission)입니다. 마가복음 16: 15이 곧 이것입니다.

“너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민(all creation)에게 복음을 전파하라”

그가 부활 후 승천(ascension)하시기 남기신 단 하나의 문장은 “온 천하에 다니며 모든 사람들에게 좋은 소식을 전하라”입니다. 아멘!

(요약하면) 예수 그리스도를 믿음으로써, 우리의 말로 고백함으로써, 예수 그리스도의 이름을, 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 실제의 삶에 적용함으로써, 그리고 마지막으로 이 소식, 이 복음을 다른 사람들과 나누고 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 아멘!

하나님께서 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능으로 우리 모두를 축복하시기를 빕니다. 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도드립시다.

                  - 아 멘 - 
  • Apr 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)

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A real child needs discipline for growth

Hebrews 12:5-11 (Pastor Heo)

12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Today’s message is a little solid food for adult children of God. God bless us with this solid food.


Here’s one simple question: very important. Are you a child of God? Are you a daughter / son of God?

Before receiving this passage, we must be clear in this matter – because today’s passage is for the children of God.

If you are sure of your sonship / daughtership of God, then today’s passage is just for you. One keyword: “children / son” this word is repeated 7x.

v. 5 “The word of encouragement that addresses you as sons…”

We must be children of God to receive today’s passage. How can we become children of God. It is very simple, but only in one way. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord can we become children of God.

John 1:12-13 “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be call children of God…”

Only Jesus is the source of our faith – the ground, object, foundation, author, perfecter, pioneer, finisher of our faith. If we are really children of God, he will provide what we need – both in this world and the world that comes next.

However, we must also realize that discipline is essential.

Another keyword: “discipline.” In these 7 verses, the word “discipline” is repeated. The root of “discipline” and “disciple” are the same etymologically. This may have many meanings: punish, rebuke, train, teach, instruct. If we are really children of God, then discipline is essential for our growth and maturity.

Think about your personal experience between father / son, parents / children. Once, we were all children to our fathers and mothers. Today we may be fathers or mothers to our own children today.

v. 9 “moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it… “

If our human fathers are normal and faithful to their human children, they will discipline them. Without discipline, our children may become tyrants. If I let my son do whatever he wants all the time, with no rules, he will become a bad boy, and I will be a bad father.

Sometimes we may feel like spanking our neighbor’s children, and they may feel like spanking our children, but we do not do that. Human fathers only discipline their own children, this shows that the children are their own.

Yes, sometimes human parents discipline children when they should not, or in the wrong way. And sometimes they do not discipline when they should. No human fathers are perfect but they do their best in the time the have with their children. And this human imperfection reminds us of the perfection of our heavenly father.

v. 8 “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

At that time: “illegitimate children” were from slave girls or concubines. They received no recognition from their fathers, no discipline, no inheritance.

So, if we are disciplined by God, we can be encouraged that we really are children of God. “…if indeed we share in his sufferings that we may share in his glory. We know that our current sufferings cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans)

God disciplines only adult children, those he loves.

Also, as parents, we do not discipline infants – we only care for them.

And so if we are disciplined by God, it shows that we are growing and maturing and given adult standing in God’s family.

In our personal experience, there are many kinds of discipline, but let me say according to the Bible, roughly speaking, there are three kinds of discipline:

1. Corrective discipline

When we sin or do wrong we can receive corrective discipline – because he is our father and loves us.

When he disciplines us, he is not happy, he doesn’t enjoy it, he feels pain. But he disciplines us when we do wrong, when we sin, because he wants us to grow and mature.

King David is a good example of this. We know some of his stories.

He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband Uriah killed in the battlefield to hide his sin. But God knew, and like this we can hide nothing from God.

Then, his son Amnon raped his half sister. Absolom killed him, then rebelled against David to become king.

This was STEEP correction – but through this, David learned much and grew in grace. He confessed, “My God, my God, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, and cleanse me from my sin. I know my sin. I was sinful at birth from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Yes, through this terrible experience, David grew in knowing God more. God disciplined David because he loved him so much, he was a son to God.

2. Preventative discipline

The apostle Paul is a good example of this. We know he was very dedicated and committed for his whole life to preaching the gospel. He was humble. Nevertheless, God gave him a thorn in his body to keep him from becoming conceited due to the great revelations he had from God. God allowed him to have weakness and sickness to keep him humble. Paul prayed 3 times to remove this weakness, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul confessed, “For Christ’s sake, I rejoice in my weakness, in my difficulties, in my persecutions, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Through his physical weakness, he experienced the power of Jesus Christ manifested and demonstrated through his weakness.

3. Educational discipline

Job is a good example of this. God gave him to us as a good example of patience, perseverance, and endurance. Recently, today, we need these more than ever.

Job was blameless, upright, feared God, worshiped God sincerely, shunned evil. God was so proud of him even before Satan. But Satan challenged this, “Does Job fear you for nothing? If you take away all the blessings you’ve given him, then he will stop worshiping you.”

God said, “OK, strike him, but spare his life.” So Satan afflicted him.

Usually, discipline comes because we are doing poorly. But also sometimes, discipline can come because we are doing so well.

Job was a spiritual athlete. Because of his excellence, God brought a greater challenge to him so that he might rise to higher levels of spirituality.

In the later chapters of Job, “God knows the levels he is testing me, and when I come out of the fire, I will come out as gold.”

When God disciplines us, Satan tempts us to believe, “God doesn’t care for me, he has left me.” Actually, the very opposite is true. He disciplines us because he is with us, loves us, cares for us, and he wants us to grow and grow and grow until we are like Jesus in our character and attitude.

What are the benefits of discipline? There are many, but we should remember God’s right discipline in the right time, in the right way.

God’s discipline is always for our good, for our highest good. “God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good.”

God’s discipline is always to our advantage. Here are some advantages to our discipline, sufferings, and difficulties, and problems. In this world, we cannot escape these things, but we must be able to respond positively by faith.

1. Helps us to look upward and forward instead of inward

God provides patience, endurance, good character, hope, love in our suffering.

Romans “Therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have gained access to this grace in which we now stand. We rejoice in the glory of God and also in our sufferings, which produces patience, endurance, character, and hope, which does not disappoint us because God has poured his love into our hearts.”

2. We can trust in God’s sovereignty for our lives

Romans 8:28 “In all things, God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.”

3. Sufferings enable us to help others who are suffering

2 Cor 1:4 “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we may comfort others in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

For children, remember, discipline is essential. But discipline is not the purpose, it is only the means.

What is the purpose of God? Let’s see the last two verses:

v. 10-12 “but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

God’s plan for us is righteousness, peace, joy and holiness, sharing in his nature.

So, what about this world around us? Why do we need discipline? To live a righteous life in this unrighteous world; to live peaceful; to live holy; to live godly life in this ungodly world. So, we must continually focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us continue running with patience this race set before us. God loves you so much and desires we grow and grow and grow without stop until we become like our example, Jesus Christ.

God bless you to be victorious in living a Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 29 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)

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The conclusion of Chapter 11: Faith

Hebrews 12:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

God Disciplines His Sons

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.


We finished chp 11’s study last time: the chapter of Faith. Through this study, we have seen heroes of faith in the OT. These are just a few, so the author says, “What more shall I say? I don’t have enough time to tell more.”

This first part of chp 12 is the conclusion of chp 11.

“Because..” we have seen faith, the demonstration and power of faith, … these 4 verses are actually the conclusion of chp 11.

In this conclusion, we can see a strong word: “Let us”

  1. Let us throw off
  2. Let us run
  3. Let us fix our eyes

This is not a suggestion, but a strong, absolute encouragement.

1. Altogether, we must do it together.

We must edify, minister, serve together because we are linked together as one body of Christ, we are affected and affecting each other. So, in verse 1, we can see the summary of the Christian life. What is it in this world?

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance [endurance, determination] the race marked out for us.”

We are like runners, athletes, marathon runners.

First, we have a purpose, a goal, a finishing line. We have a finishing line in our lives – a purpose, a goal, a final destination.

Yes, as Christians, we are travelers, foreigners, pilgrims, but we are not tourists. Our lives are leading somewhere. We must lead goal-driven, purpose-driven lives. What is the purpose of your lives? What is driving your life? What is the driving force?

We have purpose, a finishing line, but like runners, every athlete has his own running course and finishing line. But the running course / finishing line is just offered to them – they have no right to decide their own course or finishing line. This running course and finishing line was offered to them by the host of the race.

Like this we have a course and a finish line, but we have no right to choose our own course nor finish line – because we are not the hosts. Our maker, God, Creator, Father, is the host.

Romans 8:28 “God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.”

2. We have witnesses / inspiration

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,…”

This cloud of witnesses was introduced in the previous chapter, 11. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Joseph. Also, my father and mother are acting as witnesses for me / to me.

They are witnesses in a double sense – they witnesses about their confession to Christ, and are now witnessing to us, but not as spectators.

Martyr comes from the Greek word translated for “witness.” They are not merely observing us, but they are witnessing to us, and God is witnessing to us. From this truth, we can know that this is a hard time, but whatever sufferings we are going through, there are many witnesses and people of faith before us who suffered much more than us, but endured to the end and won the race. They are cheering us on: “I did it! So can you! Endure to the end!”

We do not struggle alone – we are not the first people who are experiencing suffering and difficulties, and we have witnesses.

3. We have handicaps / weaknesses

We are surrounded by the greatness of the past, but are also surrounded by our handicaps / weaknesses / hindrances.

v. 1

“…let us throw off [remove] everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,…”

We must know that yes, we are human, so we are surrounded by sin and temptation to sin as long as we stay in this world. But we must know that with sin, it is impossible to run and finish this race well.

What is sin that so easily entangles you or me? Disbelief, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, lust, envy, jealousy, self-indulgence? What is the sin holding us back from running this race? Whatever it is, it must be stripped off and left behind.

Jesus “If you eye / hand / foot causes you to sin, gouge it out because it is better for you to enter heaven with only one, than go to hell with both.”

This shows that we cannot finish this race without radical determination and fighting. We must fight continually – not only sin, but also hindrances – they must be removed.

What are hindrances? Maybe not sin, but if it hinders your running, it must be removed.

“…let us throw off every [weight]…”

For example: my necktie, nice? Yes, wearing a necktie and these clothes are not a sin, but if I participate in a running race, I must remove these things – I must change my clothes because these make me heavy, weighty, and slow, preventing me from running well in this race.

This about this sincerely. What is holding you back from this faith race? We must be very sincere and honest in this question.

4. We have means / method to endure

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

– endurance, perseverance

We know in a marathon, endurance, perseverance, stamina, energy are essential. Like this, in the Christian race, endurance is very essential. But we must know that biblical endurance is not merely sitting down and receiving things, rather it means refusing to give up without the loss of hope. Biblical perseverance = nothing can stop us from going our course until we reach our final destination and touch the final finishing line.

How is this possible? How can we do it in this world?

Today’s sermon is : the conclusion of chp 11. So, what is the conclusion of this message?

The conclusion: Jesus Christ

The answer to all the questions: Jesus Christ

v. 2-4

“2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” [the point of death]

Remember in chp 11, there is one sentence I repeated almost every time? “by faith…” we are saved, justified, being sanctified, will be glorified, can please God, can overcome this world.

This was purposeful – to make something clear. We can see what is clear in this sentence: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, faith helps us to be positive in our thinking, and optimistic in our perspective, strong in our self / mind control. But we must be clear that positive thinking itself is not faith, an optimisitic attitude is not faith.

Faith = believing in Christ as Savior and Lord – accepting and confessing him, committing my whole life to him as Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the source, the ground, the foundation, the reason, object, goal, of our faith, the author and perfecter of our faith.

This means, he is the founder, originator, pioneer, finisher of our faith. So, I said in the first sentence, in the Christian life we have 4 things – and the answer is found only in Christ.

  1. Goal / Purpose (Christ is our goal – if he is your Savior and Lord) – our worship, service, ministry, everything we are doing must be Christ-centric because he is the measure of all things
  2. Witness / inspiration (Jesus is the inspiration of all inspirations) – we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but Jesus must be the whole sky – the center of our sight.
  3. Handicaps / temptations (the only way to find freedom, cleansing, sanctification from all these things is Jesus – 1 John “the blood of Christ purifies us from all sins”)
  4. Means / endurance / patience (through the study of chp 11, we have seen how much they endured in their lives, but Jesus endured far more than any hero of faith in chp 11)

Jesus endured the cross. It means = shame, suffering, opposition, contradiction, the most terrible / horrible / painful / shameful death.

v. 4

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

None of us endured to the point of death – but he did. On the cross, he suffered for all the sins of all the people all over the world. Only Jesus is a perfect example for us to follow – a perfect example of patience and endurance.

1 Peter 2 “To this you were called, because Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow.”

He is an example and an enabler.

v. 3

“Consider him..” This is the greatest power – as long as we consider what he did and how he did it, there is nothing in this world we cannot endure. He is the greatest power in this world to overcome all things, temptations, challenges, hardships.

Why / how could he do that and for what?

v. 2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This event happened 2000 years ago, but due to that joy, he is now rejoicing. We can know pain is short, but joy is long, eternal.

What joy was he expecting? He endured the cross expecting the joy set before him in advance. What was that joy? It enabled him to endure even the cross, even to the point of death.

We can see at least 3 kinds of joys he was expecting

  1. Joy of the reunion with his Father in heaven (his homecoming day)
  2. Joy of being crowned with honor and glory and making everything put under his feet (after resurrection “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me”)
  3. Joy of salvation of his believers (your salvation is Jesus’ joy – he endured for our salvation)

If Jesus did not endure the cross, then your and my salvation would be impossible. Due to his sacrifice on the cross, our salvation has become possible.

So, today, what is our joy?

Today Jesus invites us to share in his joy together. If we can see that joy set before us by faith in advance, then we can endure any situation and difficulty even joyfully.

God bless us that Jesus’ joy make be ours. Still his joy is available to us if we live by faith in Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 22 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)

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By faith let us stand firm to the end

Hebrews 11:35-40 (Pastor Heo)

35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

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


Let us trust God fully and wholly in this time. God bless his church in this time.

This is the last part of this great chapter on faith, but we will see the conclusion of this chapter next time in the first part of chp 12. Let’s open our Bibles and read together.


Faith, what is faith? Being sure of what we hope for – assurance, conviction, confidence in the unseen. By faith we are saved, justified, being sanctified, and one day we will be glorified. By faith we please God, give glory to God, overcome the world. Today, according to the text, let me share some characteristics of real faith.

Faith has the power of balance.

Faith is unconditional.

Relative faith is not faith. Conditional faith is not faith. What does it mean, “Faith has the power of balance”?

Last time: By faith, they experienced wonderful victory in war, marvelous deliverance and escape from lions and fury of fire, experienced the rising of the dead. This is the power of great faith.

Today, the story looks the opposite.

By the same faith, some experienced empowerment to persevere, endure in suffering to the end even to the point of death – without losing their hope of the better and eternal resurrection.

Faith provides empowerment.

To persevere and endure in suffering.

Something true can be proved as true. This can be proven as true only by enduring to the end.

If we have “true” faith in Christ, how can we prove it? We can reveal it as true only by remaining faithful to Christ to the end.

Jesus “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Something that is revealed, exposed as not true in the end was not true from the beginning.

So, steadfast faith in Christ does not guarantee a problemless life in this world. Actually true faith almost always guarantees some form of abuse in this world.

v. 36-37

“36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–“

From the world’s view, they are miserable losers – terrible losers. From the temporary and material, they lost everything. But in God’s view, they are great winners and great victors. From the eternal values, they gained everything.

What is faith? The power to see something from God’s view, not from the world’s view – from an eternal value, not a temporary value.

Sometimes to endure and persevere takes more faith than to escape. If God is glorified by delivering his people, yes, he will do that – deliver them from suffering, from difficulties, from any hardships. God is almighty God.

But if it is better to suffer and persevere for some time even to the end (from his eternal perspective) then God will allow us to suffer. But he will provide us with power to endure and persevere.

So, do not conclude that the absence of immediate deliverance is a lack of love for his children.

Faith looks to the future – to eternity

For that is where the greatest rewards are found. Faith empowers us to turn from the approval of this world and seek the approval of God.

Some baby Christians may think that pain and suffering are an exception in the Christian life. So when this happens, they may ask, “Why me?” and they may feel that God deserted them – and is not as dependable as they thought.

But mature Christians ask, “Why NOT me?” If we expect pain or suffering, we will not be surprised when suffering comes.

John 16:33 “In this world, you will have troubles, but take heart: I have overcome the world.”

We can overcome the world, any kinds of suffering, pain, difficulty, hardship, by faith in Christ.

v. 38

“38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

The world was not worthy of them…

This sentence is very short, but VERY powerful.

It means this world was not worthy of those who live by faith. The evaluation of this world and that of God are totally different.

Paul: a good illustration of this.

  • The world evaluated Paul: “You are out of your mind! You are insane! Not fit to live!”
  • God said, “You are my chosen vessel, my chosen instrument – for my purpose.”

This is very different. If you live by faith in Christ, God will be very proud to be called your father. If you live by faith in Christ, this world does not deserve to contain you as its own possession.

Example:

A container + a thing

If the container is so dirty, but the thing is so pure and clean and precious, then this container is not worthy of this thing.

Like this, the world is sinful and selfish and only material, temporary.

If we are really people of faith, it means we are fighting the good fight against sin and selfishness.

Yes, we are a body, but also spirit and made to live eternally with God in heaven. Thus, this world does not deserve to contain us as its own possession.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires and passions pass away, but the man who does the will of God [lives by faith] lives forever.”

Even though we live in this world, remember, the world is not worthy of us because we are living by faith in Christ.

v. 39-40

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

For several times we have studied this great chapter of faith. Do you remember the opening verse?

v 39 and v 2 are similar:

  • v 39 “These were all commended for their faith, “
  • v 2 “This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Those who persevered in suffering were commended for their faith. It means that God never forgets those who love him and serve him.

v 39 “yet none of them received what had been promised.”

This means: God had planned something better for you and me.

Hebrews is the book of better:

  • Better hope,
  • better sacrifice,
  • and so on.

God has planned “something better” – what is it? A new and better covenant, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The faithful of OT times died before the Messiah appeared, so they entered heaven by faith – with the Promise unfulfilled. Only IN Jesus Christ (the new covenant), their salvation, our salvation, and the salvation of future believers – will be made perfect and complete.

One day, all the OT believers, NT believers, and future believers will share the promised blessing in Jesus Christ.

Faith is personal, individual, and private.

We know that faith is personal, individual, and private. I’m saved by MY faith – not my parents’. This means it is personal, individual and private. At the same time, faith involves the entire community of all believers. So how can we get connected? To the local church, through a small group, sharing with each other. To the Christian overseas, through the support of missions.

Also, all believers in Christ are connected vertically and horizontally – with one Savior, one Father, one hope.

Faith is also social.

Our salvation / faith is personal, but also social. It concerns the whole children and family of God.

As I mentioned, all believers are called a “family of God” with one hope, one Savior, one Father.

God is in control of everything. He is so faithful in keeping his word and fulfilling his promise. The Bible encourages us: “Do not be afraid, do not fear, do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus’ saying looks likes opposites.

  • He says, “In this world you will have trouble.”
  • and also, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

If we have faith, we can live without fear.

Q: Is Jesus really your Lord and Savior? If that is true, that is enough. Jesus encourages us and promises “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me shall never die.” Do you believe this?

Jesus challenges us in this.

Promise: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted [to suffer] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor 10:13 – Jesus himself suffered for us, and is now sitting in heaven and interceding for us.

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

Romans 8:38 “In all things, [including what is happening all around us today], God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Amen

Let us stand firm to the end by faith. Let us love God and Christ more and more with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength because he is working for our good, for our benefit from an eternal perspective.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 15 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)

Full Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

Hallelujah!

God is looking for true worshipers to worship in spirit and truth. If you are worshiping God in truth and spirit, God is with you there. But I miss you. I long to see you again in this room together. So let us continue to worship and pray believing his wonderful promise. In all things, God is working together to bless those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Hebrews 11:32-34

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

And what more shall I say? ….

Gideon, Barack, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets…


We are still in the great chapter of faith. We know and agree totally by faith we are saved, we are justified, sanctified, we can overcome any problem in this world, please God, we can see the glory of God, the presence of God, the unseen. By faith we can experience victory.

“By faith, we can experience victory!”

I bless you to experience wonderful victory in life by faith through Jesus Christ.

The OT records the lives of many people who experienced wonderful victory by faith. As we know, faith is a dynamic certainty. A visual certainty, and future certainty. The role call of the heroes of faith continues here.

v. 32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets,

Only a few are mentioned here, but none of them are perfect in their character. Many of their sins are recorded in the OT but these people were among those who believed in God. These people lived by faith in their whole lives. It means faith can operate in the lives of any person who surrenders to the will of God.

David, Samuel, the prophets and so on. Faith can operate in the lives of anyone who surrenders their whole lives to God. Let us see each of them one by one.

Gideon

One of the judges in the OT in Judges. Gideon was a timid farmer at first, but God had a great vision for him to become a great and mighty warrior. One day the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Though he was a timid farmer, the Lord called him a “mighty warrior.”

As we know, he conquered the Midianite army with a group of only 300 men armed with trumpets and torches, no swords. This is the victory by faith.

Barak

At first he refused to go forward, but at the prompting of Deborah, he assembled 10,000 men and faced the army before them and won a tremendous victory by faith in God.

Samson

We know this story well. In his story, he was always fighting alone. He was also a judge in the book of Judges. He was a Nazarite – devoted to God from birth. He never cut his hair, never drank alcohol, etc. But usually we don’t think of Samson as a man of faith – a godly man – because of his love life with an ungodly woman. But finally, Samson trusted God wholly and was willing to give his life to serve God and destroy his enemies.

David

We know his story – he had once been just a shepherd boy. But to his own and everyone else’s astonishment, he was anointed king over all his brothers. He defeated all his enemies and brought peace to Israel.

One day, in his battle against Goliath, he showed great faith by shouting against his enemy. He was just a teenager at that time. “You came against me with sword, javelin, and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord, whom you have defied today. Today, the Lord will hand you over to my hand so that all Israel will know that you are the Lord God.”

Samuel

Samuel was the last judge and a prophet. He was the founder of the kings of Israel – he anointed both Saul and David.

Samuel had lived a life of faith since he was a boy. By faith, he delivered the word of God to anyone at any time by faith, boldly – even to the sinning King Saul. “Does the Lord delight in the sacrifices and burnt offerings as much as to obey the voice of the Lord. To obey is better than sacrifice. To heed the voice of God is better than the fat of lambs.” This faithful proclamation became a mark of true prophets.

The Prophets

They were faithful and isolated witnesses to God. They demonstrated that faith will accomplish much and has the power to overcome enemies and gain victory.

Who is our enemy today? Satan, sin, unspiritual world.

There is a demonstration of what happened by faith in their practical lives.

v. 32-34 – this is the example of demonstration by faith

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

In this passage, we see 8 examples:

  1. conquered kingdoms (OT history) – Joshua, Judges, King David conquered kingdoms and enemies
  2. administered justice – Judges, Nehemiah, other national leaders administered justice and righteousness to the people
  3. gained what was promised – some people in the OT did see the fulfillment of God’s promise (Possession of the Promised Land)
  4. shut the mouth of lions (Daniel) – saved from the mouths of lions but not only him – it could also refer to David and Samson
  5. quenched the fury of the flames (Daniel) – Shadrach, Mishach, Abednego – saved and delivered from the fire, from the burning furnace “Even though we are thrown into the fire, we believe our God is able to save us; yet even if he doesn’t we will continue to serve our God” (this is absolute faith in God)
  6. escaped the edge of the sword – David, Elijah, Elisha
  7. whose weakness was turned to strength – King Hezekiah – experienced tremendous recovery and wonderful healing and strength after his sickness
  8. became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies

Joshua experienced this wonderful victory and power against their enemies.

We believe God is alive. Do you believe this? God is still the same in his power.

Heb 13:8 “Our Lord Jesus is the same yesterday (OT), today, and forever.”

From this story, we get three lessons to apply and enjoy:

1. Victories against enemies

We also can experience this by faith in Christ

We may have a similar experience to those of OT saints, but more likely those victories will be more related to the role God wants us to play. These may not include such dramatic events as these, but surely includes the moment our faith is tested. At that moment, we must be able to give our testimony publicly, honestly, and encourage the faith of others.

We agree that even though our bodies deteriorate, and will die some day, but we will live forever in eternity in Jesus Christ, simply because we believe in him.

Our physical death will be defeated and conquered. His victory will be made perfect and complete.

Romans 8:33-39 “In all these things… (including what is happening today)… we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…neither death nor life… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in us in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There is no longer any condemnation through Christ.

1. Victory through faith

2. God can deliver the faithful man

Who is the faithful One? If you are the faithful One today, then God can deliver you and me ANYTIME he wants.

  1. Noah, for example, were saved from a flood that drowned all the rest of the human race at that time.
  2. Moses and the people walked through the Red Sea as on dry land.
  3. Joshua crossed the flooded Jordan river.
  4. Rahab survived the fallen walls of Jericho.
  5. Gideon prevailed 1000:1 against an army.

Like this, God also can deliver us TODAY, victoriously, triumphantly – and he can save us at any time from difficulties, persecutions, coronavirus, oppression of the culture today – God is doing this job again and again.

Salvation is God’s job. But we must remember: All the time, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ.

3. If you have faith in Christ, God has a wonderful plan for your life

God has a mission / task for your life. It is impossible to live by faith without mission. It is impossible to live by faith without a God-given task. We can do nothing apart from Christ, but at the same time, IN Jesus Christ, by faith in him, we CAN do. We can do great things that are only possible by faith.

So if we are to do great things, we must accept these things by faith willingly, confidently, because he was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised again to life for our sanctification and glorification.

By faith, we can experience victory!

1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world – even our faith in Jesus Christ.”

God bless all of us for his glory, for his kingdom, for our victory in this world, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 08 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

God wants to save someone through you

Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1, 6:25 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


We have faith in Jesus – the power to see the unseen. God is spirit – this means he is a person, alive, eternal, but not material. God is anywhere, everywhere at the same time.

If you can see God by faith, where you are, then God is there because he is the most holy God. God bless us all with his peace and joy.


Last Sunday we saw the demonstration of faith by Joshua and his people. They entered Jericho and circled it 13 times. The last time, they shouted the shout of faith – crying the cry of faith to God. With the shouting and trumpet blast, the wall of Jericho collapsed totally by the power of God.

In this complete destruction, there was one person, saved from this destruction – Rahab (and her family).

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

  1. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.
  2. Then 40 years passed and they entered the entrance of the Promised Land, Canaan.
  3. They needed to spy it out again because the whole older generation was gone and Moses was no longer with them.
  4. So the new leader, Joshua – one of the original 12 spies, sent out 2 new spies to investigate the fortifications of Jericho.
  5. Only 2 men went Jericho and entered a hotel – the house of Rahab. The king there heard this and sent soldiers to arrest the spies.

Rahab hid the spies on her roof and later said to them, “I know God has given this land to you – the whole land is in fear because of you. Your God is the real God of heaven and earth.” This means Rahab saw the unseen.

Rahab asked them, “Swear to me to show me and my family kindness because I have shown you kindness.” They said, “OK, put a scarlet cord on the window of your house. When we destroy the city, we will spare you and your family when we see the scarlet cord. But remember, if anyone goes outside your house, we will not be responsible for their destruction. But anyone inside your house, we will be responsible for their deliverance.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

This means, Rahab saw the unseen – she demonstrated her faith in God by welcoming the spies. She trusted herself and her family to God when Jericho was destroyed completely. We don’t know how many nor who exactly were inside the house of Rahab, but what is sure is that everybody who was inside the house of Rahab was spared from total destruction – due to the scarlet cord hanging over her window.

Scarlet = blood color

This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of the Passover Lamb which had happened 40 years earlier when they left Egypt. Also, that night, anyone inside the house with the blood of the Passover Lamb was saved from the destruction of the first born.

This means, what happened with Rahab compares with the Passover Lamb. This is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ – shed on the cross for us – who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for our sin, justification, salvation.”

This means, through the story and action of Rahab, we can know that true faith must always show itself in good works.

Remember the book of James – this book makes it clear that true faith produces works. It uses 2 people as examples of true faith: Abraham and Rahab. This is amazing.

This means that Abraham and Rahab are presented as parallels in the same level of faith.

“Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son on the altar. Like this, Rahab was justified by faith when she received the spies and sent them away safely.”

The point: Abraham’s faith was costly – Rahab’s faith was costly. True faith shows up in action – even when it costs.

Simple question: Is our faith real? Can it be seen in our action? Are we willing to let it cost us something? We can, we will if our faith is real.

Also true faith helps us to turn around and do what is right regardless of our past or what others may think.

Yes, we are now studying the great chapter of faith. Until now, we have seen individual persons “by faith…” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab…

Among all of them, Rahab is the ONLY woman: a Gentile, pagan, prostitute. She is the LAST listed “by faith.”

This means that God’s works are not limited by people’s limitations. He can do GREAT things through people who are not great. He is doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He uses all kinds of people to accomplish his job, his purpose, his design. He wants to use you and me because God is great.

Through this story of Rahab, remember: nobody can give an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, in this story we can know who was Rahab, so we must know the sentence, “I don’t know very much about the Bible can NOT be an excuse for not knowing Christ. She knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she knew.”

Romans “From the beginning of the world, God’s divine powers and eternal attributes can be seen, so that no one can boast.”

In my experience, I’ve met so many people who said, “I’m too bad to be saved.” But no one is too bad. This woman was a prostitute, but delivered by her faith through God.

1 Tim “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner, of whom I’m the worst.”

“The son of God did not come into the world for the healthy, but for the sick.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he saved his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

There is no one in this world who cannot be saved. God wants everyone to come to him and be saved.

Also, we can get a great lesson from this story to enjoy and apply in our lives.

Rahab received not only salvation from this destruction, but also glorification.

You know, Joshua 6:25 “…She lives [present tense] among the Israelites to this day.” What does this mean? In the church history, Rahab became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married an Israelite named Salmon – the father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. This means, she is the great great grandmother of King David.

In Matthew 1, we can also see her name in the genealogy of Jesus.

Imagine, a prostitute becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. That’s what faith can do.

In our story, sin, just like Rahab’s story – if we have faith, it will be rewarded in glory.

Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits.”

Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Cols 3 “When Jesus Christ appears, you also will appear will him in Jesus Christ….”

God is working his purposes through his people, but he does not expect perfection from us because he knows how weak we are. He gives grace, mercy, wisdom, compassion, even faith. But he does expect us to take action because of our faith. He expects us to hang a scarlet cord over our windows in faith. Still today, he wants to save our families.

Acts “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Still today, God wants to save our family, our household, our neighbors, our friends, through us.

God bless us as a heavenly channel of salvation, justification, and glorification.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 01 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)

March 1, 2020 Full online service

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let us shout: “Hallelujah!”

Hebrews 11

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 


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

Christianity = hope for a better future. The best is yet to come because we are made to live eternally. By faith we see God who is in control of everything – working for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

Last Sunday, Moses’ faith.
Today, Joshua’s faith (Moses successor).

The people of Israel came out of Egypt for the Promised Land, and Moses led them in the wilderness for 40 years up to the entrance of the Promised Land. At that moment, Moses was succeeded by Joshua. And at last, the people entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. But the Promised Land was not a furnished apartment, nor an empty land. Even though they received it, they had to fight to take and occupy it.

How about in our story? We are saved: salvation guarantees eternal, exciting, heavenly life, but salvation does not mean “easy life” nor a jobless life. Rather, we are entrusted with a task, a great mission to fight for and fulfill in this world.

In this world, the first enemy they fought against was Jericho city – a fortified stronghold. At that time, most of the Israelites had never even seen a fortified city. So, to take that fortified city, it seemed impossible. It was impossible to conquer. But Joshua 6:1 says, “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.”

At this moment, God said to Joshua, “I have given this city into your hands” – and he gave clear, explicit instructions to follow. Just, they had to MARCH. Today is the first day of March.

They had to circle the walls of the city once per day for 6 days, and on the 7th day, to circle it 7 times.

The order:

  • Line 1: Soldiers
  • Line 2: 7 priests with trumpets
  • Line 3: Priests carrying the ark of the Covenant
  • Line 4: Representatives of each tribe
  • Last line: Rear guard of soldiers
  • Middle: Ark of the Covenant
  • The 7 priests blew trumpets occasionally.

Very important: They had to keep silent. They had to remain absolutely silent during the march and circling. But on the 7th day, they had to march 7 circles – 6 of which were to be silent. During the final, 7th circle, all priests blared the trumpets and Joshua commanded the people to SHOUT!! “God has given this city into our hands!” They all shouted together.

At that moment, the walls of Jericho collapsed completely and the people charged straight in and took that city.

This is today’s story.

Also still, God is alive and working for the good of those that love him.

From this story, what messages can we get to get REAL victory for his glory and kingdom? Let me share 3 lessons in our daily lives for victory like this story.

1. SILENCE

During their circling, they had to keep absolute silence. They took 13 circles in all (you can calculate it). Once a day for 6 days and after that on the 7th day, 7 circles. 6 + 7 = 13 circles. Then, during 12 circles, they had to keep perfect silence.

Imagine this situation. To keep silent in this situation was VERY difficult. During their circling, there was no change. No reaction, no stone falling, no cracks in the wall. Nothing happened in their visual situation. Imagine, why were they not allowed to speak to each other. If they spoke during the march, probably they would speak only negative words. “Nothing is happening. What are we doing? I don’t know, Joshua said to… This is absurd, ridiculous. Maybe we need a new leader…”

Negative words have a VERY strong power to make other people negative. Negative words are very contagious – like corona virus today.

This time not to speak to people was the time to meditate on the promise of God and the word of God. It was the time to speak to God deeply, earnestly, silently. It was the time to think MORE of what God can do with his power than what I can do with my power.

The secret to a victorious Christian life?
To face God more than facing man.

2. Consider the influence of ONE person’s faith

Do you have faith? Yes, we have faith. The taking of Jericho is the result of an act of faith – of Joshua and also the people.

Heb 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.”

Joshua’s dynamic sureness enabled him to lead the people to victory. One person’s faith can make all the difference for God’s people.

Joshua’s faith communicated and elevated the whole nation’s faith. Likewise today, if you live by faith, you can energize others. You can mobilize others by faith in Christ. Because God is in control of everything. God used Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua.

  • God promised “I am with you” to Moses
  • to Joshua, “Like I was with Moses, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • and Jesus today says, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

We can mobilize and energize through our faith for the whole church to be energized in their faith.

3. SHOUT!

“Hallelujah~!”

Yes, in this story, they were silent when they needed to be silent, but they shouted when they had to shout. This was the shouting of faith – the outward expression of people’s inward assurance and confidence in God. Conquering faith declares itself. Do you have faith?

But understand that the faith that does not shout when it must shout is not faith. Romans 10:10 “If you confess [shout] with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

“If you acknowledge me before men, I will also acknowledge you before my Father in heaven. If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven.”

  • True faith obeys even when it seems strange or unusual.
  • True faith focuses on Jesus.
  • True faith sees the unseen. It sees that “he is with me – and working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
  • True faith allows us to achieve victory in the Lord.

Even today, God will make impossible looking Jerichos fall down by faith.

What are your Jerichos today? If we live by faith, God will make all Jerichos fall down.

Last sentence: I want to encourage all of us strongly:

“Let us take much silent time faithfully before God, and let us shout boldly before this world.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God bless us for his glory, for our good.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Demo of Faith thru Moses

Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.


Faith is conviction, assurance of what is unseen. By faith in Christ, we can have hope in this kind of situation. We can have hope in glory, heaven, eternal life. Also, by faith, we can live a heavenly life on this earth.

Last Sunday, we saw the demonstration of faith by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

We know Genesis finishes with the story of Joseph. And the story of Moses begins in Exodus. In the time of Joseph, there was still great famine in Canaan, and he invited his whole family from Canaan to Egypt – where he was Prime Minister. So, all Jacob’s children and grandchildren (70 in all) settled in Egypt. But Joseph knew that a day would come when they would leave Egypt. They knew their settlement was not permanent, but temporary. “One day, God will come and take you out of this land to the Promised Land. At that time, take my bones with you.” From the death of Joseph to the beginning of Exodus was 400 years.

They ended Genesis with 70 people, and became 1-2 million by the start of Exodus (400 years later).

A new king, who did not know Joseph became king and became afraid of the people becoming bigger and bigger. So he ordered that the boy babies be killed. In this terrible, dangerous time, Moses was born.

Now in Hebrews, we saw “by faith” x5.

1. Moses’ parents’ faith (and his preservation)

v. 23 “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

  • Moses’ father: Amram
  • Moses’ mother: Jocebeth?

They disobeyed the king by faith. They knew that God had a special plan and purpose for Moses. So “by faith” they hid him for 3 months. But after 3 months, they could no longer hide him because of his crying. They had nothing to do for their child. But we must remember that it was at the very moment that they had something great to do for their loving child – to entrust him to the hand of God – by faith, with prayer. In this terrible, dangerous situation, they made a box of papyrus and tar and pitch, and they put it outside among the reeds along the Nile river.

It is not difficult to imagine what they did after they put that box outside. They knew that God had a special plan upon that child. Is it possible, after putting that box outside to say, “Goodbye, good luck”? No. We can be easily sure what they did after putting that baby box outside. They cried out continually to God, “LORD! Help us!”

If you were in the place of Moses’ mother and father, you would continually cry out also for God’s providence upon that box.

We know that Christian parents can suddenly create an atmosphere of faith at home. This should be the first school of faith – at home.

“They knew he was no ordinary child.” (In a sense, every child is like this to their parents – maybe even geniuses to their parents.) If you are Christian parents, remember, the BEST thing you can do for your son or daughter is to entrust them into the hand of God with constant prayer support. God bless Christian parents.

2. Moses’ identity

v. 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Yes, after putting that basket outside, his parents prayed continuously. His sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to that box.

At that moment, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile river to swim? She saw it and her slave girl opened it. She saw a beautiful baby crying. (We also should cry out before God to receive his mercy – Jer 30:33 “Cry out to me and I will show you unmeasurable things”). Seeing that crying baby the princess had compassion. Immediately, Miriam approached her and said, “May I get a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby for you?” “Yes, OK.” Immediately, she brought the baby’s real mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Please nurse this baby for me and I’ll pay you.”

Imagine this situation. God did something so amazing and so exciting! Sometimes we need to understand that God is doing SO MUCH MORE than we understand and imagine and expect.

This baby was saved from death, adopted by the princess, given the best education and food, raised by his real mother’s milk and love.

In this situation, our lesson is: If Moses wanted, he could identify himself with the Egyptians – as the royal family, an heir of Pharaoh. He could have chosen the easiest, most comfortable life. He could have chosen the pleasures of sin. But in this situation, Moses rejected – refused all of them. Why? How? “By faith…” This is the real power of faith. He chose to be mistreated by the people of God – he chose to suffer “for the sake of Christ.” But wait – Moses lived 1500 years before Jesus was even born. Yet v 26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ…”

Even Christ himself says, “Moses wrote about me, Moses testified about me.” (John’s gospel)

This means that God’s history of salvation and redemption continued through until the birth of Christ. And Christ gave up all his glory for our sake, our salvation, our redemption.

We must know: Are you Christian? If you believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, then you have no choice but to live for Christ.

“Believing in Christ as real Savior and Lord and NOT living for him is impossible.”

  • “Believe” = “Be” and “live”
    • “Be” for Christ
    • “Live” for Christ

So, we must choose careers and life paths that please God.

Therefore, our identity as Christians is so important.

3. Moses’ separation

v 27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

The background – found in Exodus 2. One day, when he was grown, he went out to see how the fellow Hebrews were. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed him. The king heard of that and tried to kill Moses – so Moses fled to Midian. In this same situation, there is a little difference in the Exodus and the Hebrews explanation.

  • Exodus: “Moses feared, so he fled.”
  • Hebrews: “Moses left ‘by faith’.”

This is a different perspective – they seem contradictory – but there is no real contradiction.

  • Exodus = viewing the outward situation
  • Hebrews = seeing more deeply into this story

Yes, Moses did not choose this situation by himself at first. But, when he was confronted by this situation to leave, he didn’t accepted it willingly, with courage. Moses knew that then was not the time for him to take action for his people. He knew he had to wait for God to say, “NOW is the time to go to Pharaoh and take action for my people.”

Sometimes, when our fighting instincts say, “Go on and fight!” But it takes a big and brave man to WAIT. It is human to fear to miss the chance. But it is great to wait for the timing of God. So, by faith, we can see God in all situations.

Today, our situation is good or bad? Bad, they say. But even in this situation, we must see God who is unseen, and we must understand that he is in control of everything. This is the real power of faith.

4. Moses’ salvation

v 28 “By faith by kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

Background: Exodus 12

We know the Passover, the biggest feast in Hebrew history. Spiritually and symbolically, this is also the most significant. It was the 10th and final judgment on Egypt.

Unleavened bread had to be made, and a Passover lamb killed, and every door post smeared with the blood of the lamb. Then, the angel of death would see this blood and “pass over” those houses.

Not only this Passover lamb, but also on that night, as they were leaving Egypt, Moses wrote down that they must keep the Passover forever. In other words, he never doubted that they would leave Egypt and reach and conquer the Promised Land – at some point.

Imagine: Here is a population of 1-2 million slaves – untrained, unorganized, about to start on a dangerous journey through a wilderness, into an unknown land. At the same time, here is a massive, trained, armed force pursuing them.

Yet, Moses never doubted that God would bring them safely through to the Promised Land. This is the power of faith. Are you living by faith.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been crucified for our sins.” Thus, John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Even though we are very weak and do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, our situation, corona virus, whatever, nevertheless, our situation is VERY certain in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the real power of faith.

5. Moses’ Deliverance

v. 29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

Exodus: They were confronted with their first barrier. Yes, we know that our salvation is very safe, but nevertheless, there are many barriers we may face. This is the first: The Red Sea – they needed a way to continue but there was no way – because the soldiers of Egypt were pursuing them very rapidly behind.

In this situation (Exodus 14) Moses proclaimed, “Do not be afraid!” (Front: sea, Back: soldiers) “Stand firm! You will see the deliverance and salvation God will bring you today. The soldiers you see today, you will NEVER see again because God is fighting for us.”

Romans 8 “God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

The real source, the source of real faith – what is the greatest barrier? It is NO barrier if God is there to help us pass over it because God is Almighty. Do you agree? Then, accept it and enjoy it. This is a fact.

The source of real faith is close intimacy in our relationship with God. For Moses, the source of real faith = close intimacy in his relationship with God. Bible says, “Moses spoke to God face to face.”

Also for us:

Source of Faith = Real intimacy with God

Hebrews conclusion? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Remember, the source of real faith is closeness, intimacy in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chp 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our [my] faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)

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You are to live for Eternity

Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Genesis 50

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

When Isaac went to give the blessing to Esau, he was tricked by his wife and son Jacob. When he blessed Jacob the first time, in the trick, he knew that his future blessing would go through Jacob, so later, he blessed Jacob again with full knowledge of this. (This is v. 20)

Jacob had 12 sons and these sons became the Father of the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when his death was near, he blessed them with prophecies and blessings. He also blessed Joseph’s two sons. These were his grandsons.

Manasseh was the first – so he was put on the right hand of Jacob. Ephraim was on the left side because he was the second son.

At that time, Jacob could not see because he was dying, yet he crossed his arms to bless them. His right hand on Ephraim’s head, his left hand on Manasseh’s head. Joseph said, “No father! This is the first son!”

Jacob: “I know. He will be a great nation, but the second will be greater.” By knew (by faith) and blessed them (by faith) according to the will of God.

v. 22

“22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Joseph was the last patriarch and lived a great life of faith. He remembered God’s purpose and plan for him and his descendants. His story:

  1. Sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (at age 17)
  2. Sold again to an official in Egypt (and thrown in jail)
  3. Because of his fear of God, he was eventually promoted to Prime Minister.
  4. He lived until 110.

This means he lived in Egypt 90 years – and he became Prime Minister at age 30 (so he was in the highest position – with power – for about 80 years in Egypt). If he had wanted to, he could have set up his own empire in Egypt as his home. But, amazingly, during his stay, he never considered Egypt as his home. He always considered himself a stranger / foreigner / not a citizen in Egypt – because he remembered God’s promise to his great grandfather Abraham.

He made his children swear to carry his bones out of Egypt when God delivered them. So, these descendants passed his will down generation to generation for 400 years until they were delivered. And finally, Joseph’s mummy (embalmed) was carried out to Canaan where Joshua conquered the land.

What we can learn:

1. To bless others is very important.

  • Jacob blessed his children and grandchildren by faith.
  • Joseph blessed his children and brothers by faith.
  • Parents are given the responsibility / blessing to bless their own children.

In this passage, each person’s life is summarized not by how they lived, but by how they died. Someday, our lives also will be characterized by how we finish this life.

Are you living by faith?

Living by faith is very important. But dieing by faith is MORE important. To die by faith requires us to live by faith.

Say to yourself: “I’m not an accident.”

Your birth is no mistake, no mishap. Perhaps your parents did not plan your birth, but GOD DID. That is why we are here, now, today.

God was not surprised by your birth nor my birth. Long before you were conceived, you were chosen and thought of by God.

Eph “You were chosen before the foundation of the world by Jesus Christ to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

God thought of you before anyone else (he thought of you first). God deliberately designed and decided our days, our times, our birthplaces, the times of our birth and death. He planned where we would be born and where we would live.

This life is very SHORT. At most – less than 100 years. But remember, we will spend eternity in heaven. More than anything else, we were created to live for eternity. We have an inborn instinct to live for eternity. This is because God designed us to live for eternity.

Ecc 3:11 “God has made everything beautiful in its time. And he has set eternity in the minds / hearts of Man.”

But we don’t fully understand what he is doing from beginning to end.

You know, someday, your heart, my heart, will stop beating. This is the end of this body on earth, but it is not the end of you and me. It is just a transition into eternity.

Are you not happy about physical death? But today’s passage mentions Isaac’s death, Jacob’s death, and Jacob’s death. You know the last verse in Genesis is “Joseph died…”

We must be serious about the matter of life and death. The Bible calls our physical body a “tent.”

2 Cor “Now we know that if our tents (physical bodies) are destroyed, we have a house in heaven not built by human hands.”

So, in all this we must live in the light of eternity. We were created to live for eternity.

The main point of this story:

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph received the promise from God, but they never entered the Promised Land in their lifetimes. They never received the promise – Israel never became a great nation, they all lived as strangers in this world. But they didn’t die in despair, but in hope.

Their thoughts and beliefs / faith were like this: God’s promise and plan is VERY SURE and he never breaks his promise. I, personally, may never see that promise fulfilled, but I’m a link in the chain to its fulfillment. So, whether or not that promise comes, depends on me.

We must take the same lesson:

Do you have hope?

Maybe they will NEVER be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but we must live in such a way as to hasten their coming for future generations. And our FINAL HOPE is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Matt 24? “This gospel will be preached in the whole world, and THEN the end will come.” Great Commission: Matt 28 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And surely I’m with you to the very end of the age.”

This Great Commission may not be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but it WILL be fulfilled. Do you believe this? Therefore, we must be a LINK – we must be connected for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We must live from the perspective of eternity.

Faith makes us able to see beyond the temporary, into eternity. It allows us to see beyond what is seen and into unseen.

If we fully comprehend that there is more to life than the here and now, and that our physical life is only preparation for eternity, then we will begin to live differently.

If we really understand that, then many goals, problems, and plans will seem so small and not worthy of our attention. We must use our Time, Talent, and Treasure more wisely, for eternity. WHO I AM is more important than what I have.

Our attitudes and character is much more important than fame, money, possessions, power. Paul: “What was for my gain, I consider loss compared to the greatness of Christ. I consider all things rubbish so that I might be found in Christ.”

We experienced pregnancy in our mother’s womb. This 9-10 months was not an end in itself, but a preparation for life in this world. Likewise, our 90-100 years on earth is preparation for the next life.

“God has a plan. God has a purpose for my life on earth.”

If you believe God has a purpose and plan for your life on earth, you must know that his plan for you doesn’t end in this world. This is very important.

My physical life will end someday, but God’s plan for me doesn’t end even though I pass away at some point. This is a very important lesson for us.

Ps 33:1 “God’s plans / purposes last forever.”

Heb 13:14 “Here we do not have an enduring city, so we are looking forward to the city that is to come.” This world is not our home, so we are looking forward to our everlasting city in heaven.

So, to make the most of our lives in this world, we must keep the value of eternity in our hearts. Measured against eternity, this life is too short – shorter than the blink of an eye. We must know that even though our lives here are very short, the consequences of our actions on earth are eternal – they decide our relationship to God in eternity.

There are many countries, jobs, hobbies, but eternity offers only two options: heaven vs. hell.

If you accept Jesus Christ, if you believe and trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord on this earth, then you will be invited to spend eternity with God in heaven. But if you reject God’s grace through Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity separated from God. That’s why our lives on earth are so important though they are so short.

We are not living yesterday’s life, nor tomorrow’s. “I’m living TODAY’S life.”

Why is “today” so important?

Because “today” is the first day of the rest of our lives (including eternity). And someday – in the future (which will be called “today” on that day) will be our last day, and it is so important.

v. 20-22

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

We are living for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all creation and THEN the end will come.

We may see the fulfillment of this Great Commission in our lives, or we may not. But what is important is that it WILL be fulfilled in God’s time, in God’s way, by those who live BY FAITH. And we must be connected to this.

God bless you.

  • Feb 09 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)

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The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham

Hebrews 11:8-19 (Pastor Heo)

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not seen (not yet seen).

By faith in Christ, we can “see” God and heaven and eternal life – we can live heavenly life on earth and overcome any problems on this earth. By faith we can please God, and make him happy by our faith.

  • Today’s story is the demonstration of faith through Abraham.
  • Last Sunday: Noah

Abram = 12th generation from Noah. He was born in BC 2000 in Mesopotamia (maybe somewhere in Iraq). God’s calling of Abram is a great turning point in Genesis, human, Jewish history.

Genesis has 50 chapters – and can be divided into 2 parts.

  • Chp 1-11 = Primeval history
  • Chp 12-50 = Patriarchal history

Primeval history =

Creation, flood, spread of language and culture (tower of Babel)

Patriarchal history =

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

God promised Abram a son, but they waited 25 years for the fulfillment of that promise.

Abram -> Isaac -> Esau / Jacob

Jacob built the nation of Israel through the birth of his 12 sons, and Joseph saved them from a great famine at that time. Many years later, Moses delivered the people from Egypt in the Exodus.

Faith & obedience go together.

Service and action is outward evidence of inward trust and loving hearts.

Today, let us see some characteristics of REAL faith. But first, let me ask: are you living by faith?

#1 Abraham obeyed God even when he didn’t know WHERE he was going.

v. 8-10

“8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

In Genesis, the background (chp 12) God called Abram and said, “Leave your country – leave your father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll make you into a great nation. I’ll make you a blessing, and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” So… Abram left everything.

Imagine this situation: in this world, in the time of our great grandparents, most people lived in their home village and died there. It was much better to live in your home village than in a foreign land.

4000 years ago, the life of a stranger in a strange land was VERY dangerous. They were met with scorn, discrimination, and hatred.

But Abram left for a foreign land. “Where to?” “I don’t know.”

Can you move to an unknown country? But this faith of Abraham was faith that was ready for adventure.

Most of us live a cautious life on the principle of safety first. But as a Christian, we must have a certain type of wreckless willingness to accept and follow the voice of God who is calling us. Sometimes, we must accept and follow even when we don’t know where we are going.

If you can see EVERY step of the journey, that is not faith – it is sight.

Abram was living in tents, in a foreign land because he had to be ready to move again anytime God called him.

Also, 1 Pet 2:11 says “My dear friends, I urge you as aliens, strangers, and foreigners in this world to abstain from your sinful desires.” We also are strangers and aliens in this world. We must recognize that this world is a bridge to the next world. As Christians, therefore, we should not build our homes on the bridge.

“I’m a pilgrim for eternity.”

v. 10 “He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (heaven)

1. By faith, obedience without knowing where he was going.

#2 Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 11-12

“11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

In Genesis 17, Abram was almost 100 years old and Sarai was 90 years old. God appeared again and made the same promise of a son. When Abram heard this, he fell down and laughed. He said, “Will a son be born to a 100 year old man?” Sarai also laughed and said, “Will I now have this kind of pleasure?”

This means, they did NOT believe at first – because they were believing with human logic (it was too late; this promise was too great). But finally, they believed.

Romans 4:18-20 “Against all hope, Abram in hope believed. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that he was as good as dead, but he did not waver in his faith, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. He knew nothing is impossible with God.”

In our lives, we can see that there are MANY impossible things. But we must believe that there is NOTHING impossible with God.

This will happen by the power of God, not by the power of Abram nor Sarai. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a 100 year old man to get a son through the womb of his 90 year old wife. From a reproductive point of view, they were “as good as dead.”

But living by faith means believing there is NOTHING impossible with God.

Also with our own salvation, this is the same as how they got a son by the power of God.

Actually, many people do not believe the good news of the gospel. Why not? The message of the gospel is so simple, powerful and clear: Jesus died for your sin and mine, and rose again from the dead. If you believe in him and confess with your mouth he is Lord, you will be saved eternally, once for all.

This is all.

We have nothing to do – because God did everything for our salvation.

But many people don’t believe. Why not? It’s TOO good, too simple, too easy. But, please believe. If you open your hearts and your mouth and confess, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But many people do not believe this good news because the good news is far TOO good to believe.

2. Abram obeyed without knowing HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

#3 Abram obeyed even though he didn’t know WHEN the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 13-16

“13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

The “better country” is heaven. Yes, we know God promised Abram land (and children) as an inheritance (also for his children). What land is that? Canaan. It is called the Promised Land.

As we know, in the whole time / life of Abram, that promise was not fulfilled. So, all the time he lived in tents. He never settled in Canaan.

Also, his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob, and great grandson Joseph – never settled in Canaan. They all lived as foreigners in this world. They did not see the fulfillment of that promise before they died. But Abram’s faith had PATIENCE.

To wait is harder than to adventure.

The hardest time is the time in between.

At the moment of decision, there is excitement. At the moment of success, there is satisfaction. But in the in between time… it is necessary to wait… to walk… to watch…

But the “man” (Person) of faith is one whose hope is flaming bright and effort is strenuous – even when there is nothing to do but to wait.

Abram’s faith was faith that was looking beyond this world.

Yes, to be patient is not easy, but the secret: to look BEYOND this world. Also, the conviction / assurance that God WILL keep his promise: either instantly or eternally. Our prayer WILL be answered – but will it be instantly? Or distantly?

Obviously, we all like instant (instant food) – but the answer for them, was distant – distant in heaven.

Despite everything, the Person of faith never loses their vision, nor their hope.

Faith is certain of what we do not see. Faith and hope go together.

And in spite of everything, they never wished to return to their old hometown. This is very important. That’s why God was not ashamed to be called their God.

“I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back~”

They left and never turned back to Mesopotamia. This is also like us in our Christian lives – we must never wish to “go back” to our lives when we were unbelievers.

From this event, 4-500 years later, God introduced himself to Moses as “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

God constantly introduced himself as that. Can you imagine today God introduces himself as “I AM the God of [your name]”? He was not ashamed of them.

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your minds on things above – not on earthly things.” Jesus challenges us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. When I come again, I come to take you with me.”

3. Obeyed without knowing WHEN

#4 (Climax) Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know WHY God was working in unreasonable ways

(This was the supreme test on Abram’s life. Sacrificing Isaac as a burnt offering.)

v. 17-19

“17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”

The background of this story is Genesis 22. God called and said, “Abram! Sacrifice your son Isaac. Your only son, whom you love. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on the Mount of Moriah.” Immediately, Abram got up and took Isaac and two servants and a donkey and traveled for 3 days.

On the third day, Abram saw the top of the mountain and said to the servants to wait at the bottom with the donkey. “Isaac and I will go up there to worship and WE will come back.”

Then, there were two.

Isaac asked, “Dad, we have wood and fire, but where is the lamb?”

Abram, “God himself will provide.”

Abram got up there, built the altar, and tied up his son (who obeyed like a lamb). Abram reached out his hand with a knife from his pocket and went to kill his son.

But God called from heaven: “Abram! No! Now I know that you love me and fear me. Do not do anything to that boy.” Abram looked around and found a ram and sacrificed the ram instead of Isaac. He called that place: Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide).

And God swore on himself: “I’ll bless you and your descendants and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” He confirmed his Genesis 12 promise here again.

This was the ultimate, final, supreme test upon Abram.

From this story, we can learn and apply 3 lessons:

Are you Christian?

1. We must be ready to sacrifice what is dearest to me for the sake of loyalty to God.

(What is dearest to you? Money? Kids? Job? Car? House?)

In early church history and also today, this happens.

In a home, one person becomes a Christian, and another does not – and a sword (persecution) came on that home. Unless those people put Christ before all else, there would be NO Christians at all today.

Hundreds of years ago, the light of Christ came to Korea by those who put Christ first. Still today, the message of Christ is being delivered and spread by those who put Christ first. So even today, Christ must come first, or else he comes nowhere in our lives.

Matt “Anyone who loves father, or sister, or brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or houses, or lands more than me, is not worthy of me.”

In a Christian life, Jesus can ONLY be FIRST. Not second, third, or fourth best. He can be ONLY BEST – or nothing in our lives.

2. We must be ready to accept by faith what is very difficult to understand.

This commandment is very difficult to understand. It looks unreasonable and illogical. God promised to build a great nation THROUGH Isaac. So, to fulfill this promise, Isaac must be alive. Yet, God asked Abram to kill Isaac even when there were no grandchildren from Isaac. God seemed to contradict himself. The will of God fought the promise of God. In such situations, there is only ONE thing to do: OBEY.

We must obey and say, “God, you are good, you are faithful. Even though I don’t know why, but you know why.”

And we must build our faith on that truth.

3. God is faithful

When we are tested and tempted, God will provide a way out so that we can stand up under it. We know that God is working for the good of those who love him and trust him and are called according to his purpose. Phil 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Jesus Christ.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

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